How to Edit a Winning Marketing Video

Posted: November 15, 2023

Joy George Proofreader

You’ve almost finished creating your institutional marketing video. You’ve planned it all out, written the script, and filmed your footage. Now it’s time to put it all together and edit your video. If you’ve enlisted a film crew, they might handle the editing process. But if you’re handling the editing yourself, there are plenty of tools and resources you can use to edit a compelling video.

Remember, you don’t necessarily need high-end software like Final Cut Pro. Smartphones often come equipped with capable editing apps, and free, user-friendly programs like iMovie can achieve impressive results. While a larger budget can offer more enhancements, there’s no need to worry about financial constraints—any tool, including basic ones, can effectively get your video ready for the audience. Some free tools to help edit and enhance your video include:

  • iMovie: video editing for Apple products
  • Canva: online video editing and stock video for any computer type
  • DaVinci Resolve: video editing for any computer type
  • YouTube Audio Library: free music and sound effects

When you edit your video, it’s important to understand the “rules” of a video so you know when to break them. Traditional higher ed videos often start with a drone shot or a wide shot of campus, and they typically close with another campus shot and a call to action for viewers. These videos generally all show diverse student groups interacting around campus, and a variety of settings that showcase all that campus has to offer.

But knowing when to break the rules can really pay off. If you’re advertising the value of your degree, maybe you open the video with people in the workplace and then work backward to how they got there. Or maybe you want to show what differentiates you from your competitors to make your institution shine even more. It never hurts to start with an establishing shot of campus, but whatever you use as your opening image should catch the eye of the viewer and set the tone of your video.


  • Catalog shots and see what you have to work with. You’ll be surprised how much easier and faster editing can be if all of your footage is properly sorted and named.
  • Think about the music you’re going to use. The music and tone of an ad can determine how long of a clip you want to use.
  • Think about the tone or theme of your video to get to the number of shots you may want to use. Upbeat videos can change shots frequently, blasting the viewer with the diversity of shots, whereas an inspirational tone or pace may call for longer clips that change less often.
  • Keep your short, 6-second videos contained to one or two shots, a brief primary message, and then a call to action.
  • In most instances, don’t linger on any one video clip for more than five or six seconds. Shot length can vary based on whether or not the shot is static or contains camera movement, or, of course, whether anyone is speaking or interacting on screen. That will help determine how long you should hold on a shot before moving to the next one.
  • Create a video library of activities on campus during the school year. Your future self will thank you! You may even be able to create later videos purely from the raw footage you captured at your latest video shoot(s).
  • Now that you know the kind of footage you wanted and the different ways you got it, always have your camera and always be ready to film. Every special event, impromptu gathering, classroom visit, or beautiful day is a chance for a quick, new video clip to add to your library.


Maybe you still feel completely overwhelmed with the idea of editing a video. We get it! Building a video can be a complicated process. Luckily, there are a few other steps you can take. First, you can recruit students from the communications department to edit it for you – it will look great on their resume as they go to look for work – or you can hire an agency like VisionPoint. We edit client videos as part of our integrated marketing offering, even writing custom music for the videos we work on.

You can also take a look back at our articles about planning a video, writing a script, and filming your video. Want to continue the conversation about crafting standout video creative? Fill out the form below and we can talk!

Contact Form

"*" indicates required fields

Your Name*
Email Consent
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.