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3 Examples of Effective How-To Videos (And How to Choose the Best One)

Do it yourself (DIY) and how-to video content is booming. “How to” related searches on YouTube grew 70% year over year....

Do it yourself (DIY) and how-to video content is booming.

“How to” related searches on YouTube grew 70% year over year. In North America alone, viewers watched more than 100 million hours of how-to content since 2015.

how to video youtube trend

Odds are if you’ve had a problem in the last month you’ve looked up the solution on Google or YouTube.

This literally just happened to me within the past week,

I came home one evening and found my refrigerator had stopped cooling. Can you guess the first thing I did? That’s right. I hopped on my laptop and Googled it.

 

And most of you probably have done the same thing. In fact, 91% of smartphone users take advantage of their devices for ideas while completing a task.

And chances are your audience also has questions that can be answered with a video. If you’re not giving them the answers, they’ll get them somewhere else.

Three how-to video examples you can learn from

Here are three types of how-to videos you can add to your training or marketing strategy right now.

1. Explainer video

A great explainer video focuses on the “why” question as well as the “how.”

They help people understand why your product, service or even internal process is important. And they’re in high demand! 95% of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service.

What is an explainer video?

An explainer is a short description (often under two minutes) that shows off a company’s brand, product, or service. And while these often used as external marketing videos, you can also create internal explainers to share something within your company.

Why should I make one?

Creating an explainer video is a great way to share information and help your viewers understand how you can help solve their problem.

I recently created a short screencast for a coworker to not just show how to do something, but why it’s important to our team. That short explanation is all you need to help people see the bigger picture behind your static information.

Example

In this explainer example, Grammarly takes just 1:20 to explain why (and how) their product can make you a better writer.

Key takeaway

While this was a well-produced example, the entire thing was a screen recorded video! You don’t need a big budget or fancy animation software to show off your product or service. It can be as simple as recording your screen and making a few small edits.

2. Software demo video

69% of people have been convinced to buy a piece of software or application by watching a video.

If you’re selling a product or service, you absolutely need a good product demo strategy. Because once people understand the “why” they really need to know the “how.”

What is a software demo video?

A software demo (or product demo) shows off the features of your company’s product.

Length doesn’t matter as much for a software demo. Your demo should take as much time as you need to effectively show off your product to potential buyers without wasting time on unnecessary information. Some are a few minutes while others can be close to a half-hour long.

Why should I make one?

A compelling product demo can be a great sales and marketing tool. They can help to inform and educate your audience. And your content will be more memorable than a bunch of text or a static presentation. When people can see how your product works, they’re more likely to see the benefits.

Much like effective explainer videos, great demos share the value of your offering and convince your viewers why they can’t live without it.

Questions you should answer:

  • Why does someone want to use your product?
  • What task are they trying to complete or pain point are they trying to solve?
  • How does your product make your customer’s life easier?

Example

Key takeaway

This video does a great job of explaining why and how someone can use Workflowy to replace their traditional to-do lists. First, they list the problems that their potential customers face, and then show how their solution is the answer to their problems.

3. Instructional video

Did you know learning and educational content alone drives over a billion views a day on YouTube? That’s a lot of questions answered by video.

No matter what job you have, you undoubtedly have questions t you can answer with video. Whether you’re a small business trying to show off your product, or part of a team needing to onboard a new employee, instructional videos are effective to walk users step by step through a process.

There are several types of instructional videos you can make. A few you start with could be

What is an instructional video?

An instructional video can take many forms. Some might call it a how-to. Others might use tutorial. And some people refer to them as a training video.

However you refer to these videos, a good instructional video can’t be underestimated.

At their core, these videos help answer questions and instruct people how to do something they didn’t know.

Why should I make one?

67% of people are better at completing a task when the information is presented via video. And, 48% of people find video the most engaging form of communication, vs. just 15% who find text the most engaging.

visuals help task completion

Showing off what you’re trying to explain is far more impactful than simply telling it.

(For more information on why visuals and video are more important for communication than ever, check out our infographic.)

Making great instructional videos allows you to create the best answers to your users’ questions.

And if you’re only thinking about making internal instruction videos, now is the perfect time to start. Hubspot recently asked what are companies’ top marketing challenges and ‘training their team’ came in as one of the top challenges.

state of inbound stats

A video is a terrific way to train your team and share information throughout your company. Creating a video that can be reused later saves time and effort and is more engaging than traditional instruction methods.

Sample

Example

I like this one for a few reasons:

  1. Even though the bulk of it is a screen recording, they intro with a face, giving what could have been a pretty boring subject some personality.
  2. They answered a relevant question. Users trying to work with Asana and Slack can get an easy answer for how to make them work together.
  3. It was short. They didn’t waste any time with unnecessary information.

Summary

There you have it. If you’re thinking about creating how-to content hopefully this post will help you get started.

We do have full tutorials on creating tutorial videos and training videos if you are interested in learning more.

Justin Simon

Web Content Strategist at TechSmith (Content + SEO). I play a lot of golf and watch a lot of football.

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