Adding a lower third to your video is big news!

Adding text to your online videos normally falls into 4 different categories. We have covered creating the Call to Action and a Watermark in other posts, so here we look at the other 2 areas where you will need to add some text to create a clear, coherent message in your videos: the Title and the Lower Third. Because there are more professional video editing tips you need to know.

Creating Titles

The Title will be the first thing your viewers see. You want them to be able to read it in a short space of time, so make it clear and concise; it should usually be on a plain background – often white text on a black background or black on a white background looks best. Also, keep the font simple. There will be some preset options in the professional video editing software you use, such as iMovies.

Whatever you choose, don’t make it too elaborate – there’s no need for tartan plaid backgrounds and curlicue fonts!

Keep the title on-screen for around 5 seconds; again you will need to specify this in the software as the default may not always be right. Any less than 5 seconds and the viewer may not have time to read it; any more and they’ll be tapping their fingers.

Your title screen should reflect the nature of your video – if it is a testimonial video your “title” may actually be a customer quote.

You may like to pose a question that concerns your viewer or make a challenging statement. Don’t forget you want to “hook” your visitor and this starts with the title page.

Show them that they will be gaining value or something of interest to them, so that they hang around and watch – you can bet your life they will be wondering what’s in it for them. It should be something that sums up the message you will be conveying in the video.

A good editing tool to use with your title is to slowly zoom in on it, if your software allows it…this focuses the viewer’s attention on actually reading and taking in what’s “coming towards” them.

After your title, you can transition to the opening footage.

Creating A Lower Third

A lower third is usually a text and logo-based graphic that sits in the lower portion of the video screen, though it doesn’t usually take up the entire lower third of it, as the name suggests.

You can see lower thirds used frequently in news and current affairs programs, as well as corporate documentaries.

They will often be used to introduce the person speaking, with their name, position or title and sometimes a summary of what they say, especially in news programs. It’s a great way of letting the viewer know exactly who they are watching without the speaker having to waste time telling them.

Like with titles, you need to keep the lower third text clear and instantly readable – that means a simple font, bolded is OK but avoid italics…use the “Keep it Simple” rule.

You may be tempted with an editing program like iMovies to be over-elaborate, because there are so many choices, but be careful not to deviate from the overall impact you want your text to have.

With most of your videos, the simplest of the iMovies or Screenflow templates will suffice for a good, clean professional look to the end product; for corporate videos some extra branding may be required in the lower third.

One other important point to note is that often the software will default to centralise the text. You should set it off to the left, so that when you upload to YouTube or other video-hosting channels the text isn’t partially covered by the YouTube logo.

You should now be in a better position to start adding text to your video if you have the right software; there are tutorials on adding a lower third and titles and other professional video editing tips in the Lights, Camera, Profits! workshop by Melbourne SEO Services. Simply click here to learn more about it.

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