You’ve got a fab idea for your online course, but how to present it? There are so many content types out there: text, images, infographics, podcasts and videos. Even webinars. How on Earth are you supposed to choose which one to use when everyone is telling you different things?
It’s a pain in the neck. So I wanted to make the choice easier for you. I went away and chatted with three online course creators to see why they chose video (and why you should too).
Jon Ochs, millionaire entrepreneur, whose first startup earned him $80,000 a month, knows a few things about making money online. He now hosts an online course on how to successfully start a business. Here’s why he chose video to train his budding entrepreneurs:
The main advantage of video is that it's a more effective media for training as well as sales. It allows you to effectively build a relationship with your prospects and customers while they are watching. Getting your face and voice in front of people repeatedly is powerful.
You can also make more money with video. Why? Because video helps you attract and retain customers.
For one thing, you have a 53% higher chance of showing up on the first page of Google search results (Forrester Research). This means you’re likely to get more traffic. Plus, visitors spend 100% more time on a site with video (Marketing Sherpa). So they’re more likely to consider and subscribe to your course. More subscribers = more money.
It’s not enough driving all this traffic to your site if your subscribers drop-off halfway through the course. So hook your viewers with video. You can build a more personal connection by showing your face and throw in interactive elements to improve your customers' engagement and learning.
So video makes your life a lot easier as an online instructor. It widens your audience as you can appeal to every type of learner at the same time. Include visuals, audio, text and interactive elements to open up your online classes to a world of subscribers.
Rob Reynolds, EdTech entrepreneur and Chief Learning Officer at the learning platform, NextThought, told us he's a big believer in the effectiveness of video for four reasons:
First, video is an ideal format for connecting learners personally with an instructor or concept. A second advantage is that video is easily distributed and shared across all environments and devices. In addition, video is a malleable environment that supports many different teaching styles and can be used effectively by both beginners and experts. Finally, video allows us to segment instruction flexibly , which makes it easy to reuse and reconfigure content.Rob Reynolds EdTech entrepreneur and Chief Learning Officer at the learning platform NextThought
If you want to ensure the success of your online course, you’ve got to keep up with the trends and interests of your audience. You need to appeal to them, which means you need to communicate with them using a medium they’re familiar with. And the millennial generation are all too familiar with video.
According to a report by eMarketer the time adults spend watching digital video each day has increased from 21 minutes in 2011 to one hour and 16 minutes in 2015. What’s more, people now spend 1 minute 55 seconds every day watching digital video, compared to the 1 minute 44 seconds spent on social networks. And even social networks make good use of video. As Jon Ochs puts it:
Video will continue to dominate as a medium online. Just look at the use of video on Facebook.
Christopher Pappas, founder of the eLearning Industry’s Network, told us that online video is definitely an immersive tool to be used in eLearning.
It makes online learners take notice and become emotionally invested in the process. In a world with digital distractions, busy schedules, and short attention spans, video-based eLearning is a game-changer.
Not only does it simplify complex subjects and transform them into visually engaging eLearning experiences, but it can also enhance online learners' engagement and knowledge retention.Christopher Pappas Founder of The eLearning Industry Network
This isn’t surprising when you consider that we remember 10% of what we hear, 20% of what we read, and 80% of what we see and do (LearnDash). So if you teach your online course through video, your audience is way more likely to remember the info and your course as a result.
Rob Reynolds has a few tips to make your video classes super effective:
First, be sure to segment your videos into smaller sizes -- approximately 5 minutes or less -- to make your content more digestible and reusable.
Second, make sure you "signal" important information in your video by using text or arrows.
Finally, for learning video, make every effort to "weed" out any information that is not a core part of your presentation.Rob Reynolds EdTech entrepreneur and Chief Learning Officer at NextThought
For some reason, there’s this rumour going around that video is expensive. That you need pricey software for editing and full on film equipment to make one. This is a lie. By all means, if you want to invest in high tech fancy equipment, it’s not going to hurt and it may help your business; but you can just as easily and effectively get started with a phone and a smile.
For beginners, Rob Reynolds suggests to keep it simple.
For capturing video, use a single camera -- video camera, phone, or laptop. Audio is really critical so use a headset or microphone.Rob Reynolds Edtech entrepreneur and Chief Learning Officer at Next Thought
For longer video classes and courses, Jon Ochs suggests moving away from recording on your phone and making screencasts and more professional videos instead.
If you're planning to create screen-share videos, I recommend Camtasia for Windows/Mac, or Screenflow for Mac. If you're on a budget, you can use zoom.us to create those kind of videos free.
There are many good editing tools. If you have an Apple computer, iMovie is easy to use and extremely powerful.Rob Reynolds Edtech entrepreneur and Chief Learning Officer at Next Thought
Articulate Presenter and Zenler Studio are some of the most popular eLearning authoring tools on the market today that convert your P.Point presentation into video, though, CamStudio and EzVid are examples of screen recording tools.
GoAnimate and Adobe’s After Effects are two additional cloud-based animated video software tools that are worth mentioning, as they both allow you to turn your ideas into amazing motion graphics and enrich your eLearning content by adding special visual effects.Christopher Pappas Founder of The eLearning Industry Network
Rob Reynolds is an edtech entrepreneur, master learning architect, and writer. His career includes service as a traditional faculty member and university administrator, a publishing executive, and an educational technology product designer.
He currently serves as Chief Learning Officer at NextThought, and is also Associate Director at the Institute for Learning Environment Design.
Jon Ochs built a multiple 6-figure business online in the last 3 years. He now focuses on sharing 'how to' strategies to help others escape the average lifestyle.
Christopher Pappas is founder of The eLearning Industry’s Network, which is the largest online community of professionals involved in the eLearning Industry. Christopher holds an MBA, and an MEd (Learning Design) from BGSU.
eLearning Blogger | EduTechpreneur | eLearning Analyst | Speaker | Social Media Addict