How to Create a How-To Instructional Video

create a how-to instructional video

Most likely, your business has some knowledge, some skill that it can teach its users. Training ideas for your audience are best introduced with an instructional video. Online video training is the way of the future. If you don’t know how to create training videos, don’t worry. All you need is a good idea and some skill on the computer.

If you want to make an instructional video for your company, the best place to start is learning how to film your computer screen. A training video serves almost no purpose if you just tell your viewers what to do instead of showing them.

Even if you have the technical, screen-recording part down, your business may not know exactly how to make instructional videos interesting. Coming up with good instructional video ideas is the first step to devising the best instructional videos.

Although it may require some learning, creating training videos is a must for your business. Doing so engages your audience and shows them that you really have something to offer. If you want to learn the ropes of making instructional videos–from how to record your screen on Mac or Windows to exploring some instructional video sites–keep reading.

What is an instructional video?

instructional video
Image by AskMen.

You have probably watched a few YouTube training videos in your lifetime. Perhaps you were wondering how to tie a knot, how to operate a certain program on the computer, or even how to network with other companies. These free instructional videos have one purpose: teach. Many of these video titles start with “How To,” making their purpose clear right away.

Although learning how to make an instructional video with screen recording is an interactive technique, animated instructional videos are common, too. They make for a very creative training video production when creating instructional videos.

Whatever style of instructional video production you choose, make sure it focuses on your business and its mission. For example, if your business offers babysitting services to single mothers, you might do a series of “how to” videos on better managing time, building your relationship with your child, etc.

Learning (and applying) how to make educational videos for your target audience is an invaluable marketing strategy for your business. Not only is it unique and engaging, but it demonstrates that your business cares. Your business cares about the customer and your business adds true value to the customer’s life in simple ways.

Instructional Video Planning and Production

Whether you are clueless or knowledgeable on how to make a training video, following the steps below will guarantee success.

instructional video
Image by Lucas Santo via Shopify.
  • Come up with ideas. The first step to formulating a killer idea is to define your audience. Literally write out your target audience on a piece of paper. Then, let this direct your team’s brainstorming process.
  • Write a script.  Although experimenting with unscripted commentary isn’t a bad idea, preparing even a rough script for your instructional video may be your best option. Doing so will often make your video flow more smoothly and, most importantly, give your business a professional appearance.
  • Consider length. You want your video to be informative enough to add value to your audience, but brief enough to not waste their time or prevent them from finishing it. The video length depends on the topic, but generally try to stay within that two to six minute range. If your topic requires further explanation, consider making a video series instead of trying to cram it all into one video.
instructional video
Image by Alan Henry via Lifehacker.
  • Buy the right microphone. The whole point of an instructional video is to fluently instruct the audience and to elevate your business. You accomplish neither of these with shoddy audio quality. So invest in a separate, high-quality microphone. It’s worth it and it shouldn’t cost more than $100.
  • Screen recording procedure. Familiarize yourself with screen recording etiquette by watching some example videos. Most professional training videos are organized, cohesive, intriguing, and, of course, have a call to action at the end!
  • Screen recording programs. With the click of a Google search button, you will discover a plethora of paid and free screen recording programs. Although these programs may offer extra features like screen captions, you can often get away with using your computer’s built-in screen recorder.

How to Record Your Device Screen (For Any OS)


instructional video
Image by Techverse.
  • Windows. Your best bet here is to use VLC. You may already have this application installed on your computer, so just do a quick search to find it. If you want a more advanced screen recorder, try downloading a free program like CamStudio.
  • Mac. QuickTime is a built-in screen application on your Mac computer. You can use the toolbar at the top of the screen to navigate the application. Movavi is a good Mac-specific screen recorder if you aren’t satisfied with QuickTime.
  • Linux. Among other applications like CamStudio, recordMyDesktop is probably the best option for your business video. Read the application’s homepage for more info and click the download link if you haven’t already!

Mobile Devices

instructional video

  • Android. To record on any Android phone or tablet, you will first need to connect it to your PC. This way, you can access the device’s Android 4.4 KitKat program, explained here. You will have to run some commands manually with this method, but the process can be made simpler by downloading one of the screen recording apps on this list from the Google Play store.
  • iOS. Apple has made it really easy to record the screen of your iPhone, iPod, or iPad. Simply connect the device to a Mac computer with OS X Yosemite or better and use the same QuickTime application to record.

Now that you have learned the in’s and out’s of how to make instructional videos on a computer, it’s time to apply that knowledge. You know that these simple how-to videos are essential for your business because they display your concern, value, and creativity. But, no first-rate instructional video is complete without first-rate video editing. Unless you have a team of video editing experts, head on over to Valoso to have your business’s editing needs met. You can set your own price and deadline and end up with the perfect instructional video for your business by checking out the freelance editors at Valoso. If you want to find the success you have been striving for, turn on the mic and start recording your own remarkable video today!