How to Create Professional Looking Content in a Pinch
Here’s a quick guide to expanding your skillset, filling in for that absent graphic designer team mate or video freelancer, and getting the job done in no time!
I’m one of those people whose friends don’t know what I do for a living. Okay, not all of them. Some of them work in the adjacent field of ‘Marketing’. It’s not lost on me. “I work in comms” is indeed a very vague reply to the “what do you do” question and some people can’t seem to make sense of the abbreviated word in conversation. Even my mother still sends me jobs for business development or project management roles (the latter of which is sometimes a part of my job)—but I digress. I’m a communications (i.e. comms) consultant. To put it simply, I communicate an organisation’s key messages to people through various media/platforms.
I have gotten used to working in teams or with teams, but during the last three years, I had set out on my own and have therefore needed to wear multiple hats, dabbling in some graphic design and video editing, when and if required. My title on LinkedIn and on my resume is “Communications Consultant”, but if you strip it all down, I’m a writer first, and not a visual artist.
Thank goodness then, for cloud-based software that has saved me time and effort when a certain visual deliverable has been asked of me and no one else is around to do it. One of them is Kapwing and I use it for both my professional and personal projects.
Work scenario: You need to make a video recorded over Zoom a little more professional looking for your social media platforms and the client needs it now.
- Get started with Kapwing.
Kapwing is one of my favourite pandemic discoveries. It’s a cloud-based application that allows you to edit videos as well as graphics. If the video has already been recorded, you don’t need to send a slew of instructions regarding lighting recommendations, how to hit record on Zoom etc.—simply sign-up and get started!
- Add logos and text animation.
Once you’ve got an account and have the video file, in order to make it look more polished, you can simply refer to your organisation’s Brand Guidelines and add a logo on the top right or bottom right corner of the video.
Then, add the speaker’s name and title (again, following your Brand Guidelines), and animate it.
- Share/send for approval.
One of my favourite things about Kapwing is that it’s meant to be collaborative. You can easily share your work with a teammate before downloading or exporting the file. They can see it, but if they need to edit the file itself, you, as a Pro User will have to invite them as a team member and pay for the additional user fees. Simply click on the share button on the top right and copy the link from this screen:
- Voila! Time to Publish!
If there were no further suggestions from your team members or client (because it looks amazing and they’re absolutely impressed)—you’re ready to publish. Simply export the file and pick the settings appropriate to whatever social media or content platform your client uses.
One final tip: Get inspired by what other big brands or organisations are doing. There are websites like Behance or Pinterest, where you can take inspiration from. You might not be able to make something that a professional visual artist would, but by learning more about basic Graphic Design, the content you create will not only be appreciated and usable, but, ‘aesthetically pleasing’—in other words, beautiful!