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What Is PowToon and How Do I Use It For Business?





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When it comes to marketing online, content is king. And when it comes to content, video rules the roost. Just look at these numbers:

  • After watching a video, 65 percent of executives have visited the vendor’s site and 39 percent have called the vendor;
  • 70 percent of marketing professionals report that video converts better than any other medium;
  • 64 percent of consumers are more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it;
  • Homepage videos are shown to increase conversion rates by 20 percent or more;
  • When marketers included a video in an email, the click-through rate increased by 200-300 percent;
  • 92 percent of mobile video viewers share videos with others; and
  • Only 24 percent of brands are using online video to market to consumers.

If you’re part of the 76 percent of brands not using online videos to market to customers then here’s good news for you: creating marketing videos is easier than ever thanks to PowToon.



What is PowToon?

Simply put, PowToon is a drag-and-drop video creation solution that’s easy and even fun to use, thanks to some eye-catching and entertaining designs:

What Is PowToon For Business

Not creatively inclined? No problem! PowToon has created a number of ready-made PowToons that you can make your own with simple customizations. From marketing videos to internal meeting videos and even resumes, you’ll find almost everything you need:

What Is PowToon For Business

Price

PowToon offers three subscription levels, the first of which is free. This free level is key because you get to try before you buy. One warning, however: once you try, you may find it hard not to buy!

How Do You Use PowToon for Business?

You can use PowToon to create all kinds of videos including explainers, demos and straight out entertainment.

While it would be easy talk about PowToon’s features all day, the best way to show what’s under the hood is by walking you through the creation of a video.

During this walk-through, you’ll be learning to create the following video:

Ready? Here goes!

How To Create a Video on PowToon

Step 1: Select Your Video’s Design Template

Once you’ve logged into PowToon, hover your pointer over “Create” to get started:

What Is PowToon For Business

As shown earlier, you can start from scratch using one of the designs or use a ready-made PowToon that can be easily customized. A couple of things to note:

  1. You can mix-and-match designs later so don’t worry too much about which design you select to start.
  2. You can preview all the designs and ready-made PowToons by clicking on their image to show the preview video:

What Is PowToon For Business

Once you’ve selected a design or ready-made PowToon, click the “Go” button to proceed.

NOTE: A “Start from Scratch” design is being used during this walk-through.

Step 2: The Video Creation Screen

PowToon now loads the video creation screen:

Click the image to view a larger version

What Is PowToon For Business

Here’s a brief tour:

  1. Click on the three lines to open the menu.
  2. This is your scene navigator. You can view and switch between your video’s scenes here. You can also add new slides and delete ones you don’t need. At the very bottom of this column are some controls used during video creation. Flip is the handiest one — it enables you to horizontally flip any element (you’ll see this in action soon).
  3. The canvas is the spot where your video comes together.
  4. The timeline is where you control when video elements appear and disappear as well as how they enter and leave each scene.
  5. This is where you can switch between PowToon’s many designs. As you move forward or back, the elements available for you to use change below.
  6. These are the elements you can use in your videos. Most of these sections expand and collapse, so there’s a lot you’re not seeing here. Elements include text, images, animated images, backgrounds and more.
  7. This small gray strip is where you click to add your own elements to the video. You can upload images and more to use.
  8. The top bar holds a number of tools. We’ll review the ones on the right in a bit. On the left, you can undo your changes (very handy) and name your video.
  9. Last but not least is help. Click the question mark when you get lost.

Step 3: Upload Your Images

If you plan to use your own images, it makes sense to upload them first so they’ll be there when you’re ready to use them. To do so, click on the “Image” link in the gray strip all the way on the right. This will open the following screen:

What Is PowToon For Business

PowToon does offer a large variety of images for you to use, some free and some for a small cost. In this case, you’re going to upload your own image so you’ll click “Upload” and then select the file you want to use from your computer.

Once the image is uploaded, you can preview it, delete it or insert it:

What Is PowToon For Business

There, now the image is on the canvas. However, since it’s going to be used in the second scene, use the scene navigator to add a new slide and then move the new one to the top:

What Is PowToon For Business

 

What Is PowToon For Business

Step 4: Add Text

Next, use the “Text Effects” element on the right to add text to your new slide. Powtoon offers a few super-fun effects here — play with them to find the ones you like.

What Is PowToon For Business

You can modify the text both inside and outside the editing screen. To go back into the editing screen, just click on the little pencil icon on the left (shown below). Here’s an example of changing out text color from outside of the editing screen:

What Is PowToon For Business

Hovering over different parts of an element’s box enables one of three effects:

What Is PowToon For Business

  1. Resize the element by expanding and contracting the box sideways or diagonally;
  2. Rotate the element; and
  3. Move the element around the canvas.

Step 5: Add Other Elements

Next add your first non-text element to this scene. You can hover over any element to see a larger version. This is especially useful when you’re adding animated elements. Once you find an element you want to use, simply click to add it to the canvas:

What Is PowToon For Business

Step 6: Determine the Length of Each Scene

The more elements you add to a scene, the longer it should be, especially if they appear one after the other as in the example video. To expand the length of your scene, click on the timeline’s “+” symbol:

What Is PowToon For Business

Step 7: Set Up the Timeline for Each Scene

This step can be both exhilarating and intimidating. You’re the director and you determine when things happen but it takes a little time to get it right.

Since the text at the top of the scene will be shown throughout, you have to make sure it will reach the end now that you’ve extended the duration. You do this by first selecting the element, then hovering over the end of the element on the timeline and finally dragging the element end to the end of the timeline:

What Is PowToon For Business

You’ll note that in the example you stop a little before the end of the timeline. This gives the element a chance to execute its transition (more on this in a bit). If you went right to the end, the element would just disappear when the scene ended.

Since the first scene element in the example uses a text effect, it doesn’t appear all at once. (Watch the video above to see how this works.) Therefore, you need to drag the red arrow (the “playhead”) across the timeline to discover when the text will be fully revealed:

What Is PowToon For Business

In this example, once you know that the text is fully revealed by the 4-second mark, you can place the the next element on the timeline:

What Is PowToon For Business

As you continue to place the elements in their proper places on the timeline, you also need to consider how each will enter and exit the scene. You configure this by clicking on the entry and exit transition setting spots:

What Is PowToon For Business

Step 8: Complete All the Scenes

You then complete each scene in the same way. The example shows an easy scenario since it only has two scenes.

Step 9: Add Sound

Next it’s time to add sound to your video. Start by clicking on the “Sound” ink in the gray strip to the far right. This will pop open the sound screen:

What Is PowToon For Business

Here you can upload both a voice-over and your own soundtrack or you can use one of the many soundtracks offered by PowToon.

In the example select “As Sweet As Sugar” and click the “Add” button on the right to have it set as the music track. Once it is set, you can opt to have the music track loop, also like the example:

What Is PowToon For Business

You then click the “Apply” button to add the music track to your video. You can tell that the music’s been added as the sound waves are shown in the timeline:

What Is PowToon For Business

Step 10: Test the Video

There are two ways to preview your video. One is by clicking on the “Play and Continue” button on the lower left and the other is by clicking the “Preview” eye-link in the top bar:

What Is PowToon For Business

 

What Is PowToon For Business

Close the preview by clicking on the “X” in the top right corner.

The preview seems to give the better “real-life” play through, so make sure to use that at least once to test your videos before publishing them.

Step 11: Publish the Video

There are two options to publish and download your video. They both take you to the same screen, so feel free to use either one. The option used in the example is “Export or Download”:

What Is PowToon For Business

The next screen gives you a number of options. Select the ones you wish (options can be based on your subscription level) and click the “Next” button:

What Is PowToon For Business

If you chose to download your video on the previous screen, select the format you like here:

What Is PowToon For Business

Finally, select a category for your video, change it’s name (if you’d like), add a description, set some tags and then click the, “Publish” button:

What Is PowToon For Business

Step 12: Share and Download the Video

The bow video is published! On this screen, you can share the video and get the embed code so you can add the video to your site:

What Is PowToon For Business

 

What Is PowToon For Business

Since the download option was selected to create the video, you then receive an email with your link a few minutes later:

What Is PowToon For Business

Conclusion

Using video is a very effective way to market your small business online. PowToon makes the process of creating, publishing and sharing your videos easier than ever.

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Matt Mansfield


Matt Mansfield Matt Mansfield is the Tech Editor and SEO Specialist at Small Business Trends where he is responsible for directing and writing many of the site’s product reviews, technology how-to’s, and lists of small business resources as well as increasing the reach of our content.

One Reaction

  1. Hello Matt,
    I am interested in creating an animated video for my company. But I am not savvy with designs, will you recommend any company that can be of help to me on budget?

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