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Tips for Preparing Instructional Videos

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For businesses looking to get ahead of a highly competitive hiring climate, a top-tier training and development program can set you apart. While many companies already have strategies for improving business continuity in place, many underestimate the benefits of using instructional videos in addition to traditional training and LMS technologies. 

Compared to other forms of training, instructional videos can dramatically improve productivity, increase information retention, and provide more advantages than you’d anticipate. If you’re looking to incorporate a cost-effective process and instructional program into your training strategy, read on to discover why instructional videos are the way to go.

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Why Use Instructional Videos for Business?

Instructional videos provide great value in terms of cost, engagement, and productivity. Here are a few other reasons why instructional video belongs in your post-training, team support strategy.

Flexible Applications

Videos are highly customisable—you can edit them to suit your organisation’s instructional support program. Not to mention, there are many different ways to deliver information through instructional videos. For instance, you might develop a series of instructional videos for the following purposes.

  • Onboarding programs
  • How-to’s
  • Processes, tasks, and micro-training
  • Using equipment and software
  • Product and service launches
  • Customer support

Better Engagement

Compared to text-heavy materials like brochures, written instructionals, and white papers, videos are more likely to engage visual learners. Remember, video has been around for decades for a reason—to entertain.

By sending out instructional videos as part of your training programs, your hires are 75% more likely to retain information than they would by reading an email or instructional.

Time and Money Savings

Compared to instructor-based training, LMS, or in-person manager or team member support, instructional videos are considerably cheaper and require only minimal resources. Nowadays, software like Vidstep is readily available and suits various company budgets.

In addition, resorting to instructional videos instead of in-person training programs reduces travel time and costs. Instead, employees can access videos remotely, at any time.

Accessibility and Shareability

Instructional videos must be available and accessible in the precise moment and place where the instruction is needed. That may seem obvious, but if a team member has to search for it, there is a high likelihood they will skip the instruction and do it the way they “think is correct”.

Sharing instructional videos through technologies such as Vidstep, is almost like placing post-it notes throughout the work environment, to prompt team members to get the right information when and where they need it.

Embedding step-by-step video instructions in job tickets, sharing URLs, and placing QR codes in real-world situations are some highly effective ways to ensure best practices and team support are provided at the exact moment it’s needed.     

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What Makes a Good Instructional Video?

Instructional videos are only as good as what they can achieve. An effective instructional video  will have the following characteristics:

  • Connect the outcomes to the intended purpose of the task. Are you introducing a new product? Your employees should know its uses and how to troubleshoot issues by the end of your instructional.
  • Keep your message concise. Effective instructional videos won’t ramble on to get their point across. Instead, it’ll deliver short and focused information in under three minutes.
  • Enable interactivity. Build knowledge retention through interactive instructionals that allow viewers to engage with the information presented.
  • Incorporate workplace scenarios. Put information into context by tapping into your employees’ roles. Ensure that they understand how to apply their knowledge.  
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How to Prepare Effective Instructional Videos 

The key to developing practical instructional videos is to have a concrete plan. Also critical to your success are the following tips.

Set Goals and Objectives

Before developing your instructional videos, determine what you are setting out to achieve. Are you welcoming new hires? Introducing new software to your development team? 

From there, review what you need to include in your video to achieve your objective. Perhaps you already have existing resources that you can incorporate into your instructional video. 

Pick the Correct Video Type

There are multiple video types to choose from that can help you better communicate your point and achieve your objective. For example, an animated video can help you explain a more complex or abstract concept, while an instructor-led video might be more appropriate for introducing new hires. 

Connect with Viewers

Your instructional videos might serve their purpose but fail to connect with your audience. If so, viewers may not retain any information you provide. 

Effective communication begins by getting to know your audience and their pain points. For instance, consider your team’s median age, position, and experience if you’re developing a training video. 

Keep in mind tactics that have already proven effective in the past—and don’t hesitate to add a little personality and flair. 

Write a Script

While instructional videos shouldn’t feel scripted, having one can help you stay on track without digressing.

When crafting your outline, speak out loud as you write—your instructional videos should feel conversational. Keep your language simple and refrain from using unnecessary jargon.

Alternatively, you can storyboard your video, using visuals to better direct your final outcome. Don’t worry about your artistic skills—the point is to speed up the development process.

If script writing isn’t your strong suit, consider working with a professional or viewing video tutorials on Vidstep.  

Keep it Short

Despite most people being visual learners, few have long attention spans. According to MIT, the optimal length for an instructional video should be no longer than six minutes. 

If you have a lot of information to communicate, consider breaking up your instructional into parts. Consolidate information through microlearning.

Annotate When Necessary

Incorporating visual elements like annotations can help give your video context. Kick-off your instructional with a title card and subtitle indicating what your video is about. If you have employees who are hard of hearing, use subtitles.

If distributing a how-to or instructional video, use captions to identify steps. You can use bullets to enumerate tips or instructions.

The Bottom Line

While developing instructional videos can take time and effort, it doesn’t take an expert to increase knowledge retention, keep employees engaged, and train new hires effectively.

Online instructional video tools and platforms like Vidstep can help save valuable time and resources. It can also help you better communicate ideas to customers, teams, and leaders—all for a price that will suit your business budget.

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