Social platform Tik Tok is forecasted to reach 755 million users in 2022. If you’re a corporate trainer, you should be paying attention. Not necessarily to the cute cat and baby videos or the tween dance moves, but to the trend itself.
Tik Tok launched Alex Zhu and Luyu Yang in Shanghai, China in 2014. The founders’ first online venture had been an online learning platform with short (3-5-minute videos), but this did not attract enough interest to be viable. The world didn’t have the attention span for that. When they focused on entertainment videos and shortened the format, they started gaining traction.
Today, Tik Tok is the learning platform of choice for millions. They learn everything from how to make a new recipe to how to do magic tricks in 60 seconds or less. Tik Tok videos are the snacks of the learning world, and they offer a lesson for corporate trainers.
Writing for Skildlabs.com, Lachezar Arabadzhiev says, “Employees don’t want to watch hours of plain educational videos or read through hundreds of pages of a training manual. People want their information delivered quickly and efficiently, which is why microlearning has become incredibly popular at workplaces.”
Here is what corporate trainers can learn from Tik Tok’s success.
- Make very short, engaging videos. It’s actually easier to create a very specific 2-3 minute video than to produce a high-quality long-form video. Creating task-specific shorts for a library helps workers find what they need when they need it. They can quickly learn how to reset a password, recover a file, or fill out a form correctly on their own. Think of the hundreds of hours of time tech support, customer service, and supervisors can save by not explaining the same simple directions over and over. Workers can download the videos they want to reference again and share them with new employees.
Most onboarding presentations are wasted on new employees too overwhelmed to retain the information. By the time they are sitting at their desks (or at home) two months later, they’ve forgotten most of what they learned in the first week or two. Having a library of quick fixes for their beginner’s questions helps them reinforce what they’re learned and save face. No more guessing because they hate to bother their new boss with another dumb question.
- Remember Tip Number One: make your videos short AND engaging. If your content is boring in long-form, just cutting it into pieces won’t make it suddenly interesting. Find the staff person with the best voice and friendly demeanor and have them practice a bit before recording. Not enough to become robotic; just enough to get comfortable in front of the camera and eliminate some of the uhs and ums that can be annoying over the course of three minutes.
- Remember that you don’t have to always feature talking heads. Software like Snagit allows users to record their screen and voice as they demonstrate how to use software, tour a website, or report findings for a remote meeting. (techsmith.com/store) offers a free trial and a $62.99 license. Renewals are $12.60 per year. For shortcuts, quick tips and simple reminders, this method is a quick fix that doesn’t require fussing with lighting or backgrounds.
- Optimize your content for mobile devices. Employees will be more likely to reach for learning if it’s at their fingertips (literally.) they’ll also be able to access learning on the go rather than wait until they get to the office.
Your company can benefit from following the microlearning trend: more engagement, more retention, and less time spent searching for information instead of using it. If you’re interested in learning more, there’s a short video for that (of course.)