Video has been the content format with the most buzz for quite some time now, and the momentum doesn’t yet seem to be slowing. It brings so much more to the table than audio or visuals alone, it’s dynamic and eye-catching in a way that text can never be, and it’s even fairly cheap to produce (you can do it with a smartphone camera). Due to this, businesses everywhere (and of all kinds) are searching for ways to produce and deploy it.
One of the many things video can be used for is conveying information. Produced well, an educational video can prove tremendously effective at reaching a lot of people and breaking complex issues down to their core components. In this post, we’re going to set out four useful tips for deploying this variety of video. Let’s get to them:
Use overlays where useful
While you can just make a video consisting of a single take with no accompaniment, it’s far better to use tasteful overlays to make things clearer. You might expect them to be challenging to implement, but that really isn’t the case: indeed, there are plenty of free video editors to be found online, most of which are very intuitive to learn.
You should start with an index card to confirm the context, have additional snippets of information appear over the footage to expand upon what’s being said (or correct mistakes made during filming), and wrap up with a card to recap the main takeaways and provide some relevant links (more on that later).
Mirror your viewers’ language
Educational video will almost-always be driven by speech, whether from a person talking directly to the camera or someone providing a voiceover to accompany the visuals. It’s natural for us to pay attention to voices, and using speech provides access to tonal and timing styling that can significantly enhance the efficacy of a video.
When you do so, though, you should be careful about the implementation: specifically the use of technical terms. The language of your expected viewers is vitally important. You can deliver a great message, but if you do so using terms that the watchers don’t understand well, it will ultimately be wasted. Mirroring the language of your intended audience will improve your video’s metrics and make people far more likely to learn from it.
Provide follow-up options
What is the purpose of your informational video? To educate the viewers, yes, but beyond that? Perhaps you want to educate them to demonstrate your expertise, knowing it will improve your brand’s reputation. Perhaps you want to educate people on topics directly related to services and/or products you sell, making them more likely to buy from you. Or maybe all you want to is help people learn — even then you’d want some follow-ups.
YouTube may have become awkward over the years about regular annotation links, but it still allows the inclusion of links through cards and end screens. End screens are particularly important, since you want someone to make it to the end of your video before going elsewhere. When they’re done, where do you want to send them? To your website? To a particular product? To another resource? Get the links in to take advantage of the interest in your video.
Trim any unnecessary parts
Before you set your video live, you need to closely review it to ensure that you haven’t left in any unnecessary parts. It’s totally normal for a video to lose viewers as it goes on, with the number of people seeing the end far fewer than the number seeing the beginning. Thus, the shorter you can make your video, the more likely it is that people will see the end (and your valuable links).
Cut out lengthy pauses in the speech, condense concepts as much as you can, and get rid of any theatrical transitions. If the result still feels too long, the script probably needed more work: spend more time on that part with your subsequent videos. If there’s a natural split, you can divide one video into two or more smaller videos, but you should really plan for that.
Video explainers are exceptionally potent, whether offered simply through YouTube channels, embedded in other pages, or even sold as digital downloads. Use these tips to give you a solid foundation, and keep working on it until you get the results you want.