Affiliate Marketing 101: How to Get Started As a Creator

By May14,2024

Everything you need to know about how affiliate marketing works, how to join an affiliate program as an influencer, and some tips to kickstart your affiliate marketing strategy. The 7 Best AI Video Tools for Creators and Marketers, Tried and Tested

After analyzing millions of social media posts sent through Buffer, we discovered that video content is far and away the best-performing content type for every social media platform

Great! But… creating enough video content to satisfy the TikTok, YouTube, or Instagram algorithm is not easy. Unlike text and photo posts, video requires a lot of work — scripting, filming, and editing your content can slow you down.

Plus, all these tasks involve very different skill sets. Just because you’re great at talking to a camera doesn’t necessarily mean you’re great at editing video — and vice versa. 

But thanks to the ever-growing list of AI video tools, you don’t have to. 

With the help of artificial intelligence, you can eliminate some of your least favorite video creation tasks. These days, you can use AI to write scripts, edit videos, generate clips, and even talk to the camera for you. 

Here’s a look at some of the best AI video tools I’ve tested, along with how to use them, who they’re best for, and how much they cost.  

Looking for more AI help? Here’s our guide to the best AI image generators, the best AI productivity tools, the best AI writing tools, and the best AI tools for social media content creation

1. CapCut

Best beginner video editor with AI features

The 7 Best AI Video Tools for Creators and Marketers, Tried and Tested

Unlike most of the other tools on this list, CapCut is not an AI video editor — it’s a video editor with AI capabilities. 

You might be surprised to see a non-AI-exclusive tool at the top of this list, but CapCut has an incredible array of AI features. The best part? You can use most of these for free. 

CapCut has become a firm personal favorite for video editing. The tool's desktop version, in particular, is one of the simplest and most powerful video editors I’ve ever used, with AI features that can speed up your processes significantly.  

Among those are auto-captions that will generate near-perfect subtitles for even accented voices, the ability to generate a script from a prompt, auto-creating short promo clips from a longer video, AI avatars, auto-creating ads from product URLs…the list goes on.

Then, of course, there’s my TikTok For You Page’s favorite feature — converting videos or photos into everything from Pixar characters to oil paintings. (These ai-generated videos are pehaps not as useful as the workhorse features I mentioned above, but definitely more fun.) 

@simplyme.c she looks so cute and polite #aifilter #oilpainting #capcuttemplate ♬ original sound – Talissa Smalley

CapCut has a mobile and desktop app, as well as a web version. It’s worth noting that many of the features mentioned above are available in the web version.

CapCut pricing: Free, with CapCut Pro starting at $9.99 per month.

2. Descript

Best AI video tool for podcasters and interviewers

The 7 Best AI Video Tools for Creators and Marketers, Tried and Tested

Descript is a brilliant AI video editor for folks who hate editing videos. Rather than dragging video tiles in and out on a timeline, Descript allows you to edit clips based on the transcription, as you would edit text — so you can split, cut, and trim clips based on what speakers are saying. 

It’s a surprisingly accurate way of making sure your video contains exactly the moments you want, and it’s a must-use tool for podcasters. Descript uses AI video editing for a host of time-saving actions like removing retakes, generating chapters (great for YouTube videos), and finding “Good Clips” — another great tool for podcasters on the hunt for video clips or soundbites to share on social media to promote their shows. 

However, the Descript filler word removal feature is where the tool really shines. Any seasoned video or podcast editors will know how tedious this process can be if you do it manually, but Desccript removes “ums,” “likes,” and any other words you’d like axed with the click of a button. While several tools of this list have a similar feature, I found Descript does it best. 

Of course, Descript is not for everyone. If your videos don’t contain much talking, for example, you won’t get the full benefits of the tool, and it does have a bit of a learning curve as a completely new way to edit video. 

Descript pricing: Free starter plan, with paid plans beginning at $12/month.

3. Runway

Best AI video generator

The 7 Best AI Video Tools for Creators and Marketers, Tried and Tested

I’ll be honest — Runway is a little intimidating. It can generate videos and animations from simple text prompts, bring still images to life as videos, generate lip-syncing avatars based on a recording of your voice, and even allow you to train your own AI models. 

Runway has the potential to be an entire AI video production studio: you could create an entire movie without filming a single frame — if you have the time, that is. 

As is often the case with powerful, cutting-edge tools, Runway comes with a steep learning curve. I spent hours trawling through the web version and barely scratched the surface of what it can do. It can also be hit-and-miss when generating high-quality videos from prompts — much like AI image generation tools, it requires patience and iteration to generate what you’re looking for.

That said, there are some very practical use cases that marketers and creators might find helpful, like the ability to replace backgrounds, remove items from footage, or blur faces in a video's background. 

Runway pricing: Free for limited features, with paid plans starting at $15 per month. 

Work smarter, not harder: Cross-post your videos to TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts in one go in Buffer. Connect three channels for free → 

4. Lumen5

Best AI video tool for marketers

The 7 Best AI Video Tools for Creators and Marketers, Tried and Tested

Lumen5 is a great addition to any marketing tool stack. With just a couple of clicks, you can convert blog posts or articles, voice-overs, or talking head clips into professional-looking videos. 

My favorite use case for Lumen5 was being able to paste a link to my blog posts and have the tool generate scripts for social videos for me. I like filming these clips myself, but if you’re not comfortable in front of the camera, you can take the workflow even further by having Lumen5 generate the video from this script. 

With customizable branding templates you select from the get-go, Lumen5 will deliver animated, slide-show-style footage that would work really well for showing off new product features or a company announcement. From there, the intuitive Canva-like interface makes it easy to tweak the animations, music, style, and more. 

Lumen5 pricing: Free plan available, with paid plans starting at $29 per month, or $19 per month paid annually.

5. Synthesia

Best AI video tool for using digital avatars

The 7 Best AI Video Tools for Creators and Marketers, Tried and Tested

If your video requires a talking head that you don’t want to be your head, Synthesia should be your first port of call. There are over 70 avatars and 120 voices to choose from on the starter plan (with over 140 avatars on the higher-tier plans). 

If you’d like to be featured in videos but find filming yourself tedious, you can have Synthesia create an avatar of you. It’s a finicky process — you have to film clips of yourself to Synthesia’s exact specifications and then submit them to work their AI magic—and it can take up to 10 days.

Whatever avatar you use to present your video, the editing tools in Synthesia are easy to get to grips with, with loads of templates you can lean on for professional results. It’s worth noting that the tool is more geared towards professional videos, like company training videos or product tutorials, but I can see it being fun to experiment with as a content creator on social media in a tongue-in-cheek way. 

While other tools, like CapCut and Runway, offer similar text-to-speech avatar features, I found Synthesia’s slightly more believable and less robotic. (CapCut’s avatars are also a bit less professional — think women in sports clothes and wearing Christmas hats.)

That said, voice dubbing on Sythesia can be hit and miss, so it’s worth playing around with all the avatars and AI voice options available to find ones that are compatible.

Synthesia pricing: Plans start at $22 per month billed annually.

6. Wondershare Filmora

Best intermediate video editor with AI features

The 7 Best AI Video Tools for Creators and Marketers, Tried and Tested

Wondershare Filmora has been around for years as an alternative to the more intense video editing tools — think of it as a bridge between the chasm of iMovie and Adobe Premiere Pro. Thanks to some pretty handy new AI features, the user-friendly tool has managed to keep pace with other up-and-coming video editors. 

There’s Filmora’s AI CoPilot (a ChatGPT-like interface you can talk to if you need help), text-based editing (a similar offering to Descript), and AI text-to-video. 

Filmora does all these things reasonably well — its AI video creation features are helpful additions to an already powerful video editor, but perhaps not selling points in and of themselves. 

Filmora is similar to CapCut in many ways but slightly more professional (and it’s not free). Many will be pleased to use an alternative to ByteDance-owned CapCut, the company in the legal firing line in the U.S. over a potential TikTok ban. 

Filmora pricing: Free plan with limited features and video watermarks. Paid plans start at $29.99 quarterly.

7. InVideo AI

Best AI video tool for generating a starting point

The 7 Best AI Video Tools for Creators and Marketers, Tried and Tested

InVideo is a fun tool for creating entire videos from prompts. The browser-based tool makes it easier to use than most text-to-video generators thanks to great templates and helpful workflows like ‘Script to Video,’ ‘YouTube Explainer,’ ‘TikTok Video,’ ‘Instagram Reel,’ and more.  

The latter is particularly helpful in prompting. Clicking on one of the workflows will open up a dialog box where you’ll be asked to input everything the AI tool needs, like how long the video should be, the vibe of the background music, the accent of the narrator, and a whole lot more. 

Once InVideo has generated the initial video from your first prompt, you can edit it with prompts, too — think commands like “This scene is too long, make it less wordy” or “Replace this narrator with a female voice with a British accent.” 

After spending some time generating different clips with InVideo, my favorite use case was to generate a starting point video from a script. InVideo offers a speedy way to generate a foundation video to work with, though I found the clips did tend to need some fine-tuning and a human touch to make them engaging. 

It’s worth noting that InVideo doesn’t have an avatar option, so it won’t be able to deliver a video with a presenter — rather, a voice-over set to stock photos and videos. 

InVideo pricing: Free with limited features and watermarks. Plans start at $25 per month.

AI video tools won’t do all the work for you — yet

After spending several days putting as many AI video tools as I could get my hands on through their paces, it struck me that none of the options out there are going to eliminate the need for human creativity (and tenacity?) required for brainstorming, filming, and editing engaging video content. 

They can certainly help lighten the load by simplifying some of the frustrating work that comes with creating videos (editing out those annoying “ums” for example), freeing you up to focus on the creative process. 

Which, if you think about it, is pretty great. There’s really no replacement for you.

More AI video tools to try? 

As is the case with all other AI tool niches, AI video tools are hitting the market thick and fast — so if I haven’t featured your tool of choice here, do let me know! 

Please comment below or tag @buffer or @bufferapp on all major social channels, and I’ll put your favorite tool to the test. 

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