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Top 10 Tips to Create Engaging Training Videos

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Businesses experience growing pains as they stretch beyond their original boundaries and limits. One of the primary ways to alleviate the stress of rapid internal team growth is by creating consistent and reusable training videos.

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Self-teaching with video is at an all-time high, with a Pew research study finding that 87% of people turn to YouTube when learning a new skill. This holds true in the office too, and it helps with employee retention. 65% of employees report forgetting information just a week after a training session and need to refresh themselves.

Training videos systematize a process, lesson, or policy and remove the chance that something vital will be missed in a presentation. But how easy is it to make a quality training video for your expanding business?

If you think you need specialized skills or experience to make a great training video, we have great news for you. With Animoto, all you need is a few minutes to get familiar with the drag-and-drop system, a few videos you have recorded, and to read our getting started guide to answer any remaining questions, and you’re ready to go. In the time it takes to schedule a meeting to discuss training, you can solve the problem for good.

Benefits of using a training video over a presentation

What makes a training video the better choice for growing businesses and entrepreneurs looking to bring on new staff?

Anytime Access

While a presentation over a lunch break can be difficult to arrange for all involved participants, videos can be watched at any time and as often as the viewer wants.

Affordability

After the time spent creating the video, it is free to watch and distribute. You don’t have to cut time out of everybody’s schedule for an in-person meeting to hear a presenter speak, and you don’t have to hire a subject matter expert to present the information.

Accessibility

Video is a useful tool because it has built-in accessibility options for members of your staff that might be deaf or hard of hearing, have learning disabilities, or need to watch something multiple times in order to fully retain it. With Animoto’s text tools you can easily create closed captions and descriptions of what is being said in the video.

Training On-Demand

New hires don’t come in all at once; rather, they tend to trickle in. But if your onboarding process relies heavily on training videos, the burden on HR is lightened considerably. Instead of having a hiring director say the same thing and present the same information a half dozen times each month, you can simply share the videos to each trainee once.

Consistency Over Time

Once created, a video does not change: it perfectly presents the information in the exact same way every time. People are not this consistent, and things can happen that disrupt the message, like staff turnover, illness, and simple forgetfulness. With a video training system in place, you make sure everybody gets the same experience, whether during onboarding, learning new policies, or receiving a lesson on a new system.

Duplicate and Update

After you create your first training video, you'll have a template to quickly and easily create many more. Edit your existing training videos as your internal processes evolve over time. Create multiple training videos for different departments throughout the company by duplicating and editing your video.

The forms, uses, and functions of online training videos

A training video can be a great many things, from a simple “how-to” tutorial to an in-depth, multi-part online lesson. Knowing your options when creating your own video training content can help prevent tedious repetition for your viewers.

Whichever of these types of training videos is most important for you, keep in mind that varying the types and the focus of the videos can enhance the training experience.

Corporate Training Videos

Typically used to establish consistent practices across a brand with multiple avenues of sales and marketing, corporate training videos can be brief or long.

Educational Videos

Educational training videos aren’t lessons on arithmetic or reading; rather, they tend to teach a process, policy, or strategy that the business uses. Often these videos are associated with onboarding new hires, but they can also be used to train a workforce on a new piece of equipment or a new sales strategy.

Employee Training Videos

Employee training videos are typically used to onboard new staff and detail information like sick leave policy, vacation time, and other benefits.

Health and Safety Training Videos

Useful when equipment in the workplace can be dangerous, these videos act as a general PSA and a way to protect against liability.

Customer Service Training Videos

Systematizing the policies around customer service can create a consistent experience for your customers and make life easier for those working in the customer service department. These training videos often act as a sort of flow chart, directing which responses to take given a certain problem or customer complaint and identifying who to pass the issue onto if it persists.

Software Screencast

A screencast is a recording of a computer screen, and training screencasts are usually used to teach someone how to use a piece of software or to give instruction on how to navigate the back end of a website. Screencasts are very useful if your business revolves around software.

Top 10 tips to create effective training videos

Now that we’ve covered the importance, value, and versatility training videos can offer for an up-and-coming business, it’s time to dive into the most important things to keep in mind when you create your own training videos.

1. Pick a single topic for each training video

If you cover something super broad in a single video, you’re liable to lose your viewer, and they’ll probably have to take time to rewatch the video. Save time and make it easy to start and stop a viewing session by keeping each video to a single, specific topic. Don’t be afraid to break an idea down into multiple videos, either. With every plan Animoto offers, including the totally free one, you can create as many videos as you want at no extra cost.

2. Know your audience

“Know thy audience” is a commandment of marketing departments everywhere, but it also applies to training video creation. Understanding the knowledge base of your audience allows you to either get more technical in your training videos or pare back the language so that it’s understandable to anyone. Whether onboarding, retraining existing staff, or creating a video memo for the C-suite: keep your audience in mind when creating training videos and tailor content to their needs, preferences, level of knowledge, and familiarity with the subject matter.

3. Choose a training video format

The format of your training videos doesn’t have to be the same no matter what. You can alter the format to better fit the audience or the subject matter you are covering. In particular, consider using Screencasts when your training video is about a piece of software or a computer process that needs to be documented. If it’s a retraining issue for existing staff, it might be wise to use a corporate training style to provide a consistent message.

4. Create a script and storyboard

Winging it and speaking from the heart on camera is great for vloggers and internet personalities, but it can be useful to have a script for everybody else. Writing a script doesn’t require being a screenwriter any more than creating a training video requires that you went to film school: you just need to know the video’s goals, write them down, and then break down the broad subjects you want to cover. If you find that your list is getting long, make each of those subjects its own video and create a series.

5. Keep your training videos short and direct

We’ve all heard that brevity is the soul of wit, but it’s also the key to a successful training video. Consistently, shorter videos on social media perform better, and that holds true for the corporate world too. A shorter video is easier to remember and easier to rewatch. If you have a 3-minute time limit, you’re liable to cut any unnecessary stuff out, which will make the video better and easier to watch!

6. Record your training video with every tool you have available

If you’re making a training video yourself, using your cell phone’s camera and microphone is an acceptable option. But if you have access to better tools, using them can upgrade the quality of your training footage and make the rest of the process easier. A nicer camera, a quality microphone, or a ring light can all be worthy investments. Remember that the best training videos can be created once and reused many times, so don’t skimp on the creation process. Spending a little extra time and money getting the best quality raw materials will pay dividends later.

7. Edit your video to make it interesting

Once you have the raw materials, assembling them and editing them is the next step, and it’s not one you can skip. While you could just plug your videos into Animoto, export the video and be done with it, editing your videos offers a tremendous boost to viewer understanding and information retention. Consider adding transitions between different clips, an intro and an outro for the video, stock music or images, and using Animoto templates to enhance your raw videos.

8. Rely on text to enhance the message

We have great resources for creating stylish text in your videos when creating a training video in Animoto. You can add text to your videos to create conclusions, summarize previously discussed points or videos, or emphasize transitions to new topics. You can also use text to create closed captions, which can benefit viewers who struggle with hearing or prefer a reading-heavy learning style.

9. Keep the video engaging and interactive

Interacting with the audience can be difficult through video. However, it is still very possible, and it can make an average training video fun to watch and much more engaging while also improving information retention. Engaging with the audience in video format can involve several different things, like jokes and humor, asking rhetorical questions, and even posing questions without giving an answer, encouraging your audience to draw their own conclusion.

10. Supplement your training videos with other resources

While we want you to use Animoto to make the best possible video you can, we’re not going to say training videos are the only way to train and teach your workforce. Supplement the videos you create with different learning tools to enhance their effect.

Give your team the ability to watch the video as many times as they want, let them download and print off screenshots of the text summaries you included, or include links to your series of training videos in digital onboarding documents. However you choose to do it, don’t be afraid of bringing in as many extra resources as you need.

For even more resources, check out our list of video tips.

Editing training videos in Animoto

Once you’ve learned how to create your tutorial videos, it’s time to get to work editing and refining them. The goal is to reuse these videos many times, so keep quality in mind and follow these steps to make them the best they can be.

Step 1: Start with a training video template

Animoto has plenty of excellent templates that deal with training, tutorials, and the like. Choose one that most closely fits your needs and modify it to work for you.

Step 2: Upload your photos and video clips, or choose from our stock image library

Sometimes, you don’t get every shot you need to when filming, but we’ve got you covered! Just use the Animoto Stock Library for illustrations, still images, and video to supplement your content.

Step 3: Edit your training video

Once you have all the bits and pieces needed in the Animoto workspace, you can start to arrange them in the order you want, add transitions, cut and resize the clips to make sure the most important bits are being shown, apply different effects, and add images.

Step 4: Add Audio like music or Voice-over

Add or adjust music based on the tone and mood of your video. If you didn’t record yourself speaking in your video, you can add a voice-over within Animoto. Check out our complete guide to using voice-over to learn the different ways you can record, upload, and add voice-over to your video.

Step 5: Add text overlays and annotations

Before you export your video, go back through and add text. Take your video a step further by using text styles to emphasize the most important parts of the message.

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Step 6: Share or download your training video

All Animoto plans include unlimited video creation and social sharing.

Examples of effective training video content

If you are still unsure how you want your training videos to look and sound, take a peek at some of our lessons and our how-to training templates to see examples you can build off of.

Training videos perform better with Animoto

Whatever you are making your training videos for, you can be sure that using Animoto will make the process seamless and easy. That way, you’ll be able to get back to the work of your business quickly.

Keep in mind that training videos are most effective when they’re visually striking, short, and well-edited. For more information about Animoto and how to get started, look no further than our helpful tutorial and start making videos with Animoto today!