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5 Reasons To Ban Loom Videos from Your Knowledge Base

5 Reasons To Ban Loom Videos from Your Knowledge Base

A Tango-branded illustration of a video with a banned icon over top.
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Everyone knows we’ve entered the golden age of video.

Don’t believe me?

  • Anyone with an iPhone can create, share, and consume bite-sized videos. It’s no wonder we spent 17 hours a week watching online videos last year, on average. 😅
  • Video for business is exploding. Today, 91% of businesses use video as a marketing tool, and 82% of us have been convinced to buy a product or service after pressing play. ▶️
  • Signs of a slowdown are nowhere in sight, with the number of digital video viewers worldwide expected to reach 3.5 billion. 👀

It isn’t just TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube that are taking off. Video communication platform tools like Loom are enjoying a surge in popularity too.

But just because we can [make a video], doesn’t mean we should.

We love Loom at Tango. But we’ve found it’s easy to abuse it, especially in Operations, Training, and Enablement.

And that abuse is about to get a lot worse, thanks to the acquisition heard around the tech world (by one of the biggest Knowledge Base companies).

Are Looms going to fill our Knowledge Bases now? We sure hope not. 💀

A summary of the five reasons operations, training, and enablement managers should ban Loom videos from their Knowledge Base.

1. Looms are for sharing one-time comms and ideas

Loom built Loom for a very specific use case, and that use case is not software training or step-by-step SOP guides.

For the longest time, their go-to-market messaging could not have been clearer:

A screenshot of a banner taken on Loom.com.

Loom has made it their mission to minimize unnecessary meetings—and they’ve succeeded with a best-in-class tool for 1) communicating one-way updates and ideas, and 2) powering async progress across time zones.  

That said…if you’ve used Loom to teach internal teams how to perform step-by-step procedures in software, you aren’t alone. And it’s understandable:

  • You’re under pressure to enable multiple teams and roles 
  • You’re on the receiving end of a million FAQs 
  • There’s no one for you to divide and conquer with
  • You’re tired of people ignoring written documentation you’ve created in the past
  • It’s easier to record a Loom than to create a software how-to guide with screenshots

The good news? It’s not too late to start making a conscious effort to separate what should be a video vs. a [written] process guide. 👀

2. People don’t like long videos—especially when they’re trying to learn new software

A Tango-branded illustration of a quote from Tango's Head of Product Marketing about the pain of watching a long video to perform a quick task.

When you create a video for a new tool or process, here’s what you’re also doing:

  • Ignoring recent research that proves people don’t like long videos
  • Trading one bad solution (wordy documentation) for another 
  • Creating training that’s convenient for you, not your end users
  • Delivering a monologue with their software training (with more context than called for)
  • Hoping people will engage with information they can’t apply immediately 
  • Forcing everyone who needs help to break flow and search your Knowledge Base 
  • Making it impossible for users to jump straight to the step where they’re stuck 
  • Increasing delays and interruptions when people can’t (or won’t) self-serve 
  • Overlooking your “ambivalent adopters” who are afraid of change and want their hands held

Listen to a self-described ambivalent adopter expand on their mindset below:

A summary graphic depicting the seven ways to win over ambivalent adopters and increase software process adoption.

To double-click on the desire to go through highly prescribed software procedures as brainlessly as possible, play the clip below:

3. Software processes are constantly changing

We alluded to this one above: your company’s most important workflows are nearly always in flux.

A product update broke 90% of the screenshots in your process guide. A new hire poked holes in steps you thought were crystal clear. A subject matter expert discovered an efficiency that can scale. An executive swapped one tool out—and all the videos that went with it—for another. 

The instigators are endless. What’s consistent? 

  • Asking employees to memorize software SOPs is a waste of time and energy
  • Trying to keep all your Looms current is just as futile 😅

Even if you don’t have to re-record video tutorials from scratch, it takes time and talent to trim your videos, stitch clips together, and preserve your analytics.

4. Knowledge Bases are for storing general knowledge

Want to turn your Knowledge Base into a black box of outdated, fragmented, and elusive content? 

  • Step 1️⃣: Load it up with Looms (about how to perform evolving software procedures)
  • Step 2️⃣: Bury the relevant content you have (about your market, customer, company, product, or service) that your Knowledge Base is built for centralizing
  • Step 3️⃣: Make it next to impossible to maintain and find anything of value
💡 Tango Tip

What belongs in your Knowledge Base? Evergreen, text-based reference material about your business at large.

5. There’s a better way to create and distribute internal software training

If you’ve taken a peek at the modern training and enablement tech stack, you know Knowledge Bases make up just one of the four major categories of learning tools.

A table breaking down Tango's take on the modern training and enablement tech stack.

Two others are specifically designed for increasing software (as opposed to general) knowledge:

  • Work Instructions Tools → Screen capture technology that creates step-by-step guides and software SOPs as you click
  • Digital Adoption Platforms → Software that’s layered on top of another product, app, or site and uses tooltips to guide users through specific tasks

Work Instructions Tools

Work Instructions Tools are amazing for workflow creators. You can create how-to guides with screenshots in minutes, avoid tedious manual writing and formatting, and move away from walls of text and long Looms. 🎉

But you still have to send your end users to your Knowledge Base to find your tutorials…and they still have to read and/or memorize your content. 

Digital Adoption Platforms

Digital Adoption Platforms (DAPs) are amazing for end users. As the only tools purpose-built for internal software training and rollouts, DAPs bring how-to instructions and on-screen guidance directly into the tools where people work. Users can cut down on context-switching, learn in the heat of a real-world task, and quickly master new software and processes.

But from where you sit, traditional DAPs are expensive to buy, complex to deploy, and clunky to operate. Which makes it hard to lead successful software training projects—or show significant ROI.

A new kind of Digital Adoption Platform

Not all DAPs are created equal. 

Real-Time Enablement (RTE) is a modern version of a DAP that’s just as good for process experts as it is for end users.

WIth RTE, you can: 

  • Stop trying to use Loom and your Knowledge Base for internal software enablement 
  • Save time with Click-to-Create software to make simple walkthroughs people will actually use
  • Capture best practices across tools and web pages without restriction (or code) 
  • Embed your software SOPs in the tools your ambivalent adopters use every day 
  • Connect your training to the Knowledge Base you’ve invested time, energy, and $$ in
  • Drive measurable process adoption and connect your work to business outcomes 

And maybe most importantly? You can help the teams you support focus on more important, differentiated, and strategic work. 🕺🏽

The bottom line

To reiterate: We love Loom. But we have two rules at Tango. No Loom videos for software training, and no Loom videos in our Knowledge Base.

Looms are great for communicating ideas/status updates and eliminating unnecessary meetings. But they aren’t designed for teaching people how to do a 10, 30, or 50-step software procedure. And they shouldn’t be used to clutter up your single source of truth.

Your end users want to learn how to use software directly inside of the software they use. To make that dream a reality, you need Real-Time Enablement: a modern Digital Adoption Platform purpose-built for internal software training and rollouts. ⚡

To learn more about Real-Time Enablement and the modern training and enablement tech stack, subscribe to Change Enablers Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube.


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