Tips For Making An Effective How To Video
By Marc Burger, Content Manager
How-to videos are increasingly used by companies to quickly explain how to use a product or service. Here's how to do it.
- Choose an activity to demonstrate
- Play to your strength: establish yourself as a trustworthy resource
- List all the stages involved in the chosen activity
- Strong opening line in to drag your audience in your how to video
- In your how to video, focus on How and not on Why
- Title of your how to is also very important
- Keep your how to video simple
- Make branding obvious in your how to video
- Keep retracing your steps through your video, to help your audience to follow, and add clarity, with screenshots for example
- Keep the energy up in your how to video
- Conclusion: put a call-to-action
Even if you are new to video, you will have watched a how-to video at some point. This is the other term used to talk about tutorials, which flood Youtube today, because the periods of confinement have passed and have further reinforced the trend, because today, in our personal lives, we want to learn things on video.
For a recipe:
To train a dog:
Or even to solve a Rubik’s cube:
And as a result, in our professional lives, we want to use the same learning medium, both as customers and as employees. Nowadays, in order to have a more memorable message, many companies have opted for their tutorial, to explain, through short videos, how their product or service works.
Choose an activity to demonstrate
This is the basis of any how to video. But choose this topic carefully: you must be sure that you have mastered it, that you have someone in your team who can explain it to a beginner audience, step by step. And above all: the choice of this subject will determine the title of your video, and therefore… its referencing on Youtube!
Play to your strength: establish yourself as a trustworthy resource
Be sure to choose the topic you want to cover in your how-to video. Don’t take the risk of getting into something you only half understand. First of all, it will generate stress. Secondly, you will feel a sense of imposture, and the person who has to speak may not have all the resources needed to train the target audience.
List all the stages involved in the chosen activity
These different steps will structure your video. Each step can correspond to a chapter. Divide these sequences when creating your script and storyboard. Your storyboard will be used to separate these steps into several explanatory sequences, with sequences of filmed footage and motion design made by you, or found on the online video editing software.
Strong opening line in to drag your audience in your how to video
In a video, you have between 3 and 7 seconds to capture the attention of your viewers, to prevent them from looking elsewhere. Where do you start to attract them, to make them want to stay?
Put yourself in their shoes: say that your video will solve a problem they face every day. For example: “Have you ever had to…”,
Put yourself in the scene of the problem: for example, when you can’t assemble a piece of furniture, when you don’t understand a piece of software,
Start a video with a preconceived idea, which you can then deconstruct,
Start with a sentence heard hundreds of times by millions of people on a given subject. A sentence that we’ve heard enough of, and that we’d like to deconstruct…
You see, there is no shortage of ideas: but you only have a few seconds to pick them up.
In your how to video, focus on How and not on Why
Remember: if people are watching your how-to video, it’s because they want an immediate answer to a problem they are having right now. So, please: don’t get too digressive, don’t go into great considerations about why you are doing what you are doing in your video…Your audience wants to know how it is done, they no longer wonder why they are doing it.
Title of your how to is also very important
Why? Because the title and the thumbnail of your Youtube video will be the first two elements that people will see of your video, which will make them want to click on it (or not). And if your title is well chosen, with the right keywords targeted, you will appear more easily on the right side, in the suggested videos.
Add text on screen, that is easy to read and understand
The text can appear in the thumbnail of your Youtube video, to highlight a key concept, for example. But text should also appear between different sequences: for example, to differentiate the steps of your tutorial, so that your audience can follow the progress. But also, to highlight, in a corner of the screen, keywords to remember, concepts not to forget.
Keep your how to video simple
You are addressing novices, people who are performing the action or using the software for the first time. You have to get to the point and keep it simple, otherwise you risk losing their attention, making them think that the thing is too complicated for them, by using overly technical terms that you haven’t even defined.
Make branding obvious in your how to video
It would be a shame to spend all that effort making a how-to video without your audience remembering you. They need to know who they are dealing with, who they are going to turn to for information on specific topics. Once your video footage is shot, using the online video editor, you will need to add your branding elements, starting with your logo.
Keep retracing your steps through your video, to help your audience to follow, and add clarity, with screenshots for example
This is very important: in order not to lose your audience, who will receive a lot of information at once, do not hesitate to repeat the points seen in the previous chapters, to come back to the key notions, to make sure they are well assimilated. Don’t be afraid to repeat, so that all the parts of your how to video then form a coherent whole.
Keep the energy up in your how to video
You don’t just have to get your viewers’ attention at the beginning of the video. You have to keep them all the way through. The aim is to get them to watch the whole video. Speak in a dynamic voice, loudly enough, look at the lens, use your body language, link filmed sequences with more graphic motion design sequences to create dynamism. And above all, don’t forget the music – it should be present, but not take up all the space, at the risk of masking your voice.
Conclusion: put a call-to-action
And finally, to conclude, encourage your audience to click on a button: to subscribe to your newsletter, to follow you on your youtube channel and watch even more videos, to receive a sample of the product… any opportunity is good for a call-to-action!
What about you? Would you like to find, among the softwares you visited the website, to find the perfect online video editor, to make more videos, to get more views on youtube, become popular and reach your goals of fame and conversions? On the Pitchy platform, once you have done with shooting and recording with your camera or smartphone (or screen recorder with webcam, and don’t forget to take the sound with a microphone). Then, you will be able to choose the format you want to make: interview, teaser, tutorial, explainer video,…and then, choose a template, add animations, graphics, audio and voice-over effects. You will be the creator. For the best practices, do not hesitate to go to our website. We also have a Pitchy app, where you will be able to edit your video sequences directly.
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