Did you know that learning and educational content drive over a billion views a day on YouTube?

That is a jaw-dropping number — and it shines a light on a tremendous opportunity for companies that want to connect and communicate with people. Instructional videos, sometimes called how-to or explainer videos, should definitely be in your media mix.

Video appeals to both visual and auditory systems in the brain, making it an ideal medium for learning things. How-to videos are simply videos that explain or instruct.

How-to videos can be snackable, a lengthy recorded series, or even delivered in a livestream. They can be highly personalized or target a broad audience. They can be purely educational, educational with some entertainment, or even educational with a tiny bit of marketing to encourage viewers to consider purchasing (though it is extremely important that these videos never feel sales-y to viewers, which can be an instant turn-off).

These kinds of videos can provide step-by-step instructions for completing a specific task. They can also provide extensive background about why and how a product was built and explain how to tackle a complex, multi-stage process. They're so powerful that our own learning team has made material about how to create how-to videos.

Below are four tips for producing educational and engaging how-to videos.

Make your videos relevant

Think like a search marketer! Consider your audience and how they look for answers. Imagine them typing, “How do I…?” into Google. What is of immediate interest to them? What educational information could you share with them that would be engaging and consumable in a short amount of time? How does it relate to your products or offerings?

Prioritize pragmatism

You don’t need to spend much time explaining why or what — most of your time should be spent explaining how. Get to the point quickly and focus on showing how. Eliminate any information that isn’t essential to the “How do I…?” question you’re answering.

Keep videos snackable

While long-form instructional videos have their place, the ideal length for how-to videos is less than three minutes. Focus on answering just one very specific question. If the topic you have in mind can’t fit into a short video, it’s likely not a good match for an explainer.

Be both educational and interesting

Yes, these are instructional videos, but you want to engage your audience while you educate them. Look for ways to introduce something lighthearted or even humorous to keep things interesting.

Educate and engage your audiences with how-to videos

Instructional videos such as how-to and explainer videos can help you provide answers to people’s questions, while you also establish authority, build trust, showcase your product, attract new audiences, and so much more. At Socialive, we’ve made it easier than ever to create professional-quality video, empowering everyone from video producers to marketing staff to easily create branded, immersive experiences through video. Socialive’s end-to-end video creation platform powers the enterprise to:

  • Record video content from anywhere — straight from your phone, tablet or desktop browser — with Socialive’s remote recording capabilities ensuring the highest quality content possible
  • Create dynamic and engaging educational content with our drag-and-drop video editor, which includes preset layouts to mix and match video content, screen shares, and branded graphics to create the perfect video
  • Reach the widest audience with one-click video publishing for recorded videos, or livestream an interactive session to a number of destinations simultaneously
  • Streamline content management with the ability to record, store, and access HD video in a secure, centralized cloud-based recordings library — with no manual file transfer required
  • Manage talent behind the scenes during video recordings or livestreams, sharing talking points and other direction through a Virtual Green Room
  • Produce a brilliant live session with the ability to set up scenes in advance, create a run of show, and add a professional look and feel in just a few clicks
  • Repurpose educational content in multiple ways as snippets, clips for other videos, or more to share in marketing, sales and training programs so you can extend the life and value of your content

How-to and explainer videos can be a crucial addition to your media mix, helping you to inspire, inform, and engage viewers. All you need to do is record, edit, publish, or livestream answers to your audience’s questions. If you're looking to start making your own, check out how our learning and enablement team creates how-to videos.

See what Socialive can do for you