The Know-How Behind Educational Videos

As the month of September is associated with “back-to-school” season, we should keep in mind that there is always something new to learn—regardless of whether or not it’s in a classroom setting. Let’s say, for example, that someone wants to learn about the goods or services of a particular brand or business. An educational video would be a unique way to capture his or her attention. Learn how and why a video that has something to teach could give your brand high grades among customers.

The basics behind educational videos

To begin with, the term “educational video” does not only refer to programming on public television. Very simply and to the point, an educational video aims to do just that: educate whoever is watching content that’s being displayed and provide them with information that answers what they were seeking in search. So, whether the content is an hour-long documentary on PBS or a 90-second “how to” spot, educational videos have value that can bring wide-ranging benefits to customers and brands alike.

Benefits of educational videos

  • If a consumer has a question or a need, can your brand provide an answer—and a solution—to what he or she wants to know?
  • Do the goods or services of your brand have capabilities that competitors don’t?
  • Can these capabilities be presented effectively through a visual presentation?

If you answered “yes” to these three questions, then an educational video will add further credibility to your brand as well as position you as an expert in your field. As video is the leading method by which users seek information—accounting for over 82 percent of Internet traffic—many potential customers might be impressed by what your brand has to offer, thanks to cleverly constructed moving imagery that’s backed up by honest content as instruction.

The “customer as critic” where online video is concerned

Note the italicized part in the previous sentence. No matter how well-crafted your educational video may be, never lose sight of the fact that its purpose is to teach something to customers who are seeking information. If the message is either muddled—or worse, misguiding—you will not only lose customers but risk being raked over the proverbial coals through negative online user reviews. Customers—or more specifically, the customer audience you are targeting—are harsh critics. You must therefore make them the focus of your educational video campaign. Plan ahead.

Planning out an educational video

The importance of the preproduction stage for any type of video cannot be overemphasized. The more care and consideration that’s given to preproduction means that the execution of creating the video will be smoother and relatively hassle-free. With an educational video, however, the planning and preproduction needs added care. That’s because you want to keep the viewer (i.e., potential customer) engaged as your video teaches him or her about the value of your goods or services—and by extension, your brand. The balancing act between engagement and education is tricky.

The three w’s: who, what, and why

You must have a clear idea of who your target audience members are, what goods and services you want to teach them about, and why they would benefit from this education via video. Once you have established the three w’s, you will have a clearer idea of the type of educational video you wish to create…

Types of educational videos

There is no “one size fits all” option when it comes to educating a person about something. And where promoting a brand by way of an educational video presentation is concerned, there are several choices to consider…

  • The “how to” demonstration: Generally, this is perhaps the most popular type of educational video. Who hasn’t conducted a search on YouTube to learn about anything, whether it’s preparing a special recipe or carrying out minor home repairs? If your brand specializes in any “do it yourself” (DIY) products or services, the “how to” educational video is worth considering. Remember: Someone who learns how to do something from your branded video may become a loyal customer as a result of it.
  • The public service announcement (PSA): For the most part, public service announcements center on educating people about matters related to health, safety, and overall wellbeing. Government agencies and nonprofit organizations frequently utilize PSAs to spread awareness on topics that range from the dangers of addiction to the importance of having smoke/carbon monoxide detectors installed in the home. The public service announcement serves as the ultimate “customer first” example.
  • Tutorials: Longer than “how to” demonstrations, tutorials go more in-depth, and would likely apply if your brand offers very unique and specialized products and services. What then, about running time? According to TrainingMag.com, half of video watchers prefer a length of between three-and-six minutes. If the content is well-crafted, however, and requires more time to get its message across—and viewers remain engaged—a tutorial video can have a playing time of 10-to-19 minutes.
  • Explainer: What may be called “the elevator pitch” of this list, an explainer is a short marketing video that explains what your brand is all about, as well as the products and services offered. This type of video would be placed on your brand’s website instead of online. What’s tricky about an explainer video is that it must relay the customer’s need, the solution your brand has to fulfill this need, and how it works—capped off by a call to action—within a short time frame.

As you can see, there are different kinds of educational videos that can effectively engage an audience, depending on the “who, what, and why” mentioned above.

Case study of educational video in action

EGC partners with Jovia Financial Credit Union and provides a variety of marketing services—among which is an ongoing social media video series. Titled the “Jovia Financial Literacy Video Series,” a vivacious, well-informed representative named Jo presents answers to anyone who is searching for answers to questions about money matters.

Here is one of nine videos where Jo explains the differences between a credit union and a bank. {Please watch the video before reading the “Explanation” below.}

Click here > “Jo from Jovia: Credit Unions vs. Banks

  1. Let’s say that the need of a viewer is the answer to this question: Is it better conduct finances with a credit union or a bank? The viewer then finds Jovia Financial Credit Union via search.
  2. Jo starts the answer to this question by listing the similarities between the two types of financial institutions (e.g., both offer loans, mortgages, credit cards, among other features). She then easily segues into the difference of how banks are “for profit” and credit unions are “not for profit.” Jo supports this answer with details of how credit unions can benefit customers as they charge less in fees, have lower rates, and yield greater interest payments in CDs and savings accounts. She then describes how the credit union model operates.
  3. Finally, Jo offers a solution (and a call-to-action) by telling the viewer how he or she can apply for a loan at Jovia Financial Credit Union.

This video perfectly illustrates the path of how an educational video operates—from taking a question, answering it, and also providing a solution to a need.

There have been two installments of the “Jovia Financial Literacy Video Series.” How successful have they been?

Knowledge is power after all.

If you are looking to promote your brand or business through online video, EGC can help. We take care of every phase of video production, all under one roof—from laying the groundwork in the branding and development stage to filming, sound mixing and editing in The EGC Content Studio.

Can your brand educate and answer questions for customers through video? EGC can help you find the answer.