If you want a website, product or service to get noticed on the web, you have to do more than share a link on social. Create videos from web articles and blog posts with a few mouse clicks.
To get people to look at your web articles, blog posts, products or services, you need to use a wide range of promotion and marketing techniques and video should be one of the tools you use to get noticed. People consume a vast amount of online video and it is said that 1 billion hours of video are watched on YouTube every day.
That is a jaw-dropping statistic, but it is not surprising and videos tend to catch our eye and our attention much more than a page of text. We prefer to watch and soak up information passively rather than work hard at it by reading pages of text.
Lumen5 (lumen5.com) is an online service and website that enables you to create promotional and marketing videos from web articles and blog posts. There is a range of plans and at the cheap end is Starter for $19 a month, Premium for $49 a month and Business for $149 a month.
I am a cheapskate always on the lookout for a freebie and if you scroll down the pricing page you will find a free plan. That is the one I signed up for and use here. It has limitations, but probably the only annoying one is that you are limited to creating five videos a month. If you don’t mind that, you can use Lumen5 for free.
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Add your website RSS feed
After creating an account at the website, you can log in and go to the dashboard. There won’t be much to see at first and the best place to start using it is Instant Videos.
Add the URL of a web page or website and it fetches the RSS feed. It then shows the latest posts from your website as a thumbnail image and title. You can then create Instant Videos. Select a post and you can turn it into a video.
Select a video format
The article I chose is, Is a cheap fitness tracker, heart monitor, watch worth it? Posts with lots of great images are best and Lumen5 picks the featured image and shows thumbnails of dozens of different video templates.
They are organized by social media and there are templates for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and others. Several different types are in each social category and there are custom options with different aspect ratios like landscape, square and vertical if you want something different.
The video template is not fixed and even after creating a video, you can return to the editor and select a different one. You could, for example, create a video for each social network is exactly the right format.
Pick a theme
The design of the video is selected by choosing a theme and there are several to choose from. They have different fonts, styles and colors and you choose whichever one suits your style.
Only the default theme settings can be used free with a free, but every aspect of the theme can be customised with a paid account, such as the font, colors, title, background and so on. I could only look as a free user, but it looks good and there are plenty of options.
Customize the story
A video story or timeline is created using Lumen5’s AI and images and brief sentences of text are taken from your website article and are presented as a story. This is the really clever part of the service and the video is automatically generated from the content of the web article or blog post.
Your images appear either full screen or on part of the screen with the text overlaid, at the side or bottom. There are several layouts for the position of the image and text. You can also adjust the duration of each scene.
It did a very good job of picking snippets of text from the article and I was surprised at the quality of the result. It really did seem to pick the key points and highlight them.
Even more impressive is the way that Lumen5 adds stock photos and videos. It automatically finds keywords in the text of the web article, searches stock photo and video libraries for matching photos or videos and then adds them to your story. Your text is added to them.
It is brilliant, but not perfect. My article is about an ANCwear fitness tracker watch and I mention the Apple Watch as an alternative, and it added videos and photos of the Apple Watch, which I didn’t want. I also mentioned that it measures your heart rate and blood pressure, so it added a photo/video of a doctor and patient. It is not a medical device and I didn’t want it.
You can see how it picked those stock videos and photos from keywords in the article, and the connection is clear. Sometimes the stock photos and videos fit in with your story perfectly and are excellent, but sometimes you don’t want them.
You are not stuck with them and you can either delete the unwanted items in the story or enter the editor and replace them with items from the built in photo and video library. A large number of videos and photos are available and size of the library increases with payment. It is small for free, but runs to millions of items for paying customers.
There is also a music library and even with a free account, there are thousands of music tracks. You can browse the music, play it and select it for your video.
Save the video
After creating the video, it can be downloaded and saved to disk. From there you can upload it to YouTube, Instagram, your website or wherever else you want to share it. It is up to you what you do with it. I uploaded mine to YouTube and pasted the link into this article. It is all you need to do on a WordPress website to show a video
The video was created using mostly the default settings and little was changed apart from a couple of scene deletions that I didn’t want, so that you can see what it can do. The text and images were all selected by Lumen5. Improvements can be made by editing the video either before or after creating it.
Lumen5 is a great online tool and I will definitely be using it in the future. For now, I’ll continue with a free account for now, but being able to use extra editing tools and being able to produce more than five videos a month with a paid account is very tempting.
I would recommend Lumen5 to any business looking to repurpose web articles and promote them on social media through videos.