Explainer videos come in many forms: animated, live action, Taiwanese , etc. Choosing the right format often rests upon understanding which one best aligns with your needs and objectives. Previously, I had written about choosing between live action and animated videos. Screencasts are another type of explainer video growing in popularity that might be the right choice for your company if you fall into one (or more) of the four categories below.

1) You’re looking to educate customers or employees

Screencast 1

A screencast is a recording or rendering of the output of a digital screen (tablet, desktop monitor, smartphone – you name it), showing the changes over time that you would see if you were watching the screen itself. Toss in some audio narration, and screencasts become an effective instructional tool, placing your audience directly in front of the information you want to convey. Because screencast videos are viewer centric, they are a great way to engage visual and auditory learners.

The educational benefits of screencast videos apply to marketing and training initiatives. Screencast videos can be an effective choice if you are looking to demonstrate new product features to your customers or employees.

2) You are looking to compliment your current marketing content

Let’s say you’ve built a great awareness campaign for your product, crafting the perfect content to get your target customer interested. You are swimming in great leads that want to learn more about your product, and you want to give them the information they need to convert interest into sales. But you’re worried about fiddling with your current campaign because its working so well, and anyways, you read somewhere that the best marketing videos have one clearly defined objective .

Take a lesson from Jean-Claude Van Damme and split your marketing content with your marketing objectives. Support your great awareness campaign with an educational screencast video that prepares your customer to purchase. If it’s good enough for JCVD, it’s good enough for your company.

3)You build mobile apps or software as a service (SaaS)

Screencast 3

Having a screencast video to support your existing explainer video is especially important if you build mobile apps or SaaS, where the proper education of your feature set can help lock-in current customers. A screencast video is perfect for demonstrating complex features without a lot of explanation, or proving just how intuitive your product is compared to your competitors. If it really only takes two clicks, show, don’t tell. Providing your customers with the right information will make them happier to use your product, and empower them to advocate for it on your behalf.

4) Your customer support needs support

Customer Support

Sometimes a demonstration is the easiest way to help your customers solve a problem. A screencast video can help you deliver the attention your customers deserve at a scale that won’t cripple your customer support team. If you are aching from a high volume of support requests for the same issue, your prescription is a screencast video that is on call, 24/7.

While screencast videos are generally cheaper to produce than fully animated or live action videos, that doesn’t mean you can skimp on quality. A low res screencast video done with free software might be okay when you are surfing YouTube for some Excel tips, but it’s not good enough to represent your product or brand. If your video isn’t engaging, it will have a hard time edutaining. The right screencast video, with enhanced visuals and professional voice over work, can turn a simple website demo into this: