As a product marketing manager, you may have come across the issue of trying to figure out how to train new employees while balancing your own to-do list. You may not have planned to do so much training when you first took on the job, but let’s face it, you know the product inside and out, which means you’re amazing at teaching others how to use it.
But training employees one-on-one requires time and energy that can be hard to find when combined with all of the other responsibilities of a product marketing manager. That’s why video is an incredible tool for teaching new employees about your product or service. Some extra work up-front means less time later answering the same questions over and over.
Let’s walk through five tips that any video beginner should consider when starting to make product training videos:
Define the Goal of the Video
Ask yourself: when employees are done watching the video, what is the one thing they need to walk away knowing? If you can’t summarize the takeaway in one clear sentence, chances are high the lack of clarity will show in your training video.
If they are learning about a complex product or service, break it down into multiple shorter videos. It feels less daunting to have, say, four two-minute videos to watch (with breaks in-between) versus one twelve-minute video with lots of takeaways.
Speak to Your Audience
As a product marketing manager, you know it’s critical to catch–and hold–the attention of your target audience. So put yourself in the shoes of your employees and take a stab at understanding what makes them “tick”. Here are a few common ways to make your videos stand out:
- Humor: even if it’s cheesy, it’s memorable!
- Animation: it can help simplify complex concepts
- Role-playing / Using Examples: rather than telling your audience, show your audience
- Use a storyline throughout the video: people love stories!
In general, corporate training videos have received a bad rap for painting unrealistic scenarios of corporate life. Showing only picture-perfect, idealistic situations that don’t resonate with most people. Avoid this pitfall by, again, putting yourself in the day-to-day shoes of your viewers and being as realistic as possible.
Make Your Script Video-Ready
It might be tempting to say, “I’ll just record myself giving the same in-person talk that I normally do during product training.” But teaching people in-person is a very different medium than teaching people through video (here’s a full guide on how to start writing your own script).
Instead of having an hour-long training session, you now have a short series of videos to convey all of the same information. Better yet, employees can even go back and watch the videos as many times as they need to so they don’t need to keep asking you questions when they forget how to do something. It’s hard to retain an hour’s worth of information when being talked at during an in-person training; video allows them to go at their own pace.
That’s why it’s critical that your script is written as simply, clearly, and concisely as possible. Avoid using fillers like “um” or “like” and avoid long tangents that stray from your main point.
Consider Video Production Quality
Not everyone is an actor, born to be on screen–but that doesn’t have to affect the quality of your training videos! With the right prep work, your video can stand the test of time. Here is how:
- Write–and rehearse–your script. Avoid improv because it’s too easy to stray from your main focus. Rehearsing a script also helps create a sense of authority in your tone because you have no uncertainties about what you’re going to say.
- Test your audio before recording. Nothing is worse than bad audio! An ideal setup uses a lavalier mic (a mic that clips to your shirt) to ensure clear audio. It’s possible to rely on just your video camera’s recorder, but you need to make sure that there are no potential noise interruptions, humming, muffled-ness, etc. to distract the viewer. You must do a test recording to make sure you’re picking up audio, too!
- Avoid distracting backgrounds. If you’re doing live video, make sure the background of your shot is clean and fairly simple. You want the viewer’s eyes on you; not the window with passing cars or the office desk covered in clutter.
- Check your lighting. While this only applies to live video, make sure your lighting and color of light (also known as “white balance”) are set evenly throughout your frame. Filming indoors with artificial lighting makes this easier, since the contrast between sunlight and shade is drastic and usually negatively impacts a frame’s look.
There you have it–a quick checklist of things to consider before diving into your own product training video! As video continues to grow in popularity, trying out this new method is a great way to stay ahead of the curve and have fun while learning some new skills! For more advice on the video production process, here’s an overview of the Render Pilots process.