You’ve heard it countless times before. Videos can help you sell – and if a picture is worth a thousand words surely a video is the magic answer you’ve been looking for?
Well – yes and no. Since the advent of fast internet connections video is almost ubiquitous on the web, largely fuelled by YouTube and the like. Today you can watch video clips that are entertaining, informative, and educational. Some videos have hit millions of views, but largely these are those that have taken on a life of their own. Videos that are part of a meme that is sweeping the net, or even creating one.
But in the internet marketing world videos are mostly used to build up a buzz or to convey an emotional response. Those videos of sunny beaches and fast sport cars and big houses you see on certain business opportunity sites… they are there to sell you a dream or a perceived lifestyle.
Sometimes video can be informative. A screen capture video that is simply a recording of your desktop is ideal for tutorials, reviews, or product and site tours. And these are the easiest to create. But, yet again, they have almost reached saturation level. To create a screen capture video just grab yourself a copy of the now open source Camstudio (an older version of the retail Camtasia) – or better yet, the Internet Marketer’s version. Hit record, and start your demonstration
Another kind of video will feature a live recording. You can accomplish this easily with a webcam or digital camera or even a higher-end mobile phone. You don’t need to spend on quality video equipment. If you utilise a green-screen backdrop, you can even use fancy special effects but that is probably a step too far for the average marketer (though not impossible). The main problem here is that many people are simply not comfortable presenting in this manner.
One important point: Is a video strictly necessary? I for one find it easier to read and absorb information as text, and much quicker. A page or two of text can be read more quickly than watching a ten minute video. WIth text, you can easily scroll back and forth to find what you need, and you don’t even need to take notes as it’s already there before you.
The best kind of video, in my opinion, are those that compliment the main website or product. Screen capture videos are fine, but can be dry. Something with a quick, powerful message that gets the information across quickly is better. And it’s easy to make these too!
Here’s what you’ll need:
A free copy of Google Picasa
And that’s it! Believe it or not, Picasa has the ability to combine images, add transitions, add text and captions, add an audio track, and save the whole lot out as a video file. It will even upload it to YouTube for you.
Simply prepare your “slides” before hand using images, screenshots, or even text pages. You can use a simple free image editor such as paint.net to do this. If you want music, grab your music file or spoken track, and then let Picasa work it’s magic.