We are way past the era of long, boring meetings and endless presentations. Successful companies have tipped over toward more hybrid organizational structures based on their organization’s specific needs and agile methodologies.

For this to work, though, you need to ensure your whole team is on the same page and adequately prepared; for that, training videos are crucial.

Be it employee onboarding or compliance protocols, training videos can help you deliver information through formats like how-tos and tutorials. You get to effectively communicate what your employees need to know in an engaging, thorough way.

However, mistakes during planning and production for this type of content often waste time and resources. So, we’ve developed this guide to help you avoid that happening to you.

What Effective Training Videos Bring to the Table

Much like with traditional video marketing content, it helps to clearly understand the practical benefits of training videos from the get-go — as it can help you focus on the crucial elements that you’ll have to pay attention to when crafting your own.

Here are some of the main advantages of using videos in your training programs:

Effective Information Delivery Medium

Video content is one of the primary types of media used to provide and access information in today’s digital landscape.

People are particularly receptive to videos and it’s no wonder. Videos can systematize a process, lesson or policy in a way that makes it easier for the viewer to understand, as it requires less effort than texts or just audio explanations, for example.

Availability and Ease of Use

Once production is done, you can store and watch videos whenever you want or need them.

The best training videos are those you can make once and then reuse many times. This reduces expenses, as the bulk of your costs will appear during the piece’s production. Moreover, you will save the time wasted on scheduling seminars and going over presentations later on, as long as your content remains relevant and valuable to your workforce.

Accessibility and Inclusivity

Fortunately, most businesses today are dedicated to building more inclusive environments, and a crucial aspect of that is being able to offer the same tools for everyone on your team.

By using training video content as part of your workforce’s onboarding and development initiatives, you can add options such as captions, localized audio, and inclusive visual elements that adapt the content to the needs, preferences and abilities of every person involved.

Consistency and Dependability

A video does not change; it delivers the required information efficiently and in the same way every time.

People are indispensable, but humans are not perfect. By relying on already-made content, you can remove the chance that something vital will be missed during the training process through human error.

Besides, having access to training videos lessens the burden on your learning and development (L&D) team considerably. And you know what they say, “Happy L&D team, happy life.”

A Primer for Making Effective Training Videos

So, training videos are great, and most businesses can benefit from developing and implementing them. However, that’s only true if you do it right.

Compelling training videos can take many shapes and sizes. However, here’s a quick step-by-step checklist you can follow to get started.

Selecting your topic.

It sounds like a no-brainer, but there’s really a bit more to it than making a video about a topic or process you need your employees to know about.

To determine if your topic is a good fit, ensure it’s useful, relevant, and essential for your employees in terms of the tasks they need to accomplish.

Practicality is the name of the game here. You should try and limit information to only one topic per video, as addressing multiple subjects can get confusing really quickly. If you need to cover various things related to a task, it might do to keep everything in a single video. Otherwise, you’ll probably want to make a series that can be consumed progressively.

Choosing a fitting format for your training video.

This will be directly related to the topic you picked. Different kinds of training videos imply different levels of time and effort, so don’t forget to consider the resources available, your timeline and the issue you are hoping to tackle with this piece of content.

With all of that in mind, here are the most popular formats around. If you are just getting started with training videos for your organization, you’ll probably want to stick to one of these:

  • Screencast videos consist of a recording of your computer screen. This format is convenient when you have to show someone how to use a new piece of software or give instructions on how to navigate the back end of a website.
  • A micro video is a very short video that lasts from five to fifteen seconds, used to demonstrate a single simple process or share a quick idea. It can prove to be the right choice if you have several simple procedures to cover but still want individual pieces your employees can access as needed instead of sitting through a single, long piece.
  • Explainer videos incorporate text and animated graphics to get the information across in engaging and effective ways. Although animated explainers require technical and artistic knowledge to create, it’s a great way to engage your audience and provide interesting content. Ideal for creating evergreen training video series that will remain relevant for a long time in your company.
  • In presenter videos, someone acts as a “host” and explains to the viewers how a particular product, service, or process works. A great choice when you want a video with a personal-yet-casual touch.
  • Role-played videos offer a similar format but are a little bit more complex. Here, a scenario is acted out to help viewers visualize and better understand how a particular interaction or process should go.

The value of role-playing lies in being able to train viewers on how to handle situations such as sales calls, technical support processes, and other social interactions because it helps them get acquainted with the actual circumstances.

  • In interactive videos, viewers are asked to respond to situations in a “choose your own adventure” style and then see how things play out depending on their decision.

While more resource-intensive than other types of training videos, interactive videos provide an engaging way to get your viewers involved, which results in a more didactic learning process. By using this format, you can empower your workplace, as it prompts them to make decisions and experience the outcomes, imitating real-life situations.

In the second article of this two-part series, we will discuss the production phase and other insights about developing effective training videos.