By: Mikal Belicove
Brainshark Inc. has just opened up an ocean of access to its on-demand multimedia customers by introducing a new feature that enables businesses and entrepreneurs to share their PowerPoint presentations on YouTube–at no cost to the participating company.
Started 10 years ago, Brainshark provides a web-based Software as a Service platform that allows your business to create and share on-demand, multimedia content, and access deep metrics associated with it. The Massachusetts-based company has built a polished online platform that walks you though converting PowerPoint slides–as well as other materials such as PDF files–into powerful voice-enriched Flash presentations that are suitable for YouTube, your own website or company blog, and even e-mail marketing campaigns. A year ago this month, Brainshark launched myBrainshark–a free version of its software well-suited to entrepreneurs and small business users. Brainshark has long lurked in the waters of multimedia communication for savvy businesses that appreciate the benefits of publishing their PowerPoint presentations on their own website or blog, accompanied by audio and voice narration, and viewed through an easy-to-use player.
But the real beauty of Brainshark and myBrainshark may just be in your ability to tap into deep reporting metrics after you distribute your content. The toothy platform lets you see who and how many people are watching your presentation, how long each viewer stays with the show, where they’re watching (by country as well as by state in the U.S.) and much more. This is valuable information for your sales and marketing departments, which will get an accurate notion as to how buyers and others are receiving the content and how it is influencing buying cycles.
And now Brainshark for YouTube–introduced to the public just yesterday afternoon–is a free service for Brainshark’s enterprise customers as well as those who take advantage of the myBrainshark.com site. Using only a PowerPoint deck and a phone (or a computer microphone), you can immediately create high-impact business content that’s ready to post on YouTube. No muss, no fuss.
This new service makes it possible for anyone who possesses the basic skill set to create a PowerPoint presentation to successfully tap into the power of high-impact online video marketing by publishing and distributing it as a YouTube file. In short, myBrainshark makes it possible for your company to engage in a feeding frenzy of online video marketing, greatly expanding the reach of your message and how people consume it. Think of it as the democratization of multimedia presentations.
Brainshark and myBrainshark presentations can be viewed online at any time and from anywhere in the world by your customers, your sales staff, HR professionals for training purposes, or anyone else who can benefit from self-guided presentations. Better yet, the multimedia presentations can also be viewed on mobile devices including smartphones and iPads, and combine PowerPoint slides, documents, photos, background music and voice narration that can be added–via phone or computer microphone–from a continent away.
With yesterday’s announcement, myBrainshark users who have a YouTube account can upload PowerPoint decks to myBrainshark and add their voice, and then seamlessly upload the resulting presentations as video files to YouTube–with titles, descriptions and tags intact. Then it’s just a matter of publishing a link to the audience you have targeted–employees, sales prospects, customers, partners and all those who influence your business–enabling them to experience your content at their convenience, whenever and wherever they want. In addition to viewing the YouTube video, your audience can still watch the multimedia presentation on myBrainshark too.
Like everything else, there are several downsides, but they are minor. For one thing, you must abide by YouTube’s 15-minute rule, which means your file can run no longer than 15 minutes if you’re posting it on YouTube. But that problem is solved by the fact that, when uploaded on Brainshark.com, the ocean’s the limit on the length of your presentation.
The only other annoyance–and again, it’s slight–is the fact that because of YouTube’s aspect ratio, your Brainshark presentation won’t fill the entire screen, leaving gutters on either side.
To get started on myBrainshark–taking advantage of the site and ability to publish presentations to YouTube–follow these simple steps:
1. Upload your PowerPoint presentation:
2. Add voice to the presentation using the provided telephone number or your computer microphone:
3. Edit your presentation’s properties, including title, description, categories and tags, and choose the option to publish to your YouTube channel or account:
That’s it–your voice-enriched presentation is ready for viewing on myBrainshark and (if you’ve opted for this) as a video on YouTube.
myBrainshark is available in three flavors: Free, Pro, and Pro Trainer. Advanced features related to privacy and enhanced reporting are available in the Pro edition, while the Pro Trainer edition includes eLearning features such as the ability to insert test questions and applying scoring, issue certificates of completion upon your viewers meeting your predefined requirements, the ability to integrate courses with your learning management system, and more.
For more information, visit http://my.brainshark.com.