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Want to keep your students engaged throughout your online course? Start using video in your course content!

To bring you best practices around creating videos for your course, we spoke with XayLi Barclay, a video and content creation coach. Through her Start, Shoot, Grow academy on Thinkific, she teaches people how to be confident on camera and get their message across.

Watch the video below for XayLi’s tips on how to use video to attract your ideal audience, create content for your course, and develop your unique voice on camera.

6 Tips To Creating Great Video Content for Your Online Course @XayLiBarclay #onlinecourses #videomarketing Click To Tweet

Getting started with video in your online course

Since video showcases a full picture of who you are and what you do, adding it into your online course is a great way to keep your course engaging. Not only does it allow you to connect with your audience on a personal level, but it converts prospects to paying customers better than using text-based communication alone.

Before you move into creating your video content, make sure you understand who your target audience is and what they’re struggling with.

“As a coach, it’s easy to become far removed from the problems as the expert. Think about when you started and the struggles you faced during each stage of their journey. Then you’ll be able to better lead them through the transformation.”

– XayLi Barlcay

Once you have a good grasp of your customer profile, here are some helpful tips to get you started creating videos!

6 Tips To Creating Great Video Content for Your Online Course

1) Know exactly what you’re talking about

First, make sure you have a good hold on your topic and how your audience will benefit from you sharing it. Knowing what you’re talking about always trumps having the best lights, cameras, backgrounds, or set up behind the scenes. Keeping the video content laser focused throughout your course helps attention span.

2) Don’t be afraid to niche down

Building off of tip one, be willing to get specific in the content you create!

As someone wise once said, the riches are in the niches. Being really specific will help you draw in the right students, and help ensure your curriculum does enough of a deep dive to be useful for your students.

3) Leverage window light

You can easily make a great video using window light, no matter what camera you have. Don’t stress over having a fancy studio light set up when you start. Natural window light during the day is a great source of light, and one XayLi often uses to shoot her own videos!

Related blog: Wondering what equipment to start with to record your videos? Check out the Ultimate YouTube Marketing Guide for Video Creators & Entrepreneurs.

4) Keep the length to a minimum

Film your video content in chunks. Creating a two-hour video will have your audience dropping off or falling asleep in no time. Aim for each video you create to be around five minutes.

Thinkific offers many ways to create and insert video into your course curriculum. Here are a few different methods you could test:

  • Record a video of yourself talking on camera. This works well for intro and outro videos, and introducing new key chapters in your course to anchor your students.
  • Use the presentation format. This function enables you to record audio while speaking to specific slides. Have an e-book that would work well in your course? Use this feature to walk people through the content of your book while showing each page on the screen.
  • Screen sharing. To walk people through a demonstration of how you do things, this is a great feature. If your course includes breaking down processes, recording a screen share can be a very effective teaching tool.



5) Choose your video marketing platform

Between Instagram stories, IGTV, Facebook, and YouTube, how do you decide where to begin posting videos to market your course?

Since each channel serves a different purpose, your first step is knowing your audience and where they like to hang out. Have a look at platform demographics and engagement in your particular space. Whichever platforms you choose, the key is to keep your message consistent across them all. Although you’ll likely have different lengths and types of content on each, your overall message should point back to a cohesive brand story.

Here’s what XayLi had to say about her favorite platform, YouTube.

“I love YouTube for a few reasons. It does long-form videos, and it’s keyword searchable. That’s a big benefit when you’re markeing yourself to grow your business. Since things like IGTV are not yet searchable, if you’re starting out I would prioritize getting some content on YouTube first.”

– XayLi Barlcay

6) Develop your unique voice on camera

Last but not least, speak from your heart.

Many people find that there are areas of themselves or topics that are challenging to address while on camera. This often holds them back from sharing fully, leaving a missed opportunity to connect with their audience.

While it may seem counterintuitive, often the thing that makes you the most uncomfortable to talk about is the very thing that will provide a powerful connection between you and your audience. XayLi has seen this first hand with many of her clients.

“Speak from your heart, share your journey. Your story is what makes you different from others. As coaches, we’re often all teaching the exact same thing. But you need to understand that before buying your content, people need to buy into YOU. What experiences can you share that will help people understand that what you offer is different than everybody else?”

– XayLi Barlcay

With authenticity as your goal, how much should you share? About your life, your challenges, or your business?

To answer this question, XayLi recommends taking some time to reflect on what feels most uncomfortable for you to share. Write down different areas that come to mind, and ask yourself, what do I have to gain by starting that conversation? On the flipside you can ask, what do I have to lose by disclosing this? Make sure that what you share is respectful to the people and experiences in your past.

Just remember, transparency is key. It can be the vehicle for catapulting your brand into view and helps cut through the noise.

Common challenges to creating great video

Camera confidence

A lot of people starting out with video think, I can’t do video! But ask yourself, what’s the difference between showing up as your genuine self in front of your colleagues, friends, and family each day, and showing up for your online community? You do not need to be perfect in front of the camera, you only need to be yourself!

To help kick nerves to the curb, think about who you are serving and how you can help them. This will help take the focus off of you as a presenter and recenters the conversation on the benefit for your audience.

Overcomplicating the setup

If you don’t have the best set, lighting, or equipment just yet, that’s ok. Don’t get caught up in playing the comparison game with others who are ten steps ahead of you. You can still start to build your tribe by putting yourself out there on camera. As XayLi says, “create before you walk.”

Connect with XayLli at or on her Thinkific academy,