Do you have a story that can be told visually? Or, do you have a topic you want to discuss, but it needs some visual aids? Or maybe, you want to inform someone about a complex topic that needs to be broken down and explained. If you find yourself wanting to share information with your audience in a more engaging and immersive format, you may want to consider using a slideshow format.
“Most people respond to visual content, and they respond strongly. Marketers know that, which is why they use images, videos, and infographics online.” ~ Jayson DeMers, Founder & CEO, AudienceBloom.
Recently, I read a variety of articles stressing the importance of visual components in marketing and communication materials. With today’s technology there are a variety of options, but I am going to focus on slide shows, and even more specifically SoundSlides.
SoundSlides is a great platform for presenting material, and adding both audio and visuals. The easy-to-use setup allows users to drag in images and audio to manipulate until the ideal version is created. SoundSlides can be used for more simple projects, such as displaying a variety of photos with a song.
I read a recent article (Marketing : Slideshows Can be Commercials by Jasmine Star) that discusses the artist’s use of slideshows. Star uses the technology to develop commercials that can be shared with her clients. She focuses on engagement and wedding photography, which lends itself to making a really elegant and powerful slideshow. It is very valuable for Star to share her photos, combined with appropriate music, with her clients who then share the slideshow with friends and family passing along her name and business.
But, SoundSlides isn’t just for users that produce photos or primarily visual content. The platforms can really be used to demonstrate anything from photos to PowerPoint presentations. I personally, see a lot of benefit in the platform for explaining more complex topics. Users can develope a PowerPoint illustrating a topic, and then use audio to explain and add insight to the slides. I could see this platform being very useful for ‘how-to’ material or even instructors teaching online classes. You can have a presentation and a lecture all in one. Plus, users can pull in other images to demonstrate what is being discussed in the lecture. Users can make an explanatory slideshow for the process of washing a car, or maybe completing a new hair or nail style. The final product can be easily distributed to clients or shared via social media.
In addition to being able to explain and relay information, SoundSlides allows users to tell a story which is very important for content marketing. Some news organizations, such as NPR, have enlisted the use of SoundSlides to put together jounalistic stories. Many news distributors enjoy this tool because the format still relies on the storyteller to explain the slideshow of images. Also, SoundSlide’s projects are relatively easy to produce and do not have all the intricacies of video editing. In addition, a video normally takes away the need for the storyteller because it shows what the viewer needs to understand. SoundSlides is a middle ground between video and text with accompanying images.
To give an example I have attached a SoundSlides presentation below that I interviewed my siblings to reminisce about our favorite summer vacation place. It was an easy to develope project that my family really appreciated, and shared with their friends and family.
You view my SoundSlides project by clicking the image below.
How the Project was Created:
- I recorded an audio clip of my fondest memories of Canada. I then asked my brother and sister to do the same.
- I took the three audio files and placed them into Adobe Audition, where I combined and edited them all. I also included a forest noise audio file to be heard in the background. After fully editing the audio, I exported it as an MP3 file format so it is compatible with SoundSlides.
- Next, I gathered up all the photos I could find of my siblings and I, while in Canada along with other miscellaneous pictures of Canada. I then scanned all the pictures that I didn’t have on digital file and placed them into a folder on my computer. Next, I added my digital photos as well. When working with digital photos make sure they are saved as JPEG file format to ensure compatibility with SoundSlides.
- For my purposes I used a trial version of the software. It was easy to download and install on my laptop. Once installed I selected Create a Project, which you can see in the screen shot below.
- I then uploaded my MP3 file. Next, I uploaded my folder of pictures I intended to use. Next is the labor intensive part. I had to match up the audio with the video which included endless length and arrangement adjustments.
The result was a sentimental slideshow that my family loved. It is a really easy to use platform, and I encourage you to experiment and see how you can leverage it in your communication materials.