In the past, small businesses have often been unable to utilise the potential of regular content creation as design agencies and freelancers have been expensive, specialist services well outside their budgets.
Since 2010, several companies have sought to give these small businesses a way to create video advertisements and other media to promote their brands without breaking the bank.
The three biggest players in this market are InVideo, Promo and Canva. All three provide outstanding video editing suites, but Canva also offers a range of extra facilities to make other types of media like posters, logos and business cards.
We've put together this summary to give you a quick overview of these platforms; what they do, how they work and how using their platforms could benefit your business.
Sharing regular engaging content is more essential for businesses than ever before.
Videos are an especially useful medium for content marketing, as you can easily grab your customers' attention and give them all the information they need in the fastest time.
Privacy concerns also mean many people don’t give their permission for companies to use their data to track them and provide targeted ads, which reduces a traditional advertising campaign's effectiveness.
Content marketing is far more subtle than banner ads and pop ups. By providing useful videos, infographics and articles to customers through social media, businesses can more effectively engage their customers and reach new clients.
The main focus of Canva, Promo and InVideo is their video editing tools, which help novice content creators create engaging adverts and promotional videos using premade templates.
You can create how-to guides, top 5 videos and even long-form lectures for your customers, helping both current and potential customers trust your brand.
InVideo, Promo and Canva make creating this kind of engaging media for your customers as simple as possible.
The platforms let you build many different types of video, from simple logo reveals to Listicles and long-form advertisements for YouTube videos.
Video content shared through social media offers genuine value to your customers while promoting brand awareness and establishing your brand as a trusted vendor.
Regular video content also helps optimise your website for search engines (SEO) by improving your user experience statistics like your bounce rate and dwell time.
By and large, Promo, InVideo and Canva offer pretty similar services, and they all charge a monthly subscription fee for their services to produce videos online.
Canva does have a range of extra mediums for you to explore, like brochures, newsletters and even t-shirts, which Promo and InVideo don’t offer.
The platforms all heavily rely on templates to help you create your content, which is helpful for novice content creators but a hindrance for anyone looking for advanced editing features. While it is possible to work without a template using Promo and Canva, you still won’t find advanced editing features like in Adobe Photoshop.
Additionally, the platforms all have huge libraries of royalty-free images, video clips and music samples for you to use in your content. These are incredibly helpful for padding out your videos with commercial photos if you don't have original content.
All three platforms are web-based, which is perfect for sharing content but be warned, with all options you will need an internet connection to edit, there are no offline options, preventing you from editing while commuting or if your internet goes down.
Below, we've summarised what each of the biggest three platforms offers and how they could benefit your business.
InVideo is a standalone, web-based video editor. The other two platforms are also cloud-based.
The platform mainly relies on templates that you edit by adding branding or unique video clips.
You can choose from either pre-made templates or text to video templates. The pre-made templates are mainly for adverts on social media sites or product videos and presentations.
You can select which platform you're sharing your video to before picking out your templates, then share the video directly to whichever platform you want.
InVideo's unique selling point is text to video templates, which turn written scripts or articles into video advertisements or accompaniment videos. Neither Promo nor Canva offers this type of facility, so if you're looking to convert large volumes of text into video format, InVideo could be perfect for you.
InVideo is very cheap and the platform is a little basic, but perfectly good for startups or beginner video makers looking to make their first videos.
Read our full InVideo Review.
The promo platform is undoubtedly the easiest to use when compared to InVideo and Canva. The editor is simple and logically arranged, the site is easy to navigate, and the templates and royalty-free media are a breeze to adjust.
You can quickly and easily rework sections of the video once you've selected a template, or you can start entirely from scratch and add any video clips and transition animations you think are suitable.
Promo gives premium users the option to upload a set of brand images, text, logos and colours, which you can apply to any template, making it even faster to create branded videos for your business.
Read our full Promo Review
Canva is the largest platform we're reviewing and boasts an impressive commercial client base, including Skyscanner and American Airlines.
Canva's platform differs slightly from InVideo and Promo as they offer a selection of media types not provided by the others, which Canva does include in the standard price. Canva's platform is an all-inclusive media production tool rather than a video creator and editor.
Canva has all the template features also offered by InVideo and Promo. There is an enormous array of unique and interesting templates to choose from and a large free media library included in the paid plans.
The platform does have some free images and videos available on the free plan, but the best samples are exclusively available on the paid plans.
Canva also provides a massive selection of tutorials and how-to guides in both video and article format, an excellent resource for beginner media creators.
The free plan is definitely the best offered by the three platforms compared in this article, as you can create and download a video advert without a watermark, which you can't on Promo or InVideo.
Read our full Canva Review.
It really depends on what your business needs.
All three platforms have great functionality and paid premium plans for small to medium-sized businesses looking to create and share loads of original content.
If you're looking just to build and edit videos, the editing suite will be the key consideration, and Promo would be the platform for you.
If you're a complete beginner, you'll need the easiest to handle editor and plenty of tutorials and how-to guides, in which case InVideo or Canva could both suit your needs.
If you're pumping out masses of videos and other media types, a huge selection of templates and media types will be necessary, and Canva is likely the best choice.
Traditionally, businesses have relied on expensive agencies and freelancers using tools like Adobe. These services, while inarguably effective, are costly for startups and small businesses.
InVideo, Promo and Canva give businesses a much cheaper way to make interesting, engaging content to bring more web traffic to their sites and increase their followers, likes and subscribers on social media platforms.
Overall, we believe Canva gives the best service for the best price. While their templates aren't quite as good as Promo's, and their editor isn't as easy to use as InVideo's, the broad range of media available and the cost make it the best platform for small businesses looking to save costs and create engaging content.