So, you’ve mastered the basics of producing video training content. What now?
The work isn’t over just yet. After creating videos, it’s essential to measure their impact and effectiveness. Only by doing so will your videos improve, become more engaging, and have a great impact on your audience.
For tips on how to do this, Cara North, Operations Training Manager at Silfex, joins this episode of The Visual Lounge.
Cara shares her best tips for assessing video success, measuring KPIs, and why you should always be on the lookout for feedback. She explains her three-step process for improving your videos and boosting engagement.
You can watch the video on this topic at the top of this post, to listen to the podcast episode, hit play below, or read on for more…
The value of video in training
When you’re learning how to create something or a brand-new process in the workplace, many people turn to instructional videos. YouTube is full of handy videos on everything from learning languages to coding to plumbing tips.
The appeal is that people sometimes just want to see stuff demonstrated. They want to digest that content at their own pace, to pause, rewind, and fast-forward through it.
That’s why video is such an important part of training and learning new skills. We can have the most detailed handbooks and instructions in the world, but what’s missing is how it looks in practice.
“What we want to do is help illuminate what those gaps are to support people in the flow of work. A lot of our documents are very lengthy, so being able to quickly go to what they need at that moment is something that is really important.”
Why “building it” isn’t enough
You may have heard of the classic line from Field of Dreams, “if you build it, [they] will come.” This idea of simply building something great and expecting people to flock to consume it is simply not true, says Cara.
Building it isn’t enough. Cara says you need two major things:
- You need to add value
- You need to make it accessible
Without that value, the content will not have the effect you want it to.
“It doesn’t matter what you build. If the content isn’t there, it doesn’t matter how pretty you make it. It’s just not going to resonate with people.”
Measuring metrics and effectiveness
Cara explains that her team has been using the Kathy Moore idea of action mapping. This involves ensuring that every decision is tied back to a key performance indicator in the business.
“It focuses on what someone needs to do with that information to be successful at X, Y, or Z. So that is the heart of our media strategy.”
Cara also shares how important evaluation tools have been to develop the strategy in her team.
“We have started building out a lot of evaluative tools…and we take that very, very seriously. It’s something that we monitor. We want to make sure that it’s hitting the mark. And if there’s feedback, saying, you didn’t cover this, or this is needed or whatever, we do dive back into that and make sure that is what we are providing value on.
“Ultimately, learning and development are a service to the business. And we want to make sure that we are serving the people here at the company.”
Solving problems with video
The key to providing value and making a good instructional video is to solve a specific, real problem. When Cara gets customers coming in with training requests, her first question is always, “what problem is this solving?” She then asks follow-up questions like “what else have you done to try and solve it?”
This can be a challenging part of the job and relies on good leadership in your learning and development department.
“I’m amazed by what I learn on a daily basis every day just by asking questions and getting more information about what our stakeholders need.”
Another thing to highlight is that not every training solution needs to be a video. Using little animations or GIFs to demonstrate things may be all that’s necessary in some scenarios.
Why content alone does not equal training
A catchy quote that Cara uses in her email signature is from Dr. Michael Allen:
“If content was enough, we would only have libraries and not schools.”
She says that it’s one of the biggest barriers she’s hit in her career, this assumption that creating content is enough. But simply handing someone a piece of content isn’t the same as training them.
One of the barriers is how easy is the training content to access? This can have a significant effect on how engaged people are with the content.
“How many clicks does it take to get to the content in your learning management system?”
The top 3 tips for creating impactful video content
So, how do you make sure your content is having an impact? Cara recommends following three simple steps.
Step 1: Test out your videos
Before any content gets through to the end-user, it should be put through multiple reviews and tests to pick up any snags.
“If you design it in a vacuum or design it with only one perspective, giving you feedback, it’s not going to probably hit the mark that you want it to.”
Step 2: Get feedback
Cara’s second tip is to “constantly get feedback.” Make it clear that feedback is welcome and encourage your team to reach out to say what they liked or didn’t like. This will help you get different perspectives both from management and your employees or learners.
Step 3: Do a 30/60/90 review
After 30 days of your content being out in the world, look back at your KPIs and assess whether they’ve been impacted at all. Are there any changes? Are people using it?
Making videos viewer-friendly
Another element that many people overlook when creating video is to make them user-friendly. They may be packed full of useful information, but if watching the video is a challenge, the content won’t have the same impact.
Cara likes to use Camtasia to segment videos into chapters. This makes it much easier to skip ahead to the timestamps that you need.
“You don’t want to waste people’s time, right? You want to make sure that it is something that they can hop in to use immediately to get what they need.”
Content is the bones of learning and development
While content alone is not always enough, content is the bones of any learning and development efforts. That’s why making sure your content is top-notch and is produced in a way people understand is so important.
“I think if there are any adjustments, usually it is almost 99.9% the content. It’s got to have good bones.”
If you want to learn how to make instructional videos that people want to engage in, start by looking at some of TechSmith’s huge library of useful content. Check out the TechSmith Academy for video creation tips and more!
For more expert advice and tips visit TechSmith Academy on YouTube or listen to the Podcast.