Development Filmmaking

How to Make How-To Videos & Tutorials in 3 Easy Steps

How to make How-To Videos
Written by L. Scott Harrell

Video entrepreneurs often find there is a lot of money to be made with how-to videos and video tutorials for a variety of blogs and web pages.  While a how-to sounds pretty easy to create, just picking up your camera and shooting is not the best way to tackle it. Quite frequently, a how-to or video tutorial ends up a little less than exciting. Actually, most of them are just plain boring, and as a result, they may not get a lot of hits or views because they are not engaging the audience. However, this does not have to be the case.  There are a few very minor tweaks that you can implement while shooting video to help immerse the people viewing it. The content itself might be fine, but just by altering the way you shoot can do a world of difference.

Following are three helpful tips from the above video to help you improve the quality and engage the audience of your how-to and tutorial videos:

Be Mindful of the Eyes

During a tutorial or how-to video, your audience needs to engage with you as a person. For this, it is very important for them to be able to see the whites of your eyes. This may seem weird but this is highly important as it makes the presenter a real person to them. It is a subconscious thing that no one readily notices. If you look directly at the camera, and the scene is shot in a way that allows the audience to look at your eyes, the audience will automatically feel at ease, and they want to trust you and listen to you carefully.

Being able to see your eyes makes the audience feel like they know you. If they cannot see your eyes clearly, they will usually disengage and stop watching. Since ‘watch time’ is the most important aspect of YouTube’s algorithm, this can be a critical aspect of creating impactful instructional and how-to videos.

Mid-level Shots

In order for the audience to see your eyes and make this emotional connection to you, it is very important that the camera is zoomed in pretty close and you are filmed with a tight shot. Rather than attempting to capture a whole body shot or a shot that is too tight and uncomfortable, go for something in the middle.  Close in on the shoulders and chest. This allows for enough room to move your head and arms within in the screen, but it is close enough to show the whites of the eyes. Anything further and the eyes will be too small to show up properly.

Keep Things Changing in How-To Videos!

It is also recommended that you keep changing the scene every 5-10 seconds as the audience will eventually get bored or distracted watching the same shot for anything longer than that. It can be difficult to stay focused and engaged, especially while trying to learn something new during how-to videos.  All too often, an audience will simply begin to tune out (remember those days in school?). They may be watching but they won’t really be listening. It is a good idea to keep their attention by showing different material, graphs charts, images, or even a sudden sound to create interest. Keep them engaged. You don’t want them just playing your video in the background while they browse other tabs. So it is extremely critical to re-engage the viewer and refresh their brains while they learn to prevent the slow fade out.

With these simple tips, any freelance video professional will be able to produce infinitely better how-to videos or video tutorials that will increase views and engagement and be more popular with the audience.

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About the author

L. Scott Harrell

L. Scott Harrell is the Executive Editor of Vtrep.com. He is also a serial entrepreneur and top tier business development professional who speaks leadership, startups and digital media masterfully. Scott can be reached via email: editor@vtrep.com

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"The Amateru's BIG Book of Shooting Video With Almost Aything!"
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