So What Is “Screencasting?”
Simply put, screencasting is the recording of your on-screen activity, usually accompanied by a voiceover explanation of the action taking place on the screen. That’s the simple explanation of screencasting but screencasts can come in many varieties and can be used for many purposes, seven of which are listed here.
7 Examples Of Screencasting
Here are seven examples of screencasting. Read further for an expanded explanation of each.
- Live, ad hoc video conferencing,
- Product demonstrations,
- Recording presentations,
- Educational videos,
- Case studies,
- Internal communications, and
- Experience user experience testing.
1. Screencasting For Live, Ad Hoc Video Conferencing
It is easy for the end user because you just give them a link and then hold a conversation over the phone or computer-to-computer. I’ve also given client presentations using these services when members of a company are at remote locations.
These sessions are typically not recorded.
2. Screencasting For Product Demonstrations
Screencasting is tailor-made for software or web applications that are sophisticated or complex enough to require training or product demonstrations.
I’ve used Google Hangouts On Air (which differs from simple Hangouts in that Hangouts On Air can be public rather than invite-only) to record demonstrations for interviews on my Beyond Social Media Show podcast. Here’s an example from an episode in which we got a demonstration of the StatSocial analytics service:
3. Screencasting For Recording Presentations
For those of us who give a lot of presentations, one way of getting more value out of them, especially those that you’ll give to a live audience only once, is to record your presentation using screencasting. It is as simple as using screencasting to add your voiceover commentary as you run through your PowerPoint presentation.
You can then upload your presentation to YouTube and then share with those who missed your live presentation, to share through your social channels, embed in your blog or however you want to use it.
Here’s how I turned this presentation about QR codes into a screencast recording:
4. Screencasting For Educational Videos
Screencasting can be use to create educational videos. In this example, I used screencasting to explain infographics and to illustrate what they are and how they are used via some examples.
5) Screencasting For Case Studies
Screencasting can also be used to illustrate case studies. These could be used in a B2B marketing context to illustrate your capabilities on your website or via your social channels, for example.
Or you could use screencasting to create a case study for content marketing purposes, as I did with this public relations case study about the fallout over President Obama’s use of the phrase “Jedi Mind Meld.”
6. Screencasting for Internal Communications
Another way people use screencasting is to demonstrate internal processes such as how to access and complete benefits forms for the HR area of a corporate intranet.
Screencasting can also be used is to report results. Much like the case study example above, you could use screencasting to create a case study of a completed project to illustrate results to upper management.
7. Screencasting For User Experience Testing
Lastly, I’ve used screencasting to demonstrate how real people use a website by asking them to do specific tasks and voice their thoughts as they preform those tasks.
It can be a dramatic way of illustrating how customers can have a vastly different experience with a company’s website and to help the site owners see their web presence from their customers’ point of view.
12 Free Screencasting Tools
Here are some free screencasting tools that are available.
- CamStudio – Downloadable software
- EZVid – Downloadable software
- Ilos Video – Web-based service
- Jing – Downloadable software from the makers of Camtasia
- Pro Recorder – iOS app for recording mobile screen activity. It’s ad-supported and includes a banner ad in recordings.
- Rec. – Android app for recording mobile sessions. Requires your device be rooted.
- Recordable – Android app for recording mobile sessions.
- Screencast-O-Matic – Downloadable software
- Screenr – Web-based service
- UX Recorder – iOS app that records mobile web sessions. Uses front-facing camera of your phone to record in-screen video of you as you provide commentary to on-screen activity. Free version limits sessions to 30 seconds. This app was designed for user experience professionals for working on mobile websites.
- VLC Media Player – Downloadable software
- Webinaria – Downloadable software
2 Paid Screencasting Tools
These are two screencasting tools that will cost you.