Training videos, instructional videos and explainer videos, you hear these terms all the time but I have yet to find a really simple description of the differences between the three of them.
Firstly, these three styles of videos belong to a group I define as educational videos. They impart knowledge, skills and complex information, but each one has a very specific way of doing this.
Instructional videos focus around completing a specific task. For examples check out this Sterling Barbecue assembly video. Even if you turn off the sound you can make sense of the assembly process. This is the great benefit of instructional videos: Customers can be from any country and understand exactly what is going on. Instructional videos can save on printing costs, and following a video is much easier than reading a bundle of pages.
Training videos focus around attaining a particular skill or skill set. There is an element of practice and repetition with training videos, unlike instructional videos that have the one outcome. Training videos work best when they facilitate learning by breaking down a skill into a series of tasks, which then develop in complexity and difficulty. This is usually followed up with some form of assessment that reinforces the learning.
Check out the IVET training video as an example.
As well as being able to watch training videos at your own pace you can also incorporate other forms of interactivity that adds detail and control over the learning. By incorporating a presenter as the guide through your content, you inject personality to the training video. This makes the material easier to relate to and learn from. Training videos provide consistency and control of your training strategy.
Explainer videos are all the rage at the moment. These videos are designed to explain complex concepts and services using graphics and fonts that are animated to music. They are great for introducing new technologies and services into the marketplace or explain policies for public announcements. They can also be integrated in a presentation at conferences. For a classic example of an explainer video check out how IT-MAN can solve your everyday IT-problems!. They don’t always have to be animated such as this one from Airbnb.
Screen Casting involves capturing images from your screen as a video. These are generally instructional videos for software and online apps, demonstrating how to perform a particular task such as exporting an image in photoshop. Very popular on You Tube.
So what makes educational videos so important?
Because explainer videos impart information to your clients in a way that it is more easily digested they are more likely to retain your client’s attention and be shared. Instructional videos can make your product easier to assemble/use, providing a more user friendly experience. Educational videos in general can give a sense of authority to your business, making it the place where potential clients can turn to for advice. Educational videos as a promotional tool rely on the fact that if your information is being shared then that’s more promotion for you and your business.
Next week we’ll take a look at a more complex form of promotional video: the profile video.