Stereotyped as slackers in their youth, Gen X are calling the shots at work and wielding power in the digital economy. Like, totally.
Out of all the types of marketing content out there, educational marketing videos are undoubtedly one of the best in terms of generating engagement and boosting brand awareness. They’re also perfect vehicles to deepen relationships with an engaged audience and great pieces to add to any CX strategy.
That’s why this type of video has become so popular on platforms like YouTube and why most marketing strategies have some form of educational video content as part of their outreach strategy.
However, educational videos are only successful when they follow several design elements that optimize and maximize the format’s strengths while overcoming common challenges.
Here, we explore the concept of educational videos from a holistic perspective and go over several vital design elements for the format’s effectiveness:
- Tailor for your target audience
- Stand out from the crowd
- Design for brevity
- Leverage viewers’ attention
- Consider captions and localization
Educational marketing videos: Who’s your audience?
In broad terms, educational video content is aimed at people already interested or motivated to find out more about a brand, niche, or topic.
By and large, this type of video follows a straightforward premise: provide useful, interesting information that an audience would find relevant or valuable to establish the brand as a go-to reference they might revisit or do business with in the future.
So, creating compelling educational video starts with considering the intended audience in detail and figuring out the best ways to engage them.
Unless they’re targeting a highly specialized viewership pool, most educational videos perform better by taking an informal tone. However, if your target audience is composed of seasoned professionals in a field, go ahead and dive right in with the specialized jargon if you think it would appeal to them.
In the end, understand what works best for the people you intend to reach and make sure that knowledge informs your approach.
Standing out in the digital crowd
Consider that the average viewer is constantly being bombarded with all types of digital content. Educational videos should be designed to grab their attention from the get-go.
Aim for a unique and entertaining piece. Even if humor isn’t traditionally related to your field, people are more likely to remember something that made them laugh instead of another boring piece.
Animation and motion graphics are other good ways to convey what you have to say and make your educational videos enjoyable. Using digital assets and graphics help describe intangible or complex topics in more accessible ways, but also creates a visual language your audience will grow used to and appreciate.
Most importantly focus on relevant topics and trends potential viewers would be interested in that also tie to your organization.
The key to effective educational content lies in providing value to viewers while subtly promoting your organization or product without going for a hard sell.
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Shorter the better: Designing for brevity
Ask any experienced video company, and they’ll all tell you that the shorter you can make a video, the better its chances of capturing viewers’ interest. Online audiences get bored easily, and in the age of immediacy, they’re likely to tune out of videos longer than two or three minutes.
Now, depending on the platform, a well-produced educational video can stand to be a bit longer than your average social media piece. This means that viewers on platforms like YouTube or Facebook, or your own knowledge-based platform, are usually more willing to sit through long-form content.
Still, the shorter you can keep your video while still covering all the essential points, the more effective they’ll be.
This starts by optimizing the script to find the best possible ways to fit everything you need in the shortest amount of time possible — without compromising your core message.
Then, use storyboarding to further sketch your video’s information-delivery pipeline. Videos are visual mediums, so the script doesn’t have to carry all of the weight. Develop visuals that reinforce or enhance information delivery on a second-to-second basis is a fantastic way to reduce overall runtime without cutting information.
Make the most of the spotlight
It’s worth mentioning that, for an educational video to be truly effective, you need to find opportunities in the content to leverage the attention it generates.
What that means will vary for different companies, institutions, marketing or branding strategy—and will most likely tie into the reasons why you’re making the video in the first place. At the very least, mention your organization’s website and other online presence in the video.
That way, when it’s time for your viewers to start digging deeper into your topic, they’ll be more likely to go to you first.
Captions, translations, and localization
A great and somewhat simple way to reach a wider audience with educational videos is to add captions. Not only is this a good practice in terms of inclusivity, but detailed captions can help viewers understand the content and reduce the chances of it being misunderstood or misinterpreted.
By the same token, translations and localization of your video content can dramatically broaden its scope and the audience it can reach.
Although resource intensive, localization can help make content more accessible for a more global audience or when trying to appeal to a multicultural audience.
An important caveat: Avoid any type of computer-generated translation or localization. We haven’t reached a point where algorithms are accurate enough to produce high-quality translations, even though transcription AI has made huge strides in this area. When it comes to educational content, a misinterpreted word can result in a negative experience for viewers.
The power of educational videos
Educational videos are powerful communication tools that most organizations — in and out of the education industry — have already made part of their overarching outreach strategy.
With a solid understanding of the core, broad-picture elements educational videos need to perform better, you’ll create videos that broaden your brand’s reach, satisfy viewers, and leave a lasting, positive impression that gets results.