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How to Make Instructional Videos with Ease

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When people are interested in learning something, they’d often go to the internet and find ways to help them learn how to do it. Chances are they might even look for instructional videos to help them get the answers to all their questions.

From handicrafts to cooking tutorials, instructional videos are slowly becoming a source of engaging content for almost everyone globally. A TechSmith study even says that 53 people watch two or more instructional videos every week, which is 152% higher than the survey made in 2013. Now, a lot of businesses are noticing their impact and are even using it to grow their business online.

Fun facts about instructional videos:

  • 4x as many people prefer watching videos instead of reading about a product when they’re thinking of buying something.
  • Two out of three employees absorb information 7% faster when watching instructional guides.
  • Nearly 7 out of 10 Millennials prefer watching a company video when doing their online shopping.
  • Pieces of content made for learning and education gets over a billion views each day on YouTube.
  • Tens of millions of students subscribe to online video courses like Skillshare and Udemy.

Sounds like a lot of numbers, right? However, creating online training videos isn’t easy. It takes a lot of time to create one which many small businesses and entrepreneurs don’t even have. But what if we can make things easier?

Think about what your marketing team can accomplish with a video that can explain about your products. Or imagine how your HR department can use it when onboarding new staff to your team.

With most consumers nowadays saying they prefer to watch a video than reading about it, now is the best chance for your business to consider creating instructional videos to help you build an online brand.

Primary Types Of Instructional Videos

When people think about instructional videos, they often think about cooking videos or arts and craft shows. But there’s more to it than what many people think.

Aside from showing a person a step-by-step guide to do something, an instructional video is any video content that illustrates a process or a transfer of knowledge. It can also be a way to discuss a concept.

Anyone can create an instructional video. A few examples that you can do are the following:

Micro videos

Micro videos are short and only focus on a single topic. It lasts for at least sixty seconds or less, which makes it appealing for most viewers who have little endurance when it comes to watching lengthy videos.

Tutorial videos

Tutorial videos are the most common ones that we see uploaded in every social media site, especially YouTube. It uses a step-by-step method to teach a process that their target audience will find interesting. Tutorial videos often last between two to 10 minutes and can even branch out to several instructional videos.

Training videos

Most companies often create training videos to upskill their employees. Training videos usually cover various topics such as instructional guides, compliance training, as well as any other topics related to their work. In most cases, companies use real footage of people on their training videos to help make it more relatable to all the participants. Training videos are lengthy, given the amount of information that they’re trying to share with their audience.

Explainer videos

Explainer videos are another type of instructional videos ideal for people who prefer short videos. It usually lasts for less than 2 minutes to explain a concept entertainingly. Most creators use basic animation to clarify and simplify complex topics, ideas, or service to their audience. It’s a great way to explain a concept to your audience without making it too complicated.

Presentation videos

Presentation videos are often ‘recorded presentation’ made available for the audience so they can rewatch it. It’s also a great way to learn about the topic for people who weren’t there at the event. Presentation videos can either be an audio recording of the event or a combination of a copy of the PowerPoint presentation slides, a webcam, and a microphone. Most of the time, presentation videos last longer than a tutorial video and almost have the same length as an entire class lecture.

Screencast videos

Screencast videos best suit a smaller audience than tutorial videos. Because of its small numbers, it tends to be quick and a bit more informal. It’s suitable for just-in-time lectures where the presenter can ‘screencast’ to answer any of the participants’ questions or clarify a concept. It’s often considered as disposable since it’s usually made quickly and offers very little production value.

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Making Instructional Videos

Neglecting to learn about your audience

Understanding your audience is probably the most crucial part of making any content, especially instructional videos. So, it would help if you learned as much as you can about them to help you make the right decisions.

Although knowing a few general information about them can be helpful, it’s better to learn more things about them to help you create a persona.  Understanding their interests as well as the things that they don’t and do like will help you stay more focused when creating a video.

Pushing yourself too much

 A lot of people often try their hardest to be as perfect as they can the first time that they make a video. However, it’s still important to remember that getting everything right is impossible. Pushing yourself to meet your ideals will only affect your creative process and cause you to struggle. Always remember your goals and what you want to achieve with your videos so that you can stay on track.

Focusing excessively on equipment

It’s only understandable that you want to create the best content every time you publish one online. But getting yourself caught up in having the best tools can only put you in a lot more pressure. Although it’s always great to have the best gear, it’s far from a necessity. If you’re new at making instructional videos, you don’t need to get the latest equipment right off the bat. Try to learn the basics first and then upgrade your gadgets as you go along.


A Step-By-Step Guide In Making An Instructional Video

Step One: Get an understanding of your target market

As discussed earlier, getting to know your audience and why they need help is the first thing that you need to do when creating content. If you’re offering any product or service, you can try talking to your customers or even do a survey to see how they use their products and the struggles that they have with it. Meanwhile, if you’re doing class lectures, you can try to learn the things that your students want to achieve at the end of each session. You can then use all the information that you gathered to create tutorials that your audience will find helpful.

Although the first step may seem tedious, skipping it wouldn’t help you with creating binge-worthy content. If anything, it’ll only cost you to lose your audience. So, it’s vital to learn as much as you can about your audience to help you with creating videos.

  •  The first thing that you need to do is choose one topic for every video. Try to think of a subject that’s still related to your niche or brand. By narrowing your scope, you’ll find it easier to create content focused on a single topic.
  • Next, identify your target demographic. You can figure out your target audience by getting your demographic’s primary information like age, education, location, and professional organizations.
  • Understand why they would care about the topic that you have in mind. Also, you need to have a clear learning objective so that you can provide your audience with clear instructions with a more attainable outcome.

Step Two: Create a storyboard with a script

Creating a storyboard is an easy way to establish how each scene would go in your instructional video. So, it’s highly advisable to make one so that you can outline and get a clear picture of how the content will go.

There are many ways to create a storyboard for your content. Some would even go as far as drawing detailed pictures to illustrate what they want to happen. Meanwhile, others prefer to scribble or do some quick sketches to serve as a guide for their content. Meanwhile, people who are doing a screencast can use screenshots to show what they want to display on the video.

CREATING A SCRIPT

Aside from having a storyboard, creating a script is a great way to help you stay on track with your topic. Not only will it help you be more efficient with what you want to say, but it’ll also help your viewers understand your content better.

HERE ARE A FEW TIPS THAT CAN HELP YOU START WITH YOUR WRITING:

  • Imagine yourself talking to a friend when writing a script. Use simple language so that you can communicate yourself better. Not everyone can understand your jargon. So, it’s best to act as if you’re explaining the topic to a friend to help you write better.
  • Be natural. Let each sequence flow naturally with your script. Instead of giving instructions in full detail, let the actions speak for themselves. You don’t need to tell your audience that you’re pressing the button to turn on the oven. Instead, tell them the temperature and the duration that it needs to get cooked.
  •  Practice regularly. Expect that you won’t create the perfect script the moment that you start writing. So, ensure that you read your script aloud before you start recording. As you go through each line, there might even be times when you’ll find something that can make it sound better if you say it out loud. So, try to read through it multiple times and make sure that it sounds as natural as it should.
  • Ask for opinions. Ask any of your friends for their opinion about your script. Getting feedback from others who aren’t afraid to share their opinion is valuable when writing a script. Although it may seem scary at first, you’ll eventually get used to it. Thus, helping you to create better scripts in the future.
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Step Three: Start recording your voice over

Now that you have your script and storyboard with you, it’s finally time to start recording the narration. For a lot of beginners, pressing the record button can be unnerving. So, try your best to shake off your nerves and start recording the voice over.

Several tools can help you record your audio. Some can even edit your audio while editing the caption at the same time. So, try to find an app that can help you with recording your audio.

One tool that can help you with your recording is Audiate. It’s a voice recording app that lets you record and edit your audio as you transcribe it real-time. You can also flag specific fillers such as “ums” and “uhs” so that you can easily find and remove them from the recording.

Once you’ve completed your recording, you can then save the file and import it into another software, Camtasia. It’s a unique application that comes with an easy-to-use voice recording feature built into its configuration.

Aside from having the right software for recording, the next thing that you need to think about is a microphone. It’s best to get the best kind of mic that can provide you with better sound quality than the one that your computer has built into its hardware.

When recording your audio, you need to find a quiet place with very little distraction. Setting up a recording studio is a great way to record your narration. But if you don’t have the funds to have one custom-made, you can always create one inside your room. You can use a sound dampening foam to help prevent the sound from bouncing back and forth your walls. A broom closet or even a small office can also produce similar effects.

Once you’re okay with your audio narration, you can finally start recording your video.

Step Four: Start recording your screen

The last thing that you want is a blurry stream when recording your screen. So, it’s best to look at your desktop and see which programs you rarely use. Get rid of all the unnecessary applications on your computer. Uninstall any apps that you aren’t using and turn off any notifications that might pop on your screen.

Also, when choosing a screencasting software, pick a program that already has built-in recording, sharing, and editing features. Doing so will help you manage your time better and allows you to do all the post-production tasks in a single tool.

Once you have your application ready, you may want to play around with it and see how it works. Start recording and do a couple of walkthroughs so that you’ll know what to do when you do your videos. It’ll also help achieve smoother cursor motions and fewer chances of making mistakes.

Meanwhile, if you want to increase engagement and help your audience connect with your videos, adding a webcam recording to your screen share can also do the trick. Once you’re okay with your recording, you can start with the post-production.

Step Five: Editing your video

When it comes to editing, most people assume that having an expensive video editor can help make their content look more professional. But you don’t need to spend a lot on costly tools or spend time mastering editing videos to get started.

The first step that you need to start when editing the videos is to identify the mistakes on each clip and to cut them out from the scene. You can select them with the ‘play head’ and then click ‘cut’ to have it removed. On the other hand, you can drag the end of the clip to trim excess footage from the ends of each recording.

Once you’re okay with editing the video, you can finally put your audio narration in place. Look at the timeline and see if the narration fits each scene of the video. If not, you can use an extended frame and clip speed to synchronize both the audio and video files.

However, if you need more time for the audio, you can split the video clip and use ‘extend frame’ to freeze the scene. You can also speed up your recording if you find any part of it boring. To do this, you can select ‘add clip speed,’ then drag the handles to speed up the recording. You can also use animations to focus your viewers’ attention on the crucial parts.

Step Six: Adding a video introduction

Adding a video intro is a great way to encourage viewers to see your content. With the help of a great introduction, you can lead your audience into your content effectively until they find it interesting enough to subscribe to your channel. However, creating an overly designed video introduction wouldn’t look good either. It can be distracting to your audience, which may veer them away from your channel or website.

Keep in mind that viewers don’t have the time to watch all the graphics and animation in your intro. They want to get to the meat of your video the moment that they click it. So, it would help if you made sure that your intro lays out the summary of the topic so that your audience will know what to expect.

STEPS TO ADDING A VIDEO INTRODUCTION:

  • To start making your video introduction, always make sure to add some space at the start of your every content.
  • Then, hold the shift key and drag the intro onto the timeline.
  • So that you can customize it, select the intro clip and edit the shapes and texts found in the Properties channel.
  • Once you’ve set up everything, you can finally add some copyright-free music to your video.

Step Seven: Save and start uploading

Finally, it’s time to think about the platform that you want to upload your videos. Several video hosting options are available on the internet these days. All you need to do is choose the best online platform to save the video as a local file. Then, you can share them directly to your preferred social media site.

Most users these days prefer to upload their videos on YouTube because of its popularity. But before you do so, it’s best to send it to a few people first to get some feedback. Doing so ensures that everything is all set and that your videos deliver the message to your audience.

Creating a training video using your camera

Contrary to what most people believe, creating a training video with a screencast and with a camera are almost identical. Like both types of instructional guides, you still need to create a storyboard, script, and have the right tools ready before you press the record button. However, recording yourself in front of the camera can pose new sets of challenges.

A few gadgets and equipment that you need for your video:

  •         Tripod
  •         Smartphone
  •         Phone clip
  •         Backdrop
  •         Lights

 These tools will help you capture your video while ensuring that you only get the best shots. You can set your recording space in a well-lit area so that the output won’t appear blurred or dark. There’s nothing better than using the sun as your lighting when doing shoots. So, it’s best to choose a spot where you have access to natural light. You can also add some video lighting to make it even better.

You should also put your camera and place it on a tripod for steady shots. Then, position it as close to the subject as you can. You need to ensure that you get to capture everything to get the best view. Putting the camera close to the subject will help you capture the best sound even when using your smartphone as a recorder.

Keep in mind that although you’re using a camera video, it doesn’t mean that you can’t use the front cam. Several training videos on the internet can help you utilize both cameras on a single project.

Understanding the actual cost of making an instructional video

Now that you have an idea about how to edit and record your very first instructional guide. You’re probably excited to apply everything and start recording your very first content. But before you do so, one thing that you need to understand is the budget for making a video.

Creating an explainer or tutorial video isn’t easy. It would be best if you had the right people with the right set of skills to make it work. That’s why it’s crucial to allocate the right amount of budget to make sure that everything will work as smoothly as possible.

When planning your content, weighing your options can help you decide how your project will go. That’s why it’s crucial to establish the number of videos that you need as well as the amount of money that you’re willing to shell out. It’s also best to set the marketing strategies required to pursue a campaign. Meanwhile, you should know which pages are best to upload the videos if you’re planning to put it on your website.

Should you hire an outside company?

There are several reasons why people often decide to hire an external company to do their videos. Aside from the lack of time, none of the staff probably know how to create a well-curated video, too. However, hiring an outside company also comes with a few cons. That’s why it’s crucial to weigh the cons and the benefits before you make any decisions.

PROS

What’s great about hiring an external team is access to talent and skills. Since these external companies are experts in their field, all you need to do is share your input to help them establish a storyboard.

They also have enough experience to create excellent instructional videos for you. They value the relationship that they have with their clients. That’s why they always try their best to work with them to ensure that they deliver the content exactly the way their clients want it.

CONS

Hiring an external team can be expensive. Experts say that an average cost for a 60-second video tutorial costs at least $8,000 to make. Even making a single instructional cost can cost $10,000 or even more, depending on the complexity of the project.

Creating your videos

Meanwhile, for those who dare to do it on their own, creating a video from scratch is another practical option. There are several software applications that you can use to create a video even without hiring an external team to do it.

PROS

Doing the video by yourself offers you more creative freedom compared to working with a team. You can do anything that you want without the need to consult other people for it. What’s even better is that you get to learn a lot of things along the way.

You have more control over where your money goes, too. Since you don’t have any plans of hiring an external team to do your work, you can allocate your budget to other more important things that can help you with your business.

CONS

But because you’ll be making the videos by yourself, you’ll be limited by your skills. So, in turn, you need to spend time learning how to use edit, record, and shoot a video, too. Doing so will cost you a lot of time and effort, which can pull you away from other vital tasks that you need to do.

Getting the right music

Creating instructional videos isn’t all about capturing the right clips. Music plays a massive role in its success, too. Whether you’re a newbie or an expert at creating videos, it’s always important to consider every factor that can help you create quality videos. That’s why it’s crucial to find the right music piece that can help you make your content much more exciting.

SoundHills is built for anyone who wants to use royalty-free music in any kind of media project.