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Training videos, instructional videos and explainer videos, you hear these terms all the time but I have yet to find a really good 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 example Ikea (http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_US/customer_service/assembly/assembly_videos.html) released a series of instructional videos detailing how to build some of their most popular products. If you watch the Ikea videos you’ll realize that there is no voice over and everything is image driven. Customers can be from any country and understand exactly what is going on. Instructional videos can save on printing costs, while 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 practise 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.
Sites like https://www.lynda.com/ specialise in training videos.
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. For a classic example of an explainer video check out https://youtu.be/oQWSceSd1jI or https://vimeo.com/22764410 They don’t always have to be animated such as this one from Airbnb https://vimeo.com/86659590
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 and more user friendly. 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.
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