Creator's Guide: How to Make an Instructional Video for YouTube
YouTube is one of the most influential sources of instructional content, offering a wealth of knowledge on numerous topics. One study showed that more than 70% of YouTube viewers turn to the platform for help solving problems1. This staggering number shows how creators and brands benefit from knowing how to make instructional videos to provide engaging, actionable content for their viewers. This type of content is usually viewed with intent, cementing your account or brand as a thought leader and go-to source for dependable information.
Today, we’re discussing how to make an instructional video for YouTube. Learn different ways to plan and execute your media for optimal performance and viewer engagement.
Common Types of Instructional Videos
Before getting started on how to make an instructional video, it’s important to understand there are many different types from which to choose. Knowing which will resonate best with your audience in terms of length and style is vital for overall performance.
Some common types of instructional videos for YouTube include:
- Micro videos: Quick and focused videos designed to deliver concise information in short videos (typically 15 seconds or less).
- Tutorials: Comprehensive guides that break down more involved processes into manageable steps. This may include things like makeup tutorials or showing how to edit a video.
- Screencasts: Videos that capture on-screen actions. These are best used to demonstrate software or digital processes.
- Explainer videos: Animated videos that simplify concepts through visuals and narration.
- Demonstrations: Videos that show the entirety of a process from beginning to end. This is common with cooking videos and similar content.
- How-to guides: Comprehensive guides that cover all aspects of completing a task or project. This could be anything from building a computer to fixing something around the house.
- Webinars: Recorded online seminars meant for in-depth learning.
- Product reviews: Videos that assess and provide insight into different products. This is popular among content creators with the launch of TikTok Shop as a way to provide authenticity in their videos while providing an affiliate link for potential revenue.
With so many options for how to make an instructional video, there’s something to resonate with every audience. It’s the creator’s responsibility to understand who their viewers are and generate timely, valuable information.
How to Make an Instructional Video for YouTube
Making instructional videos for YouTube is an effective method for engaging your viewers while positioning yourself as a leader and source of useful information that keeps viewers coming back to your account. Statistics have shown that 83% of people prefer watching instructional videos to access information over listening to audio or reading text2. This makes educational content (and edutainment content) of vital importance to many creators’ YouTube channels.
When learning how to make an instructional video for content, creators need to:
- Understand audience pain points
- Set a clear learning objective
- Choose the right video format
- Record audio or voice over efficiently
- Use captions for engagement and accessibility
- Promote engagement and interaction
- Keep it succinct
1. Understand Audience Pain Points
The first step toward how to make an instructional video for YouTube that performs well is to know your audience's pain points. Ask yourself:
- What problems or questions do they have?
- What are they struggling with?
- What information or skills are they seeking?
By identifying these pain points, you can tailor your instructional content to provide valuable solutions, making it more relevant and appealing to your viewers. You should also consider what kind of content you typically produce for your channel to ensure you’re staying within your brand voice.
2. Set a Clear Learning Objective
When you set out to learn how to make an instructional video for YouTube, you need to decide what you want your viewers to learn by the end. This objective should guide your content creation process, including pre-production tasks like using the right prompts for AI generated scripts to help you maintain a focused throughline throughout the video. This objective should also be immediately clear to viewers so they know exactly what they’re watching.
For the best outcome, make sure your objective is specific, achievable, and measurable.
3. Record Audio or Voice Over Efficiently
A pivotal part of how to make an instructional video for YouTube is ensuring the information is communicated clearly. Not only does this mean having a good grasp on how to write a voice over script, but knowing how to record high quality audio so viewers receive the information as you intended.
When recording your voice-over, pay attention to elements such as:
- Speaking clearly and at a moderate pace.
- Avoiding background noise and distractions.
- Adding enthusiasm to your voice to keep viewers engaged.
4. Use Video Captions to Improve Engagement and Accessibility
Choosing to add captions when learning how to make an instructional video for YouTube is critical to the overall success of your media and impacts your storytelling.
Some of the reasons to add captions to YouTube video content include:
- Better accessibility: Captions improve content accessibility for viewers with hearing impairments or those who prefer to watch videos without sound.
- Improved SEO: YouTube's algorithm can index captions, making your content more discoverable.
- Increased engagement: Viewers often use captions to follow along, especially when learning complex topics.
- Larger reach: Make your content more easily consumed by non-native speakers.
While you can utilize the platform’s automatic captioning feature, you risk inaccuracies that take more production time to manually edit in the YouTube Creator Studio. Instead, many creators have turned to powerful third-party video caption apps like MixCaptions to generate, style, and add captions while making instructional videos for YouTube.
Creator Tip: Accessibility is vitally important for instructional content. Use our video accessibility checklist to make sure you’re producing accessible content to boost its overall reach and performance.
5. Promote Engagement and Interaction
Increasing engagement and interaction is critically important to the overall performance of your media. To improve these metrics, encourage viewers to participate actively in the learning process as they watch. This can be done by incorporating elements like asking questions throughout the video, encouraging comments and discussions in the video description, or even integrating quizzes or challenges related to the instructional content.
Additionally, actively respond to viewer comments, address questions, and create a sense of community on your channel. By creating a dynamic and interactive learning environment, you not only enhance the educational value of your content but also build a loyal and engaged audience who are more likely to share your content and increase its overall reach.
6. Keep It Succinct
Viewers often prefer concise, to-the-point information that respects their time and attention span. Focus on delivering the key points and avoiding unnecessary fluff as you plan how to make an instructional video for YouTube.
Plan your content carefully, stick to your learning objectives, and edit with a keen eye to eliminate any redundancies. A clear and concise presentation not only keeps viewers engaged but also enhances their understanding of the subject matter, making your instructional content more effective and viewer-friendly.
Tips for Making Instructional Videos
Creators know that trends and best practices are constantly evolving across all social media platforms. When planning how to make an instructional video for YouTube, be mindful to present your information in a way that resonates with your audience while standing the test of time. This is even more important for instructional content on evergreen topics where the foundational information won’t change.
A few tips for making instructional videos for YouTube include:
- Outline your video: Before filming, create a storyboard or outline to structure your content effectively. This helps maintain a logical flow and ensures you cover all necessary points.
- Use visual aids: Incorporate diagrams, charts, or visual aids when explaining complex concepts. Visuals can enhance comprehension and engagement.
- Add variety: Mix up your instructional style. Combine talking head segments with demonstrations, animations, or real-world examples to keep viewers engaged.
- Create a clear thumbnail: Choose an attention-grabbing thumbnail and a clear, descriptive video title. These elements can significantly impact click-through rates.
- Optimize for mobile: Many viewers watch YouTube on mobile devices. Make sure your video is mobile-friendly by using legible caption fonts and ensuring the content is easily viewable on smaller screens.
- Add timestamps: If your video covers multiple topics or steps, include timestamps in the video description. This helps viewers quickly navigate to the specific information they need.
- End with a call to action: Conclude your video with a clear call to action. Encourage viewers to subscribe, like, share, or visit your website for additional resources.
- Collaborate with experts: If possible, collaborate with experts or guest speakers relevant to your video content. Their insights can add credibility and diversity to your content.
Incorporating these tips for how to make instructional videos into your creation process will help you produce content that educates, engages, and resonates with your audience on YouTube.
Creating instructional videos for YouTube is an effective way to establish your position as a thought leader and engage with your viewers. By understanding your audience, setting clear objectives, choosing the right format, and following best practices for recording and editing, you can produce instructional content that resonates with viewers and provides valuable information. Remember, the key to instructional media performance is to keep learning and adapting as you create more content to meet what your audience wants.