This year we took the plunge and developed the capacity to produce our own training videos in-house. Brainshark provides us with a secure and efficient delivery tool for video, so by creating our own videos quickly and at low cost, we have full control of the creation, distribution, and tracking of our training materials.
Offering quality corporate training has always been an important part of Combined Insurance. We take pride in the fact that we spend weeks training new hires in the classroom, then out in the field – and we are constantly exploring new and improved ways to train our salespeople and support their success.
We have found one of the highest impact types of training for us (and in general) is video. Video is a quick and easy way to demonstrate something and then have someone accurately emulate it. With video it's also very easy to uniformly train large numbers of people. So, even though we have long been believers in the effectiveness of video training, the extremely high cost of professionally outsourced video has limited our use of it.
Last year, our marketing and training departments collaborated on a series of more than 40 training videos which documented all the steps in our recruiting process. At considerable expense we brought in a professional film crew but saved tens of thousands of dollars by doing all the story-boarding, scripting and by using in-house subject matter experts as acting talent. I had the opportunity to produce the filming and oversee the editing.
The videos came out great and have been successful training tools; however, I was concerned over the budgetary limitations of video so I began exploring ways to do more video for less cost. After doing the research and going through a best-fit analysis I made the proposal to buy the software and hardware which would allow us to create our own videos in-house.
With the shiny new tools in hand I rolled up my sleeves and learned how to use the HD video camera and the editing software. Videography has a steep learning curve and truly takes a lifetime to master. However, there is plenty of support out there in Internet forums, through training videos, on YouTube, and through other professionals to get you up and running quickly.
So far this year we have produced dozens of high-quality training videos, with the first video more than paying for the investment. As a marketing team we create the scripts, provide the talent, do the recordings, edit; then publish straight to Brainshark.
Cost: Essentially, the only cost of these videos is our time and any travel expenses for bringing in our subject matter experts. The last set of videos cost less than $100 each.
Speed: Producing video with third-party vendors takes weeks or even months to complete. Since I now do the recording, editing and publishing we can literally have video up on Brainshark for review within a day.
Control: Editing video can be a tedious and time-consuming process. Neither going into the studio nor reviewing online is an optimal use of time. By having all of the digital video on a laptop I can literally sit down with the SME (Subject Matter Expert) and make any edits on the fly. Having the editing software also allows me to export in High Definition (for playing full screen on projectors in the classroom) or a compressed online format for the Content Portal or mobile (or nearly any other format).
Responsiveness: We now have the ability to take an idea or feedback from our employees and create a training video in days or weeks instead of months. This allows us to address their needs in a timely manner.
Repurposing: Since I have all the video at my fingertips it is very easy to splice out just the pieces we need for a different project, or to delete/insert audio when things change. Keeping our training content relevant is much easier this way.
So, are you ready to take the plunge and start creating your own training videos in-house? As trainers we are constantly asking our trainees to learn a variety of things; why not take the plunge yourself and learn how to do something that may be a little bit scary to some people but could be a huge opportunity?
You may even like it.