Video Screen Capture
Small Business Marketing Strategy
Using video screen capture known as Screen Casting or Screen Recording is a great small business marketing strategy to grow your influence, market and business.
A Screencast video is one where you record what is happening on your computer monitor. These are often used for tutorials that show someone how to use a piece of software or website, or you can conduct a guided sales presentation to encourage someone to buy your product or service.
Here is an example of a training video screencast http://goo.gl/Wlcsa and here’s a sales video example http://goo.gl/DrYmj.
Video screen capture recordings are less expensive and easier to shoot and produce because you do not need to worry about a studio, video cameras, or lighting. All you are doing is recording what is happening on your computer screen and usually narrating what you are showing people.
Screencasting is the perfect video option for you if you are a little bit camera shy as you only have to worry about recording your voice (and you could even find someone else to do that for you), or if you want to get started with video but do not quite have the budget to do live video just yet. Simply make a capture video from screen activities.
To get started with screen recording you need a few basic tools. Along with a computer of course, you will need either paid or free video screen capture software that will be discussed in just a moment. You will also need a microphone to record the narration for your screencast recording.
You do not need expensive or fancy equipment, so if you already have a headset/mic for talking on Skype for example, you are all set. If you do not already have something to use, find inexpensive headsets with a microphone such as the Plantronics Audio 355 Multimedia Headset for around $20 in most electronics retailers or online as well. If you do not like the idea of wearing a headset or want a more professional microphone, take a look at the “Blue Microphones Snowball USB Microphone” which is reviewed rather well and you can find it for around $70 at amazon.com
Computer Based Programs
Now, with your computer and microphone taken care of, the final piece of the puzzle is which video screen capture recording software to use. Thankfully, there are plenty of options to choose from. I will start with what is probably the most popular and also the most professional program out there (in my opinion at least), and the one I personally use: Camtasia Studio
With Camtasia you can record both audio and video from your computer and also record audio separately to be added to a video production of yours later. Annotate videos to call attention to certain parts of the screen and also zoom in and out to highlight important areas as well. Once you have recorded and edited your screen video, produce it to any number of formats suitable for sharing on your website or on YouTube, or you can also produce DVD ready and high definition videos. Camtasia is available for the Mac at only $99 and the PC version costs $299 - a free 30 day trial is available for both.
Next on this list is Camtasia’s little brother called Jing.
With Jing, take either static screenshots or short, 5 minute videos of your desktop to share with people. You cannot edit your short videos once recorded, so you do have to get it right in one take, but I think Jing makes up for its lack of editing and producing ability with its FREE price tag!
That is right, there is no charge to download and use the basic version of Jing, and you will also get a free 2GB account at screencast.com to share your videos online. There is a premium version offered for only $14.95 a year that removes the Jing branding from your videos and will allow you to share videos with YouTube easily – but like most folks, you can probably do just fine with this free video screen capture basic version.
If you are a Mac user, you might be familiar with ScreenFlow which for a long time was the only competitor to Camtasia Studio on the Mac platform. ScreenFlow has a feature list that is almost identical to Camtasia’s, and priced at only $99 with a free trial available, you will want to try them out if you are a Mac user.
Web Based Programs
The last two I have for you here are free video screnn capture web-based programs.
Since its web-based, Screenr works for both Macs and PCs and it will allow you to produce short, 5 minute videos with audio that you can easily share on Twitter, Youtube or even post on your own website or blog. It is quite similar to Jing as you cannot edit your videos once they are recorded, but since you only need a web browser to access it, your clients or customers view it anywhere they have access to an Internet connection.
Last on my list is Screen Toaster. This too works with Mac and PC and does not require you to download any files, and its features are almost identical to those that Screenr offers.
Since all of these video screen capture programs are either free to try or use, sample them all to find one that works best for your own small business marketing strategy. If you need any help, I do offer video creation services as well as answering any questions you might have.
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