Lumen5: Turn existing web content into cool text-and-image videos
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Say hello to my favorite business deal of 2018 (so far).
For starters, it's free. For, er, finishers, it's ridiculously easy to use and incredibly good at what it does.
What it does is turn blog posts and other content into those engaging text-over-image videos you see all over social media.
It's a tool called Lumen5, and I freakin' love it. A Pro-level subscription normally costs $49 per month (or $39 per month if you prepay annually), but for a limited time, AppSumo is offering a one-year Lumen5 Pro subscription for free.
No strings, no limitations... just free.
Shut up and take my money, Lumen5! Oh, wait...
Suppose you've written an awesome blog post on the virtues of your new widget. If you want anyone to actually read it, you'll have to engage them first with a short video.
Just point Lumen5 at the URL for that post. (You can also search for content or just start from scratch.) Using the video-builder tool, you select a snippet of text, then pair it with related photos and/or animations culled from your post and Lumen5's own library.
You can literally build a frame in seconds. Then you just repeat the process for each additional frame. You can edit the selected text as needed, change its position within the frame, choose from 35 different fonts, add music (from Lumen5's extensive library) and so on. You can even upload your own photo or video to use as the outro.
It's all extremely easy and actually pretty fun. Even the most nascent startup run by the most tech-unsavvy user should be able to leverage this quickly and effectively.
The Pro version limits you to 720p video, which is fine for social media and the like. If you want 1080p, along with extras like brand presets, access to over a million "premium" media files and support for uploading your own music, you'll need a Business account ($99/month).
I was initially concerned by the "square video" limitation -- Business accounts get letterbox -- but the sample video I created wasn't square at all. It's definitely rectangular.
You should also know that while you can download your video in MP4 format, Lumen5 doesn't currently offer an embed option. You can upload directly to Facebook, but if you want to use it anywhere else, you'll have to first download it and then upload it.
That wrinkle aside, I find this to be an amazing tool for an unbeatable price.