Struggling to Get PowerPoint on an iPad?

Powerpoint iPad Slideshark Digital DazzleMicrosoft PowerPoint and the Apple iPad are equally ubiquitous. Unfortunately, getting these two to work together can be a chore. The iPad lacks the native capability to play PowerPoint presentations — an issue that can be a real pain for today’s mobile workforce. Fortunately, there are several workarounds that can help you bring PowerPoint and the iPad together.

At Digital Dazzle, our go-to solution is the SlideShark viewer. This handy (and free) app makes uploading and showing presentations a snap:

  • Prepare your PowerPoint presentation. Simply create a SlideShark account and upload your presentation. On your iPad, log in to the app, then download your presentation.
  • Ready, set, present. You can run the presentation from your iPad via AirPlay or the Apple HDMI adapter. Or you can use SlideShark’s presentation mode, which gives you added insight to your notes, a timer, and more.

Be forewarned: SlideShark doesn’t support complicated slide transitions, animations, or embedded video, so presentations that make heavy use of such features might not be the best candidates for this workaround.

If you want to stick with native Apple tools consider Keynote. Convert a PowerPoint file to a Keynote file, and you can use this app to play the presentation on the iPad, iPhone, or iPod. And because the app works with iCloud, your presentation is almost always available. The downside? Keynote removes animations, and embedded video will work only if it’s in a format that Apple devices support: H.264 MP4 or QuickTime MOV.

Of course, another option is simply to translate your entire presentation to video. As a bonus, you can upload video versions to YouTube, as long as they’re in a supported format such as MP4, FLV, AVI, or WMV. (See our blog post Two for One PowerPoint for more information about repurposing your PowerPoint presentations into videos.) 

Great Storytelling Will Grow Your Business

Videos are an excellent medium for storytellingEvery message tells a story, but not every story engages viewers. Great marketing pros know that creating a compelling story and using great storytelling can pump up engagement and send conversion rates soaring.

The story as foundation for a sale
When is storytelling appropriate? You can use stories in a variety of ways:

  • Show the audience how to solve problems or increase revenues.
  • Create excitement for new or changing products.
  • Help the audience feel a personal connection to your organization.
  • Show the audience how your business or product can improve an industry problem or financial situation.

Of prime importance is deciding the action or actions you want the audience to take after hearing the story. Keep this desired response in mind as you design your storyline, using the five elements of a great story as described by the executive leadership and communications consultants at The TAI Group:

  • Setting. Introduce the status quo.
  • Conflict. What is the driving problem? Why must the status quo change?
  • Struggle. What are the obstacles to changing the status quo? For example, what are the issues presented by customers or competitors?
  • Resolution. How will you overcome the obstacles and solve your customers’ problems? How will you enhance your customers’ business and revenue? Remember, use vivid imagery.
  • Outcome. Show viewers the new — and better — reality.

Storytelling creates an emotional and sensory experience, and therein lies its power. To help your audience understand your message, consider telling your story through a variety of methods that touch on both logic and emotion. Intriguing case studies, demonstrating a problem/solution/result scenario and credible testimonials can incorporate both emotional and fact-based, intellectual content.

Get the picture
Video, already a highly engaging medium, is the perfect foundation for storytelling. Realizing its effectiveness, B2B marketers are rapidly increasing their use of video. Business2Community reported that 52 percent of B2B marketers are now using video, a 27 percent increase from the year before. While consumer purchases typically depend on emotion, business purchases center on logic. However, this doesn’t mean B2B marketing strategies should be entirely devoid of emotion. A compelling story can engage the viewer’s mind and heart. That’s why storytelling through video can be an amazing tool for B2B companies.

The power of visualization
A study by Harvard psychologists Joshua Greene and Elinor Amit finds that pictures create vivid mental imagery, which triggers an emotional response rather than rational, cost/benefit reasoning. Consider these findings when designing a video story:

  • Abstract imagery or talking heads are less likely to pull in viewers.
  • Concrete, detailed visuals are better at driving viewer response.
  • Emotional responses tend to be faster and stronger (think “gut” decisions).
  • Compelling visual stories, like those presented by video, give the audience a clear mental picture of your message and its benefit.

Ready to get started on your show-stopping story? Consult the experts at Digital Dazzle. We’ll help you bring your message to life!

Two for One PowerPoint

Videos extend the life of Webinar Powerpoint presentationsOrganizations spend a great deal of money, time, and resources developing Microsoft PowerPoint presentations. However, many miss an opportunity to get even more mileage from this investment by using the presentation as the basis for both a webinar and a video.

Webinars vs. videos
Both webinars and videos offer benefits, albeit different ones:

  • A webinar’s strength lies in its immediacy. Webinars offer customers an interactive, high-energy experience. Attendees usually have the opportunity to ask questions of expert presenters. Companies gain a valuable connection with contacts and potential customers.
  • A video is a polished, visually appealing way to educate or excite viewers. Videos often reach a broad audience and can be used in a multitude of ways.

Webinars and videos also have differing requirements and restraints:

  • Webinars, which have fairly simple production values, should have low bandwidth demands; video usually incorporates more complex graphics and recorded audio tracks, so it requires more bandwidth.
  • Webinars are given by live presenters that interact with live audiences. Videos are not live, and thus no interactivity takes place.
  • Webinars’ pacing can be slower than that of videos.
  • Viewers experience webinars from beginning to end but often jump through videos to find desired content.

So how can an organization use one presentation to create such diverse products? Planning is the key.

Four steps to success
By thinking ahead, companies can head off expensive and time-consuming revisions and develop a base presentation that can form a foundation for both webinars and videos.

  1. Start with the basics. The first thing to understand is that webinars need toned-down animations and embedded objects; videos should pump up animations, add transitions, and take advantage of embedded objects. Therefore, the first step is to build a deck with high-quality, carefully chosen professional graphics and animation. Avoiding embedded video or other bandwidth-greedy objects at this stage is important.
  2. Plan for the future. During development of the deck, the organization should be thinking about the “bells and whistles” that will be added for the video: animations, transitions, video overlays, and so on. Planning these components at this stage will help ensure they fit seamlessly with the existing style of the presentation.
  3. Think before speaking. Speaker’s notes are fine, but organizations should be aware that these notes in their entirety aren’t likely to be suitable for videos. Many educational webinars contain pages of notes. Pacing of the audio is not hurried because the emphasis is on learning. The audio of the finished webinar is a great resource for the video creation, but organizations will want to trim this audio first. Furthermore, if the webinar audio wasn’t professionally recorded, the sound quality may not be adequate. Good audio is vital for a successful video.
  4. Provide a roadmap. Especially when transitioning a webinar to an educational video (for use in an education library), companies should either provide chaptering so that viewers can easily find the content they want or consider creating multiple, smaller videos.

More collateral for less cost
By planning for both webinars and videos when creating PowerPoint presentations, companies can reduce production costs by leveraging elements in both versions. The result is an integrated, cohesive set of materials that can be used for a variety of purposes, from educational to promotional.

Increase Interest with Video Brochures

Online Video BrochuresIntegrated marketing has taken over the communications landscape. Online technologies, Web video and direct-response marketing are increasingly interconnected. This trend allows producers to communicate a message in multiple ways and increase audience interactions through a variety of touch points.

How can organizations make the most of the online bandwagon? One way that successful marketers are extending their message is by embedding video into their other marketing collateral, creating interactive video brochures.

Create compelling stories
Video brochures combine text and static graphics with embedded video to create a story that pulls in readers. These brochures — or other integrated collateral, such as white papers, data sheets and case studies — go beyond a static description of a product or success story.

  • After reading about a new product or service, customers can click to watch a quick demo.
  • Instead of just viewing quotes from a satisfied client, readers can watch a testimonial — from within the case study.
  • Interest in learning more about a service or product can be immediately satisfied through embedded video.

The business benefits of this type of brochure are numerous. Incorporating video allows you to

  • Highlight important features and benefits of your product or service;
  • Illustrate how and why your product or company is superior to the competition;
  • Enhance the image and credibility of your brand; and
  • Motivate the audience to take action.

Learn more about your readers
At the same time that video brochures offer a more satisfying reading experience, they can help companies learn more about readers. Video brochures are versatile tools:

  • They can be distributed through email, websites, blogs or social media.
  • Video brochures generate higher response rates than traditional email.
  • They provide an actionable, interactive message through audio/visual content and direct calls to action.
  • They can be pushed to target viewers.
  • Embedded mechanisms can collect viewer activity and response data.

Furthermore, the audio/visual content in the brochures works in a variety of materials, saving marketing dollars and tying together a cohesive messaging strategy.

What you need
To be effective, the audio/visual elements of your brochures must include some interactive elements. For example, you can give readers some level of playback control. The format of these elements should, of course, be compatible with multiple platforms and devices so that the brochure can be distributed online and will have maximum portability.

It is also important that reader action can be measured in a meaningful way. Successful video brochures feature a means to capture and store viewer interactions. These data can then be used for analysis, feedback or sales purposes.

Five factors are required to create an effective video brochure:

  • Engaging content
  • Portability and universal accessibility
  • Intuitive viewer controls
  • Viral capabilities
  • Ease of use and modification for marketers

You can maximize your return on investment (ROI) by using professional content development. Doing so reduces the strain on in-house graphic- and content-creation resources, and working with a single provider to create multiple elements of your marketing collateral ensures a consistent message throughout.

How Can Video Be Embedded in a Brochure?

Typically, marketing collateral are created and distributed in PDF format. Adobe’s Acrobat software can embed Flash video directly into a PDF file. However, given that video makes PDF files very large, an alternative would be to host your video on a special page on your site, so the video can be played back via a browser. Added benefits would be that website analytics can track the video playbacks and changes can be made to the video page without having to change the PDF.

Brochures that integrate video encourage viewer interaction and response, making it easier to capture and measure information about viewer activity and response.

Video Stat of the Week: Video Marketing Usage Increases Rapidly in 2012

According to a new report released by Social Media Examiner last month, YouTube and video marketing top all other Marketing investments this year.

Online Video YouTube usage by Marketeets in 2012

Why Online Video?

There are several reasons why online video’s popularity has increased:

  1. Access to audiences is much easier, esp. via YouTube
  2. Online video creation has come down in cost, although professional creation is still very important
  3. Video helps improve SEO rankings and searchability of marketeers’ content

Given these facts there is no reason why you should not utilize online video as part of your Marketing mix.

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