When it comes to creating video content viewers want to engage with, marketers have always been a cut above the rest when it comes to capturing their audience’s attention. Let’s face it, a lot of training and instructional videos are not as effective as they could be because they’re outdated, stale, unengaging, and well – boring.

So, what makes marketing videos so captivating to consumers and how can we learn from their success to create more effective training videos?

Emotional Storytelling

Marketers today are able to connect with audiences in a meaningful way and earn higher retention and engagement rates through storytelling. The goal of a successful video marketing campaign isn’t to sell a product or service — at least not at first. The initial focus is to present a narrative that resonates with the consumer, to help bolster brand visibility and awareness while establishing a meaningful connection.

When creating instructional videos, emotional storytelling can be used to help illicit a meaningful response; creating a more immersive learning experience for the audience. It also helps with knowledge retention and helping to reinforce key learning points.

Create a story that helps you convey the purpose of the video, which is far more impactful than simply displaying words and images on a screen with a voice over.

Focus on the Experience

Today’s marketers are trying to deliver a brand experience to their customers, rather than focusing on the transaction of selling a product or service. This same technique can be applied when creating training and educational videos.

When designing an instructional video, rather than focusing on the single video – consider the bigger picture of learning path that the video is part of. Ask yourself – does each element in the learning path provide the same message to the learner? Are there any gaps we need to consider? Is the content meant to be easy to understand or is it highly technical and advanced?

Make sure you are considering all of the learning touch points, to reinforce the same feel and tone that the other videos have.


Marketers use personalized targeted messaging in their videos to help create a direct connection with customers. We need to be doing the same thing with instructional videos, because according to a recent study by TechSmith Corp., 67% of people understand information better when it’s communicated visually. Videos are highly effective at disseminating information and having it be retained by viewers, more so than static images or plain text alone.

We can do this by creating interactive videos, which use HotSpots, quizzes and other elements to create a ‘choose your own’ style learning adventure, by offering learners the ability to make decisions about their experience. An effective video experience should allow the viewer to make personal choices on how to proceed or what they will learn next or offer a deep dive into a particular topic if they’re interested.

Unlike straight text and static images (info graphics, banner ads, memes, etc.) video blends all of the elements that go into captivating an audience’s attention. Which means, there’s a lot of different ways to approach informational videos that aren’t just a talking head on the screen. Try applying some of the above techniques we’ve learned from marketers into your next instructional video.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out the TechSmith Academy’s Expert Advice for Beginning Video Marketing series for additional resources and advice from expert marketers on creating engaging videos.