Masstech Marketing Director Nik Forman shares an easy way to make delicious savoury pastries – and shares his thoughts on the all-round usefulness of the humble How To video.

How to make sausage rolls:

Step1: Go here.
The end.

There you go, that was easy wasn’t it? Thanks Jamie Oliver*.

And it was so easy because Jamie literally shows us how to do it, simply and clearly, to the extent that even I was able to follow along and achieve the desired result (i.e. well-fed, appropriately socially-distanced friends, and no food poisoning!)

As a communications tool, the How To video is highly efficient, both socially and professionally, and they work for both instructional and demonstration purposes. Yes, we’ve all seen some badly made How Tos that miss the point, or are completely baffling after Step 1 (if you’ve ever tried following along with certain ‘how to tie a bow tie’ videos you’ll know exactly what I mean). But a well-delivered, simple and logically sequenced How To video really works, not only for step-by-step instructions, but also as a really efficient platform for showcasing a product or solution.

Obviously this isn’t a new thing – demonstration videos have been a stalwart of garden-centres and department stores for years now, a stand-in for the live demo – but this form of visual, remote, consume-on-demand content is more appropriate now than ever, and (as highlighted recently by James Whitebread) is likely to remain so even when post-Covid normality resumes. And it’s especially valid for software solutions such as Kumulate.

We’ve already made a series of short How To videos about Kumulate, demonstrating some of the ‘Wow’ features (the features that make folk go ‘Wow’ when our teams are demonstrating them, like Federated Search, smart marker & segment based Partial File Restore and Simu-Scrub of proxies ) – you can see them on our website, or our YouTube channel.

How To … Partial File Restore, from any cloud or local storage tier

We’ll be releasing many more in the coming weeks, including previews of our soon-to-be-released Kumulate Gateway and Gallery modules. 

As an introduction to our solutions, and some of the cool things they do, a series of quick 90-120 second videos works really well, and gives people who are in the discovery or comparison stages of their project a way to assess suitability before having to engage with potential vendors. Naturally we also provide tailored demos (in person when pandemics permit, or via web conferencing right now) once a client decides to investigate to the next stage (if you’re interested in a tailored demo, please email us).

But demo videos are also excellent training tools, of course. We’re currently working on incorporating this style of video into our support mechanisms, creating integrated and web-based help systems that will enable our users to discover more about Kumulate, without leaving their workstation, via simple, easy to follow screen captured video tutorials. A well-structured and logically sequenced script is of course key to clarity of message, and we’re working closely with our customers to help us ensure that our message and presentation are as user-friendly as possible.

For those interested in our toolset, we use Camtasia for screen capture and some basic editing, plus Adobe Premiere Pro for more complex edits and output, and a couple of other tools for things like captioning and graphics.

So keep checking our web site and YouTube channel for new and updated videos – we have many more demo and training content on the way. And if you’re very lucky, next time I might even share Jamie’s my recipe for chocolate cake.

*Other TV chefs are available.

Jamie’s only looks better because he had proper lighting. Probably.

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