I ran across two really awesome training tools and I put them into use immediately for fun and profit. I'm taking about moving screen capture devices. One is called Lotus Screen Cam which I'll save for another day and the other is called Camtasia http://www.techsmith.com
I decided I was going to create a few videos (I'm talking computer screen videos here) of the types of things I do on my website and with this Ezine and with the search engines etc. I downloaded the free 30 day trial version of Camtasia and started making videos of what was appearing on my computer screen. I was also doing narration into a microphone and the entire thing was being recorded. This only took me a few minutes to get going. I recorded about 30 seconds and then decided to see how large the file was because I heard that file sizes can get out of hand with audio and video. I had used up 5 MEGABYTES IN 30 SECONDS This was way too much to be reasonable so I called up Techsmith and spoke to a very competent gentlemen in tech support named Mark Brembeck. Mark showed me a few tweaks to the system and we got the file sizes down to a very reasonable 1 Megabyte per minute.
You do have to jump thru a few small hoops and download their compression technology, but that was no big deal. You have to download and install the player for Lotus Screen Cam (their competitor) too.
So what does this have to do with marketing? You can easily make CDs and videos that lead someone on a narrated tour of your website. You can make salable products and you can get your training message across much easier than trying to tell people where to click. You can actually show them in the form of a video.
In addition, they include a "producer" that lets you edit shorter movies into longer ones and edit out mistakes too. I really liked the cursor effects. A big round colored ball follows the cursor around so you can easily see it on the screen. It flashes when you click. The cursor is supposed to be translucent, but it does make the text beneath hard to see, so I kept the ball a little off to the side of where I was pointing. Again. . . no big deal. All in all, when you get the program tweaked and learn a little about Windows Media Player you can have a handy tool at your disposal that will help you train, promote and develop new products. About $150.00 retail and downloadable from their site.