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Anyone with a smartphone can start creating videos – but to produce something valuable, easy-to-follow and informative, you need to learn some tricks of the trade.

When the time comes to create training videos for your business, it’s a good idea to invest in the right equipment, spend time planning your videos and work on your presentation skills. 

Read on for your guide to how to create training videos – inc equipment tips, real-life examples and top do’s and don’ts.

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Why create training videos (benefits)

Training videos are one of the most effective ways to teach information to students online. They’re ideal for self-study as students can move through each video at their own pace.

Training videos also make the learning experience more dynamic – and a lot less daunting for students. Instead of dry text or undecipherable graphics, a video takes you step-by-step through a topic.

As Xayli explains, a training video is like having someone next to you explaining what you need to know about a topic and guiding you through the learning journey. 

The best videos are clear, engaging and even fun. They make learning easy and accessible for everyone. 

  • Reduced training costs – Cut training costs by eliminating the cost of travel, accommodation, and instruction time – online learning is estimated to cost one-third to one-fifth less than traditional instructor-led in-person training.
  • Higher student engagement – Learners are 75% more likely to watch a video than read an email.
  • Improved information retention –  Training videos can boost knowledge retention by as much as 83% and help learners remember content for longer.

Other benefits of creating training videos include:

  • Increased flexibility
  • Visual, dynamic learning
  • Better course completion rates

course creator, training videos can also be one of the easiest types of content to produce for your students. Here are Xayli’s recommendations for 3 of the best types of training videos for businesses and entrepreneurs.

3 types of training videos

There’s a huge range of different types of videos you can create for your business – but Xayli Barlay recommends these 3 types to help you create training videos that are both engaging and entertaining.

Talking head videos

When you’re thinking about how to create training videos for your business, your mind probably goes straight to ‘talking head’ style videos. 

These videos feature an expert talking in front of a camera. They follow the traditional teacher/student format that’s familiar from school and college – but you’re watching a video instead of listening to your instructor live.

These types of training videos are perfect for establishing a closer connection with your students. Instead of staring at a screen, they’re looking at your smiling face. 

Though they’re one of the hardest types to create – and can involve stepping outside your comfort zone and in front of a camera – the rewards are worth it, says Xayli.

“These videos can result in much more engagement and interaction from your students, a deeper connection with you and your content, and definitely higher completion rates, which turns into more testimonials and more sales for your courses. So for me, the extra effort is really worth it,” says Xayli.

Talking head videos are ideal for: 

  • Establishing your expertise
  • Adding personality to your videos
  • Creating a connection with your customers
  • Introductions and conclusions
  • Thought leadership videos

Top tip: Talking head videos can be hard to follow for long videos and students might switch off if they’re just watching you talk – so mix it up by adding graphics, pop-ups, different camera angles and screen sharing elements too.

Screen sharing videos 

Screen sharing videos are great for walking your students through a topic step-by-step. They’re especially well-suited to topics that have a technical element where your students will need to use a computer or phone to complete an action.

The same goes for topics where you have a process that you need to teach your students – like working out a math problem or designing a piece of furniture. Screen sharing makes it super easy to teach this type of content as they can watch you complete the process in real-time.

Screen sharing is also one of the easiest ways to create training videos for your course. All you need is a microphone and your screen. You don’t need to worry about lighting or camera angles – it’s just a basic screen recording.

This style of training video is best for:

  • How-to videos
  • Demo videos
  • Tutorials

Use screen sharing to show your students exactly how something is done step-by-step.

Presentation videos

If you’re looking to create training videos for the first time, presentation style videos are a great option. They let you convey a lot of information in a straightforward, simple way and students can read and listen at the same time.

Presentation videos let you provide students with detailed information in a format that’s easy to follow. They can see each point laid out clearly on the page – with your voice over the top explaining each concept in more detail.

Advantages of presentation style videos include:

  • Break down and explain complex concepts
  • Let students follow along
  • Add your branding for better brand recognition
  • Add charts, infographics, animations and more

Of course, you can also use a combination of all three types of training videos!

Why not introduce the topic with a talking head video, then launch into a presentation video to outline the key concepts, and switch to screen sharing to walk your students step-by-step through a certain process?

This not only creates a more dynamic learning experience, but it also makes sure that you’re using the best type of video for each section of your video content and course.

How to create training videos

Creating training videos can sound like a daunting task but thanks to a host of new technology and all-in-one platforms for managing and delivering training, the process just got a whole lot simpler.  

Here are 5 key steps you need to create training videos:

  1. Planning: Start by planning your training videos to make sure they’re structured, comprehensive and tailored to your target audience.
  2. Recording: Film your content and record audio using simple, effective equipment and software to generate professional-quality training videos.
  3. Editing: Edit your videos to make them more engaging for your target audience – including adding animations, effects, text overlays, and more.
  4. Publishing: Choose a hosting platform to publish and distribute your training videos for easy access, administration, and performance tracking.
  5. Measuring: Measure and assess the success of your training videos with real-time data analytics and learner feedback to help you improve your content over time.

Ready to dive into creating training videos in more detail? Here’s a breakdown of the 5 steps – plus top tips, examples, and extra resources.

5 simple steps to create training videos

  1. Plan your training videos

First things first, you need to plan what your training videos will contain. The planning step is essential to make sure the creation process is efficient – and results in video training that hits the mark.

Know your audience

Whether you’re creating training for employees, customers, or partners, you need to know who your target audience is.

Why? Because different audiences will engage with your video training differently. 

If your client base is primarily Boomers, for example, they’re going to have a very different relationship with video content compared to a Gen Z audience who’ve grown up with microvideo formats like TikTok.

Your training videos should be tailored for your target audience – including their learning preferences and needs. 

Free Training Needs Analysis Template: Download Now

If you want learners to engage with your training, complete your course, and have the best chance of success, take the time to get to know them.

That means turning to tried-and-tested audience research tactics, including:

  • Surveys
  • Interviews
  • Focus groups

The aim of audience research is to get a clearer picture of what kind of video training will be most helpful and engaging to your audience.

Here are some things you’ll want to know about your target audience:

  • Audience demographics: Know the demographics of the people you’re talking to including their age, education, income, location, language, gender.
  • Subject matter expertise: Understand what level of knowledge your audience currently has on the subjects you’re going to be training them on, including their experience and prior training.
  • Attitude: Learn your audience’s attitude to training – including their current motivation and potential barriers to training. What will it take to get them to engage with your videos?
  • Systems knowledge: Find out what tools and systems your audience has access to and is already comfortable using – this will impact how you publish and distribute your videos down the line.
  • Communication: How do your audience prefer to be contacted? What is the best way to get their attention? This will inform how you roll-out and publish your content for maximum engagement.

Related: Essential Questions To Ask In Your Training Evaluation Survey

Once you know who you’re talking to, it’s time to get down to the meaty part of planning your videos. Next step? Choose a topic.

Choose a topic

Chances are you’ll already know your training topic – but it’s likely to be a big subject that needs to be broken down into several training videos.

In this step, work out which videos you want to create and how many sub-topics you’ll cover during your training. As a general rule, training videos shouldn’t be more than 10 minutes long to avoid overloading learners with information. If your topic is too big, split it up into smaller videos. 

How To Choose A Course Topic Guide: Download Now

Decide on a format

There are a wide range of different training video formats – each with their own advantages. When you’ve chosen the topic for your videos, determine which format will be most effective for conveying the information.

Here are 5 types of training videos you could try: 

  • Instructor-led videos: Training videos featuring an instructor delivering information to camera – also known as ‘talking head’ videos – combined with images, presentations, and screencasts. Great for giving your content a friendly, human face.
  • Animated videos: Fully animated videos that can include whiteboard animations, stop-motion, moving infographics, animated text and more. Ideal for simplifying complex topics, data, and processes.
  • Screencast videos: Screen recordings of training content featuring a voice-over narration to guide learners through specific processes. Best for software tutorials and technical demonstrations. 
  • How-to videos: Also known as demonstration videos, these training videos break a process down into clear steps to guide the learner through a task or problem. Good for conveying specific information like how to use certain product features.
  • Scenario-based videos: Simulation videos using real-world scenarios on a specific situation, problem, or process. Best for experiential learning where learners are asked to suggest solutions or choose an outcome.

The video format you choose will depend on a range of factors, including your topic, technical ability, budget, and time restraints.

Create an outline

So you know your audience, your topic and your video format – but before you step anywhere near a camera, you also need to outline your videos. 

Why? Because to help your audience understand and follow your videos, they need to be ordered, structured and systematic in how they present the training content.

If you’ve ever tried to follow along with an instructor who isn’t using notes or slides in their presentation, you’ll know how important a learning path is – and how easy it is to end up with an audience of confused, frustrated, and disengaged learners.

Here are the key steps to creating a video outline:

  • Determine the goal: Get clear on the goal of the video – including the training objectives. What are you trying to achieve? What should your audience be able to do after watching the video?
  • Write down the steps: Plot the steps needed to reach that goal. What will it take to get your audience there?
  • Review: Make sure the outline follows a clear path – the steps should be in logical order and contain everything your learner needs to reach the goal. If you’ve missed any essential steps, add them now.
  • Add detail: When you’ve got your basic structure sorted, you can then add more detail to your outline and review again.

Related: How To Design an Effective Learning Path 

Training Structure Template: Download Now

Write a script and make a storyboard.

Use your outline to help you write a script for your videos and design a storyboard.

This is your chance to figure out exactly what you want to include in your videos – including what your instructor or narrator will say and what your learners are going to see.

Depending on the format you’ve chosen for your training videos, you may need to go more in-depth at this stage. For example, animated videos will need a lot more work during the storyboarding stage than instructor-led videos.

Need help creating a storyboard? Download our customizable storyboard templates here.

  1. Record your training videos

When the planning stage is over, you’re ready to record your training videos.

The types of tools and equipment you’ll need to record your training videos will depend on what type of videos you want to create.

If you’re making instructor-led videos, you’ll need:

  • A camera or smartphone
  • Microphone
  • Lighting
  • Tripod
  • Computer with editing software

Looking for equipment recommendations? Check out our complete guide to the Best Equipment & Software For Creating Online Courses

Recording your screen 

If you’re making screencast training videos then you don’t need any extra camera equipment. You can record your training videos directly on your device using in-built tools or a tailor-made screencasting software like OBS Studio or Camtasia.

New to screen recording? Read our guide on how to record your screen on any device.

3 tips to get the best video recordings

  • Invest in good quality equipment

You can create training videos just using an iPhone and simple editing software – but if you want to end up with high-quality, professional videos you’ll need to invest in the right equipment. Upgrading the quality of your recording equipment will result in less work down the line – and a much better experience for your learners.

  • Keep it simple

The secret to effective training videos is to make your content as simple as possible. Don’t get tempted to add in extras during the recording process – stick to your outline and your storyboard to make sure your videos are concise and clear. 

  • Stay on topic

If you’re recording voiceovers or instructor-led content, keep the content short and sweet. Stay on topic and use a script wherever possible. Your learners have a limited attention span so give them the information they need to know – and then call cut!

  1. Edit your training videos

Next up, editing. The editing stage is where you can make your training videos more clear and engaging by cutting out unnecessary content and adding extra animations, graphics, and text.

If you’re completely new to video editing, check out our beginner’s guide: How to Edit YouTube Videos.

Here are the basics.

  • Add audio and music

Use video editing software to import your audio and sync it with your video footage. You can also add music and sound effects to make your video more engaging and memorable for learners.

  • Cut for clarity

The editing process is your chance to make your training videos as clear as possible. Look for opportunities to cut filler content – especially if your videos feature a lot of talking.

Look for opportunities to trim your videos, including:

  • Removing long pauses
  • Taking out unnecessary information
  • Closing gaps in dialogue
  • Cutting the beginning and end

When you’re editing videos, you’re aiming to create a flow or tempo that sets the pace for your training content. If it’s too quick, your learners won’t have time to absorb the content – if it’s too slow then they’ll switch off. Find the middle ground that’s right for your target audience.

  • Add images and diagrams

To help illustrate your training content – and make your video more visually interesting – add images and diagrams in the editing process.

Get creative with your edits, including:

  • Moving animations
  • Arrows
  • Shapes
  • Illustrations
  • Photos
  • Images

All these elements and more can help to enhance your videos and hold your learners’ attention. This is especially important if you have instructor-led videos with a lot of talking. 

Don’t be afraid to have some fun during the editing process – remember to keep your target audience in mind.

  • Include text overlays

It’s a good idea to also add text to your videos during the editing process. Text helps make your content easier to follow, more engaging, and accessible to a wider audience.

Use text to:

  • Introduce the topic
  • Highlight key points
  • Summarize previous points
  • Create conclusions
  • Emphasize transitions

Both text captions and subtitles can also help your audience to watch your content when the sound is turned off. What’s more, text overlays help your videos stand out and hook your audience right away.

When you’re happy with your editing and the final cut of your training videos, you’re ready to publish!

  1. Publish your training videos

Ready to share your training videos with your audience? It’s time to publish and promote.

The exact process for uploading and distributing your training videos will depend on your audience, your LMS and your organization.

If your videos are for prospects and customers, you might prefer to publish your training videos on a public platform like YouTube. 

For internal training videos, you’ll most likely choose to distribute your videos on an LMS. A corporate LMS will allow you to segment your audience and assign training content based on their role, location, current training level and more.

Choosing the right hosting platform

Publishing and distributing your content is easy with the right platform.

Here are some key criteria to help you find the best LMS for your needs:

  • Functional requirements: Including multimedia content, social learning features, bulk actions like enrollments and assessments, insights and performance tracking, multilingual controls.
  • Technical requirements: Including security, accessibility, number of users permitted, number of courses, locations.
  • Cost requirements: Including pricing per user, pricing according to features and functionality, and cost for additional admins.

Choose a LMS that’s tailor-made for delivering training content with all the tools you need to create high-converting landing pages, intuitive user interfaces, and easy administration for your team.

Here are our top choices for the Best LMS for Customer Training and Education.

Promote your training videos

Your promotion strategy for your videos will also vary depending on your target audience. 

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel here – talk to your audience using the tools you’re already using. Utilize existing communication channels to reach your learners, such as:

  • Email
  • SMS
  • Slack and internal messaging
  • Newsletters
  • Collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams

Go back to your audience research to find out how best to communicate with your audience – and don’t be shy about cross-promoting across multiple channels.

For example, if you’re creating training videos for onboarding new clients, consider creating an email marketing campaign to promote your training videos after sign-up. You can also add the videos to your product homepage so new users see them when they log-in.  And post snippets on your social media too.

  1. Measure the success of your training videos

If you’re taking the time to create training videos, you want to make sure they deliver on your training goals. That means rolling out your training is just the beginning.

When your content is live, you need to track and measure the success of your videos – and identify areas for improvement.

Key metrics to measure training effectiveness

Use your LMS to track the performance of your training videos to help you make data-driven decisions on future updates and improvements. 

Here are some key metrics to track:

  • Engagement rate
  • Enrollment rate
  • Drop-off rate
  • Course completion rates
  • Post-training performance
  • Return on investment (ROI)
  • Learner feedback

By monitoring these metrics over time, you can assess the effectiveness of your training videos. 

Use learner feedback to get a more detailed picture of what you can do to improve your videos – and tailor them to your target audience. For example, if you’re noticing high drop-off rates for a particular module or topic, ask learners what they’re struggling with and what isn’t working. Then go back and tweak your content.

Here are some common problems with training videos:

  • Your content is too long
  • Your user experience isn’t intuitive
  • Training isn’t relevant to your audience
  • Training isn’t accessible
  • Your videos aren’t engaging
  • Lack of support

These problems can all be fixed but first you need to know they’re a problem. Don’t make the mistake of publishing your videos and ignoring them. The process of creating training videos is ongoing – and there’s always room for improvement.

Examples of top performing training videos

  1. Hootsuite 

Hootsuite is one of the world’s most widely used social media management platforms. With over 16 million users, the company equips businesses around the world with the knowledge and tools to succeed on social media platforms.

The company uses training videos in their Hootsuite Academy – an online training site with courses on social media marketing and Hootsuite platform training.

With the goal of attracting new customers and nurturing current ones, Hootsuite’s online Academy has played an important role in customer success, and seeing their customers into brand advocates.

Since launching their Academy on Thinkific Plus, Hootsuite has seen reduced churn, and increased engagement for customers on their platform.

Read the full case study here.

  1. Echosec

Helping organizations identify online threats with data discovery tools, Echosec Systems set out to create a customer education program to improve product adoption. They quickly found that users preferred videos to text-based training.

Thanks to the success of their video training, Echosec extended the program to new employees to improve their product knowledge during onboarding. By creating a comprehensive video training course, Echosec trained 100% of their employees and onboarded 80+ companies.

Check out the full case study here.

Start creating your own training videos

Use these 5 steps to start creating training videos and engage learners, boost knowledge retention, and reduce training costs. 

Ready to start educating your customers? Check out this free webinar ‘How To Build Your First Customer Education Online Course’ – a 45-minute training session to kickstart your customer education program and walk away with a plan for your first course. smile!

This guide was updated August 2023 to be even more helpful!