In spite of the fact that 86% of businesses use video on their website, and 77% use video on social media, not everyone enjoys watching videos. There are in fact 3 types of video watcher and one of them is not especially fond of watching video.

It’s true. 

And sometimes that means they will avoid watching them completely. Other-times, it doesn’t mean they don’t or won’t watch them, just that they don’t enjoy watching them, especially if it’s part of a learning experience e.g. if they want to learn how to change a filter on a vacuum cleaner, jump start a car, or make a new recipe. In that respect, video, for some people, is simply a means to an end.

Others love watching video as part of how they learn. Many people consider themselves to be active learners – they learn by doing, not reading, theorising or reflecting. These people will typically dive straight in to a video – perhaps even doing the task they are learning about at the same time as watching the video. They won’t read any of your supporting content. Or, if they do, they’ll skim it, get the gist and click play in the blink of an eye, eager to get going.

So, a key question for you is this…

Which type of watcher is your audience? They might be made up of all three: the Avoiders, the Skimmers and the Gung-hoers! It might be just one. The important thing is to find out. 

But there’s more to it than that

When it comes to creating and watching instructional videos, as opposed to entertainment videos or ads – and regardless whether they are animated explainers, animated GIFs or a film production – here are five important points to consider:

  • The importance and role of the text and imagery surrounding the video takes on different meanings for different learning styles, tasks and contexts.
  • The position of the video on the page matters – some positions are better than others: top of page is not always best, and avoid the right-rail like the plague!
  • Personal preference: what’s the role of the video in relation to the viewer’s learning style and context e.g. are they at home or work?
  • The number of videos: is it a series or one off? The number of videos should relate to the number of steps of the thing being learned.
  • Choose the right thumbnail – it sets expectations about the video’s content.

If you want more of the detail about the 3 types of video watcher – and I recommend that you do – have a look at the original article by the delightful Nielsen Norman Group

P.S.

Knowing your audience is one of the three most important things to nail when it comes to creating explainer videos.

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