How to make a tutorial video in 5 easy steps (inspired by Avaya!)

Ryan Knott

Marketing Content Strategist

training videos for youtube

Table of contents

Tutorial videos are a powerful way to provide support for your coworkers or customers. They’re highly adaptable to your needs and offer a ton of benefits compared to text-based tutorials and help content. 

In 2011, Carl Knerr was the Services Director at Avaya when he and his team found themselves asking, “Wouldn’t Avaya employees and customers benefit from the company’s own Khan Academy?” Making a library of tutorials may seem daunting, but using these five steps, they were able to create nearly a thousand YouTube videos. 

After 20 months, Knerr and his team published nearly 1,000 videos on YouTube which were watched more than 350,000 times. Customers, employees, and partners from 196 distinct geographies watched more than 1,200 hours of Avaya Mentor videos per month.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at the five steps to create a tutorial video and learn the wisdom Avaya gained through the process.

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Step one: plan your tutorial video

Creating an impactful tutorial video starts with a well-thought-out plan. Identify your audience and what they need to know. What are the key takeaways you want your audience to have? Where will they be watching your video?  

Things to consider while planning:

  • Your objectives for tutorial content
  • The needs and interests of your audience
  • The amount of time and resources you can dedicate

This is also a good time to think about the scope of your video series. Will you need 10 videos or a thousand?

You’ll also want to think about what type of videos you’ll need. Software videos will likely need screen recording aspects, for example, which will influence what kind of video editing software you choose.

Plus, by deciding the exact type of videos you want to make early on, it’s easy to create simple templates which help you and your team collaborate more effectively. 

Step two: gather your tools

The quality of your tutorial video heavily depends on the tools you use. You’ll need some kind of video editing software and recording tools. Camtasia was a great option for Avaya as the team needed a solution that could both record their screen content and offer robust video editing.

With Camtasia, they could add their video and audio directly to the templates, and easily highlight or zoom to certain parts of the screen. The team also purchased high-quality microphones.

Techsmith camtasia dashboard
Avaya used Camtasia and Blue Yeti microphones to create their Youtube training videos.
  • Select the right software ー this can vary depending on your project. 
  • Gather your recording equipment ー which may include cameras, screen recording software, microphones, or anything else you might need.

Knerr felt it was important to maintain a common look and feel to the videos, so the team built a template for Camtasia with legal and branding-approved intros and outros. They even built in other aspects like transitions and video length, making editing a breeze later on.

Step three: select relevant topics and bring your video to life

The topics you choose should cater to the needs of your audience. Check with your technical support or customer care teams. What questions do customers frequently ask? What common issues or complaints do they have that you can address with a tutorial video? 

The best time to conduct keyword research (especially if you’re posting on a platform like YouTube) is right after you identify core needs of your audience. Consider alternative terms and wordings for your title, description, and video tags. Search for what currently exists! Using relevant keywords make it easier for people to find your video later on.

Also begin to consider things like the emotional state of your audience. Are they frustrated by an issue or excited to learn about a new feature? The more relevant your content is, the more engaged your audience will be.

Scripting your video

Once you’ve decided on some relevant topics, you’ll need a script for your video. Again, this can vary based on the video you’re creating. Sometimes, a few bullet points will work. But if you’re wondering how to write a script for your videos, we’ve got you covered!

Audiate can also generate and record a script for you. Simply add the main points you want to cover and select options related to style and tone and click “generate script.” Make edits as desired, then click “record script”    

Accessibility is also important. Since you already have a transcript, adding captions to your video is as easy as uploading the script to YouTube along with your video. Or if you want to add captions to your video directly, Camtasia + Audiate makes it easy to add captions to your videos. Captions will make your content more accessible, and they are additionally used by video sites like YouTube for content-indexing to improve search results.

Recording and reviewing your tutorial

Screen recording and adding footage to the template is simple in Camtasia, which made it easy for Knerr’s team to create a large number of videos. Even better, the videos all had a consistent style and theme without much editing. The review e

The main issue he encountered with the videos was background noise. Today, Camtasia has an audio effect called Remove Noise which would have been super useful back then! Simply drag the remove noise effect from the audio effects tab to your audio track. 

audio effects tab in camtasia showing the noise removal feature

Once the video has been recorded and reviewed, you just need to write some of the surrounding content:

  • Write a clear video title: Your title should clearly state the problem that your video is solving, how it is presented, and the product it applies to.
  • Create a detailed description: Craft a description that carefully outlines the content and key learning points of your video. The first paragraph of your description should contain relevant keywords.
  • Tag your video: Pick your target keyword as a tag, and then choose other tags related to your primary keyword. 
  • Add captions: Captions will make your content accessible to anyone with hearing impairments. Also, captions are used by video sites like YouTube for content-indexing to improve search results.

Including relevant keywords in your titles, tags, and descriptions are important for creating findable content. Once you’ve created these items, it’s time to start sharing!

Step four: share with your customers

Once your video is polished and ready, it’s time to share it with the world. YouTube is a fantastic platform for reaching a wide audience, but there are many others. 

  • Choosing the right platform: While YouTube is a popular choice, also consider other platforms where your audience is active. This could be a learning management system (LMS) if you’re creating content for higher education, or a cloud-based platform like Screencast for easy sharing with specific people.
  • SEO Optimization: Use relevant keywords in your video title and description to make them easily discoverable.

You want to really think about where people are viewing your content. Depending on your audience it could be helpful to embed the videos on your website, share them through social media, or include them in your email newsletters. 

Step five: interpret results

After your videos are live, keep an eye on how they’re performing. It can be helpful to track views, but some platforms like YouTube even allow you to view watch time and engagement for your video! Watch time is super helpful because it can tell you if a certain moment in the video is causing people to leave.

If you identify one of these areas in your tutorial videos, go back to the template and make some changes for your next video. The goal is constant improvement here, not perfection!

The way you handle feedback is invaluable for understanding what content works for your audience and how you can improve your future videos.

How Avaya used this process to create nearly 1000 training videos for YouTube

Since many different people would be helping make these tutorial videos, Knerr felt it was important to maintain a common look and feel. The team built a template for Camtasia with legal and branding-approved intros and outros. The team also built other aspects into their template, like transitions and video length.

How avaya created over a thousand youtube videos

To reduce the number of errors made by video authors, Knerr frequently shared a list of common problems he encountered during a review. While the review process was a bit grading, viewers noticed and complemented Knerr’s team on the quality of their videos.

 “I felt it important to delay the initial announcement until we had the first 100 videos published. I was concerned if someone came to the site and only saw 5 videos, they might never return.”

– Carl Knerr

But delaying the announcement was just the beginning. Once the team reached 100 videos, Knerr had the President of Services announce the program internally, followed by similar announcements in external communications to Avaya partners and customers. To reinforce this in a more detailed way, Knerr wrote a blog post for the Avaya corporate site and created a Twitter account for Avaya Mentor, allowing people to receive tweets when new videos are uploaded.

Want to make instructional videos for YouTube?

If you’re interested in learning more about creating your own videos for YouTube, we have two helpful guides that will walk you through the entire process.

🎥 The Ultimate Guide to Easily Make Instructional Videos 

🖥 How to Make a YouTube Video: The Definitive Guide

If you’re ready to start making a video, you can download a free trial of Camtasia to give it a shot for yourself!

If you ever need help along the way you can always find us on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.