Tips for creating effective video tutorials

Tips for creating effective video tutorials

A Pretty cool feeling is you can rest easy knowing that every day someone, somewhere is learning thanks to the time you spent putting together a quality video tutorial.

Online tutorials are an effective way of learning instructions, as a student can follow the process step by step when the instructor explains it. They offer advantages to both the learner and the instructor.

A student or learner can learn at his own pace while sitting in the comforts of their home. Also, for the instructor, there isn't a time or place-bound for creating these video tutorials. However, it is important to understand how to make a video tutorial which is compelling and reaches the target audience.

You might find a lot of poorly made videos as they use raw content or have poor presentation skills. These videos drive away the potential followers even before they are able to view the content.

Top tips on how to make a video tutorial

1. Choosing the right tool for recording

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The initial step is to select the video making software. You will need one that can be easily installed on your system be it mac or windows. You can use Movavi Screen Recorder Studio which has both mac and windows version. It has an option to record video and audio simultaneously. You can add in special effects, captions, background score. It also allows you to edit your video and not just trim it!

2. Planning

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You have the right software in place. Now the most significant task is planning.  Write down the plan, have the content, diagrams or graphs ready, use good quality images.  List down the steps for how your content and pictures would appear in the video. Sequencing your thoughts on paper before you start recording. You might have thought about the audio and video content, how it would appear in the video. But it is essential to note down the steps so that you don't miss out any of them while creating the video or reviewing it while making the final edits.

3. Content creation

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In 2012 Youtube reported that users uploaded one hour of new video EVERY SECOND (SitePoint). Make sure your audio content is crisp and to the point.  Use short and simple words so that you easily connect with your users.

4. Choosing a title

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An appropriate title will let your users find you. You need to use a title which a user can easily search. It should define your video! Make sure not to use jargons or informal language. It should be crisp and give a brief about your video content. It is also recommended to add a short synopsis to the title it, reading which will encourage the user to view it.

5. Rehearsing

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A video without a voice isn't as powerful as compared to the one where we have the instructor explaining in words along with the pictures. Before you start recording rehearse to avoid obstacles when recording. Also, if the video requires a headshot or you to appear in the video, make sure you look presentable.

6.  Matching user capabilities

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The goal of your tutorial video is to engage your user and for them to process the knowledge while viewing. For this, it is extremely important to match the user's pace. It is known as system-based-pacing. It means maintaining appropriate speed while demonstrating and explaining which enables the user to follow and comprehend the process at their speed. For this, you would need to make sure you speak at a medium pace, modulating your voice and pace whenever needed and include natural breaks of few seconds while conversing.

7. Enabling user control

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A critical aspect of how to make a video tutorial is enabling the user to control their viewing experience.  This means to allow the user adequate control of the tutorial video.  The standard video control buttons include start, stop, volume, and pause. Additionally, you can add replay, forward and backward buttons. These buttons will enable the user to skip familiar segments and control volume.

8.  Editing your video

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Before you publish and make it viral, it is essential to make sure that your audio video quality is perfect. There are no background noises or echoes. You should also remove unwanted footage. Added background music, callouts or captions if necessary. Your voice is clear and doesn't distort at louder tones and is also clearly audible at lower tones. Your video and audio are synchronized and appear in the correct sequence. Once you have made the changes, preview it before you save and publish the content.

9. Publishing your video

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You might choose to publish your video omni-platform. Depending on the platform you might or might not require title, tags, and description. But it is always useful to have these in place. Filling in meta tags of your video page will help you get higher rankings on search engines. Many software tools like Screen Recorder Studio allow you to publish on YouTube in a couple of clicks directly from their interface.

Most of today's audience are a mobile audience so make sure that your video converts to all formats to support smartphones, tablets, desktops or laptops. If you aren't sure of the format, use the universally accepted ones MOV, AVI or MP4.  Flash isn't supported by Apple or HTML5. So, make a better choice!

10.  Analyzing your video performance

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Collect demographic and statistical data from YouTube. You can find who your viewers are which timezone or country do you get maximum viewership. The number of viewers, their response. The number of times your video is played, commented.

YouTube being part of Google you can get in-depth details of your viewers - user's gender, devices they use and source of traffic. YouTube allows users to interact by clicking on annotations and hotspots added to your video tutorial which increases user engagement. Make sure to pick a date on your calendar every month to analyze user data.


A lot of people have switched from written content to explainer videos. Today, YouTube averages over 4 billion views daily (Instrktiv). So if you have good content or presentation skills and can follow the simple tips on how to make a video tutorials listed above, you are sure to create amazing video tutorials and receive a wider favorable audience.

Sam Makad is a business consultant. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their businesses and overall ROI. You can follow Sam on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.

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