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Guest post: How to make boring topics interesting with video

  • External Contributors By

By Kristen Craft, Director of Partnerships, Wistia.

Videos are powerful communication tools. Showing, rather than telling, has proven time and again to be the best way of conveying a message or teaching something. Plus, video is a rich medium that packs in a lot of complex information. This allows your viewer to be as informed as possible in the most efficient way. Below, we’ve listed strategies for how to use video in any enterprise.

Productivity for the Win

Let’s say, for example, that you’re training your sales team on a new product. Video can help them be far more productive with training time. Video allows sales teams to train from any location at any time. Furthermore, if you’re leveraging video, the learner can watch at his or her own pace, rewatching and reviewing as necessary. The viewer has full control over the pace of the material. Managers can then use the data and analytics from a training video to improve on the process.

This data on viewing, rewatching, and skipping offers insight into what employees find confusing or boring. Managers can be iterative with training programs, improving over time, based on past data.

Captivate people

If you want to capture and hold onto people’s attention, you need to make a compelling video! All good communicators strive to make content that both imparts the necessary information and keeps the audience engaged. This might seem tough, especially if you work in an esoteric industry or with a product that’s perceived as boring. But even the dullest topic can be made interesting with some effort. Here are a few basic tips on making your videos as interesting as possible, no matter what the subject:

1. Include real people. Humans like other human faces! Rather than going with just a voiceover, show your own face on camera, or solicit help from co-workers. Use shots of people around you, even if you’re only using them during live-action bumpers before other (non-human-centric) content.

2. Keep your video short and targeted. The longer your video is, the more likely you are to lose people. For videos under 30 seconds, we see an average viewer engagement rate (ie the percentage of the video that people watch, on average) just above 80%. For videos that are 30-45 minutes long, that average engagement rate drops to just 30%.

3. If you have a lot of ground to cover, break your video in multiple bite-sized chunks. It’ll make your content more engaging. Plus, this makes it easier for your viewers to find specific information again if they need to revisit certain sections in the future.

4. Don’t be afraid to inject some fun and humor into your video. Letting your personality show through will help keep people engaged. Include an outtake or two at the end. Or even capture some b-roll (background footage to intersperse with your primary footage) to make sections of your video more lively. Not only will b-roll engage people by humanizing your brand, it also helps smooth over transitions in your video.

Deploying Your Video

Now that you have your awesome video, what should you do with it? First off, distribute it to others, leveraging the technology they all use most: mobile devices. Regardless of whether you’re making a training video, recording a meeting, collaborating with others, or demonstrate a new product, many people would prefer to watch the content on their phones. Two years ago, ComScore found that 1 out of 6 videos were viewed on mobile devices. And that number is only increasing over time. AirWatch Video lets you unleash video via mobile devices securely. Wistia powers the backend of AirWatch video, so you’ll need a shiny, new Wistia account, but these are free for the taking.

Video Best Practices

If you want to dive even deeper into the world of video, try publishing an external-facing video. Create an explainer video or a video about your culture and hiring process. Try sharing video on Facebook or twitter, where video is already the most shared kind of media. When you launch your video, help people engage with your brand even further. You’ll get the most out of your video if you leverage mid-roll links and other calls-to-action. Use video analytics to see what people like and dislike, in order to improve over time.

We’re still in the early days of video, but those companies that are using it to their advantage–companies like Zappos, Facebook, Tiffany & Co, Twitter, and Google–are showing its potential power: for both training as well as marketing. If your company is using video in an interesting or powerful way, we’d love to hear about it! Please share with us (bonus points if you share with video!) @wistia or @thecrafty.

External Contributors

External Contributors

From time to time, the AirWatch Blog publishes posts from External Contributors. These contributors can range from partners to other mobility enthusiasts that want to share their information with an AirWatch perspective. In an effort to bring a wide variety of news and information to the AirWatch blog, External Contributors elaborate on thought-provoking topics and data within the mobility industry.

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