stickman wonderingWe’ve all heard of online or web videos, but what specifically is a screencast video and how does it differ from other videos?

A screencast is a ‘screen capture’ – a recording of your computer screen.  Anything that can be seen on your screen can be captured and produced into a video. These are referred to as “screencasts”.  You can compare it to taking a cast of a footprint. These videos are like a cast of your computer screen.

Traditionally, screencasts have been used to create “how-to” videos to teach others how to use a software program.  Screencasts are a very effective teaching tool, as they give the viewer the feeling that they’re ‘looking over your shoulder’ as they learn. Many companies use these teaching videos as part of their employee training.


Screencast videos are also ideal for giving a website visitor a tour of your site to help them find product information, get help in the FAQ section, or to demonstrate how to order products or contact you.

Because of their low cost, screencasts are being used more frequently as a marketing tool to share information, photos and expertise as a way to engage, entertain and build the “know, like and trust” factor.

Screencasts have many uses – from education to promotion and are more affordable than the costly live “tv-studio-type” productions, or the custom hand-drawn videos that you’ve likely seen.  This is why they’re ideal for small business owners who don’t have large marketing budgets.

For many people, it’s comforting to know that they can benefit from the use of video without having to be “in” them. I like to refer to screencasts as “videos for the camera-shy”,  but it’s worth noting that “live” video clips taken with a camcorder can also be included in a screencast.

Screencast Solutions uses Camtasia Studio, the ‘cadillac’ of screen capture software, to record and produce screencast videos. Add  PowerPoint to the mix and they become attention-getting, attractive and affordable. With the addition of voice narration, music, zooms, pans and captions, you have a compelling marketing product to entice and help you build your brand.

Have you used screencast videos or considered using them?  Please feel free to share below.


Debbie Lapointe, owner of Screencast Solutions, is a professional screencast video producer and the first Virtual Assistant in Canada to offer screencast video services exclusively.