Do you know which is the second largest search engine after Google in 2018? You will be surprised to know. It is YouTube.
Why is that? Videos connect to human psyche like no other medium on the planet. The same psyche works with movies. And with the world going digital, online videos are naturally more popular than offline. YouTube receives more than 1.5 billion logged in users per month, feeding over 1 billion hours of video to users each day (that’s right.. billion)!
The paradigm has shifted — from people merely consuming content to they uploading their own content. From individuals to organizations, everyone wants to create their own video channel these days.
This is where separating quality video content from the mediocre ones available on internet requires special attention. The competition is increasing each day, and to stand apart, you need to do things differently and smartly. Specially when it comes to the corporate training space. For the stakes are just too high, and more than a one-time ROI, videos have to score high on repeat value.
Here are 7 smart tips to help you create top-notch learning & training videos:
#1 Align all business stakeholders and get the purpose agreed upon
Before venturing out to create your training video (i.e. before you set up, shoot, dub, or edit), talk to as many stakeholders within your organizational setup about the video’s purpose. What is your expectation from the viewer after they watch your video?
Once the video creation process starts, you are all caught up in a whirlwind — shooting, re-shooting, re-framing, editing — and if the final output is not aligned with your initial vision, you will only regret wasting a lot of money, and more importantly, your precious time.
Ensuring your stakeholders (from the internal/external subject matter expert to the learning & development head) are aligned on the same page is important because there are a lot of people that are involved at different stages in video creation process.
How will you do that? Discussions after discussions may sometimes be distracting, therefore it’s best to create internal polls or questionnaire using Google Forms or SurveyMonkey.
Here are some key questions & parameters you may consider while drafting your questionnaire:
1. Who is your target audience? What kind of buyer persona you are hunting for?
2. What is your primary goal? Is it selfless dispersion of knowledge or you somewhere want to cross-sell?
- Do you intend to attract new leads by pulling viewer interest in your training materials?
- Are you trying to increase online sales by promoting your e-learning product?
- Do you aim to share the success story of one of your customers who were helped with your learning modules?
- Are you trying to drag audience attention to your product by sharing a viral content or a motivational message?
3. Where do you intend to make the video live? Before repurposing on other channels, finalize on one target location. Are you placing the video on Facebook or on a landing page?
4. What is your publishing timeline? Of course, you will create videos differently when it’s due next week, over the others where you sufficiently have a few months to work on. More than budget, it’s the creative scope that varies based on your timeline.
5. What is your budget? You can offset the excessive costs incurred while creating videos only when you define a set budget beforehand. And a lot of research will be required to keep the budget in check.
6. What are your creative roadblocks? Do you want a live action video or an animated microlearning module? Do you need a professional designer or graphics expert? Ignoring even small things like lack of a makeup artist at the sets can sometimes spoil the whole video presentation.
7. What is the KPI you related with your video? What would be your definition of this video to get successful — both in terms of metric sheet numbers and the value add?
#2 Pick your video format
- Animated videos
- Professionally shot videos
- Screen grab videos
- Live stream videos
- Company culture videos
- FAQ videos
- Personalized videos
- Instructional designing videos
- Microlearning videos
Don’t attempt to make your videos cater to everyone in the beginning. Target specific audience with specific objective.
#3 Short or Long? Here’s what we recommend
We are living in the age of microlearning. People have short attention spans, and more importantly, extremely busy schedules. And then, people have a lot to do online these days and any long video for training will fail to get the attention.
In most cases, it’s advisable therefore to keep the video short. Experts say a video that doesn’t engage in the first 5-10 seconds will lose 1/5 of your viewers. According to Vidyard, videos that are less than 90 seconds in length see an average retention rate of 59%, while videos over 30 minutes retain only 14% of viewers.
But there is another side to it. If you are creating a video on how to build a website or discussing a code in details, that cannot be wrapped up in a 3-minute session. So, whether to keep your video content short or long in length is a decision you must take keeping your target customers in mind.
So, below is our recommendation:
- If you are introducing a concept, keep it under 2 min.
- If you intend to explain a concept, keep it under 3 min.
- If you are giving a sample walkthrough of an already understood concept, keep it somewhere between 2.5 min.
- If you are going for in-depth explanation about a case study topic, instead of going for a 45-min lecture session, break the video content into 9 or 10 different segments.
#4 Ensure your Videos work well even without sound
Have you noted the recent approach Facebook has taken with the news feed videos? You play a video and then keep scrolling the feed for other pieces of content — the video will still be available at one corner of the screen. Most of the people mute the video and then scroll down for more updates to manage their attention better.
If you are planning to share your video on social media, ensure that the video is somehow able to convey your message even while it’s muted. Viewers may not always have earphones ready by their side, and a vast majority of videos are watched without sound.
#5 Have an assessment after the video
How do you even know if your training video is making sense? People can simply come to your video and then bounce off with a yawn, while you keep assuming the number of hits are increasing. No, you need to keep the audience engaged right till the end and even have a short summary or assessment at last for two reasons:
- It will be a kind of recap, so that your mind does not forget in the seventh minute what was discussed in the second minute (think millennials and reduced attention span)
- When you have a short quiz or poll at the end of video (which is what new age corporate training companies like Disprz are doing), you are bound to pay attention — that you are expected to answer a question will not let you yawn!
#6 Create a dynamic impression within the first 10 seconds
They say most of the viewers make their judgment about whether to continue watching a video or not within the first ten seconds. The first 5 to 10 seconds are therefore extremely crucial. It can make or break your brand as a training content provider.
Position yourself as an aspiring learner who has just typed a long tail keyword searching for a specific answer, and ask the question “why should I watch this particular video in answer to my question?” as an audience. Should you watch it because it gives you the direct answer to your specific problem, or it merely promises to entertain you for the next 5 minutes, or for that matter, can be added under watch later playlist. Match your answer with your friends and see if the aggregated answers align well to an extent.
#7 Measure your engagement. Integrate smart analytics
Do not rely solely on view count. That will not show the correct picture. Analyzing and drawing insights from back-end metrics like conversion rates and engagement levels would be more helpful. Unless you keep measuring performance as to what is working and what is not, there is no point in going on investing all your time, effort and money (remember, creating video training content is expensive). Disprz has integrated three important analytics to track learner engagement:
- Retention Graph
This feature includes a drop-off chart which tells how many people watched which segments of the video. Say, if after 10 seconds, 1 user dropped off, the analytics graph will show the plot where exactly the disengagement happened. It also shows how many times a particular segment was viewed.
- Question-level analytics
This analytics feature helps to check which questions on the video worked. Quizzes are inserted in between the videos and the graph tracks how many users attempted the questions and how many of them answered in first attempt or repeated attempts thereafter. This is a unique way to assess what part of the video a learner was most engaged in.
- Duration per view, Number of likes, Number of positive comments
This metric (and they are self-explanatory) shows real-world learner participation & engagement through features like watched duration, total views, last viewed on, and number of likes & comments, thus reflecting on the actual involvement of a user. The more involved a learner is during a training video, the better they can grasp the learning module that is being explained.
Does this article solve all your questions related to training video content? Do you have any other idea or approach related to the best practices that should be kept in mind when creating video content for corporate learning and training? Let us know through the comments section below.
Co-founder & COO of Disprz – Mobile Learning Company of the year 2017
A serial entrepreneur with a track record of taking category-defining products across media, formal education and enterprise learning to both emerging and developed markets across the world.