How to Create a Video Tutorial

Video tutorials are a highly effective marketing format, that you can use to your advantage. They can be added to your website, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social channels. This is how you can get started with a video tutorial:

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  1. How to pick a topic

a. When picking a topic for your tutorial, it’s best to go for something that many of your customers struggle with and are interested in hearing about. If you’re not sure what that is, try researching to find out:

  • Do your research online and look at industry blogs and media outlets.
  • Ask your customers, either in one-on-one conversations or even through email.  
  • Social media. Ask your followers what kind of a tutorials they’d like to see. A social media poll can also be a good idea.  
  • Consult your associates.    

b. Another rule of thumb you should use: Try picking something that can be demonstrated well on video. Having a “talking heads” videos, with just one speaker talking into the camera, can also be interesting, but if you can show what you’re talking about and demonstrate it, that could be more engaging for your viewers.

 

  1. Prepare ahead

Practice: Try doing the tutorial on camera, with all the props you need, several times. You don’t have to use those versions, just watch yourself and try to learn what you liked and didn’t like – and try to improve from video to video.

Using a script: You can prepare a script to organise your thoughts, but it’s best not to memorise it or to read from it, but rather just talk naturally to the camera. Your script can be by your side when you film and just serve as a reminder of the things you want to say or as a “cheat sheet” in case you get stuck.  

Notes: Another option is preparing a list of points you want to make or the different parts of the video. It’s OK to glance at it from time to time. Your video doesn’t need to look rehearsed or scripted to perfection. Authenticity is the name of the game.  

Props: Prepare in advance all the props you need to use, if that’s relevant for your video. Know where everything is and how to reach for it, without having to spend time searching while you’re recording.

  1. Should you go live?

There are many social networks that allow you to go live on video, such as Facebook, Twitter and more. So you could opt to stream your tutorial live or record it in advance and then upload it to social networks (and to your website).  

There is no doubt that live video gets more attention and engagement from audiences. Live video also allows you to field questions from your audience as you stream you. However, the question is how comfortable you feel in front of the camera and how ready you feel for live video. Our advice would to record a few videos – and then try and go for a live video.  

  1. Tone of voice and language

To be fully engaged, your viewers shouldn’t have trouble understanding what you’re saying. So if your audience isn’t a professional one, avoid using overly technical and professional terms. You need to adapt your “tone of voice” (professional, casual, etc.) to your audience.  

If you do need to use a professional term, be sure to explain what it means, so every viewer can engage with your video.  

You can even envision a specific customer that you know well and how you would talk to them. This will help you use the right “tone of voice” in your video.  

  1. Ensure the quality of your video

You don’t have to use a budget to produce a high-quality video. Most smartphones nowadays have video features that allow for videos with clear image and sound. But you do need to create the optimal conditions for a quality video:

Sound:  Make sure what you’re saying will also be audible to your audience. To do that, you can record a few seconds and then play it to yourself. The best option is to record indoors, with the windows shut, to prevent outside noise. But an outdoors setting can also work, if it’s quiet enough. To be on the safe side, and just because many users watch video when commuting or on their mobile, generate captions for your video.  

Lighting: Your video shouldn’t be too dark, so it’s easy to watch. You can shoot a few seconds in the location you chose and play it to yourself to see if the lighting is good enough. In addition, play close attention to the display while you’re shooting: if it looks dark or blurry on your display, that’s the way it would look to your audience. Ideally, the sun or the lights should be behind your back when you’re holding the smartphone, not in front of your camera.  

Shoot vertically: This may sound counter-intuitive, but videos shot vertically work better on mobile devices. So position your smartphone vertically to start shooting. It’s important to mention that if vertical shooting means leaving yourself or objects necessary for the video out of the frame, switch to horizontal shooting.  

Make the first seconds count:

People will decide if they should watch your video based on the first few seconds. So rather than go into lengthy introductions, use those first seconds to explain what your viewers should be expecting from the video and why they should watch it. You can always “set the scene” later and tell them where you are or who’s speaking.