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Micro-learning practices can help you come up with striking new approaches to video content.

You might begin to think differently about designing video content if you think about your viewers and what they want to learn from your B2B video content.

What is micro-learning?

Micro-learning is the instructional design strategy embraced by eLearning professionals to reach a workforce—younger employees in particular—who are distracted, stressed out, and disengaged. It’s said to be a “learner-centered” approach.

Micro-learning strives to achieve a specific “learning outcome”—marketers might call it the “takeaway”—by delivering a bite-sized nugget of learning content. The idea is that you can reduce cognitive overload and increase retention by chunking information.

Micro-learning course design

In eLearning, a “chunk” is five minutes or less. Many B2B videos meet that criterion. But there are several interesting principles of micro-learning course design that marketing video practices seem not to follow—and are worth considering. Here are six, as listed by the eLearning company, Swift.

An effective micro-learning course:

  1. Provides deeper learning on a specific concept or a performance objective
  2. Is bite-sized, effectively chunked and easily digestible
  3. Designed for exact moment-of-need—the right information at right time
  4. Ideal for extended performance support providing a better mobile learning experience
  5. Focuses on a single performance objective, concept, or idea

Micro-learning and video content: where is the focus?

Most B2B marketing content is built to answer a question: Why should I be interested in this product? The goal is to persuade the viewer to seek more information.

The video would look a lot different if we designed it to answer the question “How do I use this product?” and applied some of these micro-learning practices. A focus on “deeper learning,” for example, would rule out marketing-speak and empty assertions of superiority (“unprecedented productivity gains”). Instead of itemizing product features, benefits, and core messages, you would illustrate them in the course of teaching how a specific problem is solved using the product.

If you subscribe to the idea that your video content for marketing exists to help buyers learn, give them some micro-learning. Most buyers would prefer learning something useful to watching a commercial.


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Bruce McKenzie

About Bruce McKenzie

Since 2004, Bruce McKenzie, founding partner of Business Information Graphics, New York, and inventor of the 2-Minute Explainer(R), has been developing videos to increase sales engagement for companies such as IBM, Cisco, Brocade, Quantum, Compuware, and many B2B technology startups.

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