This week I attended a session of the Virtual Summit on Advanced Practices in Technical Communication, well-timed in relation to this topic. The session was “How to Start Small with Video and Get Big Improvements in Customer Support,” presented by Martin Ceisel, technical writer for ESET North America. For Martin’s team at ESET, videos enhance their knowledge base and product-specific online help, as well as providing “customers another way to troubleshoot on their own.” You can view his presentation here.
Technology and internet speeds have made videos more accessible than ever. In the Cisco® Visual Networking Index™ (Cisco VNI™) forecast from June 2016, the prediction is that global IP video traffic will be 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2020, increasing threefold from 2015 to 2020.
On their TechSmith® Blog, the makers of Camtasia (my preferred tool for creating tutorial videos) provide several reasons your company needs video on their blog, including:
Of course, you can do one-on-one or larger group webinars to demo your products and offerings and teach your customers how to perform the tasks they need to get the most out of your product. But having a video to demonstrate a task allows customers to view it whenever they want. It also frees the time of one person (or a few people) repeating demonstrations multiple times.
The short answer to the question of when to use tutorial videos: anytime that viewing a task in action is better than (or an important supplement to) reading about it.
There’s no need to be overwhelmed by the thought of the task of developing a video library. Videos of an ideal length of 1 ½ to 3 minutes each can usually be done in just 2-3 hours. And I love the ESET strategy of releasing 1-2 new videos a week, growing their audience and their subscribers.
Let me know in the comments how your organization uses tutorial videos!
For this particular sample, I am working toward a comparison of two different types of projects. I'm using a more advanced feature of Microsoft Word to illustrate the two different types of projects. Because of the comparison aspect of this example, I did things a little differently than I have in the past. But the overall process is basically the same.
There are also SME reviews along the way, depending on the project.
If you didn't watch the sample video from the image above, you can view it here.
And good luck with your videos!