Instructional videos can be a great way to engage your audience and help them solve a problem – as a result, they’re a powerful marketing tool for an online business and can be linked to your product pages, or to your social platform, for example. Putting together a great ‘howto’ video is an art, though; use the handy guide below to help you navigate the process to get it right every single time!
Ok, so first off, let’s think about what a how-to or instructional guide actually is. In general, these videos are designed to show the viewer how to do something, explain a concept, demonstrate a process, or impart knowledge.
These types of guides can take the form of, for example, a micro-video, explainers, or tutorial videos, so start by deciding on the best one for the particular guide you want to create – what form is your audience most likely to engage with?
Making Your Video
Before you get started on making your video, it’s vital to think about your target audience in order to pitch it to perfection. Think about why this audience needs the help of your video guide: determine exactly the learning objective of the guide you’re creating and the benefits that watching it will deliver to the viewer. It may be tempting to skip this step, but it’s a crucial part of the process and will help your video remain relevant and on message.
Write a Script
Now it’s time to get to work! Start by working out a script for your video, and put together a storyboard, too. Try to plan out what will be happening visually during each section of narration. Mapping out the production in this way will make the process of recording much more efficient. Background music for videos is usually considered at this point, so decide on whether you want a soundtrack, and the nature of it, as part of your storyboarding.
Record the Narration
Have a few practice run-throughs of your script and, when you’re ready, find a quiet place in which to record your narration. Speak clearly and slowly, and, if you make a mistake, pause and then continue from a slightly earlier point – mistakes can be sorted out during the editing process.
If you can, use a decent microphone for the best quality sound recording.
Shoot Your Video
Next comes the exciting part of actually recording your how-to guide.
Before you begin shooting, be sure to practice as many times as possible to help ensure the filming runs smoothly. Be sure not to use jargon that the audience may not understand, and have everything that you need for the video to hand.
Make sure that the space is well-lit – either choose an area that benefits from plenty of natural lighting or opt for video lighting equipment. Place your camera or phone on a tripod, ensuring everything relevant is in the shot while being positioned as close to the subject as possible.
Edit Your Guide
Proper editing can make your guide appear more professional, and can be used to resolve any little mistakes or stumbles in the narration, for example, as well as trimming footage.
During this process, you may wish to add some interactive elements to your video, such as sketch motions or arrows, to inject added visual interest or to highlight important points in your guide. If more time is needed to explain a tricky concept or technique, consider splitting the clip and using an extended frame tool to freeze the video at that point.
Add an Intro
A video intro can act as a great ‘hook’ for viewers but should be kept short, sweet, and to the point: make sure it tells your audience exactly what they can expect from the guide and what they will have learned by the end of the video.
It’s Time to Share!
And finally, after all your hard work, it’s time to share your video with the world! Think about the best places to do this, as well as on your business website or social platforms; you may also want to upload it to YouTube or Vimeo.
Right before hitting the upload button, though, it’s a great idea to share your guide with a select group of people first and ask for their feedback to make sure that everything is clear, easy to follow, and that your message is effectively conveyed.
Why How-To Guides Are So Effective
Now, the internet is our go-to source of information if we don’t know something and want to find answers. A recent study has shown that 83% of people prefer to watch an instructional video to access information or learn how to do something rather than accessing the same information via audio or text and that over 70% of YouTube viewers consult the platform for assistance in solving a problem.
These figures reveal the power that an effective online how-to guide can wield in terms of marketing. By getting to know your target audience and carefully planning your production, you can help your business to grow and thrive using instructional videos.
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