With more than 2 billion monthly users, YouTube is easily one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. The sheer number of users makes YouTube a content creator’s paradise – but creating content isn’t always as easy as it sounds.
Sometimes, content creators of all experience levels need a bit of help to fully optimize their channel’s performance. But, where do you start? To make things easier, our content creation experts have compiled a definitive roundup of the 25 best YouTube tools for content creators.
Why are content creation tools important?
Content creation is hard. Period.
You’re trying to create something that’s attention-grabbing and stimulating enough to evoke a response from the viewer, and that’s after you’ve managed to entice them into clicking on your content in the first place. Once you conceptualize an idea, you have to bring it to life and transform a static storyboard into a coherent narrative with captivating visuals – all trickier than it sounds.
Production means using your skills to shape your materials into something that people want to consume, whether it’s fitness workouts, gaming videos or a daily vlogging. Content creation tools make the production phase much faster and, in many cases, make it easier for you to generate high-quality content that gets views.
Think about it in terms of a construction worker building a house with bare hands compared to one building a house using tools and machinery – it’s easy to bet who will finish first and who will have built the best house.
Which tools do content creators need?
YouTubers content creators often need a myriad of tools to create professional-looking videos for their channel. The number of tools and the extent to which they’re required depends on the nature of their content, as some niches are more demanding than others.
Generally, YouTubers need a video editor, a thumbnail creator, and something to optimize their content and help them plan videos.
When determining which tools you’ll need and which ones are worth you spending money on, define your YouTube channel’s current and future needs. Then, list all the tools you think you’ll need and why – this can serve as a handy reference guide that can save you precious time.
The 25 best YouTube tools for content creators
Without further ado, here are some of the best hardware and software options for anyone looking to create high-quality videos for YouTube. Because there are quite a number of tools out there, we’ve grouped them according to their function.
Channel growth and management
This is the starting point for content creators needing tools, because, well you can’t upload content to YouTube without touching it. YouTube Studio is the built-in hub for channel management, analytics, and creator news on YouTube. Most third-party applications leverage video and channel data from YouTube Studio to function.
It has a comprehensive dashboard that allows you to see critical metric data and carry out essential YouTube channel management functions such as uploading content, checking copyright and enabling monetization.
TubeBuddy is the very definition of comprehensive, hence the reason why all YouTubers rave about it. It has over 60 features along with a free browser extension and mobile app. With TubeBuddy, you can manage and access channel insights whilst doing competitor research, bulk updates, and even creating thumbnails.
While it’s free for the most part, you do have to pay to access some features.
VidIQ is a YouTube-certified app. It offers creators, marketers, and agencies all the tools they need to help make their YouTube channels grow. It has a browser extension featuring a keyword tool, SEO insights, tag management, and more. The web app has dashboards and charts to display important metrics.
Although content creators can access many features for free, some are only unlocked through paid plans.
Search engine optimization
You probably weren’t expecting to see TubeBuddy again on this list, but trust us when we say it’s here for a good reason. As you may have guessed, TubeBuddy is a popular tool for YouTube users because it comes with a comprehensive suite of features. This means you don’t have to constantly switch between tools for your video creation.
TubeBuddy has many keyword or tag search tools, including SEO Studio, Keyword Explorer, Search Positions, and Opportunity Finder. These tools can help you optimize your metadata and find trending tags to improve your videos’ ranking and grow your YouTube channel.
Google’s Keyword Planner is a robust keyword tool that can give you a good idea of how often words are searched for and how searches change over time. This can help you narrow your keyword list and improve your content’s rankings on SERPs.
Even though it’s often overlooked, YouTube’s Autosuggest is highly effective as creators can use it to find relevant videos and keywords faster. The data from Autosuggest can be used to gauge interest and then adapt your content creation strategy accordingly.
It’s a simple matter of looking at search engine results and evaluating view counts. You can also look at filters such as features, duration, and upload date to bolster your planning. The best part about this “tool” is that you don’t have to download any extensions or applications.
Design tools and thumbnail makers
Adobe Creative Cloud Express
Adobe’s Creative Cloud Express has an extensive suite of content creation apps for mobile and desktop. Creative Cloud Express has three design apps: Spark Post, Video, and Page.
With Spark Page, you can turn words and images into magazine-style web stories. Spark Post allows you to pick a photo, add text, and apply filters and animations compatible with social media platforms. On Spark Video, users can produce videos using photos, clips, audio, and icons.
Creative Cloud applications allow you to create thumbnails in minutes – all you have to do is choose your favourite templates, logos, and fonts.
Canva is a staple as far as graphic design applications are concerned. It helps users create posters, logos, presentations, and social media graphics using various filters, layouts, fonts, and templates. The software is highly intuitive with a simple drag-and-drop tool, easy to navigate and has a vast library of photos and illustrations.
Creating a thumbnail can be done in just a few clicks, it’s a simple matter of choosing a template from Canva’s library and selecting design elements such as banners, icons, and frames. Once you’re done, you can download your creation in JPEG, PNG, or PDF format.
Although the platform isn’t well known for its video editing prowess, it lets you make high-quality videos without needing professional software. It also has thousands of templates and stock videos without unsightly watermarks.
If you need any help, you can enrol in Canva’s design school to access tutorials that should make your creative journey much easier.
Depositphotos grants creators access to a plethora of photos, vectors, videos, illustrations, music for YouTube videos, and sound effects. It has advanced search filters so you can find exactly what you’re looking for in a matter of minutes, and it has a variety of subscription and on-demand plans to suit any wallet (or YouTube channel).
Get loads more tips on thumbnail creation and how to use tools like these in this guide to making a good thumbnail for YouTube!
If you’ve been doing research on how to stream, then you’ve more than likely come across the name StreamYard at some point. StreamYard is a browser-enabled live streaming studio for platforms such as Facebook, Twitch and, of course, YouTube.
It allows you to multistream simultaneously, conduct interviews, brand your podcast, broadcast with multiple people on-screen, and feature comments. StreamYard additionally lets users download high-definition audio and video, and record without having to go live, which can be particularly useful for those much-needed practice runs.
Streamlabs is a free open-source software that can make live streaming and recording a breeze. Much like StreamYard, it also allows you to broadcast to platforms such as YouTube and Twitch. Streamlabs also has various tools such as Alert Box, Chat Box, and Event List.
It also allows video highlighting, layout editing, select recording, game overlay, and replay buffer.
OBS Studio is another free live-streaming app and, as expected, is compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux. It comes with features such as real-time video and audio mixing, customizable transitions, scene previews, and hotkeys. One feature that makes OBS Studio particularly popular is that it allows you to create scenes from sources such as Windows captures, text, images, browser windows, and webcams.
Video editing software
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe Premiere Pro is one of the best video editors on the market, as it offers industry-leading video editing tools that are used by professionals everywhere. Premier Pro allows users to import media from their devices that is up to 8K, make edits, add effects, and export footage in different formats.
It comes with professional templates and lets you seamlessly customize your titles and graphics. Another bonus with Premier Pro is that it’s fully compatible with other apps and services such as Adobe Photoshop, After Effects, and Frame.io.
The downside about Premier Pro is that it’s a desktop-only app, but users can download Premier Rush as an alternative, as it supports both desktop and mobile. There is also the option of Premier Elements, which is essentially a scaled-down version of Premier Pro, designed primarily for novice editors.
Movavi Screen Recorder
For YouTube creators who intend on doing video tutorials and recording things such as video calls or online events, Movavi Screen Recorder is an excellent solution. Besides being fast and convenient, it also allows users to create screencasts, draw on their video content, create overlays, and schedule recordings.
It’s available for both Windows and macOS, supports the most in-demand video formats, and lets you upload videos to YouTube and Google Drive with relative ease.
With Filmora, YouTube creators are able to create videos and accurately tell their stories within a short space of time. Like the other YouTube tools on this list, it has a whole lot of features, some of the most noteworthy being royalty-free stock media, video templates, and VFX plug-ins to give your production variety.
If you’re looking to invest a little more into your YouTube channel, then you can always go for FilmoraPro which is a robust video editor with professional effects and additional features such as keyframing. For those who prefer to use their phone for their content endeavours, FilmoraGo is a mobile app that carries the core functions of the standard Filmora program.
Camtasia is another popular video editor and screen recorder that allows users to effortlessly create professional-looking video content. It gives creators access to over 25 features, including simplified editing, templates, presets, royalty-free assets, animations, and audio effects.
Audio editing software
Starting out as color-correction and grading software, DaVinci Resolve offers its own audio editing tool – Fairlight. This sits on its own page and operates as a fully-functional DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). Fairlight has a great range of built-in tools for all the major audio editing functions: repairing and cleaning up sound files, layering multiple tracks, and syncing audio with video clips. It also has its own library of sound effects and can monitor the loudness of your audio to ensure you’re not exceeding industry limits.
Part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of tools, Audition is about as slick as they come when we’re talking about audio editing software. It’s used by huge numbers of professionals to create, mix, edit and restore audio content.
It’s on the pricier side, but don’t be fooled into thinking that it isn’t good value for money. Audition is a powerful tool with an incredible range of features and capabilities that enable content creators to edit just about every aspect of a video’s audio – voiceovers, backing music, sound mixing and effects, you name it.
Logic Pro X
From Adobe to Apple, now, and on to Logic Pro X. This piece of audio editing software developed by Apple for macOS is also hugely powerful, with professional composers celebrating its capabilities when it comes to creating scores for film and TV.
Logic Pro X is a digital audio workstation, which means it’s primarily intended for creating music from scratch, but it is also more than suitable for sound design and basic audio editing too.
Audacity is an open-source editor that’s powerful and, better yet, completely free! This makes it a great choice for anyone who’s just getting started in content creation and doesn’t want to splash out on expensive programs just yet. Audacity’s capabilities lie principally in audio editing rather than in audio creation, so it’s probably not the right tool for you if you want to compose your own music. It does offer all the main editing features, though, such as mixing, removing noise and fixing pops.
This might not be the first tool that springs to mind when we think about audio editing, but it’s definitely worth considering if you’re using Adobe After Effects as your primary video editing software. The two work in tandem with each other to provide content creators with a full-service suite of tools with which to produce high quality videos.
If you’re in the business of making motion graphics or animated content, using After Effects to supercharge the audio effects alongside any visual effects can help to ensure that your videos feel more slick and professional – both key for increasing engagement and view counts.
Where to get music?
Of course, one of the most important aspects of audio for any video is music. And boy, do we know how important good music is for your videos. Look, boring old stock music could work for your videos, but why would you settle for that when you can now have mainstream, copyrighted music from the world’s biggest artists like Dua Lipa, Coldplay and Bruno Mars? “But won’t that get me a copyright claim?” I hear you asking… well yes that used to be the case, but now you can get a license (read= legal permission) to use some of the world’s most popular music, meaning copyright claims have no place bothering you anymore. If you get a claim, Lickd will squash it for you.
Now I can already hear the next question forming – “How much is it? I bet that costs a lot!” and now you’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear that licenses start from as little as $8!! Which is a far cry from the thousands you’d pay for a traditional license, or all the $$$ you’d miss out on ad revenue by getting a copyright claim. And you know what, we appreciate that stock music still has its place too, so you can get unlimited royalty-free tracks with a subscription. It’s about time content creators had access to better music! Sound good? Get a 14-day free trial below to get unlimited stock music and a 25% discount on your first mainstream music license.
Other useful tools for YouTube
There are many instances where people have uploaded videos with descriptions that are difficult to read or grammatically incorrect – some creators even make spelling errors in their video thumbnails! While some may see this as minor, such mistakes can easily detract from the quality of your videos and make both you and your channel look less professional.
Luckily, Grammarly can help, as it functions as a writing assistant and enhancement app that covers areas such as spelling, punctuation, and grammar for the English language. It’s available as a browser extension, web app, and app for both Windows and Office 365.
The best part about Grammarly is that it identifies errors in real-time, so any written aspects of your YouTube video can be free of mistakes. Grammarly has a pro version but the free version still does a good job!
Some of YouTube’s community and creator guidelines can make it hard for some YouTube channels to make money on the platform; this is where Patreon comes in. With Patreon, video creators have the chance to make money off the platform. It works via ongoing funding and monthly subscriptions, and also allows creators to spend more time engaging with their viewers.
Fiverr is one of the largest online marketplaces for freelancers and has services starting at a mere $5.
While Fiverr isn’t exactly a YouTube tool, it has over 1500 services that creators can leverage to build a team and outsource work. Freelancers can handle time-consuming tasks such as social media management, creating YouTube thumbnails, and video editing. If they’re good enough, you can even get them to manage your YouTube channel.
Naturally, hiring a freelancer comes at a price; however, Fiverr is a competitive marketplace, so you’ll have no problem finding someone with a rate to fit your budget.
Hootsuite is a popular social media management and marketing tool that allows users to schedule and share YouTube videos across social networks simultaneously – meaning there’s no need to waste time logging into each individual app.
You can also use Hootsuite and the Channelview Insights app to monitor channel analytics like subscriber growth and engagement levels whilst also pinpointing traffic sources. Apart from these functions, Hootsuite can also be used to moderate comments and manage your channel.
What are content creation tools?
Content creation tools can ease the content creation process and can be used for blogs, podcasts, social media pages or YouTube channels. Content creation tools come in many forms and can improve writing accuracy, boost audio clarity, and enhance visuals.
Creators can reap the benefits of YouTube tools like the ones mentioned in this article for things like generating video ideas, monitoring video analytics and video performance, managing their YouTube workflow, adding the right music tracks to all their videos and more.
What are the three stages of video editing?
The three stages of video editing are pre-production, production, and post-production.
In the pre-production phase, the strategy is defined, including aspects such as the video’s goals, allocating the budget, and gathering the required equipment and tools. As you may have guessed, production involves setting up the equipment and recording. Post-production simply refers to selecting music tracks, editing the video, and adding graphics.
Is it hard to start a YouTube channel?
Luckily, YouTube and the various tools on offer make starting a YouTube channel a relatively easy task. Starting the channel isn’t the hardest part, though – the tricky bit is creating and maintaining a successful channel that continues to grow and doesn’t stagnate.
Before you start your channel, consider your motivation, how often you’ll upload, and what will make your YouTube channel unique.
How long does it take to start making money from YouTube videos?
You won’t be able to start earning money from your video content as soon as you start uploading, even if you have a magical boom in subscribers. Making money on YouTube means you have to join the YouTube Partner Program, for which, as of June 2023, you need at least 500 subscribers and 3000 watch hours in the past 12 months.
It’s also worth mentioning that you have to be at least 18 years old to make money from YouTube ad revenue.
Should I add music to my YouTube videos?
Adding background music can boost the production value and cohesiveness of your video. Viewers generally want a professional video that’s well-constructed. Adding music can help the video transition smoothly between scenes and ideas
In addition to this, music sets the tone of your video, inspires emotion, and makes your content more interesting and dynamic. The only issue you’ll have in this case is making sure you choose the best songs for YouTube videos.
What do I do with underperforming videos?
If one or more of your YouTube videos are underperforming, avoid the urge to delete them. You need to find out why the video is underperforming. You can do this by examining the analytics in YouTube Studio.
If your CTR is lower than 5%, you can try changing the thumbnail. If the CTR is above 5% but has low impressions, try changing the title of the video. You can use tools such as TubeBuddy’s Tag Explorer to help with titling but conduct your own research before making a video. This will help you to see if doing so is truly worth your time.