Knowledge bases are an important aspect of shaping an excellent user experience. And video is an excellent way to get the point across, especially for processes that require additional context or complicated deep dives.
This is especially true for digital products with a wide range of use cases and complex third-party integrations. There's also the issue with the different types of users with varying degrees of familiarity with the product.
That's where knowledge base videos can be a lifesaver for companies with such products. Videos can effectively convey information since they tell users what to do and show how to do it.
In this article, we're diving deep into how you can create compelling videos for your product's knowledge base.
Let's get right to it.
What does a knowledge base include?
A knowledge base is a public online library containing information about a product, service, department or other entities that require an in-depth explanation of its various things. A good knowledge base typically includes:
- Answers to frequently asked questions.
- Step-by-step guides.
- Troubleshooting instructions.
- A glossary of terms related to the product.
Building a knowledge base is usually done by collecting information over a period of time and organizing it into a publicly accessible library that users can use as a self-service. This process is also known as knowledge management – and it's a crucial factor in the user onboarding process.
It's important that you structure your knowledge base well – including the individual articles inside it. A well-organized article inside a knowledge base will make the reading experience easier and help keep things focused on solving the user's problem.
When to put videos in your knowledge base
While written guides are excellent, and sometimes even better, some topics or tasks are much easier seen than read. However, creating video content takes significantly more time and resources than writing a step-by-step guide.
To avoid wasting your budget, these are the scenarios where you can consider investing in videos:
- When the content is easier shown than described: A screencast video shows users exactly what to do and where to click. It's also incredibly helpful to demonstrate offline steps or processes.
- When the content requires additional context: Would it be better for your SME to deep-dive into the details of the tool, team or industry? Video is the perfect format.
- When the issues or questions frequently occur: If the questions or issues become a regular for your customer support department, it's probably a good idea to have a video covering them. By doing so, you can just point users to it instead of explaining how to solve the issues repeatedly.
- When the topic changes or gets updated regularly: Publishing short videos highlighting updates and changes will make it easier for users to keep track of the new features you release.
- When the topic is evergreen: Overarching topics that don't change frequently deserve a well-made video that users can use as a reference. You can also use the video to highlight the core functionality of your product.
Tip: Tools like Scribe are a low-effort alternative that turns your screen capture into step-by-step guides.
5 steps to create effective knowledge base videos
Now that you've learned the types of topics suitable for a video let's discuss how you can make effective knowledge base videos.
1. Introduce users to your product's features
Not all of your users will immediately understand your product's full features. They probably understand what it does and what problem it solves – but not to the extent where they can get the most out of it.
You can create a knowledge base video highlighting the features you don't cover in the marketing materials. For example, you can showcase features using a simple screencast video using tools such as Storyblok.
You don't have to go all fancy with custom text animation and effects – it's not a promotional video. The point is to make the customer onboarding process better by making users aware of the features your product has.
2. Prioritize frequent issues
Not all topics in your knowledge base need a video – some issues are better off with a written explanation or answer. Problems that require additional context or deep dives should take priority when it comes to making knowledge base videos.
Prioritize tasks that your users often have issues with by collecting customer feedback data. From there, you can narrow it down to tasks that require that added context. Then, create a screencast video that shows users exactly how to perform said tasks.
This is an excellent example from Ahrefs, one of the largest SEO tools in the market. This video showcases how to use one of the features that their users tend to get confused about.
3. Show detailed processes
Your customer service team is probably tired of receiving tickets starting with "How do I …", and the most common answer template would be something like this:
Hey user X,
Thanks for contacting customer support. Here's how to do X:
- Go to dashboard
- Click this button
- Click this other button
Let us know if you need more assistance with this issue.
While that solves the problem, users may have to double-check the instruction on complicated tasks or seek additional context. Using videos opens up a new format that supports in-depth walkthroughs.
Tools like Scribe can supplement these videos by auto-generating step-by-step guides, complete with screenshots and text. Scribe takes the guesswork away from your help desk by documenting each step for you. Any former documentation can serve as an outline to help you create the video or Scribe.
4. Share new releases and features
Showcasing your product's new features is equally as important as highlighting your core features – if not more. When you add new features or make big changes to your products, existing users may need additional resources to get used to them.
A knowledge base video highlighting your new features will go a long way – especially for long-term users who aren't aware of the changes yet. Not only will it keep your users informed of the new changes, but you can also save a ton of time addressing questions related to the update.
Here's a simple screencast video from Squarespace that they used to highlight their customizable template feature:
5. Share frequent use cases
Digital products often have multiple use cases, especially those rich in features. It's also not uncommon for products to have third-party integrations, which typically require intricate guides to execute.
If your products have more than one use case, it's a good idea to make a knowledge base video about them. Creating videos for those use cases will help your users in getting the most out of your product, resulting in better user retention in the long run.
Here's a great example from Elementor covering how to create a landing page with their product.
6. Include closed caption and voiceover
While the visual aspect of a knowledge video is great, sometimes it's not enough to explain the context of your actions. Telling users to do something without explaining why or what they'll achieve will prevent them from truly understanding your product.
You can use voiceover on your video to circumvent this. Using a voiceover for your will provide a confirmation and context to your videos' visual element, which has been proven to improve engagements. To cap that off, adding closed captions will also significantly improve your video's accessibility to those with hearing problems.
Make more than just videos
Making effective knowledge videos is easy – you just need to narrow down the topics that would benefit from having visual aid. But the challenge often lies in the time and effort required to make those videos.
What if I told you there was a faster and easier way to get your point across? Scribe captures your screen to instantly turn any process into a step-by-step guide. Supplement (or replace!) your knowledge base videos with visual guides that are just as easy to make as they are to use.
Here's a Scribe in Action.
Whether you're creating expert videos or generating documents, your knowledge base has the potential to be a dynamic hub that supports your team, the company and everyone's bottom line: growth.
About the Author
Adela Belin is a content marketer and blogger at Writers Per Hour. She is passionate about sharing stories with the hope to make a difference in people's lives and contribute to their personal and professional growth. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.