Video Automation: 3 Ways to Automate your Video Creation

18 March 2024 | 11 min read
Laura van Sinderen

In this post, you'll learn what video automation is and how to automate video creation using a spreadsheet, a no-code platform (like Zapier), and an API.

You couldn't have missed it: videos have been the most popular form of online content for years now, and there's no sign of this trend slowing down. Video is everywhere, especially on social media and in marketing campaigns. Think about YouTube Shorts, TikTok videos, and Instagram Reels on the one hand, and personalized videos for your customers on the other.

As the demand for video content continues to grow, you're likely searching for an efficient way to create these videos. If that's the case, you've come to the right place.

In this post, I'll introduce you to a novel approach to creating videos at scale: using video automation software. Whether you need 10, 100, or even thousands of videos, with a video automation platform like Creatomate, you can automatically generate all of them in just a few minutes.

While this might seem a bit technical, don't worry, there are also video automation methods that don't require any technical skills at all.

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We'll start this post with a brief introduction to what video automation is and how it works. Once you've grasped the concept, we'll delve into three methods for automating video creation:

Let's dive in.

What is video automation?

Video automation is the process of using software to generate video content automatically. It differs from the traditional method of creating videos, which involves lots of manual and repetitive tasks. With video automation, all you need is a reusable video design and dynamic data, which can be presented through a spreadsheet, no-code tool, or via code.

It's commonly used to create videos for social media, personalization, and marketing. This is because these videos often share the same design but vary only in content, making them well-suited to automation.

Let me give you an example. Imagine a real estate company wanting to showcase their listings on social media, of course, through videos. With each property having its own price, photos, and details, making all the videos by hand would take a lot of time. However, with video automation software, you create a video design once and input information about each property using one of the three methods. As a result, a unique video will be generated for each listing.

Now, let's see how this works. The video automation process starts with a template, serving as the blueprint for all videos. Within this template, you can specify which elements you wish to change in each video. This could include text, images, video clips, audio, colors, and more.

Creatomate comes with an online template editor, allowing you to create designs for any type of video you want to automate. It supports text animations, emojis, custom fonts, keyframes, compositions, and much more. While we won't go into details here, if you're curious about how the editor works, check out this quick guide.

Once you have a template in place, it's time to automatically generate your videos. Next, let's find out how to do this.

How to automate video creation?

There are three ways to automate video creation: using a spreadsheet, a no-code platform, and via code. Each method has its own strengths and is best suited to specific use cases. Additionally, there's a difference in the level of technical expertise required, ranging from zero technical skills to familiarity with APIs and programming languages.

Below, we'll explore each method in more detail, and I'll point you to related tutorials to help you get started.

1. Using a spreadsheet

Creatomate comes with a built-in spreadsheet feature, specifically designed to generate videos. Within this spreadsheet, you can input video content, like text, pictures, video clips, and more. This method doesn't require any technical skills, making it the easiest and most accessible way to automate video creation.

Check out our 7-minute tutorial to get started right away.

Video automation using a spreadsheet is ideal for creating videos in bulk, particularly if you need to generate a large volume of video content all at once. For example, if you're planning to create social media videos for the entire month in advance or preparing a cold outreach campaign with personalized videos for each prospect.

Once your batch of videos is generated, you can easily download and use them as needed.

Related tutorials:

πŸ‘‰ How to Batch-Create Shorts, Stories, and Reels
πŸ‘‰ How to Create Personalized Videos at Scale
πŸ‘‰ How to Create Videos using ChatGPT
πŸ‘‰ How to Add Subtitles to Videos in Bulk

2. Using no-code tools

Unlike the spreadsheet approach, a no-code automation platform like Zapier, Make, or Pabbly enables you to build a fully automated video creation workflow. Setting up an automation is as simple as connecting multiple apps via a user-friendly interface, so you don't need coding skills for this method. Once this workflow is set up, videos are generated automatically, eliminating the need for any human effort.

Not only can you automate video creation, but these platforms can also handle additional tasks for you, such as posting on social media, sharing via email, or uploading to your cloud storage.

Check out this 7-minute tutorial to get started right away.

Every workflow starts with a trigger, which is a specific event that initiates the automation. This could involve various actions, such as publishing a new blog post or article, adding new data to your Google Sheet or Airtable document, or even occurring at specific times every day. This dynamic data can then be easily connected to your template, and Creatomate will automatically generate a video for you.

All three platforms support thousands of app integrations, allowing you to create automated workflows tailored to your specific needs using the apps you're already familiar with. However, we find Zapier to be the easiest platform and therefore recommend using it.

Related tutorials:

We've written a series of no-code tutorials to help you get started. You can follow the instructions step-by-step, but feel free to adjust it to fit your own needs.

πŸ‘‰ How to Automatically Create and Post YouTube Shorts
πŸ‘‰ How to Automatically Create and Post TikTok Videos
πŸ‘‰ How to Automatically Create Instagram Posts
πŸ‘‰ How to use ChatGPT to Automatically Create Social Media Content
πŸ‘‰ How to Automatically Add Subtitles to Videos
πŸ‘‰ How to Automatically Turn Blogs and Articles into Videos using AI

3. Using code

Creatomate's API provides the most flexible method for automatically generating videos. Developers and people with programming skills and API familiarity can integrate with the REST API to add video generation capability to their own software, applications, and scripts. The API can be invoked by programming languages such as Node.js, PHP, Ruby, and Python.

Check out this quick guide to get started with the API.

Generating videos using the API is as straightforward as sending a single POST request. Within this request, you provide the template ID along with the text, images, and video clips you wish to insert. In return, you'll receive a URL where you can access the generated video.

In addition to the two automation methods mentioned previously, where a template serves as the video design, you can also create videos from scratch. Using a simple JSON format that describes the entire video from beginning to end, you can compose videos entirely through code. This approach offers greater flexibility and control over the video creation process. For more information on JSON to video, visit the knowledge base or explore over 50 code examples on GitHub.

Related tutorials:

πŸ‘‰ Using Node.js to Generate Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok Videos
πŸ‘‰ How to Create and Edit Video with PHP
πŸ‘‰ Using ChatGPT's API to Auto-Create Social Media Videos by Code


By now, you should have a clear understanding of what video automation is, how templates serve as the foundation, and which types of videos are best suited to automation. You've also learned about three different methods of automatically generating videos.

Which automation method is best for you depends on your specific use case. Here's a quick recap:

Video automation using a spreadsheet: It's best for bulk video creation. You don't need any technical skills for this.

Video automation using a no-code platform: It's best if you want to create videos on autopilot. It doesn't require coding skills, however, some technical know-how might be helpful.

Video automation using code: This is the most flexible way to create any kind of dynamic video, but it does require some familiarity with APIs and programming languages.

To help you get started, we've created a series of video automation tutorials with step-by-step instructions. You can find them on our blog page.

And if you have any questions, check out the FAQ section below, or send us an email at [email protected].

Happy automating!

Video Automation FAQs

How does video automation work?

The process is straightforward. It starts with creating a template, which serves as the design for all videos. Then, you can replace text, images, and video clips using a spreadsheet, a no-code platform like Zapier, or your preferred programming language.

What are the benefits of video automation?

The biggest advantage of using video automation software is efficiency. By automating manual and repetitive video editing tasks, you can save a significant amount of time, making it a highly cost-effective solution.

What's the best video automation tool?

There are several video automation tools available on the market, each with its own unique features. For example, Plainly runs on After Effects, while Shotstack is more geared towards developers than no-code users. However, we believe Creatomate stands out as the best video automation tool overall. This is because of its versatile template system, the availability of three different automation methods, and the vast collection of step-by-step tutorials. Moreover, Creatomate offers many features essential for automation, including auto-sizing content, and the capability to adjust the length of each generated video based on dynamic content. That being said, keep in mind that our opinion might be biased, so we recommend trying out each tool yourself to determine which one best suits your needs.

Can I automate videos using AI?

Absolutely! While video automation works fine without AI tools, integrating them into your video creation process can be very useful. For example, you can use ChatGPT to generate scripts for your videos or summarize a blog post or article with GPT-4. You can even include AI-generated images from DALLΒ·E in your videos.

Do I need video editing experience?

No, you don't need any video editing or design experience - you can simply choose a ready-made video template from our gallery. However, if you wish to create your own designs, you'll need to get familiar with the editor. Another option is to delegate the template creation task to a designer on your team or hire a freelancer.

How do I get started with video automation?

Sign up for a free trial with Creatomate. You can automate your first videos within minutes by following one of our step-by-step tutorials, which cover both the spreadsheet method, no-code automation platforms, and the API.

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