Blog Post

Course Design - Learn from YouTube and Build Successful Online Courses with Video

Why not build your online courses around video?

Many of the videos on YouTube are training videos, tutorials and short lessons and YouTube is now the first place many people go when they want to learn a new skill.

There are some good examples of training providers using video to build an audience, stay connected with customers and promote their brand. It is worth spending time on some of the different training related channels to get a feel for what you could do if you decided to create your own video content.

  1. Knowledge Train
    Knowledge Train is a London based training provider. One thing that stands out - videos that explain technical content or concepts get more views. So for Knowledge Train, it’s their Prince2 concepts explained videos that get watched the most - probably because they’re found in Google searches. Over half a million views and almost 2.5k subscribers.

  2. Randstad UK
    Randstad is an HR services organisation and many of the videos on the Randstad YouTube channel are training related. Videos are organised by theme. For example, a ‘How To’ career advice section with videos on interview preparation and CV building. Again, it’s the ‘How To’ type videos that get most views. Almost 1m views.

  3. Marginal Revolution University
    Marginal Revolution is different because it’s an online university - the content is more academic. Again videos are organised into topics. The content can be complex, but the videos are short and the format works because a lot of thought has gone into how course material is broken down into topics and videos. Over 26m views.

  4. Simon Sez IT
    Simon Sez IT is a US based IT training company. The videos on the Simon Sez IT channel are super focused - the videos are training for common office desktop applications. Again, the lesson is the same - ‘How To‘ videos get watched more often. 37.5m views.

The big lesson from YouTube (and other platforms like the Khan Academy) is that video is a great way to create and deliver affordable, high quality online courses. Shooting video has never been easier and there are lots of different styles of video to choose from - real people, animations, slide decks with audio etc.

Finally, there is another point worth making. YouTube videos can be embedded in your own website, tweeted and shared on other social platforms. Video is easy to create and also easy to share.

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