PowerPoint as an Animation Tool

PowerPoint can be an effective animation tool in business videos.

powerpointGone are the days when PowerPoint was associated with college presentations and school tutorials. Today, a lot of marketers link the mighty tool with their day to day routines, and we see that PowerPoint presentations are staples of meeting and presentations.

But the flexibility of PowerPoint can be leveraged to create animations in videos that do a great job of explaining concepts that might otherwise be difficult to understand.

We recently undertook some San Jose video production work for a client. When we did a pair of marketing videos for Sphere3D’s Overland Storage Division, we were given the tough job of explaining their shareable storage concept. But the budget was not there to create elaborate 3D graphics. Here is one of the videos we created for them (another shorter version was also created that eliminated about 1/3 of this version):

Benefit #1 – Saving Time and Money

A major benefit in using PowerPoint over many other complicated tools is that we are able to save clients’ and developers’ time. Marketing videos using PowerPoint is a relatively simple and fast method of demonstrating concepts. In a matter of few short minutes, you will be able to connect huge volumes of data. Above all, a single presentation will be sufficient to showcase product details, images, tutorials and much more.

Benefit #2 – Visually Compelling

Visual information is a key selling point in PowerPoint videos. According to a recent study, marketing videos with unique visual content are likely to attract more audiences than the rest. Moving on, you can demonstrate critical benefits of your service or product in an attractive and convenient form. Visually compelling slides can be very worthwhile as they explain concepts not easily understood by others.

Benefit #3 – Professionalism

Last but certainly not least, the use of graphics serves to to enhance the professional reputation of our clients. PowerPoint presentations can be so much more than simple word slides, and these graphics show it.

Microsoft PowerPoint can be downloaded here, of course, but it has a steep learning curve to use its features fully, especially when it comes to 2D animation that tells a great story on video. Why not hire the experts at Penrose Productions instead?

Obstacles to Video Marketing Success

Recently we read about video marketing success in a report that was published in June 2014 entitled “B2B Video Marketing: B2B Benchmarks and Best Practices.”

This report was produced by Demand Metric Research Corporation in partnership with Ascend2, and it was sponsored by VidYard. video marketing success as found in demand metric study The report was a study in which 398 marketing sales and business professionals worldwide were polled regarding their use and video marketing successes with B2B videos. And all of the respondents had either used video for BtoB marketing or were planning to.

There were a number of interesting findings in the study.

One included what the respondents felt were the obstacles to video marketing success. We were dismayed (but not surprised) to read that 47% of the people responding to the survey cited a lack of budget for their video has an obstacle. Fully another 45% indicated a lack of in-house resources or a problem.

I suspect strongly that these two categories are both largely the same respondents to the survey.

Creating compelling content was another major factor users said was another obstacle to video marketing success.  To us this merely underscores the fact that many of the people in the B2B marketing world do have an understanding of the need for Media Marketing, but do not have a strong comprehension of what it takes to create a successful video. In the remainder of the study, B2B marketers indicate strong understanding of the process. This indicates that they know how to what to do with the videos once they have been created.  However it did not seem that many of them on grasped what was necessary to create those videos in the first place.

As a professional video production company, our job is to lower those barriers of entry to B2B marketers who realize the need for good strong videos.

Obviously if they do not understand how to get them created efficiently and effectively, they are not going to continue with the video production process. The plain truth of the matter is that many videos are not very expensive to make and instead can be produced at a price that’s returns a great ROI. Many videos such as this one below have in the relatively simple production cycle and do not require extensive (if any) use of video cameras and the recording of video and audio on location or in the studio. As you can see in this video we have not used a video camera to create the visual images necessary to communicate, yet it is a video marketing success. Instead we use the video editing process to merge graphics, narration and music. We also have the ability to use stock footage in video production as well, also avoiding the need to hire a camera and crew.

The primary challenge begins with the lack of an effective media strategy before beginning the video.

And as it turns out this was the fourth greatest obstacle to video marketing success as defined in the study. In fact 33% of the B2B marketers realize that they lacked an effective strategy. This indicates some awareness of the problem, however a full 26% of the of people who responded suggested that producing studio quality video was also an obstacle to video marketing success as mentioned above. Studio quality video is NOT necessary in order to effectively communicate the message and of course this is particularly important when budgets are limited. So if we may be so humble we would like to suggest that you contact us at Penrose Productions so that we can discuss with you ways in which the video production process can be effective for you and maximize your ROI.  Time after time we have seen that he budgets do not have to be nearly as high as you fear.

Free Adobe Photoshop Graphics Software

You can get the world’s gold standard of graphics software for free – sort of.

free graphics software

We use graphics software extensively in all aspects of our business: video production, image correction, web design, etc. Not a day goes by that we don’t use Adobe Photoshop for one or more tasks. Photoshop is the gold standard for graphics software; the one that others try to copy because of its power and flexibility.

This graphics software is so powerful in fact, that we don’t use the vast majority of available functions. There is a great set of tools available and a great help system in the software if we want to do more. It’s truly designed for the graphics professional.

In fact, we used Photoshop to create this image of the software package in less than two minutes, combining the software box with the “free” sticker.

The problem is, while it’s an amazing graphics software package, it’s too darn expensive.

To appeal to the lower end of the market for graphics software, Adobe has been selling Photoshop Elements for quite awhile. It’s often bundled with other software packages and replicates many of the basics of Photoshop. But to get Elements you still have to reach into your pocket.

A great solution to the hand-in-wallet thing for graphics software is available at no charge. Adobe is GIVING AWAY older versions of the full Photoshop package at no charge.

The catch? These versions are several versions old and are no longer supported. And Adobe claims that they may not be compatible with newer operating systems. However, we have not seen this to be a problem.

So to get a full Photoshop version that will have way more horsepower than you ever need, you can go over to the Adobe site and download either the PC or Mac version of CS2  for free.

 

 

 

Doodle Videos from Penrose Productions

Introducing Doodle Videos at Penrose Productions

Doodle videos are all the rage, especially online, so we’re delighted to share this new service that we’re adding to the many others that we have at Penrose Productions. You may well have seen many examples of these doodle videos, particularly used in web marketing. We have added this to our repertoire and we’re delighted to offer it to our customers.

The end product of these doodle videos is to have a hand quickly draw pictures to go along with the story that is being told. We can take your existing artwork, photos, etc. and convert them for use in these doodle videos. Then we work the video editing magic of having the hand draw those images. We’ll add narration, music, sound effects, etc. to create a unique and very interesting video.

These videos are also sometimes called whiteboard animations as well as other terms.

This example show a quick doodle video we created to showcase some of the possibilities.