First came the chalkboard, then came the whiteboard, now comes.. the Lightboard?
Things evolve over time, and the age-old tradition of writing things on surfaces in front of an audience is no exception. Engaging with a chalkboard (and for some of us, a whiteboard) feels about as old as time itself. It brings up core memories of childhood, and of first experiences as a member of a captive audience.
Perhaps that’s why the whiteboard hasn’t endured the test of time as a content marketing tool — most of us have simply reached our lifetime quota of whiteboard hours…
Jokes aside, if you’re a content marketer, the real problem you run into when shooting a video with a whiteboard is trying to showcase the written content and the presenter at the same time. A speaker illustrating their points while they speak is an undeniably helpful tool in a presentation, but a video in which the presenter turns away from the camera is distracting at best and a dealbreaker at worst.
The Lightboard allows for the visual advantages of a whiteboard without the break in connection between the audience and the presenter. How’s that? Because the content is presented in the middle of the camera and the speaker.
What are Lightboards?
Lightboards are fancy pieces of glass that allow a presenter to deliver a whiteboard-style presentation while maintaining a conversational stance in front of the camera. Sometimes confused with a transparent whiteboard or glassboard — which are essentially just whiteboards made of glass — lightboards are stuffed with internal lighting that makes the writing glow and prevents glare when captured on video.
Chances are, you’ve seen a video that features one by now. They’re taking instructional videos by storm and offer a fresh, more engaging alternative to the standard powerpoint presentation.
How Can I Use a Lightboard for my B2B Brand?
Like a whiteboard, most people would think of an academic setting when they think of a lightboard. However, B2B companies are increasingly turning to these tools to create first class marketing content.
A great example of a company who would benefit from this is a software company. These firms often have esoteric ideas that can be difficult to express verbally, but can be communicated more effectively using symbols and drawings. Even better, by communicating these ideas by speaking and drawing at the same time, they can tap into several learning methods at once and ensure the message is being delivered to their audience.
This allows the speaker to emphasize parts of their drawing, or jot down their notes in a specific order, that otherwise wouldn’t show if the audience were looking at the drawing alone.
Just check out this example from IBM.
These companies are already chock full of talented presenters — why not throw them in front of the camera (with a lightboard in between) and allow them to do their thing. You don’t even have to be a great artist — though it certainly doesn’t hurt.
The Cost of Lightboarding?
There’s some upfront cost to consider when purchasing a lightboard. You can build your own for much cheaper, but a professional, prebuilt rig will run in the 3K to 9K range depending on size.
This website from a Northwestern University professor gives a great overview of lightboards, as well as instructions on how to build your own. Revolution Lightboards are a favorite among pros looking for a pre-built option.
That said, the upfront investment could pay serious dividends when you realize how easy it is to create polished content straight out of the box. For comparison’s sake, think of the cost of an animated explainer video to showcase your product — a single minute of content could run in the same ballpark as a brand new lightboard.
Investing in a lightboard allows endless opportunities to create new content with the flip of a switch and the tap of the record button. New YouTube series coming to mind, perhaps?
We saved the most important concern for last: Do I have to write backwards?
Thankfully, the answer is no. You can exhale now. Many assume that presenters are writing backwards when they watch a lightboard video. Pick any video off YouTube and you’re likely to find a comment complimenting the presenter on this skill.
In reality, the image is flipped in video software during the editing process. It’s a 3 second edit that any video editing software is capable of.
So, Are You Convinced Yet?
A polished way to engage your audience, at the flip of a switch, for the one time cost that would have traditionally gone to a single animated video — what’s not to like? Get the markers ready and hand ‘em off to your most doodle inclined PM. You’re only limited by your own imagination!