From bad acting to boring content, training videos can sometimes get a bad reputation.
Don’t let the training video that your brand creates be one that fits this mold. No matter what it’s purpose or goal, it needs to showcase what makes your business unique.
Training videos are a distinct type of video that is made to instruct a specific audience on how to perform a unique task, achieve a goal, or do something new. They can cover any topic and have the benefit of taking real-world training up a notch.
Whether it’s an employee training video or customer training, the overall purpose is to educate viewers on a topic to teach them a new skill or enhance their knowledge on a subject.
As one of the most popular ways to deliver and consume content on the internet, it’s no wonder your business is interested in creating its very own training video. Because of this, it’s in your best interest to master the skills needed to create a training video that leaves audiences feeling confident in their new skill or wealth of knowledge.
Types of training videos
Before you can get started on creating a training video, you first need to choose a type that’ll benefit your business and the objective.
Corporate: These internal training videos aim to guide others on how to interact with customers. They can also provide managerial courses to ensure employees have all the resources they need to succeed.
Health and safety: If an emergency situation were to occur, these videos share knowledge on what to do next. An example would be CPR training or a fire evacuation plan.
Workout and fitness: These consist of any type of digital fitness class, whether it be a yoga class or a burpee challenge that you’re able to follow along with at home.
Software screencast: Software screencasts are a recording of a computer screen or mobile device that shows and explains how to use a specific piece of software.
How-to guide: These videos are ones that you seek out when interested in learning how to make your own pasta, build a deck, or master a new makeup skill.
Coaching: Coaching videos are training sessions made virtual with professional coaches in any type of sport.
Benefits of training videos
Whether you’re unsure of the advantages that filming a training video will provide, or you’re looking to get upper management on board, below are the benefits that training videos can bring to your company.
When your business needs to train employees, whether it be on a new policy or how to use updated software, utilizing training videos can be extremely cost-effective.
Not only can training employees on a regular basis be time-consuming, but doing so can also potentially drain resources and budget. However, when a training video is created, it can be stored in the cloud so that employees can access it whenever they please, making them easily accessible at any time.
In addition, your business won’t have to pay anyone on your staff or a third-party organization to continuously train your employees or for any travel expenses that may be needed to be taught a new skill outside of the office.
John Donnachie, Director at ClydeBank Media, had this to say about how his company has used training videos:
"We have a distributed staff in a few states and other countries. I have found that a library of training videos is incredibly helpful for our remote workers. As our operations change I can record myself doing task process steps then direct our staff to the video to roll out changes or updates.
Additionally, having a library of training videos allows staff to reference guidance on file without having to reach out to supervisors as often.”
John Donnachie Director, ClydeBank Media
Increased engagement and retention
If you ask your employees if they’d rather read how to do something, or be shown how to do something, chances are the answer is going to be shown.
This is because videos offer better engagement with a higher chance of information retention. If you want your employees to enjoy the training process, and actually remember what they’ve learned, using videos is your best bet to accomplish both.
of employees will forget information just seven days after a training session.
Fast forward to six months and that number jumps to 90%.
Because of this, incorporating visuals into your training can not only ensure they remember the information but also provide a resource to refresh their information once time has passed.
Consider a traditional training method. Employees gather in a conference room and spend their day listening to a presentation that can potentially eat up their working hours.
When your business takes advantage of training and development videos, employees can choose when to watch the video, meaning no work time is wasted. If something comes up, they have the option to pause and restart at the time that works best within their schedule.
If you send half of your team to receive in-person training on Monday, and the other half on Tuesday, the two groups won’t have the same training experience.
Maybe one team asked more questions than the other or the training sessions were led by two different instructors. Whatever the case may be, certain variables and instances can alter a training lesson, but one of the best ways to ensure everyone has a unified experience and receives equal information is for all team members to watch the same training video.
Training videos are also a surefire way to improve the employee onboarding process.
In addition to being cost-effective and a time saver, using training videos as you onboard new employees is a great way to combine the personality and culture of your company into the training process. Especially when you consider that onboarding can be a daunting experience that isn’t exactly exciting.
Onboarding videos also create more consistent messaging, which can be especially important when you have teams spread out across different offices and locations.
How to create a training video in 7 steps
When you’re reading to create a training video, follow these seven steps from start to finish to make sure you don’t miss anything along the way.
1. Find the right equipment
When you’re ready to get started on creating a training video, there’s some equipment that you need to acquire to be sure your video looks, and sounds, its best.
Some of these equipment items include:
Screen capture software
Video editing software
Since (almost) everyone has a smartphone or laptop with a built-in camera, purchasing another one may not be necessary. When utilizing screen capturing software, you can create simple training videos by recording any area of your computer or device screen.
2. Choose a topic
Next up is choosing a useful and relevant topic for your training video. In order to do so, first consider who your audience is and what they’re looking to learn by watching your video. This will help to narrow down what the goal and message of your training video will be.
If you aren’t sure, take the time to do the research. This could entail sending out a survey for your customers to answer regarding the questions they most frequently have with your product or service. Then, your training video could answer all of their questions and provide further training on how to use specific features of your product.
“Training videos have always enabled us to deliver the core purpose of our products to anyone who seeks to understand.”
The format of your training video is going to influence how much time and money you spend on the creation process. Some of the most popular formats include:
Screencast: Like previously mentioned, a screencast trainer video is a recording of your computer screen. These are best for when training others on a new software or computer system.
Micro video: These are short training videos that focus on teaching one specific topic. These are typically less than a minute long, get right to the point, and appeal to the average media consumer who tends to have a shorter attention span when consuming video content.
Presenter video: Presentation videos are used when you record the slides you created using presentation software so it’s available for the target audience to watch after the fact, or for those interested in rewatching multiple times after the presentation has ended. These videos can be created by simply recording the audio. They also tend to be longer in run time than other types of videos.
Animation: Animated videos, which are typically explainer videos, utilize animation software to incorporate text and graphics to get the message across.
Interactive: Training videos with interactive elements are a newer format, where viewers are asked to respond to various situations and questions as the video plays. Doing so is a good way to ensure viewers stay engaged or to test them on the material previously mentioned in the video.
4. Create the script and storyboard
To get your training video ideas from your mind to paper, create a script and a storyboard.
A storyboard is the process of visually representing each shot, no matter if you’re just drawing free-hand or using a computer program. Both are important steps in the prep work before you can record your training video.
These two can go hand in hand, as the script will be more about the spoken word, the storyboard will be more about the visuals. When you take the time to look at each frame, you can better evaluate the visuals that your video will have and decide what’s best for the overall objective of your training video.
Tip: If you’re lacking in artistic ability or not sure what kind of program to use to storyboard your video, take advantage of our free storyboard template to help you visualize how your video will look.
Once complete, make sure you give the script a few run throughs. Practicing ahead of time will make sure that when you’re in front of the camera you sound as natural as possible. You can also establish pace, tone, and anything that just doesn’t sound natural.
5. Press record
Once the prep work is complete, you can finally start recording. Just like reading through your script, recording is going to take some practice runs, too. This is when you’ll become familiar with some of the recording and audio equipment.
When you’re actually in front of the camera, it’s okay to make some last-minute adjustments to the script, background, or even the outfit you choose to wear.
Also, don’t get caught up in the number of takes your team is doing. You can smooth the audio and make the clips appear less choppy when it’s in the editing phase.
Once you playback your recording a few times, you can use these tools to manipulate and arrange video files, edit the audio, add graphics and annotations, color correct, and so much more.
When finished editing, go through the video over and over again to make sure that the transitions between clips are smooth and there aren’t any gaps in the footage. Get a second or even third opinion by someone else on your team to ensure there isn’t anything that you may have missed.
Related: If you’re new to the world of editing, follow this guide on how to edit videos the way the professionals do.
You’ll also want to make sure it’s optimized for all devices so that your audience can easily view your training video from their laptop, smartphone, or tablet.
Once your masterpiece is complete, it’s time to get it in front of your audience, no matter who they are.
You can post your training video on your company’s website, incorporate into the monthly newsletter, or share it across social media channels. If your training video is aimed at answering questions that potential customers have, make sure to get it in the hands of your sales team so they can use it as a resource when closing deals.
Examples of effective training videos
Need some inspiration? Check out some examples of training videos that other brands have created.
The rules of link building - Moz
When it comes to educating their audience on all things SEO, link building, social, brand awareness, and more, Moz is a training video expert.
This video is great because it covers a complex topic in under ten minutes. Plus, it makes the most of props, in this case a whiteboard, to further explain their examples.
American Airlines safety video - American Airlines
Safety videos are a pretty standard type of training video, as they’re a quick and easy way to ensure those watching follow specific rules. Check out this one by American Airlines.
The last thing you want to be bothered with on a flight is another demonstration on how to buckle your seatbelt. American Airlines knew that, and instead took something as rudimentary as flight safety and turned it into a video that's actually entertaining to watch.
12 minutes to burn fat - Blogilates
There are a lot of fitness videos out there, but you’ll find some of the best over on the Blogilates YouTube channel. Cassey Ho masters the “apartment friendly” workout and has something for everyone and every part of your body.
What makes this video great is how Cassey interacts with the audience, provides detailed instructions for each move, and utilizes fun music to make working out slightly less exhausting.
The best homemade pasta you’ll ever eat - Tasty
When you’re feeling like getting a little creative and trying to cook something new, the training videos over at Tasty have all of the recipes you need. Try your hand on making some homemade pasta, below!
Not only will this video make you drool and crave some serious Italian, but it answers questions viewers have about ingredients, technique, and the tools needed to follow along with the recipe.
How to navigate the security icon - Zoom
There’s no denying that using new software for the first time can be tricky. Video conferencing software company Zoom took matters into their own hands when customers had questions regarding security and created their own training video.
Zoom narrowed in on what their audience has the most trouble with and created a quick and easy micro video (just over one minute long) with simple steps on how to amp up the security settings.
Spread the word
With so many uses to training videos, it’s in your company’s best interest to make sure that the one you create not only showcases your unique culture and voice but also teaches something along the way. Once it’s over, your audience should have a better understanding of a specific subject area or have gained a new skill.
You know what would make your training video even better? Adding an audio description so that it can be accessible to everyone.
Mara Calvello is a Content Marketing Manager at G2 with a focus on Design, Human Resources, and SaaS Management. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Elmhurst College (now Elmhurst University). In addition to working at G2, Mara is a freelance writer for a handful of small- and medium-sized tech companies. In her spare time, Mara is either at the gym, exploring the great outdoors with her rescue dog Zeke, enjoying Italian food, or right in the middle of a Harry Potter binge.