10 Tips for Creating a Great “How-To” Video

One of the most effective ways to use video to promote your business is to make a how-to or explainer video. For the most part, customers are not going to watch a long sales pitch. They might sit through a 30 second pitch if you make it entertaining or interesting enough, but if you want to keep them engaged for a longer period of time you will have to offer them something relevant and useful.

Information is a valuable commodity online, and a well-produced how-to video can sell your product or business more effectively than a traditional commercial – without actually “selling.”

There are several different things you can do with a how-to video. For example, you can:

* Demonstrate a product
* Show different ways to use a product
* Give customers a behind-the-scenes look at how you make a product

Any one of these can make for an entertaining and informative video. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you make a how-to video that your customers will love.

1. Research the competition. Do some YouTube searches to see what other how-to videos are there, and try to find a unique way to present your information.

2. Break down what you want to demonstrate into steps. Even if your demonstration is going to be largely visual, you need to write down step-by-step instructions to make sure you are not missing anything.

3. Once you have written down the steps, have someone who is not familiar with what you are explaining read it. You are probably very familiar with your subject. When you are, it can be easy to skip over important steps or explanations because you take them for granted. Incorporate your reader’s questions into your written explanation. Keep refining it until you have it exactly right.

4. Think about the best way to visually demonstrate what you have written. Brainstorm some ways to make it interesting or entertaining.

5. If you are demonstrating a product, focus less on its features and more on the benefits it will provide to your customers. Remember, the emphasis of all online marketing should be on providing value to your customers, not on talking about yourself.

6. Write a script (or hire someone to write it) incorporating your instructions and the visual ways you will demonstrate them.

7. Invest in good production. Having great video and sound quality will keep people watching. A poorly-produced video may have the opposite effect from the one you intended.

8. Optimize your video for search engines. Use a target keyword in the file name of your video and in the meta description when you post it on video-sharing sites.
9. Write a transcript of the video to include on your page or video description box.

10. Have a release plan for your video. Figure out where and when you are going to share it. For example, you might share it on your website, post it on YouTube, and share it on your social media sites.

A well-produced how-to video will increase your authority status, educate your target audience, and boost your bottom line as a result.