Picture this. It’s your father’s birthday and you’re thinking of cooking Carbonara for dinner tonight to celebrate it. You go onto Google and search “The Best Carbonara Recipe” and all you see are a bunch of websites giving you a ton of words on what to do. Boring! There’s a reason why not many people like to read recipe books anymore because they can just turn to Youtube to watch instructional videos these days.
What is An Instructional Video?
Instructional video is like a manual that is in a video format. It’s designed to help people learn a particular skill or topic. It usually shows an instructor who will explain or demonstrate what they should do in order to achieve something. Visuals are also used to help reiterate or provide context to help audiences understand the terms and concepts that are being shared.
They usually can be used in different settings, such as workplaces, e-learning platforms and schools. You can say that they are not limited by topics either. From cooking, to craft making to even computer programming, you can learn them all through instructional videos.
Through interactive elements like quizzes or exercises, it helps make these types of videos interactive and even more educational. That’s how you can test one’s knowledge on whether they’ve fully understood what they have learnt or not. It’s really a highly effective and engaging way to pick up new skills and broaden your knowledge on things around the world.
Why Are Instructional Videos Important?
According to Techsmith, 83% of people prefer to watch videos when looking for instructional or informational content. And more than 70% of YouTube viewers turn to the platform whenever they need help solving problems.
Two out of three employees actually complete tasks more effectively when instructions are provided visually.
These are just some rough stats but let us tell you why they are so effective.
1) An Enhanced Learning Experience
A classroom is supposed to be an immersive and engaging learning experience and that’s exactly what an instructional video can do. It provides a visual and auditory learning experience that can help viewers grasp complex instructions or concepts easily.
Videos also allow viewers to see visual aids, a step-by-step demonstration and visual aids, which help them absorb and retain information a whole lot faster. It’s definitely more effective as compared to reading textbooks or listening to your professor talk the day away. Pretty sure we’ve all “been there and done that”.
2) It’s Convenient
Since it’s in video format, it can be accessed anytime and anywhere. Viewers can easily learn a new skill simply by whipping out their phone or tablet. It makes learning a whole lot more convenient as we know that attending in-person classes or training sessions can sometimes be time-consuming and draining especially after a long day.
3) It’s Engaging
When you read a manual or a guide, it helps when there are pictures involved. Similarly, instructional videos make use of interactive elements, visual aids, music, sound effects and storytelling to capture audiences attention and make learning a whole lot more entertaining and fun.
4) It’s Accessible
Instructional videos are also very helpful to those with different learning styles and abilities. It ensures that this group of people are not left out. For instance, there are some who have visual impairments or struggle with reading and they might find these types of videos easier to understand.
5) It’s Cost Effective
It is true that in-person training is more engaging and has that special personal touch. However, hiring more trainers or teachers can be costly, especially if you’re trying to reach a large group of people. By just hiring one trainer for a video, you can use the same video countless times with countless groups of people. This would most definitely reduce your cost and time in the long-run.
What Are Some Types of Instructional Videos?
Microvideos: Brief and straightforward videos that center on teaching a specific topic.
Tutorials: Like a “how-to” video, these types of videos teach you how to pick up a particular skill. For instance, if you google “How To Edit on Premiere Pro”, you would most likely get a bunch of tutorials.
Explainer Videos: These types help to break down business products or concepts in a visually engaging and entertaining way. They essentially help to simplify complex ideas in a short amount of time.
Lecture Videos: These tend to be longer than all the other videos we’ve mentioned. It’s instructional content that educators record beforehand so that it can be viewed later.
Step 1: Plan Your Instructional Video
Who is Your Target Audience?
Firstly, if you’ve got a big topic you want to talk about in an instructional video but you feel unsure what area you want to focus on, picture your target audience. This helps you determine their level of understanding and identify any knowledge gaps they might have. Only then can you identify the most useful and relevant topics to cover and find the right angle in how you can present the content.
What is Your End Goal?
Secondly, think of the learning objectives and goals for your video. How can they benefit from this? It would serve as a guide throughout your video creation process. Everything, from the content to the visuals, to the narration and delivery, should be consistent and aligned to your end goal.
What Type of Instructional Video Are You Doing?
Is this going to be an animation? Or a tutorial? Or a lecture video? Think about the types of instructional videos we’ve mentioned before and the duration you’re looking at. Which one would help you bring out your content the best way possible?
Step 2: Create Your Instructional Video
Starting by creating your storyboard and script. Look through it a few times to make sure you don’t have any loopholes or gaps and that you fulfil all your objectives. Then go ahead and record your video. A simple instructional video just needs a smartphone camera, tripod, phone clip, lights and a clean backdrop.
Take note of your surroundings, make sure your background is clean and well-lit and that the audio in your room is good. You don’t want your video to be affected by intensive background noise. Once you start recording, don’t be afraid to start again whenever you make a mistake because this would help the editing process later on.
Step 3: Optimise Your Instructional Video for Maximum Engagement
Once you’ve done all that, you have to think of where you’re going to share your video. In this digital media age, your options are plenty. Vimeo and YouTube are some examples or you can turn to social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Facebook too. Be sure to use the right keywords when titling your video so your target audience would be able to find them easily.
Step 4: Measure Success and Continuous Improvement
Monitor the viewership retention rate and number of clicks your video is getting. Seek feedback from your team or those close to you to see where you can improve.
What Makes A Good Instructional Video?
1) Clarity in Communication
You want to make sure your tone is clear, concise and conversational. Avoid using jargon, think about how you would talk to a friend. Rather than only providing a narration of your onscreen actions, make sure to include explanations for both what you are doing and the reasons behind it. This helps viewers understand the context and purpose of the process being demonstrated.
2) Engaging Visuals
Think images. How are your visual aids or animation going to further simplify and explain what you’re narrating? It would be weird if you’re talking about cooking but the image shown is a backdrop of a classroom. You should also try to avoid as much on-screen text as possible. Viewers can be overwhelmed when they are trying to process animation or images, narration and text all at the same time. If possible, try to use high-quality animation or images. It will make your video more pleasing to the eye.
3) Quality Audio
Audio is an important aspect too! It can help give your viewers a more immersive experience. Ensure that your voiceover quality is crisp and clear. Make use of suitable music and sound effects to keep your audience entertained and attentive.
4) Proper Pacing
No one’s going to understand you if you talk like a bullet train. Remember to pace yourself or whoever is doing the narration of your video. Take deep breaths and make pauses when necessary. Proper pronunciation and enunciation can elevate your video too.
Don’t just stop at “Thank you for listening” at the end. Give a call to action. You could ask some questions, do a short quiz or get your audience to give some sort of response. It’s also a way for you to know if your video has been effective or not.
There is no question that instructional videos are an important tool in today’s society. It makes learning much more convenient and fun. If you practice all the tips and tricks we’ve given you in this article, we’re sure your video will be a hit to your target audience.