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How To Create “How-To” Videos Your Audience Will Love

No worries, I will just “Google it” or “Trust me! I know a great YouTube tutorial video for this” are commonplace phrases in our lives today. The gap between knowledge and the average consumer has reduced considerably.

We live in the golden era of information where anyone can repair a television or maybe even save a person’s life with the right video. 

Such accessibility makes people come back repeatedly for the “how-to” content on the internet. In fact, the search volume for these terms is on the rise across social media platforms.  

This consumer sentiment extends to consuming branded content as well. A brand/influencer who puts out consistent “how-to” videos or tutorials on relevant topics scores a lot of brownie points compared to those who don’t. 

Reading a product manual is no one’s favorite job, but a tutorial video on the setup will get 3X hits according to YouTube. 

What does all this data tell you? Creating “how-to” content or tutorials for your product and services is no longer optional but has to become a vital part of your content marketing strategy.

But how to go about it? 

We know that creating videos is a complex process, and how-to videos especially require a lot of attention and pre/post-planning. 

How about we make it simpler for you and present all you need to do about this video content in one blog? That will be amazing, right? Your wish is our command. So scroll below to take in all you need to create stellar how-to video content. 

“How-To” videos your brand needs to explore 

Before we dive into how to create “how-to” videos, you must know your options. There are many ways to give instructions or guidance to your customers, out of which, how-to content is the most popular. Video content is always easier to understand than text and images. It also makes it easy for people to comprehend complex information. 

Even on Google, “how-to” queries feature a video result over the typical blogs and articles. This means that “how-to” videos can help you improve your SEO efforts, improve traffic to your channels, and raise brand awareness. 

Even with millions of results, it’s a how-to video that pops up as a top result!

But did you know that how-to videos themselves have many variations that you can explore? Yes, they are not all the same, and it’s really important that you pick the right one for your brand. 

1) Traditional Instructional videos

This category of videos covers tasks and topics that have a set way of sharing instructions. We also called these concrete instructional videos, since there is a flow to the entire process. Traditional instructional videos are the easiest to script and film. You can cover a variety of topics under this category, including but not limited to installation instructions, decoration instructions, craft tutorials, recipes, and more. 

For this category, it is best to film a traditional video in good lighting and an elaborate setup. If you are uncomfortable in front of a camera, you can choose a faceless video approach and film top view videos. This way you’ll just be present via a voice over.

2) Abstract instructional videos 

Not every how-to video is about a process or a product. Service firms have a lot of scope for filming tutorial videos as well. For example, if you run a marketing firm agency want to create a “how-to” video on local marketing campaigns, an abstract instructional video can come in handy. 

Service “how-to” videos can use animation techniques, graphic design slides with text aka presentation technique, or a combination of those to convey their message. While you can film a traditional video with you in front of the camera for this, animated and graphical videos will help you create an engaging video.

3) Social media compatible videos

Do you consider “how-to” or tutorial videos to be strictly long-form content? While this is correct when you think of traditional marketing channels, social media marketing has broken this mindset for a lot of consumers. Customers look for tutorials and how-to content on social media platforms, too. And for these platforms, short-form videos under a 1 minute in length work better. 

So, there is a need to create crisp, fast-paced, and short-form instructional videos that are compatible with social media algorithms. You can either edit your traditional tutorial videos for social media or start fresh based on your requirements.

4) Screencast videos

A lot of tech companies are constantly on the lookout to help their customers use their services optimally. This involves sharing tutorials on how to use their products and applications. But not the typical tutorials. Let’s take Photoshop for example. If it launches a new feature and aims to release a tutorial on how to use it, traditional methods will not help them. 

That is where the screencast videos come in handy. In this format, the brand shares its screen virtually with the audience and shows the use of a product/service. These are like live videos, but you must edit them to give them a smooth storytelling flow and keep them engaging.

Now that we know the options, it’s time to explore the best tips to create “how-to” videos your audience will love.

8 Design Tips to Create How-to Videos your audience will love 

“How-to” videos bring in a multitude of benefits for your brand. They improve your ROI, solve customer pain points, and build trust in the market. But this all hinges on how well you present your “how-to” video content. 

In this blog, the experts of the Kimp Video team came together to help you create “how-to” videos that resonate with your customers and are in line with your brand’s identity. 

Let’s get started. 

1) Plan your content carefully 

Video production is a complicated process. There are a lot of elements and many steps to follow to get the result you have envisioned. And it all begins with how you plan before getting started. If the planning goes well, you are 50% done.

  • Ensure that you have the script for the “how-to” video ready well in advance. This will allow you to organize the rest of the elements for the video production. 
  • Once you know what you want to create, get started on a mood board. This mood board must feature in your design/editing team’s design brief as well for consistent output. 
  • Focus on the design style, aesthetic, shots, and details you want to capture in your “how-to” video. 
  • Based on the mood board, sit with your team (videographer, editor, and actor, if any) to discuss camera angles and setup. 

Kimp Tip: Consult the design/editing team before you start video production. If you cannot, ensure that you share the mood board and discuss notes with them. This will help them edit the video to match your vision.

With the Kimp Video design subscription, you can edit your videos to cover up any issues in production in no time. Matching your expectations is part of our job description.

2) Choose the right setup 

As we discussed in the previous section, there are many ways to shoot and produce a “how-to video”. Based on how you plan it and what type of “how-to” video you have in mind, the setup will also vary. But there are some basics: 

  • Good lighting results in good videos. This is a very important rule. Producing a video under the right lighting can enhance its value by 10X. If you cannot arrange for a location with natural lighting, you need a ring light and artificial lighting at least. 
  • Next comes the background. With the power of editing, a green screen or a plain background can become any background you wish to use. But some videos require non-edited backgrounds, like the traditional instructional videos. So ensure that your frame does include not have any unnecessary elements. 
  • Once the lighting and background are in place, consider the composition of the video. Whether you are in front of the camera or you are doing a faceless video, the composition is important. Your positioning, props arrangement, and overall aesthetic are something you cannot edit in post-production. Follow the rule of the 3×3 grid and position yourself in the center and go from there. 
  • Since videos hinge on the visual appeal of the end product, choose colors, elements, and other props with care. The right prop, like a plant or a colorful cushion, can enhance the attractiveness of the video. Spend time on research, discuss with your team, create a mood board, and then get started.

Kimp Tip: The setup is important mostly for traditional instructional videos. Most of these points will not apply to abstract instructional videos. But lighting is very important for screencast videos too. So discuss the details with your team before diving into shooting. 

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Source: Unsplash
3) Optimize for different formats 

With the first two steps, you can get a pretty good video ready for your “how-to” content marketing plan. But many marketing experts may argue that content creation is only as successful as its best distribution channel. Since the Internet has no dearth of informative content, unless you establish an omnichannel presence, success can be  fleeting. 

For an omnichannel presence, you need content that fits on all platforms. That is why we suggest you optimize your “how-to” video content for different formats and channels. 

You can upload these videos on your website, product pages, blogs, Instagram Reels, TikTok, Snapchat, Facebook. YouTube, and Snapchat, to name a few. Email newsletters are also a suitable medium.

The specifications, quality requirements, target audience, and marketing intent vary for each platform. So a little editing and optimization will go a long way. 

Kimp Tip: Repurposing video content requires knowledge of each platform and the style that works best on those. In short, you need an experienced team so that your efforts reap the maximum benefits. Choose Kimp Video and leave all worries about your content distribution at the door!

4) Focus on Quality 

For a second, let’s focus on designed and animated videos. Since not every “how-to” video from your brand will involve recording and production, you must concentrate on improving the quality of these videos too.

The quality of your recorded videos depends on the camera, software you used to edit, and so on. But for animated videos, it depends on the visuals you supply to the team. Yes, right from branding assets to product images and other design elements, every element will result in quality video.

Poor-quality videos will turn your customer away even before they get to the content. It takes less than 5 seconds for someone on the internet to form an opinion, and quality ranks high on that judgment list.

5) Intros and outros need special attention 

Continuing on the theme of a shorter attention span, we want to take a moment to focus on the importance of the first 5 seconds of your video. Yes, the first frame holds the key to the success of the entire video.

Whether you choose a traditional instructional video or something along lines of animation and graphic design, you need an incredible opening slide. Some ideas for capturing attention in the first few seconds themselves include:

  • Cutaways from the video that you can have a design team enhance using transitions, slow-motion effects, animations, or more.
  • An animated slide with custom illustrations to explain the purpose of the video.
  • A sneak peek of an important section of the video without context to pique the interest of the audience. 

You can achieve all this with planning, mood boards, and a stellar editing team like Kimp Video.

As much as the beginning matters, so does the ending. There is a purpose to your content creation, yes? You want customers to know more about your brand, a product, take part in a campaign, and so on. The last few frames of the video must include a clear CTA and brand information slide. Customers must know where to go next. 

Choose from animation, recorded footage, or a presentation slide for this but don’t skip it. 

Kimp Tip: The start and end of a video must stand testament to your brand’s position in the market. The design style must reflect your brand personality and attract customers to view more of your “how-to” videos. 

Wondering how to achieve this? We have an easy way for you: Sign up for the Kimp Video subscription and leave it to us.

6) Keep it short and direct 

Most consumers arrive at your “how-to” videos because they want crisp instruction instead of dealing with instruction manuals. So, the aim here is not to just visualize the content of the manual but to make it better. And that means making it succinct and direct for the customers. Break down the process into smaller steps for easy understanding.

Another concern is the growing popularity of shorter videos across various platforms. Videos around 1 min do exceptionally well while the engagement drops considerably after that. So keeping it short helps you.

The solution for these problems is to work with your editing team and make the video crisp and easy to understand. Using voice overs to explain the instructions and speeding up the dull moments can help a lot.

7) Pay attention to the audio 

Have you heard of the newly growing popularity of ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) videos on the internet? And generally speaking the huge fanbase for videos that satisfy the senses? A similarity in both these videos is the unique audio they use and the attention they have paid to it. People usually end up watching these videos just for the audio.

If you want customers to follow your “how-to” videos with the same level of interest, you must pay attention to your audio, too. Even when you have elaborate voiceovers, you can choose suitable stock audio with a license for some background music. 

On platforms like Instagram Reels and TikTok, the audio matters a lot and is the reason behind the success or failure of a video.

8) Optimize for mute-play

As much as some consumers love the audio on videos, others also like to hear them with no audio and no compromise on the content experience. Yes, studies show that a majority of videos on Facebook play with no sound. Customers may want to watch your videos on the go and in public and will not appreciate the drop in experience when there isn’t audio in the mix. 

Accessibility of your content also increases when you optimize it for mute-play. You can achieve this by including closed captioning, text overlays, and text screens wherever necessary.

Create crowd favorite “How-to” videos with Kimp 

When you need quality content consistently without breaking the bank, unlimited graphic and video design services can be lifesavers. But most unlimited design services do not have a single plan structure for video design and editing. That can end up restricting a brand’s creativity immensely.

With Kimp Video, you can choose to create GIFs, explainer videos, how-to videos, along with video editing services at no additional cost. 

Sounds great, right? So why wait? Sign up for the free trial today.