Lumen5 Review and Discount 2020

As you can probably tell, I love Content Samurai.

But I’ve been hearing more and more about the fancy, AI-powered tool called Lumen5… (I’ll call it L5)

So I finally caved in and checked it out.

And I have to be honest… Even though this website is mostly about Content Samurai, I was very impressed with Lumen.

Impressed enough to the point where I’m considering adding it to my video-tool collection forever.

If you’re wondering what made such an impression on me, and whether L5 might be worth it for you, read on to find out!

What is Lumen5?

It is an AI-powered, online, video-creation platform designed for shareable and engaging social media videos. What a mouthful!

Basically, it’s designed for creating short and fun social media videos with the goal of getting likes, shares, and overall engagement. And not only to create those videos, but to create them fast.

It has multiple features that help you do that, but their AI is probably the main one. It automatically inserts the text into slides, picks the layout, the background video, and adjusts the timings.

The program and the AI are not perfect, but video is becoming more and more important so the earlier you get, the more you’ll benefit.

The Importance of Video

You probably know about how important video is, but are you doing anything about it?

Are you consistently producing videos that educate, entertain, or inspire your potential customers?

Be honest.

Even I’m guilty of not using video enough in my promotions! Most of the time it’s more time consuming than images and figuring out how to best reuse existing content is hard.

If you’ve ever felt like that, Lumen5 might just be the right solution for you!

It won’t replace Content Samurai for me as in my mind these tools are focused on two different things.

Content Samurai is amazing for VSLs and sales videos. It will always be my go to for those.

And sure, I can create social media videos with it, but that’s secondary.

L5 on the other hand is purely for social media. They have templates for Instagram stories, Snapchat stories, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube.

OK, I’m sure at this point you’re convinced that video is important, so let’s discuss this program specifically.

My Experience – The Review

All in all I’ve had a very positive experience. There were some kinks and problems I’ll discuss later on, and there are some things I wish the tool could do that it can’t, but no tool is perfect.

My favorite part is the pure speed of the tool.

Right after getting it, I wanted to create a quick 30 second promotional video and was expecting it to take 15-30 minutes because I was trying to figure out the platform at the same time!

However, it took me less than 10 minutes.

I was floored.

And I promptly spent the next couple hours creating dozens of different short promotional videos for all of my business and coming up with scripts on the fly.

It was fun, quick, and easy! In fact I almost reached their 50 maximum monthly videos limit in one day! (The video limit is one annoying part. If I’m creating fifty 15 second videos, I don’t see why I should be as limited as someone who creates fifty 4-minute videos.)

The Video Creation Process

The process itself is pretty simple.

You can create the video manually or they have an “Instant Video” option which pulls in your blog posts automatically, the AI creates the video, and you can then edit it and download it. The only problem is: the number of instant videos you can create every month is pretty limited, and their AI isn’t always perfect depending on the types of content you frequently publish.

In my case, I decided to create a video manually.

At that point you have an option. You either:

  • Start from a blog post
  • Paste in a script
  • Start with your own media
  • Or use one of their templates

Their template library is huge, but I prefer creating my own, original content so I passed on that.

I pasted in the script and next had to choose what platform to create the video for.

They have the size and ratios for pretty much any social platform you might want, and they even have the time limits for each platform so you don’t accidentally create a video that’s too long.

This is great, but one thing that’s annoying is that they have a maximum video length limit of 5 minutes.

This probably won’t be an issue for most people, but if you’re creating videos for YouTube, that might be a bit annoying because long-form content is quite effective on that platform.

Next you have to choose a theme which is basically just the color, fonts, and how the fonts look.

They don’t have a huge selection of themes, but everything within them is editable so that shouldn’t be a problem. In fact, you can edit a theme and save it as a “brand” so then you can keep reusing the same colors (which is good branding practice FYI).

In this case I chose the pop-style theme.

Then it creates the first draft of the video for you!

This usually doesn’t take too long, but there’s one annoying thing about it: if your video is short, then that’s not a problem.

If your video is long their AI will handpick the “best” or most important sentences for you which doesn’t always go well.

When I write copy, I make sure every sentence is useful so I don’t need an AI telling me what I need and don’t need.

However, I can see this being useful if you publish many blog posts that are purely informational as then the AI will do a better job and every sentence won’t be crucial.

The AI wouldn’t be a problem, but the annoying thing here is: if you want to add sentences by hand, you have to add the one by one. There is no option to add all of them with one click of a button… So if you’re making a longer video with many sentences, that can get tedious.

Anyway, here’s what the editor looks like:

There’s also a left sidebar that I’ll get to in a bit, but as you can see, it’s overall pretty simple.

On the left you can: move a scene up or down, copy it, delete it, or add a subscene.

Subscenes are used when you want to have the text change, but have the same video play in the background.

On the right you can:

  • Preview it
  • Change the layouts
  • Change the duration of the scene
  • Trim and/or crop the video.

For trimming: you basically select which part of the video is most important or relevant to what you want to display, and cropping works in a similar manner. When creating square or vertical videos, you can’t have the entire original video in the scene so it has to be cropped.

The layouts are pretty simple. Here are some examples:

As you can see: not too many options, but not too few.

Next up is the left toolbar. It contains:

  • The Story – The script for the video
  • The Media – Where you select videos, images, etc
  • The Music – Music selection & uploading
  • The Style – Editing the template
  • And the format – Instagram, Facebook, etc

The Media Library

Their media library deserves a section of its own.

It depends on which plan you purchase (which I’ll discuss in detail the pricing section), but it’s still very comprehensive no matter what you choose.

Their cheapest plans gives you access to an unheard of 15,000,000 photos and videos. That’s crazy, but it gets even better!

If you get their medium plan, in addition to all the other benefits, you also get access to 2,000,000 Premium photos and videos from Shutterstock!

And if you get their most expensive plan (this is the one I bought) you get access to 160,000,000 photos and videos in addition to the above two options! In this case, they’re not all free though. You get 150 downloads per month from this Super-Premium collection which is still great! Even if you’re making 50 videos per month, that’s 3 super-premium videos or images per video!

On the right is a sample search of “mountains.” The crowns indicate a video from the Super-Premium plan that would use up one of my 150 credits, and the rest are completely free.

I understand it looks like most of the videos are “Premium,” but that’s only because I wanted to demonstrate the sheer amount of videos you get access to.

Even if you were to never use the “crown” videos, you’d still have access to over 17,000,000! Which should be more than plenty for most.

Their music library is almost the same as Content Samurai’s used to be. Content Samurai has expanded their library to 30,000 tracks and L5 currently only has about 3k which is still not bad. You can’t upload your own sounds unless you have a business plan though which is a bit annoying.

The Style – Editing the Templates

The next section is editing the style of the video.

For the template I chose, this is what it looks like. First you can change all of the colors:

And then you can change the fonts and the colors of the fonts.

I like to have a background to all of my text to make it readable on any background video.

Otherwise if you have light text on a light background it becomes almost completely unreadable.

Here’s what this editor looks like:

Once that’s done, all you have to do is preview the video and then publish it!

I highly recommend previewing it before publishing as sometimes the timings the AI set might not be completely ideal. I haven’t seen this happen super often, but it’s worth the 15 seconds it might require to do so.

As you can see the whole process is quite quick, very painless, and can be repeated many times in an hour to create tons of awesome videos.

The Pricing and the Discount

They have 3 paid plans and one free plan.

The “forever free” plan is actually pretty solid! You can create up to 5 videos per month, get access to a solid amount of videos and music tracks, and get a reasonable amount of the features. Of course you’ll have to deal with having a Lumen5 logo at the end of each of your videos, but it’s free so you can’t really complain.

As for their paid plans: I recommend anyone reading this gets at least the Premium Plan.

Why?

The Starter plan only has a resolution of 720P, doesn’t provide you with any free Premium videos, and doesn’t allow you to change fonts or colors.

This means your videos will look like everyone else’s videos which isn’t something you want.

The Business Plan is likely too much for most people, but the Premium plan is definitely worth it.

The Discount

Sadly the only current discount available is through buying the yearly plan. 

You can get up to 35% off if you pay upfront for the year, which is pretty common.

I haven’t seen any other deals around yet. I’ll update this post if I find anything.

The Conclusion

Lumen5 is a valuable tool to add to your marketing toolbelt. I’ll definitely be adding it to mine as video is too valuable to miss out on.

Even if you don’t think this is for you, I recommend at least trying out their free plan.

You might just change your mind once you see its power.