Why you should use screen recordings in your next video

Screen recording your IT product can be the difference between a sign-up or a bounce from your website. Here's why we encourage screen recordings for our IT and consulting firm clients' videos.

Our clients often ask us about integrating screen recordings with a cringe on their face. They're not sure if it's possible, and if it is, they're certain it's difficult to do. It's not! And it's actually a great idea to have screen recordings embedded in your video content. Here are our reasons: 

Show your product off

It's the obvious path but often the one that our previous clients are hesitant to engage in. We have found that this is usually because the product has not been finished.

But when we say 'that doesn't matter', that familiar cringe mixed with a quizzical look then spreads across the dial. But it really doesn't matter, at all. 

If all you have is screenshots of your product, we can bring them to life with animations of cursors, a tablet user, whatever you need.

A video we completed in 2015 only had a wireframe of the e-learning product finished, the hyperlinks didn't even work! But we were able to get into the test environment and our savvy animators followed instructions, recorded their screens and captured the essence of the environment expertly. 

Ultimately, like any video, the key message should be how the product benefits the user. We never stray from that key tenet. But having a semblance of what the product does, or even just how it looks is a very powerful way into the minds of your potential customers. 

It is actually easy

Like I said, it's not hard. Our animators are adept at using screen recording software programs, like Screenflow by Telestream.

It's a great piece of software that allows seamless editing, graphics, call-outs and more to be recorded and edited in only minutes. (And nope, they're not paying me to say that, they're just that good). 

Here's a couple example of videos that we produced that used screenflow recordings and integrated them into a use-case narrative for the viewer. 

As you can see, the GovSpend video is pure screen recording. This is a good method of showing the product to internal stakeholders, or users who are already onboarded. 

There's no need for flashy framing, animation or overlays for people who are already know the product. What matters more is a clear walkthrough of the utility of the software itself.

The Capability Central recordings were allowed to be more 'flashy' because the clients were not yet familiar with the software. 

Fun fact: this is an example of a video we made, where the product was not yet finished. We are quite proud that we were able to make it come to life!

I often talk about 'opening the door' to potential customers. Let them in and have a look around, be it through live action video or animation. Recording your product (working or not), is a great way to open that door.  

Until next time,

Pete

PS - have you tried to record your IT product before? It can be tedious and time consuming without the right know-how. 

We love tedium and we know how to do it, so get in touch.

 

 

Top Three Reasons To Choose Animation For Your Next Video Project

I have always been fascinated with animation. Ever since I was young, watching old Disney films where it was done manually, up to "The Simpsons" and more recently - the magnificent animated creativity and storytelling of "Rick and Morty". 

We produce animated videos not just because we like the way they look, but because they're actually a super versatile digital asset. This post will explain why you should choose animation for your next video.

We have pinned it down to three overarching reasons:

They can be made quickly

Thank goodness we don't live in the days of manual animation like Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, because that looked like an absolute nightmare. Months of work to make scenes, years to make a feature film.

The wonders of technology have made production of animation a seamless and dynamic process. On average, our animated videos take 3-6 weeks to produce. That's dedicated storyboarding, animation and post-production.

One thing we do that is similar to what was done in the early days of animation, is hand-drawn storyboards. These give the client an initial 'feel' of what the video will look like. A lot of clients like to know that real artists are busily working away on the right style and graphics that align to their brand and/or product.  

And while we have moved away from template animation style (which is quicker, but ultimately too generic), we can still churn out high quality videos quickly, with multiple people working simultaneously on the project to get it out the door. 
 

It's often the most accessible

When I use the word 'accessible', I mean it in terms of it being able to be experienced by persons with disabilities/impairments. 

We have had the opportunity to work with clients such as the Australian Network on Disability who taught us a lot about accessibility in content, web images and indeed animation.

We have taken that forward into producing our videos, to ensure that colour balance, speed of voiceover speech and text size are all able to be viewed by people with audio and visual impairments. 

An audio-visual-accessible video we produced for the Australian Network on Disability

 

The beauty of the animated video is that you have complete control over all of the variables that can cause issues for accessibility, and we have found it's best and easier to err on the side of making them accessible from the video's inception. 

It's versatile across different channels

You've probably heard that video is an extremely shareable asset, which is true. But 'video' is an all-too-nebulous term. 

Animation is really something that is the most versatile to be shared, but why?

Ultimately it's about editing. With animation, you can construct various lengths of videos more easily, to be shared on different channels.

Have the full length 90 second on your landing page - make a 15 or 30 second clip especially for Twitter or Instagram ads. Go pro and make a 'full version' up to 2 minutes for YouTube. 

This is something that needs to be constructed from the inception of the video, not done after-the-fact. Otherwise, you run into issues of flow and clarity just like any other video project.

Bringing it all together...

So as you can see - there are a few reasons I like animation. Not because of nostalgia and entertainment, but also as a really useful business tool. An animated video can be made quickly, easily, and is appealing to lots of types of viewers, no matter what your niche is. 

Until next time,

Pete

PS - if you like remember and prefer the 'old school' Simpsons, you might like to share this post. 

Interested working together? Get in touch below and see how we can help you.

Why You Need A Proof-of-Concept Video For Your IT Product

 
 

'IT product' is a broad term that encompasses Software as a Service (SaaS), iOS/Android apps, basically anything that needs a walkthrough to explain it. 
This post will show you how and why a video can be really valuable, even if you haven't built your product yet. 

You want to sell your IT product. Sure - you might have altruistic goals to make the next 'Uber of...' but at the end of the day, you've made the product to stack some cash. Nothing wrong with that - here's how a video can really supercharge your sales and get you on top of your competitors.

Focus on benefits of your IT product to sell it before it's made

Seems simple, doesn't it. But so often, purveyors of IT products forget this fundamental when selling their products.
Why does anyone care about your product?
'Well it's compression rate is optimised and latency is...' - WRONG. Boring. That's a feature, not a benefit. (Yes - I have been watching a lot of 'Silicon Valley' lately.)
  
'<Your product> helps <your customer persona> <achieve their goal/solve their problem> by <doing something cool>'. Boom - much better.

It's a difference that businesspeople of all types forget to focus on, usually because their ego is too attached to whatever their product is. 

We get it - you've worked hard on it, it has cool features under the hood. But both you and I are going to buy something that has clear benefits for me, rather than knowing what's behind the curtain.

"But what if it hasn't even been built yet?"

That doesn't matter! The beauty of IT products is that you can illustrate key benefits without having to show exactly how it works just yet. But at the same time, you still need people on board to be potential buyers.

And that's where a video explaining its benefits is an extremely powerful tool, before even a line of code has been written. 

Here's a proof-of-concept video we made a while ago for an app that helps punters get involved in local sporting activities. 

 

You can show functionality without actually showing the screen. The product should be a collection of logical functions already, that should be able to be explained visually - so explain it, and sell it.

Simplify the complex to make it appealing to your customer base

Some IT products are simple (Uber, Airbnb etc) and some require more specialised knowledge (Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro). Both types of products can use video as a vehicle to explain it before it has been built.

We made a video for an e-learning software product, that was specifically designed for HR departments in government. Quite specialised, with a specific purpose for a specific audience:

 

Guess what - this hadn't even been built yet. 

The screen recordings were wireframes that our skilled animators overlaid onto an iPad screen template animation. Let me be clear - this product didn't even exist or work properly yet. But the client was able to show this video to the people they wanted to sell it to, and ended up selling it. 

How cool is that?

You can do this too - it's a really great way to not only sell your product ahead of time, but get you to iron out any potential kinks in the product itself going forward. 

Putting 'cart-before-horse' for your IT product (by making a proof of concept video) is a great idea. You can leverage your ideas and visualise your product to sell it before it has been made. Whatever your product is, it should have benefits that can be visualised and explained clearly. Any complexities can also be explained to make it an appealing, beast of a product, ready to fly off the shelves. 

Until next time,

Pete

PS - if you like the idea of putting cart-before-horse in order to sell things, you might like to share my post. 

Interested working together? Get in touch below and see how we can help you.