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How to Make How to Videos

How to videos are wildly popular!

Even better -- the people who make them are quickly establishing trust and viewed as thought leaders in their industry. Here are the stats:

  • 52% of people watch two or more instructional videos per week

  • 91% of smartphone users turn to their phone when trying to figure out how to complete a task

  • Searches for how to videos have gone up 70%

They’re also easier to make than you think. Here’s how to create an excellent how to video.

How to Videos - What to Shoot

The best how to videos are visually appealing. You can barely scroll through your news feed before running into how to videos about food, fashion, or fitness.

If your topic lacks visual stimulation (how to do your taxes, for instance), you’ll have to get creative. Consider including animation, make comical comparisons to something visually stimulating or socially relevant, or hire an charismatic, engaging actor that can read a phone book and still be entertaining.

Be Unique

We have 18,000 remakes of Dracula, Titanic, and A Star is Born. Conduct keyword research on your topic to make sure it’s something that your audience is looking for. If people aren’t searching for how to video you want to make, then it probably isn’t worth making.

Also, be unique and as specific as possible. Instead of titling your video, “How to make a cake,” try “How to make a vegan white chocolate carrot cheesecake.” Then hook your audience right away, like we discussed in our post about script writing.

It’s a “How to,” Not a “Why”

Your viewers want to learn how to do something, not why they should do it. They most likely already know why your video has value. Explaining wastes valuable seconds and risks you losing viewers before they get to your CTA. You can save the “Why” for a different video if you deem it important.

Keep It Simple

Your viewers may be frustrated by the time they’re watching a how to video, because they’ve tried a DIY approach and it didn’t work. Don’t add to that frustration by complicating your solution. If you’re unclear or use uncommon slang or business jargon, your viewers will search for the next most relevant video for answers.

Make sure that each of your steps is clear, concise, and easy to follow. When in doubt, ask yourself the following: How would you explain to someone how to do this task for the first time?

Show, Don’t Tell

Video marketing grants you the unique to show someone how to do something, instead of merely telling them how to do it. If your how to video is about building a gazebo, show them the parts and tools that are needed, and walk them through the construction process step by step. Get footage every hammered nail, of assembling the base frame and walls, attaching the roof, etc.

We live in an increasingly visual world. Show as much of your process as you can.

Have Fun With It

Making a how to video provides you with the opportunity to showcase your personality and be your authentic self. Be engaging, make jokes, and share quick, relevant stories about your personal experiences. Adding your personal touch will bring this video to life. It’s often that secret sauce that makes your video unique.

Need Inspiration?

How to videos aren’t easy. If they were, everyone could do it. For inspiration, here are 10 awesome how to videos courtesy of Hubspot, and an explanation of what makes them great.

If you’d like help with a how to video of your own, shoot us a message. We can help you find your secret sauce.

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