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Video Marketing for Microsoft Partners: An Introduction

Video has become a powerful marketing tool, but most Microsoft partners have been hesitant about jumping in. Creating and displaying video on your Web site is getting easier all the time -- easy enough to do yourself. So why not get in the game? Let's look at a few ways to get started, with some tips to give your videos a professional look.

Get Started with 'Screencasts'
The easiest way for most partners to get started with video content is with a screencast. Basically, a screencast is a demonstration of your solution recorded with audio and video. Just like you would demonstrate in real time for a client, you can record your screen and your voice as you talk through the demonstration.

One of the easiest tools you can use to get started with screencasting is Camtasia by Techsmith. Camtasia lets you record your screen and voice, then easily edit the footage. A great feature of Camtasia is that you can use footage recorded through Jing, a free download also from Techsmith. Your technical or functional consultant can record their demo with Jing and give you the file to edit.

Camtasia is inexpensive, easy to use and provides lots of options for editing. You can cut excess footage, zoom in for detail and add callouts to highlight key points. Insert title clips to introduce your subject and to close with a call to action.

Two important tips for better screencasts:

  • Keep them short (three minutes max). Better to break up your subject into small bites than make it longer.

  • Record your audio with a decent microphone. It doesn't have to be an expensive mic, but the better the audio, the more professional your video will appear.

Interviews Tell Your Story
Interviews with your employees or customers help prospects "get to know" your company in a way that text cannot. While good audio is important with screencasts, it's critical for interviews. Either hire a professional to record you and your customers or get help from someone who knows what he or she is doing.

A great, cost-effective method is to hire a professional for a couple of hours when you hold your next seminar or customer event. Record a number of interviews with your employees and your customers that you can use over time. Tip: Ask them to say the name of your company at the beginning of their response to your questions. ("I like working with XYZ Partner because...")

There are a number of tools you can use to edit and publish your interview videos, including Camtasia, Microsoft Expression Studio or Adobe's Premiere Pro. Cost and degree of difficulty vary widely. There is also a growing industry meeting the need for professional videos -- at very reasonable costs. Be sure to get references and see samples.

Get Creative
There is so much that you can do with video. Our industry is just starting to find creative ways to engage our audience. Next week, we'll talk about more video options, like PowerPoint presentations, with some ideas that you can put to work.

Have a great video story? Tell me about it and let's share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on July 06, 2011 at 11:57 AM


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