How to create a high-converting video for your online course

August, 17 2020
Woman sitting at desk while filming with her camera
OpenLearning
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OpenLearning

Creating course videos doesn’t have to be a daunting task. While some course creators might be lucky enough to have a production team, we know this isn’t possible for everyone.

Rest assured: you can still make a great video that students will want to watch, even on a shoestring budget. Here's a quick guide on how to create an engaging video for your course landing page.

 

1. Start with a good script

While you can create beautiful, perfectly-edited videos using the most amazing locations, it is more important to get the right message across to your viewers.

For that you need a good script.

When writing your script, a simple way to structure it is by following the who, what, where, when, why, and how layout:

    • Who are you? Start by introducing yourself, what you do and maybe even a personal fact.
    • What is your course about?
    • Why is the course relevant to your students? For instance, if your course is about pastry-making: "Learning basic pastry techniques is a necessary skill for any apprentice or home chef who wants to master desserts."
    • How will your course benefit students? Explain how your course will solve the ‘why’. How will it solve a challenge or fill a gap in their knowledge? This is the take-home point that you want to students to remember. For example: “We will do this by using different techniques, step-by-step videos and tips and tricks from chefs around the globe!”.
    • When will the course begin? Let students know about the duration of your course.
    • Where is the course taking place? On a global, online platform! You could also let them know which campus or location you are providing your course from.

2. Timing is everything

Most people stop paying attention after a certain amount of time. When creating your video, keep it short and sweet. We recommend keeping your video length between 60-90 seconds to keep people interested! A viewer's focus will almost always follow a downward slope. This means their focus will be strongest at the beginning of your video. With this in mind, try to state your most important points within the first 30 seconds.

 

3. Set the tone

Don’t be afraid to show your passion for your topic in your video! If you don’t seem happy to speak about your course, students won’t be happy joining it either. Excitement is contagious.

 

4. Make it visually appealing

Once you have a good, well-timed script it’s time to start making your video visually appealing. Visuals are a very powerful tool and play a big part in setting the tone and feel of your video. Some things to consider:

    • Background. Find an open space. Standing in a room with a cluttered background can be very distracting. If it is a home-made video, try to find a white or plain coloured wall. If you can’t find a suitable wall or background at home, why not take it outdoors and film in a beautiful park?
    • Clothing. Wearing a formal suit will create a very different feel from speaking in a t-shirt and jeans.
    • Using animation or graphics. Sometimes using animation for videos can be very effective. It could also be an alternative if you don’t have a good quality camera for filming. Check out powtoon.com or vyond.com to create free animated videos.
    • Flow is important. Editing the right parts of your videos helps ensure a smooth flow and removes any unscripted mistakes or awkward long pauses. There are several video editing programs you can use for editing, for instance, After Effects or iMovie (for Mac) or Windows Movie Maker and VSDC Free Video Editor (for Windows). You could even use an app like PowerDirector (for Android) or Kinemaster (for iOS and Android). If you have a budget for this video and very little time, you could make use of freelance work websites like Upwork and Fiverr.

 

4. Get a second opinion

All great things need to be tried and tested before they become a hit. Ask a friend or colleague to watch your video for a second opinion. Having some objective feedback will confirm whether you are getting the right message and feeling across to students. A little feedback can go a long way!

 

5. Don’t forget to invite students

This video is designed to get students to join your course, so don’t forget to actually invite them! Finishing your video with a smile and an open invitation to click the ‘Join Now’ button can make the difference between a good and great video.

 

A note to consider when making course videos

We've given you basic tips for videos that attract students to enrol. But it's important to consider whether you absolutely need to use videos in the rest of your course. Some of your students may struggle to access this video content due to a disability or poor Internet connection.

Ask yourself, "Is a video necessary to convey this information, or can it be delivered via text or images?"

If you feel that videos are important for your course, consider breaking up your videos into more bite-sized clips. Instead of a 15-minute video, break it up into several 1-minute videos and reduce videos into smaller sizes for low-bandwidth streaming using apps like ClipChamp and Handbrake.

 


 

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Featured Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

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