The Elements of a Killer Tutorial Video

You’re an expert in your field, and you’re ready to share that knowledge with a tutorial video. But where do you start, and how do you define what makes a quality tutorial?

Whether you’re creating a training video for employees, teaching customers how to use your products, or creating a paid online course with video tutorials, you need a finished product that’s polished and professional. 

High-quality video tutorials get to the point and fulfill the purpose clearly. They engage the audience so they want to keep watching.

As you plan your video, keep these must-have elements in mind.

Clear Purpose

What’s your goal with your tutorial? Having a clear purpose or end result in mind helps plan the video. Define your objective clearly with specific learning outcomes before you start your work.

If you’re creating a tutorial for your employees, your purpose might be to train them on workplace safety protocols so they can implement them effectively. For a product video, your purpose might be to show customers how they can use a specific product you sell.

Break down that overall purpose or learning objective into smaller pieces to help viewers achieve that final goal. Say you’re making a tutorial video on how to install and use your company’s software program. Break that into smaller steps so the user knows exactly what they need and what steps they need to take for the installation.

Appropriate Content for Audience

Looking at the purpose of your video, create a clear definition of your target audience. Are you creating a training tutorial for your team of highly skilled computer programmers? Or are you targeting stay-at-home moms who want to learn how to build a side business at home?

How you present the information relates directly to your audience. You wouldn’t describe a technical process the same way to software engineer as you would a senior just learning to use technology. 

Create a profile or target customer persona to get specific with what your audience needs. Build your video outline, content, and design based on that audience. Consider the background knowledge or experience your target audience has so you know where to start and how to present the information you’re teaching.

Effective Tutorial Video Script

Writing a compelling script is important for any video production, from commercials to tutorials. Planning out what you’ll say ahead of time ensures you cover all of the important information. It also helps you stay on track and ensures the video flows well.

Start by creating an outline based on the purpose and key points of your video tutorial. Incorporate key visuals or video scenes you plan to include within that outline. Consider the on-screen text and other information.

Write your script to logically fit with those visual elements. Remember to keep it short, sweet, and interesting so you don’t lose your audience.

Do a trial run of the script to make sure it sounds good, flows well, and covers all of the key information. Practicing the script a few times makes you sound more natural and may help reduce pauses or stumbling over words.

Useful and High-Quality Visuals

The majority of people are visual learners, with about 65% of the population falling into the category. Including memorable graphics, charts, and images helps users understand and retain the information better. It also makes your video more interesting by breaking it up with different things to see.

The video itself is completely visual, but you can make it more effective by adding additional visual aids.

Infographics present statistics in an interesting and memorable way. Add the infographic to your video while the audio explains the data. Graphs also work well for presenting data.

If you’re showing a process, create a graphic that shows each step with arrows to show how the process moves. To explain the parts of an object, include a diagram with the parts clearly labeled.

Easy-to-Follow Structure

Learners expect tutorial videos to be succinct and easy to follow. The purpose of a training video is to teach something quickly and effectively.

Your script should set up the content in a logical order. If your video tutorial is long or complex, consider breaking it into modules. You might create multiple shorter videos, each in a separate module, to help learners digest the information better or return to certain sections easily.

For shorter tutorials, include visuals to help the learner follow along. You might break the content into steps and flash a header on the screen as you start each new step.

Smooth Flow and Good Pacing

A quality tutorial flows smoothly from one section to the next. The steps to complete the task make sense together, and the user can see how they should move from one to the next.

Pacing goes along with the flow to help learners digest the material well. If you speed through the content, viewers will likely get lost or miss important details. If you move too slowly, they’ll get bored or be tempted to skip ahead, which might cause them to miss some information.

If you tend to read or talk quickly, work on slowing down your pace. Rehearse your tutorial script before your final production. You might try recording yourself and listening to it or asking someone else to listen to check the pacing.

Quality Production

You can have the best script and most informative content in your field, but that’s all lost if you produce a grainy, low-quality video. Learners want a professional-quality tutorial, especially if you’re producing a tutorial for a paid course.

Your video should have quality lighting and clear visuals. Transitions should be smooth, and the video should be stable with no jerkiness or excess movement. The audio should be easy to hear and of good quality.

Hiring a video production company can solve your quality issues if you don’t have the equipment or video production knowledge to pull it off yourself. Quality cameras and editing software are costly. Unless you’re planning on producing a high volume of videos, it may be more cost-effective to hire out the video portion of your tutorial. 

Create Your Tutorial

With the right elements in place, your tutorial video engages your audience and teaches them effectively. Content and quality video production are essential to your tutorial’s success.

Do you need a little help with your video production? We can help. Check out our services page to see how our options match your needs.

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