How we (at Synthesia) created our knowledge base

Jakob Marovt
September 6, 2023

It’s rare when you see a company feature itself in a case study.

It can come off a little self-aggrandising? Maybe. But if you don’t eat your own dog food, why should others, right? Besides, this case study is too good not to share, so we’re doing it anyway.

By the way, my name is Dan and I am a Product Marketer here at Synthesia. 👋🏻

I decided to write and share this case study with you while creating 20+ videos for the Synthesia Knowledge Base. Here is an example:👇🏻

It took me less than 10 hours to create 20+ explainer videos like the above, and I thought:

"Damn, there must be people out there who do not know that creating high-quality explainer videos can be so easy, fast, and cost-efficient. I need to tell everyone about it”. 🙋🏻‍♂️

Why is this important?

According to research, self-service support is increasingly becoming the first choice for consumers. More than 40% of consumers prefer self-service to human contact, and more than 73% of customers prefer to use a company's website rather than social media, SMS, and live chat for support.

I mean, you do appreciate a well-structured knowledge base when you see one, don't you? Personally, I love the Webflow University content and am really proud of what we are building at Synthesia Academy (below is an example).

Ok, let’s dive in - I’m super excited to share with you some ideas, tips and tricks on how to create high-quality explainer videos for your knowledge base.

There are 3 types of knowledge bases:

1. Best-in-class 🤩

They include high quality videos (that are up to date), good copy, design and information structure.

2. Ok-ish 😒

They include low quality videos (often outdated), and average copy and design.

3. Booooring 🥱

They do not include videos and are based on long boring text and documents.

In this article, we will cover one of the key components of a best-in-class knowledge base that will get your customers binge your content - high-quality explainer videos.

It so happens that creating high-quality explainer videos for non-professional video creators (and even for pros) proves to be difficult, time-consuming and challenging. 😰

Here are 3 reasons why it’s hard to make high-quality explainer videos

  1. Explainer videos are the ugly duckling of video content. They are hard to create and even if you manage to do it, they come with an expiry date (sometimes it’s shorter than milk).
  2. For example, when I was building the Synthesia Knowledge base and had just finished an explainer video, our product team put out an update that made it obsolete. I had to redo the whole thing without even publishing it yet. 🤦🏻
  3. For explainer videos (especially product tutorials), you need to write scripts and record your screen as you describe a process, or do the voiceover and try to match it to your screen recording. It's a messy, time-consuming, and annoying as hell task.
  4. ‍Designing a great-looking, on-brand, consistent product explainer video requires that you know a thing or two about graphic design, motion graphics design, and video editing. If, like me, you are not very good at these things, you’ve got a problem.

Well, I have good news for you! 🎉

You can now create high-quality and beautiful explainer videos, and Synthesia STUDIO is the only tool you will ever need for that. Here’s how 👇🏻

How to make high-quality explainer videos with Synthesia STUDIO?

We’ll start with a list of 5 features that will help you create a high-quality explainer video in Synthesia STUDIO.

✅ Screen Recorder: so you can easily screencast any process directly from Synthesia STUDIO.

✅ Video Templates: so you can ensure that all your videos are on-brand and consistent.

✅ Avatars: so you can add a human touch to it, without having to record yourself.

✅ text to speech: so you can avoid voiceovers, and instead type in your script in 60+ languages.

✅ Video Embeds: so you can easily share and update your video without having to re-upload it.

By the way, you can find explainer videos on each of these features (and more) here.

Now the process of creating an explainer video in Synthesia STUDIO might vary depending on your needs.

Here is a quick overview of my process👇🏻

Step 1: Choose a template

It’s quite important to use a template to ensure the consistency of look and feel of your knowledge base, especially when you are creating a large volume of explainer videos. You can choose from a pre-designed Synthesia STUDIO template and adapt it to your needs, or design your own.

Step 2: Select your avatar & voice

It really helps to pick one avatar + voice and use it consistently across all your explainer videos within your knowledge base. It adds another layer of consistency to your content and makes it easier to edit your videos.

Step 3: Screen Recordings

The screen recorder in Synthesia STUDIO is the best thing since sliced bread, seriously. It really saves you a lot of time to have everything in one place.

My tip here is to use the crop function to zoom in/out in certain parts of your video explanation, and make short screen recordings as it’s easier to edit only a part of your video in the future.

Step 4: Design & Layout

You can add design elements to your opening and closing slides (or any slides that require text or images), but keep the slides for screen recordings nice and tidy.

It's best to let the viewer experience one thing at a time.

Step 5: Video Embeds

Video embeds allow you to publish your video on a website (or websites) outside of Synthesia STUDIO. The best thing about embeds is that when you update your video in Synthesia STUDIO, it will automatically update on every page you embed it in.

In conclusion, explainer videos are here to stay.

Not only do customers expect to be able to find answers and learn about products and services at their own pace, but information structure, design, and a video-first approach are also high on their list of preferences.

Luckily, now you can create high-quality explainer videos for your knowledge base with Synthesia STUDIO, save a lot of time, resources and delight your customers. We are ready when you are! 😉

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