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How to Start Making Animated Training Videos

Great animated training videos share much in common with explainer animations. Both are engrossing narratives strategically designed to deliver a message. But training videos serve a distinct purpose: to help your team acquire new skills.

You can start by asking, “what behavior do I need to encourage?” Whether you’re trying to teach more effective sales tactics or workplace safety precautions, choosing your objective is the first step.

Focus is Essential

The best training videos have a single, strategically chosen goal. They’re teaching one skill, illuminating a single idea, or sharing a useful strategy.

As a result, they’re concise and easy to follow. They don’t go off on tangents or try to explain too many complex ideas. A good training video should be as short as possible. If you can’t explain it in five minutes or less, you might need a video series.

Think about how your video can play a role in the larger context of your training strategy. Animated videos excel at:

  • Engaging audiences
  • Developing an emotional response
  • Laying out goals and strategy

Employees will still want opportunities to ask questions and dive deeper into details. Other training tools like discussion, human trainers, and even handbooks can help put your animated training video into context.

Each of these is a useful tool on its own, but when combined together, they create real opportunities for learning an engagement.

In short, animated training videos are part of your employee development toolbox. They shouldn’t be the only thing in there.

The Core of Any Animated Training Video: Story

Now that you’re clear on exactly what you want your video to teach, it’s time to think about the story.

But wait! This isn’t supposed to be entertainment. It’s work! What does the story have to do with training?

Just because something is required viewing doesn’t mean you’ll be rapt with attention over the proper filing procedure for TPS reports. Sticking to “just the facts” won’t hold your employees’ attention.

Stories ignite the imagination. They show us where to focus, and hold our attention until the narrative is done. From gossipy cocktail chatter to intimate diary entries, storytelling is the tool we use to understand our lives and our behavior.

When you make storytelling the center of your training, you give otherwise boring topics emotional context. That leads to engagement, retention, and real behavioral change.

This video we made for Imperial Oil is a good example of how narrative can make dry material more palatable.

That’s why the script is the most important part of your training video. Just reciting the facts won’t reap the emotional investment you need.

 Calculating ROI on Animated Training Videos

By this point, you’re probably wondering about the return on investment for animated training videos. How do you know if they really work?

Actually, calculating ROI on training initiatives can be more concrete than traditional marketing efforts.

Quizzes and tests don’t just provide feedback on how the learner is performing. They also reveal how well the video is working. You can use that information to calculate ROI and continuously improve your training.

Animations can help boost retention by capturing attention and crystalizing the why behind the training. For a program given to thousands of employees, that translates into a massive impact.

Training also helps improve employee retention because it shows employees you’re invested in their success. It equips them to do their jobs well, so they can feel a sense of satisfaction and belonging.

That’s all good news for your company’s revenue.

Looking Toward the Future of Video Training

When we first explored this topic half a decade ago, employers were just starting to really embrace video-based training. They’d found that employees were used to learning in this way, thanks to massive open online courses and other online learning venues. Many realized that video allowed employees to go at their own pace, watching videos again and again if necessary.

Today, online and on-demand training is practically the standard in many industries. Video is often the core of those offerings.

As more companies embrace hybrid and remote work structures, they’ll also seek out ways to train those employees. National and international organizations will look for ways to maintain consistency across locations.

When we look to the future of video training, we think employers will turn to animation more often. After all, animated training videos are evergreen and easy to update. They can be made without a huge cast and without disrupting operations by bringing in video equipment. Plus, animation excels at illustrating complex concepts in memorable ways.


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