Over the last two years, we’ve learned a lot about automating video production. To help you build your business case, we have developed an ROI calculator that compares the time and cost of manual screen recording vs. Videate. The next time you are asked, “why don’t you produce more videos?” or “why are the videos out of date with the latest software release?” you will have the formula to show, “there’s a better way.”
Making Software Videos Easy
In today’s world of SaaS applications, it’s getting harder and harder to charge for customer education separate from onboarding. You can still charge for certification programs but it’s not that easy to charge customers separately to learn how to use a new product. That’s become an onboarding expectation in the B2B world and this cost is part of the onboarding fee. While some will argue that there will always be a need for instructor-led training, customer education is moving rapidly to self-paced training. Short videos have become more important than long talking head recordings of someone explaining the product or being in a class.
Great article last week by Josh Bersin entitled “A New Category Emerges: The Creator Platform for Corporate Learning.” Many of his observations about corporate learning (employee-facing) also apply to customer-facing education, but there are some differences related to the core technologies that SaaS companies are using for Customer Success. One example is learning management systems. Another is content management. The third is video production.
One of the more challenging items for scaling video production is standardizing the use of visual effects. With written documentation, decisions on how and when to use headings, bold, italics, underline, etc. have been proven over time. Standards have evolved as content moved to the web from print. With video, it’s still the wild west. Decisions about when to highlight, box, shadow, or zoom are for the most part left to the creator. With software videos, you can improve the user experience by implementing standards for visual effects in your scripts just like you do for your website and product documentation.
Earlier this month, Videate joined the Content Advantage talk show with Scott Abel and Megan Gilhooly, hosted by Zoomin. During the live session, we demonstrated a video tutorial of the Zoomin Analytics platform that was created using Videate’s automated tool that develops video directly from software documentation. Several people in the audience asked us to follow up and explain how we did it, so this week we will walk through the process.
Creating one-off videos for a given set of features or a specific release of your software can be done without planning for the future. But if you want to create a sustainable process to maintain your videos with every software release, having a strategy for your sample data is necessary for product documentation, customer education, and customer success videos.
Robots are creating content. The internet is full of articles about how much content is created by artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms and whether or not they are true, accurate or simply automated techniques to increase the rankings of social media and other web sites. Notwithstanding all this confusion, there are fantastic opportunities to apply AI in business, and increasingly we are seeing many new solutions use AI to automate human-centered processes, including software videos.
Last week I attended an excellent session by Kathleen Pierce, Patrick Bosek, and Scott Abel, “The Rise of Content Atomization to Support AI and Advanced Personalization.” One of the most important takeaways was this:
“Buyers and customers demand a personalized experience, but there are not enough writers and designers in the world to create personalization at scale.”
We recently conducted a few quick LinkedIn polls about the relationship between Software Videos and Product Documentation (warning: this was not a scientific survey and we are still collecting additional data). The poll questions and results were as follows:
Continuing our discussion around the ROI for automating video production, a new client recently told us of two seemingly simple changes that became very compelling proof of why they chose to implement Videate now. In one case it was a last minute decision to make a product name change and in the other case the introduction of a list of “offensive words” that should no longer be used in any corporate materials.