How to Build a Compelling Video Strategy for E-Learning

Written by
Lizzie Davey
Jul 27, 2016

We’ve discussed before how including videos in your online training can be hugely beneficial to students, but it only works if you have a strategy in place that covers the who, what, where, why, and how of everything.

A lot of people get hung up on actually producing the video – focusing on how they need the right equipment or the right skillset to be able to create videos that are Grammy-worthy.

But in truth? You can create engaging videos that are perfect for your students with minimal equipment, time, skill, and cost if you get the content and context right. To get the info right in your videos, you need to have a strategy in place. Going guns blazing ahead and creating videos here and there without any coherent way of connecting them together or without a semblance of a goal from each of them might do more harm than good to both your students and your brand.

So how do you build a compelling video strategy for e-learning?

Think about equipment

I know I just said that thinking about equipment tends to hold people back, but let’s just take a moment to think about how you can create videos with what you already have, which will minimize your costs and time.

Some of the best videos have been created with just an iPhone or a digital camera, or you can even use tools like QuickTime Player to record your screen if you’re sharing a tutorial.

Most computers these days will have a good in-built microphone, too, but if you want to present a clear, crisp audio, you can pick up affordable external microphones on Amazon or similar.

Remember: fancy camera equipment isn’t necessary to create a compelling video. It’s all about the content and how you present it, which is what we’ll talk about next.

Prepare and Plan

A good strategy isn’t one that’s been picked off the top of your head. A good strategy is one that has been well thought-out, planned, and prepared.

To do that, think about:

WHERE you will film

So you’ve got the equipment (even if it’s just your smartphone) and now it’s time to think about where you’re going to film. This isn’t just a case of picking a quiet spot, though. It goes deeper than that – deep into your brand and what kind of “feeling” you want your students to have while they’re watching your videos.

For example, a video set in a classroom might make them feel comfortable and put them in the learning mood, while a video filmed in your house on your sofa might make them feel like they’re having a casual conversation with a friend.

WHAT you will film

This is where you’ll really need to get into the nitty gritty of the content of your videos. It’s not enough to jot down a quick overview of each video unless you’re already an experienced teacher and can wing a lesson no problem.

If not (which is highly likely), you want to consider how you’re going to tell your story or how you’re going to present your lesson in a structured, easy-to-digest way.

You might not want to memorize an entire script, but it’s worth noting down an outline that covers the key points you want to discuss in each video. This will include:

  • A brief introduction to the lesson and what the student will learn
  • The main body of the lesson, whether it’s a tutorial, an interview, or a simple floating-head piece
  • An ending to the video – is there a task you want students to carry out? How can they apply this to real life?

The best way to make sure your video content is compelling to your learners is to figure out their main pain points and tackle each one of these in a specific video.

It’s not enough to simply guess or assume what your students want to learn about – you want to actually solidify their pain points by asking them outright. You can do this by:

  • Adding a question to your autoresponder when people sign up to your newsletter (something like: “What is your biggest struggle with _____?”)
  • Sending out a survey or questionnaire to a handful of your ideal students
  • Researching your ideal students in detail – find out where they hang out and listen to what they’re asking and what their conversations revolve around

HOW you will film

Next it’s time to think about how you are going to present the solutions to these pain points in a lesson format. This is where you need to consider how best your students learn and how best you can show them actionable ways to implement what they’ve learnt.

You can do this by:

  • Including reality-based scenarios

It is common knowledge that humans learn best by doing, but if that’s not possible, the next best thing is to watch someone else doing said thing.

By integrating real-life examples into your lessons, you’re giving students the chance to see how they work first-hand and how the knowledge they’ve picked up in the lessons can be applied to real life situations.

  • Tapping into learner emotions

We learn better when our emotions are engaged because we can pattern match our feelings to the knowledge we acquired at the time.

Videos that elicit an emotional response or lessons that allow students to relate to them personally are a great way to tap into the emotional response you want to get. Think about how you can apply human interest pieces (like real-life news and events) to your lessons – though you don’t necessarily want to activate a shock response.

  • Adding the element of discovery

Online learning is great because students have the chance to learn in a way that best suits them – and your videos should tap into this by allowing them to discover their knowledge journey in their own way.

This is done by adding actionable steps and allowing students to explore information in different mediums and by adding interactive elements to your lessons.

As you can see, your strategy shouldn’t just be about what videos you’ll include, but also how they’ll help students reach their goals and how they’ll showcase the information in the best way possible.

What you can takeaway with you:

  • Plan and prepare: compelling videos form part of a strategy that works together to create the best learning environment
  • Implement different tactics to create engaging videos, whether it’s by employing emotional factors or creating an element of personal discovery
  • Don’t get hung up on equipment: compelling videos are all about the content, not how well they’re filmed and edited

If you’re ready to create a course full of compelling video lessons, let Mapout make it easy for you.

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