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Sure, the internet is full of funny cat videos. But did you know educational videos are actually one of the fastest-growing categories on YouTube?

Do's and Don'ts of Educational Video

15 Nov 2018

Sure, the internet is full of funny cat videos. But did you know educational videos are actually one of the fastest-growing categories on YouTube?

People use educational videos to explore new products, learn techniques, further their professional knowledge, take up new hobbies, and discover DIY approaches to all kinds of topics. The better the video, the better the tool for learning and remembering new information.

Educational videos are evergreen, meaning they retain their value for a very long time—as long as their content remains accurate. Companies that produce educational videos find them to be a wise long-term investment.

If you’re gearing up to make a new educational video, keep the following best practices in mind.

Do: Have Fun

Educational videos don’t have to be boring. They can be as dramatic and entertaining as any other kind of video. If all you do is lecture the audience, you’ll lose them.

Great educational videos incorporate a variety of visual formats, from 3D animations to time-lapse videography. Each concept is presented in an innovative way that challenges the viewer to keep on watching.

You can even incorporate a bit of humor and silliness. Laughter is scientifically proven to improve the retention of information—even when complex or controversial ideas are presented. Get your audience giggling, and they’ll remember your message.

Don’t: Wing It

Never start filming before you have a complete script and storyboard in place. Improvisation generally doesn’t cut it for an educational video. You have a lot of important information to present, and winging it won’t work.

If you’ve ever seen a TED Talk—a hugely popular series of educational videos—one thing you’ll notice is that they’re shot in cinematic style, even though they’re primarily shared on YouTube. The producers of TED Talks say quality is one of their #1 priorities because a sleek style is simply more enjoyable to watch. Today’s viewers expect cinematic quality.

A video production company can help you understand the production process and create a high-quality video. This ensures the final result will not only be educational, but also professional.

Dos Donts Highlight-01

Do: Get to the Point

The main point of your video should be made within the first couple of minutes, and the overall takeaway should be apparent throughout. Avoid making the video too long.

A series of 8-minute educational videos can be far more effective than one 80-minute video. Research shows that most people in educational settings have about a 10 to 15 minute maximum attention span before they get distracted.

In fact, a study by MIT found that, if you want to ensure people grasp every concept, the ideal length of an educational video is just 6 minutes . Based on this data, MIT worked with a group of educational institutions to offer short online courses, called mini-lectures, that were each less than 15 minutes long.

So if you have a lot of information to present, consider making a series of short videos. Give each video a separate theme and title, creating a steady stream of fresh videos for your audience to enjoy.

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Don’t: Use Scare Tactics

Remember those stern public service announcements from the 1950s that scolded people about drugs?


Avoid imitating them at all costs.


Educational videos—especially those presented in corporate settings—sometimes slip into the bad habit of scaring the viewer into paying attention. Never issue warnings, like telling employees that they could be fired for ignoring safety procedures.

Instead, focus on the positive. Keep the action rolling along in an upbeat way. The overall feel of the video should be helpful and friendly.

Do: Make it Easy to Re-watch

The video should be easily accessible so people can go back and remind themselves about the details of certain topics. Consider creating an online archive where people can share and re-watch your videos. Add them to YouTube, put them on your company website, and share them on social media.

Over time, you’ll develop an archive of videos that serves as an encyclopedia of information for your audience. Your videos are valuable educational content that’s worth preserving and sharing.

Do: Connect With NextThought Studios

An educational video is a powerful teaching tool. Our team of video experts has made more than 4,000 educational videos and is bursting with ideas to help you. Connect with NextThought Studios now, and let’s start brainstorming.

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About the Author

Max Bevan, B.B.A

Max heads Business Development for NextThought Studios and is a video marketing specialist with an in-depth knowledge of marketing trends and a comprehensive background in video production. He has a direct eye for creating innovative and entertaining videos with commercial appeal as part of high-impact marketing campaigns. Having worked on videography projects for the University of Oklahoma and Gaylord Hall Productions, Max now uses his in-depth knowledge to help clients understand how to use video elements to tell their stories. Max is noted for being adaptive to any situation, and he specializes in sales and client relationships.

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