As you’ve probably noticed, there are a lot of ‘how to’ videos floating around nowadays – particularly for online or computer-based tutorials. Largely that is down to how easy it has become to create these videos using screen capture software.
But what you’ve also undoubtedly become aware of is the fact that it is very easy to spot good ‘how to’ videos and bad ones. Knowing what separates the two is essential – especially if you intend to make an instructional video of your own.
Key Trait of Good ‘How To’ Videos
Ask yourself this: What is it that you want when you search for an instructional ‘how to’ video? Needless to say, you want to learn how to do something, but more importantly you want to be able to trust that you’re being given reliable instructions in a clear and concise manner.
That is the one significant trait of every good ‘how to’ video: It delivers reliable instructions clearly, and concisely.
To accomplish that, you need to script out the video that you intend to produce. Start by writing a step by step instruction process and then edit it to trim out unnecessary steps, or expand certain steps to make the process more clear.
Once you’ve done that, for each step plan out exactly what you want your video to show on screen, along with what you feel the voiceover should be saying. Be sure to ruthlessly evaluate your script until you’re completely satisfied that the instructions are accurate and the script itself is clear and concise.
With that foundation, you should capture the key trait that is needed in a good ‘how to’ video.
Production Value Matters
Having a plan is great, but the execution of that plan is where things are really going to come to head. In order for your ‘how to’ video to look and feel professional you need to make sure that the production value is high.
Considering this is an instructional video that doesn’t mean you need to spend thousands of dollars on special effects – but it does mean that every scene should be recorded well to clearly show what the script intends, and the voiceovers should be recorded separately too. Think as if you intend to make a movie – and accept nothing but the best.
Both should be edited so that they are crisp, clean, and clear. With the video you may need to cut and tweak the scenes as needed before merging them together into a final video. Chances are you may even need to reshoot some parts.
All said and done though – you should end up with a professional-looking video that will clearly stand out and get noticed for its quality.