I’m a huge believer in the power of content marketing for businesses of all types, industries, and sizes.
Nobody wants to be sold to, but everybody likes to buy.
The way we can overcome this “challenge” is by educating potential customers, answering their questions, solving their problems, and building trust.
One of the best platforms for achieving this is through video.
The statistics are clear - video is the future of the Internet.
The verdict is simple - your business needs video.
The Challenge With Video
The challenge with video marketing is that it sounds easier to do than it actually is.
In my day-to-day work consulting with a number of clients, this is a common refrain.
Everyone wants to do video, but the difficulty involved can be off putting.
Furthermore, not every business owner is comfortable appearing on camera as a “talking head”.
Enter Content Samurai. In this Content Samurai review, I’ll be taking a look at this popular product from the perspective of business owners looking to use it to promote their products/services (as well as from agency/freelancer and affiliate marketer perspectives).
You can get a free 14 day trial of Content Samurai here to get started (please note that Content Samurai is now actually called Vidnami; it's the same product, with a number of added improvements, but the rest of this review remains relevant).
What Is Content Samurai?
Basically, it is a video creation tool that allows you to quickly create videos from existing content.
You might want to create a video version.
Normally, to create a video you’ve got the following options:
1. Record yourself on camera using your smartphone (or standalone camera). A “talking head” video.
2. Make a production by filming your own unique video clips.
3. Find other video clips, images etc and then stitch them together using video editing software.
Content Samurai helps you to do the third option - but at a rapid pace.
In my view, it is a tool to speed up and enhance the creation of video content.
How Does Content Samurai Work?
Long story short, Content Samurai works as follows:
1. Start a new project
2. Import a blog post/article (basically paste in your words)
3. Allow Content Samurai to find some auto-suggested images and video clips and sync these to the script. I’m impressed at how good of a job the product does here actually - it generally finds quite suitable clips and images and does an admirable job at the initial syncing.
4. Make any required tweaks to the “script” and how it appears on the video “slides”.
5. Record any voiceover (or create an auto voiceover).
6. Do a final preview and edit.
7. Export the finished product and upload to YouTube, Facebook etc.
I’ll look to produce some actual tutorials on using Content Samurai in the near future.
How Much Does Content Samurai Cost?
At the time of writing (January 2020) Content Samurai is priced as follows - the trial is now 14 days though which is super helpful.
However, please note that there are frequently some impressive specials available. I would say it’s usually worth waiting for a major sales event to secure this product at the best possible price ... especially as the creators seem to be generous in allowing you to lock in a discount for lifetime.
Who Is This Product For?
As I mentioned earlier, Content Samurai is aimed at anyone looking to produce video content who wants a faster way to do so.
However, I do believe that certain demographics would benefit the most from the product:
1. Affiliate marketers & niche site owners. You can use this product to turn your articles and blog posts into video versions, and leverage the power of YouTube for “parasite SEO”. This is the largest audience of users, from what I can discern. There are some fairly big channels on YouTube that use Content Samurai as the foundation of their productions, and then monetise via affiliate offers and YouTube ads.
2. Social media “influencers”. The new influencer template in Content Samurai makes it easy to create talking head videos with inbuilt captions - this is ideal for platforms like LinkedIn.
3. Freelancers providing social media and marketing services. I’m probably going to wake up with a horse’s head in my bed for saying this (courtesy of professional video freelancers) but I do believe there is some opportunity with this product for creating simple videos for clients. Many businesses don’t like investing time and effort into video production, but if you can do it for them and produce a workable product that helps them grow, there is opportunity aplenty.
What Are The System Requirements?
Content Samurai is an entirely online platform (cloud-based) so it doesn’t have any system requirements per se.
I would recommend using a proper desktop/laptop browser on Windows or Mac, however, as opposed to trying to do something like using a tablet. I tried using it on my iPad Pro and wasn't amazed with the results in terms of the interface, although it was usable.
I generally find the interface to be fast loading and smooth, and the web-based nature makes it handy to pick up projects where you left off if you change between different devices from time to time.
Content Samurai Text To Speech
Content Samurai has a handy text to speech feature. Basically, there are “auto generated” voices that allow you to convert the text in your video script to audio.
The text to speech voices are definitely not the best quality, and it is easy for any viewer to discern that it isn’t a genuine voice (a bit like the old “Microsoft Sam” voice from back in the day).
I’d generally recommend that you avoid using the text to speech function in Content Samurai if you are able to provide your voiceover, as that will definitely add to the professionalism of your productions and help differentiate you from the competition.
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Pros Of Content Samurai
• Fast and easy to use - You can be creating video in no time. I’m seriously impressed at just how fast it is to create good looking videos with this product.
• Plenty of options - There are loads of different template styles, colours etc. There is probably something for everybody.
• Included stock image, video and audio - Your licence includes access to stock images, video and background audio that you can use in your productions.
• Custom uploads - You can also upload your own images, video and audio.
• Voiceover recording in app - This handy feature breaks your script into chunks (that align with the “slides”) and then allows you to record your voiceover in the app itself, making getting the timing right easy.
• Fairly priced - I genuinely believe that this product represents good value for money, considering the features and service you get versus the price.
• New features being added regularly - For example, the developers recently added the ability to create “influencer” videos. Think talking head videos with the captions embedded within the video, and a title up the top. These perform well on platforms like LinkedIn.
• Makes videos that people like to watch - People seem to really enjoy watching these basic but informative videos that Content Samurai helps you make. Not everybody needs a Hollywood production. Of course your video is only as good as the information you provide.
Cons Of Content Samurai
While I’m generally a fan of the product, it isn’t perfect and there are some distinct downsides:
• 720p only video output - This is the biggest issue at the moment (at least in my opinion). 720p really is quite a low resolution for the current day and age - the only advantage being that you get small file sizes. However, on higher resolution/larger screens it is noticeable that the file quality isn’t amazing. I think videos should be 1080p minimum, with possibly a premium option of 4K for those who want it.
• Compressed audio - Although I use a quality microphone to do my voiceovers, there is a definite degradation in audio quality that I can only assume comes in during the processing phase. It’s not unlistenable, but once again quality could be improved.
• No ability to preview within edit mode. This is a bit of a pain in the backside. Basically, you have to compile a preview of your video in a separate pane of the app, every time you want to see what the output will be like. It would be better if you could preview “on the fly”. Previews can also be extremely low quality.
Content Samurai Review Conclusion - Is It A Good Product?
To wrap up this review of Content Samurai, I would definitely recommend the product.
It isn’t perfect (primarily the 720p only export and lack of in-edit audio preview are both annoying shortfalls, but the development team do seem eager to fix them in the near future from what I can gather).
However, for a tool to allow you to quickly and easily turn existing content into interesting and engaging video, it certainly is great.
It is fairly priced, easy to use, and produces videos that viewers seem to enjoy. In fact, it is remarkable how much the “everyday” viewer seems to prefer humble productions made with something like versus Content Samurai versus over-produced videos (this is not always the case, but just an observation).
You can see an example creation I have made with Content Samurai below:
If you need any help with Content Samurai or you aren’t sure if the product is right for you, then please feel free to leave a comment here (or you can always email me on email@example.com and I’ll help you out as soon as I can).