Training videos were ‘nice’, but now they are critical to business success as the pandemic rages on. Now, employees work remotely and organizational education issues are rising.
How do you train staff that you never meet? How do you hold their attention? Is your staff suffering because your employee training programs aren’t working?
You need to employ marketing strategies to grab their attention and hold it.
There are core story and marketing tactics to adopt and implement.
Video training must be transformed into ‘Education Marketing’
To succeed, follow the same key tenets as marketing videos. Every employee is exposed to new videos, stories, chats, GIFs, and memes every single day as they work. It’s not play-time at all, ads are displayed to your employees as they search for answers to important questions.
Engagement is the new economy.
Video platforms are engaging your employees because the content is more memorable than any outdated formats. Employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than to read a document, an email, or a web article. They are also more likely to remember it.
Research has shown content retention of video-based material to be double that of a conventional training session.
Embrace new video training formats
To be effective, your training videos need to focus on three core aspects: the story, engaging style, and the length.
- First, the story is the vehicle that delivers the engagement:A good story is perhaps the most difficult aspect of every video. Anyone that has told a joke and had it fall flat understands how important it is to get the pieces of the story in the right order, and to use timing to accentuate points.
- Second, infuse animation, graphics, and fun. Yes, fun:This will open new synapses. Creation of new neural pathways increases retention. Fun has been an antonym of ‘training’ video for decades, but to be successful, leaders need to adapt.
- Third, your key lessons must be short:Anything longer than 3 major take-aways per segment will lower retention. If you are training on a lot of material, break your long-form lessons into chapters. We learn the most at the open and close, the midpoint is tertiary. When you put too much emphasis on multiple points, retention decreases. Create multiple three-act structured stories. Do you remember the last 20-minute commercial you saw? Of course not, because quick hits are memorable, long form videos filled with bullet points are not memorable.
What else does Hollywood do to grab attention?
The 3-Act Structure
Do you remember your favorite teacher? Are they your favorite based on the bullet points they wrote on the board, or the stories they told, their empathy and relatability, and the way they made the difficult concepts understandable?
Now, think of a favorite movie. Most movies, great teachers, and plays we know, especially the Hollywood tentpole films, obey the 3-Act Structure to grab attention, take you on a journey, and fulfill a promise from the opening act.
Your training videos and series should do the same.
Here is a brief lesson on how you can structure your stories like Hollywood does:
- ACT ONE
The First Act. This is where we carefully establish our main character and her world and build empathy and relatability. This is not a bullet point. This is a relatable scenario or person. When an audience can relate, they are engaged.For screenwriters, the book “Save the Cat” does a great job of explaining the importance of the early moments of a first act and getting the audience to root for your main character.The first act also introduces us to the main character’s nemesis, also known as the antagonist.The antagonist is the person (or thing) that keeps our main character (or protagonist) from achieving his or her goal.For your training video, we spend the first act establishing the world in which your product exists and there is an issue that is dark and foreboding. The audience is engaged in solving the problem.
- ACT TWO
Act Two begins in movies when the protagonist has experienced a life changing event, and now he/she is off to face a new challenge.Think Harry Potter after he finds out he’s a wizard. Think Luke Skywalker after he finds the message from Princess Leia. They’re off to learn new things about the world and themselves. They are now acting on the ‘Call to Adventure’.Throughout Act Two, they encounter the antagonist.They’re going to go through ups and downs. They’re going to go through a journey of discovery and choices – some good, some bad. What can you teach along this path, what useful tools can you use and share?
- ACT THREE
At the end of Act Two, a film’s protagonist is at their lowest point. All hope appears to be lost.But in Act Three they find the strength to fight through and persevere, and hopefully get to that main goal at the end of Act Three that provides redemption or transformation.The caterpillar becomes the butterfly. Luke becomes the Jedi knight. Your customer becomes a savior to his/her business by using your product.
That’s a Three Act Structure.
With the use of story, at the right length, with a good story, your training can transform a bored audience into an engaged and well learned machine.