8 Tips to Create the BEST Training Videos in 2021

If you think about how you’d like to learn something, a couple of options probably come to mind. 

You could read an article, a book, or a manual. 

You could sit through a live demonstration or sales call. 

You could watch a video. 

Which is most desirable to you?

According to our 2021 Video Marketing survey, most people (69%) would prefer to watch a short video. This is followed by 18% who would rather read, 4% who’d prefer an infographic, 3% who would rather attend a webinar, and just 2% who would like a sales call or live demo.

Chart - How people would most like to learn about a product or service

So the demand for training videos is clearly there. 

The question is: 

How do you create the BEST training videos for your needs in 2021?

In this article, we’re going to go through 8 tips that can help.

What is a training video?

A training video is video content with the main purpose of teaching someone how to do something. 

And when it comes to that “something”, the possibilities are endless. You could create a training video that shows viewers how to make cupcakes, how to train their dog, how to climb a mountain, or how to make the perfect cup of coffee. 

One of the main use cases of training videos is for employers to teach employees the skills required in their new job role. 

In our recent Employee Training survey we discovered that 89% of people feel video is an effective tool for training, and 36% of employees said video was their preferred way to receive training at work. 

Chart - Preferred ways to receive training at work

This makes training videos great for employee onboarding and can also help to increase employee retention. 

Training videos can also be useful for your customers. Videos that educate your customers on how to get the most out of your product or service can drive more traffic to your site, and will result in increased satisfaction and loyalty among your customers. 

5 initial steps to creating a training video

1. Decide on a topic

You can create a training video in 5 simple steps. The first step is to decide on the topic you want to cover. 

You may already have a solid idea of this if there is a clear knowledge gap between your team or your customers. But if you don’t yet know then it can be useful to do some research before getting started. 

For an internal training video, try sending out an employee survey to discover what your employees would like more training on. 

It’s easy – and free – to create an anonymous survey via Google Forms

Google Forms

If you’re looking to create a training video for your customers, market research will help you to uncover the topics that customers are struggling with.

SurveyMonkey is a useful tool for gathering responses from people in your target market. All you need to do is set up your survey – including all of the questions you want to ask – and then fill out the target audience section: 

SurveyMonkey

You can use the “More Targeting Options” button to really drill down and make sure you’re only surveying people in your target market: 

SurveyMonkey targeting

Training videos are really important for customer satisfaction and loyalty, as 86% of people say they’d be more likely to stay loyal to a business that invests in onboarding content that welcomes and educates them after they’ve bought.

2. Decide on a format 

When you know what topic you’re going to cover, the next step is deciding on the best format for your training video. 

There are a couple of different types of videos you could create. For example, a screen recorded demo is a great way to train people on how to use your software. 

Here’s a screen recorded demo we created for Paymentshield: 

https://wyzowl.wistia.com/medias/e39yoxwa17

A video like this allows viewers to follow along in their own time so that they know how to better navigate the software. 

Another great video format for training is animation. With animation, you can create any scenario you desire. And you can also make your video more engaging and fun to ensure you hold the attention of your viewers. 

Here’s an example we created for Nikwax:

https://wyzowl.wistia.com/medias/mqbjrya8gu

This fun character-led video shows sales representatives the scenarios that they will be faced with and how to handle those in the field. 

The last video format we want to mention here is one that is booming in popularity – particularly in the training and education sector: interactive video.  

Interactive videos give you the power to see how users have engaged with your video content, so you’ll know who has aced the training and who needs more support. 

Here’s an example of an interactive video from Lifesaver.org

Lifesaver.org

Click here to interact with the video. 

This short interactive video asks viewers multiple choice questions to train them on how to help someone who is choking. 

3. Plan your video

Next, you need to plan your video. This is where you can start to get creative. 

A script is a great place to begin – even if it’s only a rough guide of what you want to say. A script will give you an understanding of how long your video is going to be, and also reduce costly mistakes that could arise further down the line – for example, reshoots if you missed an important piece of information! 

If you’re not sure how to get started with writing a script, take a look at our article: How to Write a Video Script (Template Included)

If you’re creating an animated video then it’s also important to create a storyboard at this planning stage. This, again, will ensure you don’t have to waste time and money by editing the finished video in the future. 

We also have a guide for storyboards that you can check out here: What is a Storyboard and How Do You Make One for Your Video?

4. Perfect your video

With your plans in place you’ll be in a great position to create your training video. But it’s also important to remember all of the little finishing touches that will make your video shine. 

If you’re using a voiceover artist, make sure their tone and energy reflect the topic your video is about. And the same applies for music. 

Your video should definitely have a soundtrack, but it’s important for this to complement your content and not overwhelm it. 

We use AudioJungle to find all of our tracks, and the site has a wide range of sound effects that can also help to bring your video to life. 

5. Review and improve

Lastly, just when you think your training video is complete, you need to watch it again and scrutinize it to see where it can be improved. The same applies for any video project.

If you have an internal team available to help you, send your video around for feedback. And if you don’t have an internal team, ask your family and friends. 

The more eyes on your video, the better! You’ll be surprised by how much can be missed when you’re working on something so closely. 

An internal review is something we always do with the videos we create at Wyzowl: 

Internal review emails

And this process helps us to ensure our videos are perfect for our clients’ needs, and also that we are regularly improving the quality of our work. 

8 tips to create the BEST training videos in 2021

1. Utilise annotations and text overlays

Annotations and text overlays can help to draw viewers’ attention to points of importance in the video. 

Here’s an example from Paymentshield: 

https://wyzowl.wistia.com/medias/6yb4e20y2t

This screen recorded demo video uses arrows and annotations to label different parts of the platform. 

Text overlays like this can also be useful if viewers are watching your video without sound. According to a study by Verizon Media, 69% of consumers now watch video with the sound off. 

2. Include a presenter

People love a friendly face! And that can be especially true if you’re creating a series of training videos. 

Having a familiar presenter that walks viewers through the steps can help to engage your audience and bring a level of consistency to your series. 

Here’s an example from our sister brand, Project:co

Our founder Matt created this video series to train new users on how to get the best out of the software. 

Here’s another video in the series: 

As you can see, these videos follow a very similar pattern, keeping the series consistent and engaging. 

You don’t need a huge budget to create videos like this. Wistia’s Soapbox tool is a great way to create a training video for your product. 

It’s a free webcam and screen-recording software that allows you to easily switch back and forth between yourself (or your presenter) and the screen you want to record: 

3. Use animation

Going in front of the camera isn’t for everyone, so why not use animation?

Animation is a great option for training videos because it allows you to create any scenario you want – with no limit on casting, no interruptions by weather, and none of the other stuff that inhibits live action videos!  

Here’s an example we made for Corning Life Sciences: 

https://wyzowl.wistia.com/medias/jzublwlrbg

This video would have been a lot more difficult and time-consuming to make had it been live action, especially as this was created during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

You could also use animation sparingly throughout your video as a way to back up your points visually. Here’s a fun example from a training video about lightning safety: 

4. Make it interactive

As mentioned above, an interactive video is a great option for employee training. Clickable hotspots make your video more engaging for viewers and give you insights into how the training was received. 

Here’s an example of an onboarding video for Lancaster University: 

Lancaster University onboarding video

Click here to interact with the video.

This video talks new students through what they need to do next and allows them to choose their own path according to their specific needs: 

Lancaster University onboarding video

This highlights another benefit of interactive videos. There’s no need to create multiple videos as you can simply add different paths into one single video. 

5. Keep your videos short

When you’re training people – whether it’s your internal team or your customers – engagement is important. 

If people aren’t fully engaged in the content then they won’t be taking in what they need to learn. 

One way to help improve viewer engagement is to keep your videos short. So if you have more than one topic to cover it might be best to create a few short videos rather than one long one. 

This is important as new research by Wistia suggests that viewer engagement stays at around 50% up until the 3 minute mark, after that engagement steadily declines.  

Here’s an example of a short but sweet training video we made for LogMeIn: 

https://wyzowl.wistia.com/medias/71kxwgdnxd

This super quick video shows users exactly how to install the app. We created another short video to show users how to reach out to the support team: 

https://wyzowl.wistia.com/medias/laub5nzk9f

This way, users can select the video that’s specific to their problem rather than watching a longer video that includes a lot of content that isn’t relevant to them.

6. Ask questions

If you’d rather not create an interactive video, you can still encourage your viewers to interact by asking questions. 

This works especially well for in-house employee training as it gives you an opportunity to pause the video and give your new employees time to consider and answer the question. 

Then you can discuss the answers and continue with the rest of the video.

Exercises like this can also help your team to retain the information for longer as it requires them to think and interact rather than just view the content.

7. Consider your video’s pacing

Pacing is very important when it comes to training videos as viewers need time to digest what they’re seeing and what they’re being told. 

It also helps to consider what type of users will be watching your videos. If you’re creating your video for older or less tech-savvy users then you’ll want to reduce your pace even more to give them time to follow along. 

Here’s an example of a customer onboarding video we made for BritBox that showcases this quite well: 

https://wyzowl.wistia.com/medias/ztsjtcv9z3

8. Entertain while you educate

When it comes to training videos, education is paramount. But that doesn’t mean your video has to be boring! 

If you entertain while you educate you’ll find that viewers are much more engaged with your content and this can be excellent for retaining information. 

Here’s an example from Tesco: 

This comic book style video takes a very unique approach to teaching new starters about how to work on the produce section. 

And this superhero-style storyline is memorable, engaging, and sure to put a smile on the face of the employees who watch it.

Final thoughts

Whether you’re explaining policies and procedures to new employees or walking customers through a product demonstration, video is an excellent training tool.

In addition to being people’s favourite way to learn (both consumers and employees!), videos are easy on the pocket too because you can use them time and time again. 

For more information, check out our Training Videos page.