I’ve said it many times and I will probably say it many more – one of the best marketing tools out there is video. A social media post without an image is doomed, but a post with a video clip is even better.
Before you stop reading this and say, “That Russell guy just doesn’t get it. I don’t have the knowledge or the budget to do this kind of stuff,” I want you to rest assured that this is a program anyone can use.
Before I introduce you to Headliner, let me just say that I typically don’t profile apps or products if it isn’t really easy to use and either free or really inexpensive to purchase. The great news about this app is the fact that it fits into both categories.
Let me start by telling you what Headliner does. It basically is an automated video creator. You take your content, upload it into the system and then Headliner creates a video to support the content you uploaded.
They have multiple options to choose from when creating a video. The first option is the Audiogram Wizard. In this case, you would upload an audio file and Headliner then allows you to edit the audio, choose how you want it to display depending on a variety of social media options, and then upload an image for the background. You can also use this program to create small clips from a podcast and share on your social media.
I love this tool because it’s simple, to the point and creates very effective content for social media. If you are uploading an audio file, you can even choose to add transcripts to the finished product and have the words play on the video so if viewers choose to watch without the audio on social media, they can follow along.
On the topic of transcriptions, Headliner does do a pretty good job recognizing all the words, but it isn’t perfect. Just know going in that you will likely need to edit some of the text to match the audio. The nice thing is it’s easy to make those edits.
The Audiogram Wizard is great for creating teasers and short clips up to 10 minutes long, but what if you recorded the audio from your State of the City? Then you can utilize the program’s Full Episode option that provides you with up to 2 hours of audio time. I think the downfall to this format is not having the ability to do any sort of supporting video, but I guess if you wanted video to support this option, you would have just used a video camera instead and loaded it to YouTube or Vimeo.
The next option is for you videographers out there. You have created a great video but now you want to include text on the video so people can read along if they have their phone or computer muted. Once again, the accuracy of the transcription is relative to the quality of the audio in your video.
You will likely find yourself making edits to the transcripts, but overall it does a pretty good job. I tested it on the “Building a Thriving Community” video that we released at the conference in February, and it mostly passed the test. I had a few issues with the text, but nothing that wasn’t fixable.
Text to Video
Now let’s say you wrote a piece for your newsletter and you want to create a video out of the text. Headliner does that too! You can copy the text from your word document or paste in a link from a blog post to capture the text and upload it to Headliner. It will then allow you to edit the text because you have only a 1,000-character limit.
From there you will have the option to select background audio or use no audio ― though watching a screen with words flash across it without some kind of voice or music might seem a bit odd. The program offers 20 tracks to choose from.
Once you click on the “Create Project” button, it will generate a video that has the words displayed over stock images that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to choose automatically. The AI was the biggest problem in this feature as I used the phrase “Northern California” and it automatically selected images of wildfires ― which was not even close to the topic. All that being said, you can go in and select new images based on search terms you type.
Despite a few challenges, Headliner seems to be a great option for those who might be lacking time and/or the skills to do your own video projects. Plus, you get 10 videos per month in Headliner’s free account, so what more could you ask for?
Submit Your Ideas
If you have ideas you want to share about new programs or features you are using, send them to email@example.com.
Russell Lahodny is vice president of W.A.C.E. and vice president of local chamber relations at the California Chamber.