Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Big Ticket Report Writing: Part 2

This is the second in a series of articles about Big Ticket Report Writing.

Please make sure you have reviewed the definition of a report from Part 1.

Also, one point I wanted to clarify about reports, is that they can be created in multiple ways.

For example, a report can be a PDF (Adobe portable document format), a web page or even a .exe (executable) file compiled using an e-book compiler.

Now... As we mentioned in Part 1, Big Ticket Reports commonly use audio and video to present key information.

In Part 2 of this series we are going to talk about why and how to use audio and video in your reports.

First why use audio or video at all?

The main reason to use audio and video is that it has been proven to increase sales and improve credibility.

Think about testimonials for a minute...

If you just read a testimonial in a report, sure it adds credibility to your topic, product or proposed solution. 

But... if you can HEAR or SEE a testimonial from the actual person who is giving it... doesn't that make it much more compelling?

The main reason for that is not only because it is someone else besides you saying the information or solution is great but the reader gets to engage more of their senses in the process of getting the information. The testimonial is more real and helps overcome skepticism.

But the use of audio and video should not just be limited to testimonials.  There are even more ways to use them in Big Ticket Reports.

  • Clear audio or video recordings will get your customers even more excited about your product or service than any written description just by itself.

  • By describing in your own voice or by demonstrating visually how to use your product properly you can really set your customers expectations about what the product or service can and cannot do. 

  • Complaints and refund requests will be minimized because customers will have a much clearer concept of your product or service.

  • Many of the audio and video production products allow you to redirect the listener or viewer to your product or service web site for more information.

You could even consider having a professional provide the audio or video for an even more dramatic effect.

Ok, now how do you go about using audio or video to enhance your report.

Well most audio and video used today is called flash audio or video. 

Flash is a technology originally created by Macromedia who were then acquired by Adobe.

The nice thing about flash is that it tends to work well regardless of whether you put your report up as a set of web pages, as part of a compiled e-book or whether you include it as part of a PDF file.

And there are many different products available that can generate flash audio and video.

Anyone can create stunning videos, from multimedia tutorials and step-by-step presentations.

In your reports, its like like having your customers listen to you as though you seated next to them or having them looking at your desktop, as you show them the things they need to see and hear. 

As an example, lets look at Camtasia, a product that I own, and have used to successfully create flash videos.  There are other tools you can use but I'll describe Camtasia to give you an idea about how flash video is created.

Here is a mini guide of the process to give you an idea about how easy this really is:
 
Note: These steps are using Camtasia Studio v2.0 on a Windows desktop.

  1. Launch Camtasia Studio from the Start Menu. When it starts, Camtasia Studio will walk you through a wizard that asks you a few questions about what type of project you want to work with.  Just pick the one that says Start a new project by recording the screen.  It might also ask you about which area of the screen to record. If it does, choose the entire screen and make sure that audio recording is on. Follow whatever steps the wizard gives you until it launches Camtasia Recorder.

  2. Camtasia Recorder will record your all of your desktop activity with a single click of the Record button. Minimize the Camtasia Recorder application and then proceed to demonstrate your product or service. Everything you do is currently being recorded.  Once you have finished recording just click on the Stop button in Camtasia Recorder.  Camtasia Studio will prompt you for a location and filename of the recording you just made.  This is typically saved as an .AVI file.

  3. Next, drag the recording you just made from the clip bin of Camtasia Studio to the editing area.  Choose produce video as from the task list.  A wizard will guide you through the steps to create the flash version of the video.  You'll want to choose Macromedia Flash (SWF) movie file as the video file format. Usually, you can accept the defaults for most of the other settings until you get to the page which asks you to specify which folder to save the flash video in and the name of the flash video files.  Pick a location and name and save the flash video.

  4. Accepting the defaults in the previous steps, will cause Camtasia Studio to play your flash video after it has been created by launching a browser and showing your recording.

  5. If your report is a web page you only have to upload the files that were just generated to your web host and then give people the report link for them to view.  If your report is a compiled e-book or part of a PDF you'll have to use the e-book compiler or a PDF editor to add the flash video to the report.

Now, what if your product or service isn't something you can demonstrate from the desktop?

No problem.  If you can film it using a digital camera and save the resulting footage (usually an .AVI file) to your computer then you can just import it into Camtasia Studio and then follow the rest of the steps.

There are similar products and steps to add flash audio to your reports.

And that's it!
             
In Part 3 we'll look at Big Ticket Report Writing for Affiliate Marketers.

Copyright (C) 2007 Chuck Daniel, Like Magic Marketing, LLC -- All Rights Reserved.

Chuck is a former Microsoft software designer and program manager who spent more than a decade happily working on Email and CRM. Admittedly a seminar, workshop and information addict, Chuck left Microsoft to pursue his interests in personal development, internet, direct and information marketing and to promote and work for charitable causes.

Chuck Daniel
chuck 'at' likemagicmarketing 'dot' com
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1 Comments:

Anonymous Peter Fry said...

This may be an old article but really good thank you. I am going to use it to promote the new business I am a founder member of

1:37 AM  

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