Complete Guide to Getting Started with Animoto

Megan O'Neill


Hi! We’re glad you’re here. Whether you initially signed up for Animoto to create one video, or to start using video in your marketing regularly, we want to help you get the most out of it.


That’s why we’ve put together a complete guide to Animoto. We’ve included a getting started video series, a look at our features, and a quick intro to our iOS app. Plus we've included links to a whole bunch of video ideas for when you’re feeling stuck.

Click below to jump to any section of the guide:

Getting Started with Animoto

Animoto is built with ease in mind. Drag and drop your way to videos to share on social media, videos for your website, for friends and family, or just for fun.

If you’re brand new here, we want to make it as easy as possible for you to start making videos. That’s why we’ve put together a quick series of videos to help you get started. Join Animoto Senior Marketing Manager Sally Sargood for a quick rundown of how it all works.

But the easiest way to learn is to just jump in and start making videos. If you're creating videos for your business, a good place to start is with a quick video ad for Facebook or Instagram. Check out our post on How to Make a Video Ad in 4 Easy Steps for a quick tutorial.

Animoto Features

Now that we’ve covered the basics, we’ll take a look at all of the features available in our marketing video builder. Note that some features are only available on our Professional and Business plans. You can learn more about our plans right over here.

We’re going to cover a lot in this section, so if you’re interested in learning about a specific feature, click to jump right to it from the following list:

Note: This section is all about Animoto on the web. To learn more about our mobile app for iOS, click here.


Animoto videos are created by mixing and matching blocks. You can easily add, remove, or drag and drop to reposition blocks within any video project, whether you’re using one of our video templates or starting from scratch.

To add a block, simply click on the ADD A BLOCK button. Then, click on the type of block you’d like to add.


We currently offer 7 block types, including Photo block, Video block, Collage block, Text block, Quote block, Logo block, and Photo Burst block. You can learn everything there is to know about blocks in our guide, Block by Block: Building Your Animoto Video.

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Video Templates

Video templates are pre-made videos designed to take the work out of your video marketing. They’re designed with best practices in mind and can be updated with your own photos, video clips, text, logo, and brand colors. Choose any video from our template collection and update it to fit your business.

As an example, this is what our Seasonal Promotion template looks like before being customized:


It can be updated with the following steps:

  • Edit the text in the first block so that it's about your promo.
  • Add your promotional offer. Will it be free shipping? A special deal? Anything goes!
  • Upload photos and video clips to add to your video, or use our Getty Images library to find imagery that fits your promo.
  • Customize with your brand colors and add a logo for brand recognition.

Here’s an example of a video made with the template shown above:

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Video Styles

Video styles are different from templates. They define the transitions, text animations, and effects in your video. We currently offer nine video styles. You can learn more about them in our guide, Which Animoto Video Style Should I Choose?


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Color, Font, and Text Customization

There are lots of ways to customize your videos. For starters, color! Update any video with any colors you’d like on a Professional or Business plan—whether it’s your brand colors, seasonal colors, or simply your favorite colors. Take color suggestions from our video templates, use color selection tools, or add a color using a hex code (i.e. #FFFFFF). Colors can be set for either a full video or an individual block.

Professional and Business customers also have over 40 fonts to choose from. They can be found under "Design" in the toolbar.


And in addition to selecting the color and font, there are even more ways to customize your text:

  • Adjust the size of titles and subtitles on any block.
  • Make all the text the same size across your entire video. Learn more.
  • Try our text legibility feature for text that’s hard to read.

Learn more about how to add text to your video with Animoto.

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Professional and Business customers have the ability to add a logo to Animoto videos, to get brand recognition with every view. You can add your logo in two ways:

  • Add a Logo block. Upload your logo and choose from a variety of animation options. Place your video at the end of your video, or anywhere you’d like.
  • Add a corner watermark. Add your video as a corner watermark and it will display persistently throughout your entire video, except over Logo blocks.

Photo Burst

Photo Burst is our newest block. It lets you add a quick sequence of photos to your video. Check out the video below to see it in action and learn more in our photo burst guide.

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The Collage block lets you display multiple photos at once. You can feature a collection of 2, 3, 4, or 9 images at once. Learn more in our post on How to Make a Video Collage from Your Photos.


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Quote Videos

We’ve also got a Quote block that lets you easily create quote videos. Learn more in our article on How to Make a Quote Video. We’ve also got a variety of quote video templates, including the one below. Update it with your own quotes and imagery to make a video to share on social media in minutes.

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Image Cropping and Video Trimming

Crop and trim video clips and footage after uploading it to Animoto. You can also zoom in and out using our scale tool, for both photos and video clips. You can also adjust the timing of Photo blocks to determine how long your photo stays on screen.

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Aspect Ratio Switching

Switch between square and landscape, depending on the platform where you’re planning to share your video.

If you’re interested in creating a vertical video for Instagram Stories, check out the section of this guide about our iOS app. Or, if you’re not an iOS user, read our post on How to Make a Vertical Video for IGTV and Instagram Stories.

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Music Library

A subscription to Animoto comes with a song library, filled with music you can use in your Animoto videos. For Professional and Business customers, this music is commercially licensed, so you can feel free to use it in any videos promoting your business.

Find out more about the music library and read our article on How To Use Filters to find the right track for your video.

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Stock Library

An Animoto account also comes with a collection of stock photos and footage for video editing. Our library of stock photos and video clips is provided by Getty Images. Simply search by keyword to find imagery that fits your video and drag and drop to add it to your project.

To learn more, check out our article on 6 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Our Stock Library.

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Filters are applied to all of the assets in your video. Filters can help give all of your photos and video clips a unified look, or help your text stand out. See them in action in the video below.

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Video Hosting and Downloads

Your Animoto videos will be saved and hosted on your account forever so you can always log in to access them. Access your videos on any computer or browser, simply by logging in.

Personal customers can download videos in standard quality (720p) and Professional and Business customers can download videos in HD (1080p).

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Video Copying and Re-editing

A lesser-known feature is the ability to copy videos and re-edit them. You can always go back in to re-edit an old project. But you can also make a copy to save the original version, while making minor changes to a new version.

This functionality can work well for creating your own template. Easily swap out photos or video clips, or change text to make multiple versions of a similar video.

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Resell Licenses

Last but not least, we wanted to share a quick note on reselling videos. Customers on our Professional plan are licensed to resell the videos they create to customers. An example of this would be a photographer selling slideshow videos to clients.

Customers on our Business plan can resell their videos to other businesses. An example of this would be a marketing consultant creating marketing videos for one of their business clients.

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Animoto Social Video Editor iOS App

Back in April we launched a brand new iOS app for Instagram Stories. In this section, we’ll dive into the app. We’ll share a quick video for getting started, plus links to more resources to help you get the most out of the app.

Getting Started

Not sure where to start? First things first, you’ll need to download the app. And check out the video below to find out how to get started. Sally from the Animoto team will take you through the process of creating a video.

For a complete rundown of how the iOS app works, check out the full guide to our app.

Instagram Story Tips and Strategy

Our app is designed for creating Instagram Stories. So to help you find success, we’ve put together a quick guide to help you get started.

Read Instagram Stories: A Getting Started Guide for a quick overview of what IG Stories are and why you should use them. The guide dives into Instagram story commands, creation basics, and best practices.

To learn even more about Instagram Stories, click through to read the following posts:

Mobile Video Creation Tips

Once you’ve downloaded the app, it’s time to start making videos. Creating videos for the vertical Story format is a bit different than creating landscape or square videos. That’s why we recommend you check out our post on 6 Tips for Shooting Vertical Videos.

We’ve also put together some resources to help you get the most out of specific features in our app:


IG Story Ideas

Sharing Stories on a regular basis is a great way to connect with your followers and stay top of mind. But what if you’re out of ideas? We’ve got you covered!

Check out our 15 Easy Instagram Story Ideas for Brands. We’ve included templates too, to make it easy to create your own videos quickly. Enjoy!

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Sharing Your Videos

Creating your videos is just the first step. Once it’s ready, it’s time to share! And in this section we’ll dive into how to share your Animoto videos.

How to Share Animoto Videos

We’ve got a whole guide for Sharing Your Animoto Video. But in this section we’ll show you the basics. Check out this quick video to get started:

As you can see, you can share directly to a variety of platforms using the Share icons on the video’s player page. You can also download a video to upload it to another platform directly.

Here are some resources related to sharing your videos on specific platforms:

PRO TIP: Different types of videos perform better on different platforms. Check out our Cheat Sheet: The Videos Your Customers Want on Social to see what types of videos you should create for different social platforms.

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Video Creation Tips

Want to learn to create better videos? You’ve come to the right place. In this section we’ll share links to articles with video creation tips.

Brand Camp 2019

We recently wrapped up Brand Camp 2019—a 3-day educational event that covered everything from how to shoot better footage for your videos to how to create videos that demand attention.

Click through the links below to check out all of the Brand Camp content.

  • Day 1: Pro photographer Vanessa Joy shares tips for shooting for social. She’ll teach you how to shoot better footage with any camera, including your mobile phone. Watch now.
  • Day 2: Marta Mateu Vilalta, a Creative Strategist at Instagram and Facebook, shares tips for mobile creative that drives results. Watch now.
  • Day 3: Sally Sargood from the Animoto team shows how to create videos that demand attention, using the Photo Burst block. Watch now.

Video Shooting Tips

Vanessa Joy shares some great tips for shooting videos during Brand Camp. But if you’re interested in learning more, check out our Video Creation Basics: Shooting Video guide.

Looking to create a video shot? We’ve put together a guide on How to DIY an Overhead Shot with What You Have.

PRO TIP: You can create videos without shooting any new photos or video clips. Check out our Guide to Gathering Assets on a Budget, which includes tips for finding assets you already have. You can also check out our tips for Getting the Most out of Our Stock Library.

Lighting Tips

Looking for more tips for improving the lighting in your videos? Look no further than our Video Creation Basics: Lighting guide.

Audio Tips

To learn more about audio, check out our Video Creation Basics: Audio guide.

More Tips

Want to learn even more? Here are a few more articles to check out:

Video Ideas

Not sure what video to make next? We've got you covered. We've compiled so many lists of video ideas, the inspiration will never run out!

Get started with our list of 20+ Video Ideas for Business, Life, and Beyond. That article has ideas for videos for your business, your community, your side hustle, celebrations, social media, and more.

When you're done with that, if you're hungry for more ideas, click through the list below:

If there's anything else you're interested in learning more about, please let us know! Drop a note in the comments below.

You can also always check out our Help Center to find answers to your questions and join our community on Facebook for more ideas and inspiration. Happy video making!

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