Jonathan DeVore

By: Jonathan DeVore on November 29th, 2022

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5 Questions to Determine When to Create a Video vs Help Guide

As a coach who helps companies build their training curriculums and knowledge base content, I often hear: “We want to make training videos for everything!”

While I love the enthusiasm, I’d advise against it.

Why? Before you decide whether you need to create a training video or a help guide, you need to consider the context.

Creating videos to train your employees can be a powerful tool when you do it in the right situations. But, there are situations where training videos aren't the answer.

Working as a content and training coach for ScreenSteps — a knowledge base software and training solution company — I've learned where videos benefit employee training and where they are more of a hindrance.

So, when should you create a training video? And when would a help guide be better?

You can determine that by asking these five questions.

HubSpot Video

Question 1: When will employees need the procedure?

Consider when someone will need the information you will include in the video. If they would use it when talking to someone, then a video is a good idea.

But, if it’s someone in a back office without the pressure of talking with a customer, then a video may be a great training option.

Question 2: How often is it changing?

Things like technology and procedures have a tendency to change frequently. If your procedure is changing on a weekly or monthly basis, you will not be able to keep up with the changes.

When editing videos, it takes a lot of time to replace screen recordings and other updates.

However, things such as high-level processes, system navigation, or best practices have less-frequent changes. A video would be a great option for these.

Question 3: Is the procedure easier to explain with moving visuals?

Sometimes, when there is movement, it is easier to explain by showing it in a video. For example, if you were to explain how to take a screen capture and draw annotations, it might be easier to understand by watching a video.

But, if it’s just where to click on a screen, a screenshot will be perfect.

Question 4: Does the procedure have lots of actions?

How long is the procedure? Does it have a lot of decision trees or clicks? If so, then you may consider a high-level video explaining the overall process.

However, you'll want to create a guide for click-by-click instructions. Use job aids to share screenshots. 

Question 5: How familiar are your employees with the concept?

If your employees are new to the concepts behind the procedures, a video is a great option for introducing them to the actions and providing that overview.

On the other hand, if they are familiar with the concepts, they only need an easy-to-read guide that prompts them on their next steps and is quick to reference.

Build a training program that enables employees at every step of learning

It is difficult to know which training resources will best help your employees. When you know which questions to ask, it helps you better decide which resources to create and when they should be used in training.

Learn more about creating training videos in our Learning Center.

Want to build a training program that helps onboard new hires in 30 days or less?

Download the free new hire training eBook to learn how you can create a training curriculum that onboard new hires faster and better supports employees on the job.

The program incorporates training videos, classroom/virtual training, and help guides to support employees through each step of their learning journey.

How to Plan, Build, and Run a New Hire Training Program That Works Download

About Jonathan DeVore

Customer Success