Take learning content a step further by using videos to engage. Videos, if done right, wield the power of visualization that breaks down abstract and complex concepts to more representational, relatable, and memorable content.

We see the benefits marketers reap from using videos in their advertising content. Well-executed animated commercials can arouse attention, engage and motivate audiences to become consumers and even turn them into advocates.

So, you want to tap into the success that marketers have with the use of animations? Follow these techniques when creating your next training video to engage rather than distract your learners.

  1. Make your content emotional or thought-provoking

The ability of your training video to provoke thought and evoke emotions in your learners’ minds is important for relaying compelling and memorable information. Because of the use of visualization in videos, this challenge is easy to overcome, if it is done right.

We naturally engage with visual information and our learners prefer content they can connect with. Try infusing your learning videos with content that accurately evokes emotions such as interest, happiness, warmth, shock, surprise or even amusement to vastly improve relevance to individuals. An example is showing a relatable character tackling a workplace situation similar to what your audience will experience.

Let’s not forget to include content that ignites imagination, stimulates our learners’ minds, creates dialogue amongst peers and inspires action. Include creative questions, juxtaposition, metaphors and other comparison tools to liven up your content and make it stand out. 

  1. Use visuals to describe your key message.

A video will be more effective at passing across information if the key point is dramatized. Use a design to show practical implementation of your key message. Remember, the brain prefers visuals to text and can recall about 65 percent of visual information days later. If every other part is visualized excluding the key message, the main objective of your video will not be memorable. This video from Sarah Dewar created in Camtasia is a great example of effective visuals to dramatize the key point.

Link your key message to drama or animations like images, charts, symbols, facial expressions, etc. to trigger memory and reap the benefits of higher engagement. In contrast, a long string of words describing the learning points will reduce the percentage of memory recall. The brain recalls only about 10 percent of text-based information.  

  1. Stay consistent with the theme

Presenting a long-form video with several themes thrown together is a recipe for distraction and confusion. You should aim to employ microlearning principles in creating animated training videos and focus on tackling one topic with one animated video at a time. This why it is important to break down large chunks of learning content into smaller focus videos.

Additionally, avoid adding unnecessary content to your learning video. Learn the difference between ‘need to know’ and ‘nice to know’ information and do not muddy your video up with the latter. Avoid things like having too many characters or storylines in one animated video and any other element that does not necessarily progress your topic. Stay consistent with the theme of your video to avoid losing the attention of your learner.

  1. Be distinctive

One sure fire way to make your videos stand out in the minds of your learners is to be unique. Avoid over-used video themes and character structures. Luckily, Camtasia offers many unique solutions without overused themes.

Turn your creative side up a notch and come up with more distinctive elements to suit your brand and themes. Use templates to stay consistent but do not forget to create impact by adding dramatization of vivid images, surprise or unexpected humour to your videos. This way, your message stays memorable. 

  1. Know your learner’s needs

The importance of knowing your audience and catering to their needs cannot be stressed enough. Marketers do this very well and it is time we also ensure that our videos are created based on the learners needs. For example, consider approachable animated formats to break down apprehension learners have about daunting compliance topics. Your animations should create a sense of familiarity and create real-life scenarios as it relates to your audience.

It is equally important to know when and when not to employ certain techniques. Marketers use characters in animated commercials very deliberately to create a playful mood, but you may want to avoid a playful spirit in some courses (e.g. risk management course). Consider using an infographic approach without characters if that better meets your stakeholder and audiences’ needs. This training video we created for OREA is an example of the infographic approach that is not driven by a character as the host. 

  1. Only use relevant dramatization

Videos are a fun and simple way to present complex courses, but they can be distracting instead of engaging if not done properly. Dramatization is great for making your message stick. However, it is important to keep it relevant to your key point and avoid distracting your learners by emphasizing anything not pertinent to your learning purpose.

Keep the humour relevant to your topic and to a minimum and avoid stuffing your animated videos with irrelevant character backstories.

Marketers have long known the advantages of employing animations in advertising. Exploring the use of animations in our training videos is bound to refine and elevate the level of instructiveness of our courses. It is important to do it the right way and reap the benefits of instructional materials that are engaging, motivating, interactive and relatable. 

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