How to make Effective Tutorial Videos

Tutorial videos are one of the most effective ways to learn a new topic. Year after year, people watch over 100 million hours of educational and “How-To” videos on YouTube alone, not to mention the hundreds of other websites that are solely dedicated to tutorial videos.

However, there are some tutorials that help people learn really well, and some that just…don’t. If you’re looking to create tutorial videos, this blog post will give you some helpful tips on how to make your videos as effective as possible.

To start, there are three main characteristics that effective video tutorials have, and ineffective ones don’t:

  1. There’s an end goal
    Most videos will set a goal or a skill to learn by the time the video is over for their audience. This is a very clever way to make the audience feel like they’ve learned something, and it makes the intention of the video very clear.
  2. They’re relevant.
    The people putting these tutorials together rarely changed the subject. It’s super distracting and hard to learn when the person teaching you is constantly going off on tangents.
  3. They’re structured.
    There was an obvious beginning, middle and end to their videos. They didn’t launch right into a topic without giving an introduction first, and they didn’t end their videos right after they’ve finished talking about their topic.

If you follow those three main points, anyone could easily learn from your videos, but there are several things that help make a video stand out from all the others.

  • Make it short.
    Most effective videos are only three to six minutes long. In general, people have short attention spans. They’re much more likely to watch an hour of short videos than one hour-long video.
  • The video has good quality and the audio is clear.
    No one wants to watch a video thats out of focus or hear a persons voice when the microphones pops every-time they pronounce the letter ‘P’. Make sure you have a decent camera and microphone.
  • Use short sentences and small to medium length words.
    It’s already a challenge to learn something new, so make sure you’re communicating everything clearly so that it’s easy to understand the first time. Using large words that people might not understand in a tutorial video is like the digital equivalent of a dictionary using the word you don’t understand in the definition of the word.
  • Use human narration
    Using subtitles or a computer generated voice is distracting and sometimes difficult to learn from. Humanize your videos and use your own voice, or have someone speak for you.
  • Switch up the medium.
    Make your video engaging by filming some things, recording your screen for others, and using pictures in your tutorial. The change will keep people interested and help them learn.
  • Consider adding music
    Music helps fill in the awkward gaps between your words and your actions in your videos. It also makes people want to watch longer. There’s a reason restaurants, clothing stores and even malls play music, to enhance your experience and make you stay longer.
  • Create a strong title and cover image
    You want to engage your audience from the moment they see your video until the moment they finish it. Hook them in with a short and relevant title, and an eye catching cover image.
Based on the image and the title, which one would you choose?

With these tips, you should be able to create an effective and relevant tutorial video that will attract and keep people’s attention. Remember, the best way to get as many people to see your videos as you can is to continuously update them, and make it available in as many spots as possible (i.e. upload it to YouTube, Udemy, Venmo and other places too).

Go forth and create something awesome.