Nay and YAYs of Video

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Nay and YAYs of Video

Instructional Video or Informative Video (tips)

Sure, Americans Funniest Videos is still running after more than 20 years. But did you know educational and informational videos are actually one of the fastest-growing categories on YouTube?

People use educational videos to explore new products, learn techniques, further their professional knowledge, take up new hobbies, and discover DIY approaches to all kinds of topics. The better the video, the better the tool for learning and remembering new information.

Most teaching and informational videos are evergreen, meaning they retain their value for a very long time—as long as their content remains accurate. Companies that produce videos for education and information find them to be a wise long-term investment.

If you’re gearing up to make a new instructional or informational video, keep the following best practices in mind.

YAY - ENJOY Yourself &Your Topic

Instructional and Informative videos don’t have to be boring. They can be as dramatic and entertaining as any other kind of video. If all you do is lecture the audience, you WILL lose them.

Great instructional videos incorporate a variety of visual formats, from 3D animations to slapstick parody. Each concept is presented in an innovative way that challenges or “courts” the viewer to keep on watching.

You can even incorporate a bit of humor and silliness. Laughter is scientifically proven to improve the retention of information—even when complex or controversial ideas are presented. Get your audience giggling, and they’ll remember your message and be more inclined to share with others. 

Show that you enjoy your topic. A monotone reading or lecture does become quite boring to anyone. Ask your elementary schooled child or high school teen. Joy is contagious, and if the viewer can see your excitement about the topic they will be interested. If it feels to the viewer that you are doing a “job” you will lose them. 

"Show that you ENJOY your topic."


Never start filming before you have a complete script and storyboard in place. Improvisation generally doesn’t cut it for a video. You have a lot of important information to present, and winging it won’t work.

Doing a family video during a bbq – then yes by all means WING IT! But remember the professionalism of your brand goes out with these instructional and informative videos. You will never be taken as the authority in the topic, when you wing it.

If you’ve ever seen a TED Talk—a hugely popular series of learning videos—one thing you’ll notice is that they’re shot in cinematic style, even though they’re primarily shared on YouTube. The producers of TED Talks say quality is one of their #1 priorities because a sleek style is simply more enjoyable to watch. Today’s viewers expect cinematic quality.

video production company can help you understand the production process and create a high-quality video. This ensures the final result will not only be educational, but also professional.

YAY - No dancing around the bush!

PLEASE – Get to the point, stay on point and no dancing around the bush or beating it. The main point of your video should be made within the first couple of minutes, and the overall takeaway should be apparent throughout. and yes avoid making the video too long.

A series of 8-minute videos can be far more effective than one 80-minute video. Research shows that most people in educational settings have about a 10 to 15 minute maximum attention span before they get distracted.

In fact, a study by MIT found that, if you want to ensure people grasp every concept, the ideal length of a instructional or informative video is just 6 minutes . Based on this data, MIT worked with a group of educational institutions to offer short online courses, called mini-lectures, that were each less than 15 minutes long.

So if you have a lot of information to present, consider making a series of short videos. Give each video a separate theme and title, creating a steady stream of fresh videos for your audience to enjoy.

Nay : No Scare Tactics but definitely touch the heart.

“This is your brain, this is your brain on drugs – get the picture”. 

This may have worked as a 30 second tv commercial when there was no YOUTUBE and MILLIONS of options. But today this does not work. 

Instruction and informative videos—especially those presented in corporate settings—sometimes slip into the bad habit of scaring the viewer into paying attention. Never issue warnings, like telling employees that they could be fired for ignoring safety procedures.

Instead, focus on the positive. Keep the action rolling along in an upbeat way. The overall feel of the video should be helpful and friendly. 

Use a production company that is versed in hearts and science. Heart and science is the ability to understand that we are all emotional beings and many times we will retain, review, and share about things that emotionally touch us. This is how Lenovo does a commercial about a tablet and gives a heartfelt story and does not spend it’s 71 seconds giving a big list of the technical capabilities; yet sells millions.

YAY - Make it easy to Watch & Re-Watch

The video should be easily accessible so people can go back and remind themselves about the details of certain topics. Consider creating an online archive where people can share and re-watch your videos. Add them to YouTube, put them on your company website, and share them on social media. And now with updated technology use the YouTube bookmarking feature allowing them to return PRECISELY to the section they need. 

Over time, you’ll develop an archive of videos that serves as an encyclopedia of information for your audience. Your videos are valuable educational content that’s worth preserving and sharing.

Instructional Video