They say the human race doesn’t come with an instructional manual. But instructional videos sure help to navigate minuscule knacks of life! Ever attempted a life-rescuing “surgery” to salvage your retro devices? Browsing through volumes of how-tos on YouTube, it’s really intelligibility that makes tutorials valuable. Such brings about the often unsung topic on “how to make an instructional video” that is useful, effective, and actually teaches.
Ditch the old user manual! Everything has gone digital and so should you. No matter if you’re marketing a product, training a newbie, or teaching a course. Instructional videos are the way to make people listen. The importance of creating content that is easy to follow, visually compelling, and absorbable can’t be stressed enough. Indeed, there’s no guarantee that your viewers will stick with you throughout the process. But in this article, we’ll divulge some insider hacks on how to make an instructional video that engagingly benefits your target audience.
An instructional video is a visual tutorial that transfers knowledge to the viewer. By the same token, it can be used as a manual to walk the audience through a step-by-step process in order to complete a task. Such has been proven to be an effective teaching method as it increases viewer interaction and lowers the tediousness of active reading and comprehension.
There are several formats you can choose from when it comes to learning how to make an instructional video. Check out the types of instructional videos below and decide for yourself which would be the aptest.
We say ditto to the phrase “action speaks louder than words”! Rather than droning on in paragraphs about your product’s functionality, accolades, specifications, and features, just demonstrate it. User manual purpose aside, instructional promotional videos can double as a powerful marketing tool. Such can exemplify the user-friendliness and effectiveness of your product rather than making empty claims.
Because consumers today have notoriously short attention spans, instructional promotional videos should last for a maximum of one minute. They should only cover narrow to-the-point content that will resonate and appeal to your potential consumers. A catalog of short videos, each focusing on different information, can be developed to create a campaign. Such can be easily shared through different channels such as social media, television, or YouTube.
Screencast instructional videos are casual and personable videos that feature a recording of your own computer screen. They are often designed to demonstrate a solution to a problem. Just about anyone can create a screencast video. Because not only are they budget-friendly, but they are also quick and easy to make. All you need is a screen-recording software and a mic. Gamer, educator, or business professional, screencast videos are a simple and effective Below-The-Line (BTL) strategy in targeting small, specific groups. Get some technical tidbits on how to make an instructional video with screen recording for free here.
The pitfall of screencast videos is however monotony. It’s easy to sound insignificantly humdrum when you’re recording a monologue. Plus, watching a tiny cursor flit across screens can be absolutely dry and uninspiring. The gist to making great screencast videos is thus an engaging voice over.
Lectures and Presentations
Need absentees to catch up? Lecture and presentation instructional videos are used in education and training. Such is often used in human resources or teaching institutes. They literally feature a recording of a session that usually includes a speaker talking together correspondingly with screen-casted PowerPoint slides. Depending on your objective, this mode of teaching sometimes comes with interactive end-of-class quizzes to ensure that the lesson has been effectively retentive.
Lecture and presentation instructional videos are usually full-length, intensive, and time-consuming in contrast with other formats. Comparatively, they are more informative, detailed, and require a bigger investment from your audience. Because of this, ensuring the content is beneficial and engaging is of high importance. The last thing you want would be for them to lament that you’ve wasted an hour of their time!
Training, e-learning, and tutorial videos are used for on-boarding, technical training, or ensuring compliance. They can be utilized by an organization’s human resource department, or onboard airplanes to direct in-case-of-emergency situations. Unlike lectures and promotional formats, training videos lie somewhere in the middle. They last somewhere between 2 to 10 minutes long. Notably, they are informative but also made entertaining and personable. Most training videos are footage of real people. However, motion graphics are sometimes used to create simpler, more focused content for the audience.
Here’s the ginormous question: Are the ROIs of an instructional video worth your effort? We have the statistics to convince you that it’s worth a try.
- 53% admits to watching more than one instructional video every week.
- 55% of consumers watch videos before buying a product.
- 66% of consumers choose to watch a video than read a product.
Still not convinced? Here are more compelling reasons on why it’s worth your investment:
If you’ve attempted an origami with written or even illustrated instructions, you’ll find that it is quite a challenge. Navigating which side folds down to where is mind-boggling especially when you have a dozen paper corners to maneuver around. If a picture says a thousand words, then a video is probably worth a million. Instructional videos break down tasks into hand-holding steps. By watching a motioned demonstration, instructions become clearer, shorter, and easier to follow.
At Their Own Pace
One big perk you give your audience when you put up instructional videos is the power to pause, rewind, and go. Everyone is wired as differently as chalk and cheese. Through instructional videos, you cater to every learning speed and whim. That means fast-forwards for the impatient, and pause-and-rewinds for the thorough perfectionists. Such tailored clarity cannot be compared to that of reading or even live teaching sessions where trainers might overlook lag-behinds. Consequently, your students will be able to master tough concepts or complex processes more effectively.
Neil Turok articulates that “We are analog beings living in a digital world, facing a quantum future.” You might grow up speaking English, but here forth, the world speaks Spock! As such, marketers and educators are both looking for new ways to engage interaction for more retentive impressions. Under such circumstances, video media is the bee’s knees when it comes to social sharing. Social language means literally the world today. By learning how to make instructional videos, you connect your concept to real-world situations and encourage critical thinking. Most of all, you can become a catalyst for discussion for the online community. And who knows, you might actually become a thought leader for your industry.
How to Make an Instructional Video
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. In essence, having a goal without a plan is just wishful thinking. Correspondingly, a distastefully made instructional video is not only pointless but also irksome and a waste of resources. Follow our step-by-step tried and true recipe on how to make an effective instructional video.
Step 1: Plan
Failing to plan is planning to fail, at least in most cases. If you think you’re going to try and wing it, don’t! An hour of planning can save you hours of redoing, so don’t go chasing tails. Practically consider the below before you start:
1. Your Objective: What goal do you hope to achieve?
Are you teaching a concept, increasing product awareness, or solving a problem by demonstrating a process? Notice that it’s “objective” and not “objectives”? Too many cooks doeth spoil the broth, and will counterproductively result in futile outcomes. Choose one purpose for your video and center all content around that. In other words, every detail you include in your video is beneficial information for your audience and an answer to your objective.
2. Your Audience: Who are you speaking to?
Are you addressing a roomful of adolescents, new recruits, fashionistas, or tech geeks? In either case, speak their language, not yours! We’re referring to cultural consideration, as well as the refraining of industry jargon and acronyms. You can’t use vocabulary such as “LAN” or “WAN” when you are addressing the tech-phobic grandparents demographic! Likewise, there are some history-sensitive connotations that should be avoided. An example includes the word “master” when it comes to addressing diverse races in the crowd. Rather, use quotations, life-stage applicable examples, and expressions that will jive with your target audience, lest you lose them.
3. Budget: How much resources do you have?
How much time, manpower, and money are you allocating to this project? Most BTL projects are cost and time-friendly. But when it comes to Above-The-Line (ATL) materials such as digital user manuals, a professionally made video can draw the line between a reputable and non-established brand. That said, there are solutions that lie in the middle. You can get a sleek, professionally made video at affordable rates. And that means eliminating the hassle of equipment rental, video editing, and vocal narration. It all depends on your budget and in-house resources. You can choose to outsource full-stack. Or, alternatively hire professionals to write your script, articulate a voice over, or develop a video.
4. Length: How many minutes or hours do you want your video to span?
It all boils down to your objective. If you’re giving a lecture, an hour’s worth of video might be appropriate. On the other hand, sixty minutes will almost definitely lose you all your audience if you’re framing your instructional video as marketable content. Long videos are just not share-friendly. The maximum time allotted for paid videos on Instagram is 2 minutes, and 31 seconds for Facebook. If you’re however looking to create content for your channel on YouTube, it then really depends on the topic and format of your video.
Step 2: Content Creation
At this stage, unleash your creative spirit. The following steps are especially crucial if you are going for a partial outsource. This will determine the tone and mental accessibility of your content.
1. Craft a Script
We tend to drone off-topic even though some people might be naturals on the cam. When it comes to learning how to make an instructional video, it’s always a good idea to draft a script so you can ensure that your content is lean, concise, and beneficial to your audience. The below pointers make a great skeleton for you to write your script with.
Use Conversational Tones
You are ultimately a human being interacting with other human beings. Avoid extreme formal language. In addition, ask your audience questions, of which you provide the answers. Such inspires an intuitive thought process and headlines your content to increase the video’s proposition for your listener.
Speak in Short Sentences
Avoid the incessant “and”s and flowery language. When your audience reads a newspaper in their head, long sentences make more sense. Bear in mind though, that the script will be read out loud, and not everybody has the breathing stamina of an Olympic swimmer!
2. Layout a Storyboard
You don’t have to be Van Gogh. Stick figures might even suffice. The main purpose of creating a storyboard is to plan how you would frame your content. Such simplifies information especially in the case of situational role play and allows you to consider fillers for in-between scenes. Illustrate in sequential boxes how you would present each shot and allocate parts of your script for each frame.
Step 3: Record
And, “Action!” Of course, the final step would be to make the instructional video. There is a laundry list you need to prepare before hitting that record button.
1. Setting the Scene
Firstly, you’ll need to set the scene. That means no messy clothes in the background, kitchen utensils clanging, or animal photobombing. Well, unless it’s your intention. If you are looking to make a casual video from home, consider the good old book-shelf-in-the-background. It seems to be the safe and popular telecommuting choice featured in the news.
2. Hitting Record
Wondering how to make an instructional video with screen recording? You’ll need to employ an application or software. Some computers, for example, the MacBook, come with built-in functions for screen recording, and here’s how you can do it using them. That aside, there are free-of-charge options available. Such include this one. It allows you to simultaneously record your voice over while recording your video.
Like all videos, some tweaking is always advisable to make things perfect. Always do playback to ensure that the video’s resolution, volume, and narration is of high standards, lest they get rejected by social media platforms. Here’s a list of editing software you can employ to do your video editing.
Over to You
Grasping the skills on how to make an instructional video is really not that tough. It’s making an engaging video that poses a challenge. Benjamin Franklin said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I learn, involve me and I will never forget.” Including a touch of humor, a dash of personality, and the simplicity of animation can make you stand out. Above all, go slow and present one thing at a time. With these bonus tips in mind, you’re ready to roll!