Backstory. During a late night, caffeine-laced scroll of my Facebook newsfeed, a 3 year old post by Facebook marketing savante Dennis Yu, concerning video editing, appeared with a robust assortment of 144 comments.
Did someone say video editing?
I hit the brakes.
For those of you who don't know – Dennis is one of the hardest working and smartest Facebook marketers around. His clients include some of the world's biggest corporations (Golden State Warriors, Nike, MGM, you-get-the-picture) and he's the founder of a brand that teaches his Facebook marketing system (www.teamFblitznation.com) to anyone, from 7 figure entrepreneurs to the stay-at-home mom with a side-hustle selling homemade chocolate chip cookies online.
As I hungrily read the comments, my fingers starting twitching and before I knew it they had taken over. I needed to weigh in!
Here's a sideways look at the 145th comment.
(No need to adjust your screen to read it – I've pasted it below.)
The next day, Dennis – who is known for being relentlessly helpful, accessible and encouraging to just about everyone – replied to my comment:
I didn't need to be asked twice.
Below you can read my original post, with a few revisions added.
If you're someone who thinks about video content on social for your brand, this is for you.
You want the truth?
I’ll give you the truth - because anyone who follows Master Yu can handle the truth. Plus editing is a subject near and dear to me.
Dennis is absolutely right that high-value, low-cost editors can be hired for social media content.
However I also get why so many of you are questioning that – because editing is hard asf. And if you've tried it yourself or had a bad experience with a poor editor, then you know.
Minutes can become hours...and hours...can become days...and so on.
Here's the thing: The truth is that the bar is set pretty low for the majority of video editing that you'll see on social. What matters most is context - and you'll see what I mean in the next few paragraphs.
Online video editing platforms like Lumen5 and Ripl (I'm sure there are others) have burst onto the scene with the goal of turning anyone into a video editor.
For a monthly fee you get access to their templates with automated graphics that can be easily customized to make good looking short (0:15 sec to 2 min) videos in an hour or two.
I use Lumen5 myself when the job calls for it. Not an affiliate or anything like that - just a fan.
So yes it’s possible to leverage low cost editing to build your brand and feed your tribe with content on social and no – video editing does not have to cost thousands.
What does cost thousands is editing video that evokes emotion and inspires action.
A second less here, a few frames added to a pause there, seamlessly splicing out some halting dialogue – can make a huge difference in playing the right notes to evoke feeling and inspire action.
That level of editing is a highly nuanced specialty and requires the kind of expertise that can only be gained from hundreds or thousands of hours of experience.
So if you're skeptical that all your video editing needs will be met by hiring a $4.00/hr overseas VA or a college grad for $12/hr (as I read in many of the comments) – you have good reason to be.
For the same reason that you wouldn't expect an intern to have the kind of vision, focus, and work ethic of a Dennis Yu, you can't really expect editing excellence from whoever winds up in the net of “affordable” low-cost labour. It just doesn't work that way.
What I believe Dennis was saying in his post is that having a video editor as part of your social team churning out lots of video content is a must for successful brand growth.
What I'd like to add is that your videos do not all need to be $10k productions requiring professional editors who charge $200/hr.
Because your video content doesn't always have to pin your audience against a wall and evoke tears, laughter, or action (like inspiring people to buy your stuff).
Of course there are times when you need video content to have that effect – and if your audience is big enough, with the right marketing strategy, selective investment in top shelf video content will reward; however 95% of your video content for social can be a combination of the kind of DIY, authentic, "dollar-a-day" smartphone videos that marketing gurus like Dennis and Gary Vaynerchuk encourage PLUS a bunch of silky looking Lumen5/Ripl clips that are a few steps up from a FB Live or just pointing your phone at yourself and pressing record.
The bottom line is this:
While a strategic, compelling video marketing strategy is arguably the most critical and essential component to growing your brand (and thus increasing your revenue) on social...
the better you know your audience and the clearer you are on your messaging, the easier it is to know when to lean in and when to go lean as far as budget is concerned.
I’ll end with this.
Editing may not be your game. It's not for everyone.
Even while leveraging one of the automated online editing platforms mentioned earlier, there still needs to be a creator with a certain disposition and acumen for the process. Team right brain usually wins this game. By a country mile.
To crank out videos that can pass the social sniff test, your budget editor (or you yourself) will need to have a healthy supply of patience, focus and creativity (in that order).
And you know what else matters when editing videos with an online platform? Words. Your copy. Bigtime. Get them wrong and it's a dead giveaway for amateur hour. Hello crickets.
Get them right and watch your engagement sing.
All that said, the good news is that if you hire right or have the time to learn what Dennis expertly teaches, then editing engaging video for social doesn't have to break the bank.
Hope that helps! 😊🎬
Nathan Friedkin is the founder of Find Your Edge Media, a digital agency that combines strategic video content with innovative social media marketing to spark explosive, values-based, online growth and revenue for business and organizations.