It’s no surprise that modern brands benefit immensely from video content. After all, approximately half of all marketers grow revenue noticeably faster when they utilize video and say it provides the best return on investment of all content forms.
However, creating video content and creating engaging video content are not the same thing. Many brands fall short when determining how to captivate consumers, communicate their message, and inspire specific actions. And unfortunately, when that happens, businesses find themselves wasting money on unsuccessful content.
But there is a proven approach to engage viewers and grow brands better than stale, technical video content. Enter: Edutainment.
What Is Edutainment?
Edutainment is the process of making stereotypically dull subjects entertaining to learn about or interact with. This tactic is especially used in video marketing to improve the user engagement and effectiveness of demo, brand awareness, as well as other types of videos.
The edutainment style, to a degree, can be slightly controversial for professional companies, though. For instance, some organizations may think an edutainment style takes away from the mission and what they’re trying to accomplish, but that is not the case.
“A lot of people go into the video world and they’re hired to produce videos for businesses or organizations that center on content or information. The idea of entertaining the audience goes out the window,” says Matt Pallotta, owner of leading video production agency Frame One Media. “For example, a client may want to create a training video, so the focus is heavily on the ‘what’ instead of the ‘how.’ With many of these types of videos, the engaging element seems to be missing.”
Pallotta likens the power of edutainment to getting a kid to take their medicine by hiding it in a scoop of ice cream. “Sometimes this extra something gets the job done better and more enjoyably,” he says.
The Benefits Of Edutainment
“When creating an educational video, the mentality has largely been, ‘tell them what we need them to know,’” says Pallotta. “But to me, those are very dangerous words. If you’re simply checking the box, you’ve lost buy-in from your viewers and you’ve wasted resources.”
However, Pallotta advises that even some of the driest content can have characters and storylines that viewers will care about. Through the edutainment style, you can get these elements to stand out in viewers’ minds and create a heightened state of emotion – that is evoking emotion to help the viewer remember things better and longer, from a psychological standpoint.
In fact, 72 percent of people would rather learn about a business’s products or services through video rather than text. Plus, 95 percent of viewers are will remember a call to action after a video – but only 10 percent will recall a call to action after reading it.
Through edutainment, you can inspire viewers to take an action, learn a subject, or develop brand loyalty while helping them remember the information you fed them.
Edutainment Best Practices To Improve Your Video Marketing Strategy
Beginning to approach your video strategy with an edutainment style may seem daunting – especially if you’ve never done it before. Luckily, there are a few best practices and tips that can be the process easier.
How To Write An Edutainment Style Video Script
The technical aspect of writing an edutaining script isn’t necessarily different from your standard video script. However, what is vastly different is the creative approach you need to take in the way you tell the story. What’s the premise? What’s the tone? Why will the viewer care?
“You want to challenge yourself to be creative in writing,” shares Pallotta. “Edutainment videos are often more like a movie script in that there is a story arc, characters, or elements that the audience will want to interact with or be engaged by.”
How Long Should Edutainment Style Videos Be?
Edutainment is less of a genre and more of an approach to storytelling. Therefore, Pallotta doesn’t see the need to determine a specific length that an edutainment style video needs to be. For example, some product videos can be as short as ten seconds, while training videos often require much longer formats.
Typically, shorter videos tend to perform much better than longer multimedia content.
“In general, people want to absorb nontraditional media (i.e. not TV and film) in small chunks,” says Pallotta. “But I wouldn’t say that is edutainment – that’s all visual media in general. People will stop paying attention after a short period of time if they’re not engaged, and we know that.”
If possible, anything on the web or internal communications platforms should be short. Although many brands can do a half-hour edutainment style training video successfully, others can look at more non-traditional means to get their point across, too – and these play to consumers’ current mindsets.
For example, Pallotta shares that many companies have learning management systems (LMS) that break training down into 1 to 2-minute bite-sized or “microlearning” videos with targeted discussions or quizzes after. This makes the information easier to digest and remember while still fostering learning.
“Ultimately, it comes down to how you are releasing the product,” says Pallotta. “Different platforms and vehicles need different formats.”
How Much Edutainment Is Too Much?
It’s important to make sure that you don’t go so deep into the entertainment value that you forget what the content is supposed to be about.
“It’s a delicate balance – but don’t shy away from things that people are paying attention to in pop culture, social media, or other avenues either,” advises Pallotta. “We are a story and video-centric culture. I think you should steer into the skid a little instead of shying away from modern video trends.”
Ultimately, edutainment within videos needs to be organic. After all, we’ve all watched commercials where at the end of it, we asked, “that was entertaining, but what were they advertising?” Pallotta insists that you shouldn’t let the theatrics of the video overshadow what you’re trying to get across to viewers.
“Brands should utilize entertainment in their videos to keep people continuously interested,” he says. “If you’re watching it as an outside viewer and you’re starting to get bored, there should be something else there to captivate the audience. The big thing is that you want to challenge yourself and ask, ‘if I’m the viewer, why do I care?’”
Which Types Of Videos Benefit The Most From Edutainment?
Edutainment-style videos are already accepted in a lot of industries, and across television and social media.
However, some industries choose to veer away from it and others lean into it – and certain styles of videos benefit from edutainment more than others.
Pallotta’s top styles of videos that can improve by injecting edutainment include:
- Corporate videos
- Training and education
- Hiring & recruiting
- Professional/leadership development
- Internal communications
Examples Of Edutainment Style Videos In Action
1. Safety Short - Doug
“This one is a great example of what you can do as far as telling a story, using engaging characters and themes, and still getting your learning points across,” says Pallotta. “It was produced for LLLC, a driver certification company, focused on safe driving techniques. They found that following distance (or the lack thereof) is a major cause of accidents for drivers across the board. So, we wrote and produced an "edutaining" piece of why following too closely is a bad idea.”
2. Solupay: Reconcile
“Here's another recent example of utilizing characters and humor. This is a video project aimed towards educating and promoting salespeople and end users on their software system and its benefits,” Pallotta shares. “We created a character that would 'pop up' throughout the series of videos to explain the what and how of the solutions system. The reaction so far, in its early release, has been extremely positive. This is a short snippet from one in the series.”
All in all, brands that need to achieve specific goals through their video strategy can benefit immensely from approaching their videos with an edutainment style.
Pallotta shares that decisionmakers at companies who are looking to produce a video that’s tied to an ROI or KPI will see a very positive impact on the results they need to achieve by utilizing this approach.
“Video is often seen as a means to an end or a box to check,” says Pallotta. “But that alone won’t accomplish what you need and want it to do. Take it a step further and give your audience something they’ll remember.”
Are you seeking a video marketing agency that can create compelling multimedia to grow your brand? Contact Frame One Media HERE to receive a custom quote.