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How to Produce eLearning Videos in a Smart, Compelling Way

May 29, 2020

eLearning video production

The days of packing your employees into a conference room for hour-long training sessions are a thing of the past. 

Technology has made eLearning and employee training easier and more interactive than ever before. But your employees' eLearning experience is only as good as the content you put in front of them.

If you’re hoping to take advantage of the benefits technology offers for employee training, you’ll need high-caliber content to match. Creating an interactive eLearning experience that holds employee attention while educating them can be tricky, but it’s not impossible.

How do you make an eLearning video?

Creating an eLearning video takes a lot more than a video camera and a script. It will take cross-team collaboration to gather the necessary deliverables, training documents, and more.

If you’re building an eLearning strategy from scratch, you’ll also need plenty of time to execute everything perfectly. If you’re new to eLearning or you’re creating videos for the first time, you’ll want to follow some basic guidelines.

Focus on the desired outcome

The first mistake a lot of people make when creating eLearning video content is not understanding the goal of the video. Education is the primary motivator, but why else have you chosen video content for this training?

Oftentimes, video content can be exciting for teams to jump on and they don’t question the practicality of creating their own video strategy. This short-sighted thinking can cause issues for your team in the long run.

Before you begin creating your own eLearning content, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the lesson you’re trying to teach your employees with this video?
  • Is a video truly the best format for this type of training?
  • How long will the content in this video be relevant to your employees?
  • Would your employees benefit more from in-person training?
  • Does your company have the technology needed to support eLearning videos?

Here's an example of an eLearning video G2 created to explain how our review validation process works. The intended goal of this video is simple: educate new G2 users on how we vet our customer reviews for authenticity and quality.

It's short, colorful, and informational. It draws the users in and explains a complicated process in an easy to understand way.

When creating your own eLearning videos, be sure to keep the finished product in mind, otherwise you might lose yourself along the way.

 

There's a good chance you might find that your eLearning video strategy needs a bit of work. You might discover that you need to look outside your own team for people with the right skills to get the job done.

Some companies don’t have the resources or tools needed to pull off creating their own eLearning content. If your team doesn’t have the budget or bandwidth to create your own content, you might consider investing in an eLearning software.

Gather your resources and teammates

It takes a village to create great eLearning content. A lot goes into creating comprehensive eLearning materials, and you’ll need help from many departments. Once you’ve decided to move forward with your eLearning video strategy, it’s time to get your materials and team together.

Who needs to be involved in creating an eLearning video?

Your video production team will depend a lot on your budget and the size of your company. The team needed to create a one-off video will look different from a team needed to make a series of videos. Remember to tailor your team to fit the needs of your video content.

Here’s a look at who might need to be involved in your eLearning video team:

  • Actors
  • Animators
  • Director
  • HR manager
  • Photographer
  • Project manager
  • Scriptwriter
  • Videographer
  • Video editor

There’s a good chance you’ll need to hire outside help or freelancers to fully flesh out your video team. Once you’ve gathered your dream team, you can sit down with them to discuss the direction of your content.

Your project manager should be the one in charge of organizing the creation of your actual video strategy. This is the person who will keep track of your workflows, budget, and production timeline.

You’ll notice that you won't need all of these roles for each video. For example, if you’re not creating a live-action video, you won’t need an animator. If you’re sticking to an animated format, a director and voice actors aren’t necessary. Be careful to only bring in people required to complete the video.

What materials are needed to create eLearning videos?

Now that you have your team assembled, you can begin compiling the right tools for the job. Deciding on which tools you need to create eLearning content is very similar to building your team. The required tools and materials will depend on what type of video you’re creating.

Here’s a quick list of resources you might need to create your eLearning video content:

The tools you need will depend on what type of video you’re creating. Work closely with your videographer to pinpoint which tools are necessary and which are just nice to have.

It can be tempting to scale back on expensive equipment if you’re working with a tight budget, but be sure you’re not hurting yourself in the long run. Always consult with the professionals before making any decisions.

Create your project timeline

Now that you’ve gathered your team and your tools, you can begin production! Every eLearning video content production needs a structured timeline. Your team will be working cross-functionally with other departments and possibly freelancers. A solid project timeline will ensure everyone is on the same page and expectations are met.

Here are some things to consider when creating your project timeline:

  • When will these deliverables need to be completed and ready to distribute?
  • How much time will be needed in the editing process?
  • How much time will you need for reshoots?
  • Have you given yourself enough time if something goes wrong during production?

Even the most experienced video producers will tell you that not everything can be handled during the filming phase of production. Even with all the planning in the world, there are some things that will require post-production editing. Don’t get too hung up on trying to get things perfect during filming and focus instead on what you can control.

“There are many different editing platforms and software available for post-production work; the one that’s right for you will depend on your specific needs and budgetary constraints.”

Troy Gould
Professional Video Producer and Director

Start production on your eLearning video

Creating the actual video itself is an entire process. Planning and gathering your team is just the prep for the work on the ground. Once you've gathered your team and your gear, it's time to make the movie magic happen. Here are three tips for how to create your eLearning video:

1. Shoot more footage than you think you need

This tip really only applies if you're creating a live action eLearning video with actors on set. Always plan to shoot extra footage, in many cases more than you need. One of the biggest setbacks you can face is getting into the editing studio and realizing you don't have enough film to create your video. This will in turn cost you more money and time to go back out and film more footage, or it will decrease the quality of your final product. Experiment with shots and scenes and get several takes of each shot just to be safe.

2. Create a storyboard to keep track of your shots

A storyboard is a visual representation of all the shots you'll need for your video laid out in chronological order. Storyboards are great for animations and live-action videos. They keep your entire team on track and on the same page. Storyboards help your entire team see the vision of your video before the final product is complete.

Tip: New to creating storyboards? Take advantage of our free storyboard template to see how easy it is to organize your video shoot in one simple place

3. Write a video script to keep the message on brand

An eLearning video script is different from one you might see in Hollywood. It's not going to be hundreds of pages long and filled with intense dialog. Instead, it's a resource for your voice actors to ensure they're hitting their marks and conveying the overall message. It also ensures that your companies brand and message are communicated throughout the video itself. 

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your video script:

  • Keep the language clear and easy to understand
  • Avoid buzzwords that could confuse learners
  • Allow your voice actors to practice before filming

Don’t forget the finer details

Your work isn’t complete once your video is finished. There’s a lot that needs to be done between the final shot and deploying your new eLearning content to your team. If you’re not part of your HR team, you’ll want to sit down with them to discuss a few details about the deployment of your eLearning video.

Here are a few things you should consider:

  • How is this video being rolled out?
  • Which teams will use it?
  • How long is the content in the video relevant for?
  • How often will these videos need to be updated or replaced?
  • Where will these video files be stored?

The delivery of your eLearning video is just as important as the creation of the video itself. It’s important to plan ahead to ensure you get the most bang for your buck. This step also impacts how your team interacts with and learns from these videos.

How much does it cost to produce a video?

Video production isn’t easy, and it certainly isn’t cheap. The current cost for creating video content hovers anywhere between $880 – $1,200 per video in the United States.

If you’re hoping to maintain quality standards, there aren’t many shortcuts you can take to cut costs. The cost of your eLearning video production will change depending on a number of things.

Here are some of the factors that will determine the cost of your video:

  • How many videos you create
  • The type of video you make
  • Length of production
  • Travel costs
  • Licensing costs
  • Software costs
  • Whether you make a video in-house or through an agency
  • Whether you use actors or animations
  • Whether you need to rent or buy supplies

This is why project planning and budget management is so important for your video production strategy. It’s very easy to begin production and find yourself burning through your budget before you can even say action.

In some cases, it might be cheaper to outsource the work to a video production company that already has access to the tools required. Keep a close eye on how much you’re spending on your video strategy.

How to make your eLearning video stand out

The biggest mistake you can make when creating eLearning content is spending a lot of time and money on making something boring. Remember, your employees need to be able to sit through these videos without losing focus if they’re going to retain the information. That’s why many experts recommend making your eLearning content interactive.

Here are some quick and popular interactive eLearning modules you can use in your own videos:

  • Quizzes
  • Assessments
  • Dialog simulations
  • AR/VR components
  • Games
  • Breakout sessions

The digital age has created more distractions for your employees than ever before. You’re fighting a constant battle for your employees' attention. Is the video content that you’ve created compelling enough to keep them actively engaged? If not, you should go back to the first step of this process and ask yourself why you’re creating these videos in the first place.

“Keep your content efficient and on-topic. Regardless of what the content is, it is important to respect your audience’s time. Never prioritize style over substance.”

Troy Gould
Professional Video Producer and Director

Creating interactive eLearning content can be tricky. It requires extra work and elements in the planning and production phase. It will extend your project timeline, and it could cost you more money. But if you execute it correctly, it will make your eLearning videos more impactful and enjoyable for your employees.

Lights, camera, education!

Though the task of creating your own eLearning content can be daunting, it’s a very rewarding experience. Not only that, but it allows you to be in control of the content you’re using to train your team. The extra effort and cost can be well worth it when done correctly.

Interested in learning more about creating killer eLearning content? Check out this comprehensive guide on how to make instructional videos.

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