If you're using video in your marketing, there's a question you need to answer – what type of video is best to achieve your goals? And no, slide-show videos are NOT a one-type fits all, despite what many marketers will tell you.
In fact, plenty of people are tired of the standard slide-show videos. Yes, they have their place. Yes, sometimes they are the best option. But there are alternatives you need to consider. For example:
Talking head videos – this is where you sit in front of the camera and talk. Some things you need to know about talking head videos: If you're trying to brand yourself, then these are definitely the way to go. If you're demonstrating something live on camera - like how to do a headstand - then again this is the method to use.
However, if your chief aim is to engage people on YouTube who have never heard of you, there may be better alternatives. After all, you're likely not a professional speaker or actor. You might not look model perfect. And your natural personality might not shine in the spotlight. If any of these is true, consider any of the following alternatives:
Screen capture – this is where the viewer listens to your voice as they watch whatever is happening on your computer monitor. This format is excellent for demonstrating any over-the-shoulder technique, such as how to do something online, how to use software, etc. These are also good for product reviews – you open the product as they watch, and then walk them through the contents.
Slide show – yes, we said it's not one type fits all, but it does have its place. There can be something hypnotic about hearing a voice reading the words shown in the video that captures attention – but only if it's direct and to the point. Dwell too long on one boring slide and you can lose half your viewers.
Prezi.com – as they say on the website, make your presentations zoom. Instead of the standard slide show presentation, Prezi takes your words and pictures, formats it into one big word picture and then pans and zooms in and out of it as you speak. For example, here is a presentation on Prezi presentations: Hold your cursor over “more” and then click on “autoplay” to watch it in action, or advance it one slide at a time by hitting the play button. (Of course, you'll want to add a soundtrack to your own Prezi presentations.)
Sock Puppet Videos – yes, seriously. It doesn't have to be exactly sock puppets, but anything that is wildly different or weird gets views. The question is, are sock puppets right for you? If you're selling burial arrangements, the answer is probably no. But in many cases, sock puppets can be oddly effective.
Magistro.com – takes your raw footage and picks out what it thinks are the best clips to create a short video. You can then add music and titles. This is a fun one to play with, but the results can be somewhat unpredictable.
GoAnimate.com – cartoons get noticed. And when they're as easy to make as choosing your characters and typing in dialog, why not try it?
CommonCraft.org – these are fascinating because they're so low-tech. This service uses paper cutouts and a dry-erase board to create instructional and demo videos.
StopMotionPro.com – Want to make your own paper cut out videos? Then check this out.
Stoome.com – Use crowd sourcing to create videos. You upload your own clips and then borrow from other users. Work on your project alone or with others. For example, if you attend a conference, you can grab footage from other attendees to add to your own. Purposely work with others and you can get some built in traffic if they tell their list about your video.
Animoto.com – Very professional looking videos made from photos and video clips. The trick here is to keep it riveting – don't fall in love with 27 poses of the same sleeping cat, because you'll be the only one watching. But get this right, and you'll look like a video pro in no time.
Sellamations.com – These are powerful. A voice over narrates while a hand doodles images and words on a white background. One language teaching program uses this extensively to sell their program, which tells me it's working like crazy. In fact I've seen their video advertised numerous times and I've even watched it from start to finish – remarkable, considering I have no desire to learn another language right now. But that's how mesmerizing these things are.