The Reel Scoop: How to make engaging instructional videos
Updated: Apr 7
You have valuable information you want to share. Whether it’s explaining how to use a product, employee training, or sharing “Life Hacks”; you need to convey message as effectively as possible. The best way to do that? Make a video.
Whatever your budget or content, be it narrow or broad; a video is the most quick and efficient way to deliver your message. Video is engaging, accessible, and provides an instant connection between you and your audience.
A good instructional video is much more than a simple tutorial. It’s a powerful opportunity to market the value of you and your company by showing the personal investment you have in the success and satisfaction of your consumers or employees. Which, in turn, strengthens the perception and loyalty they have towards you and your brand.
Wanting to make a video is only half the battle. Understanding what makes a good video and the value that it can bring will enhance your message and help it stand out. Making a video, though, isn’t something that can be learned overnight. But, there key steps you can take to ensure your instructional video get’s the job done right.
Engage your audience.
Don’t be boring. It sounds simple, but too often do you see the kind of bland and soulless instructional videos that make you end up regretting wanting to learn in the first place. It doesn’t matter what the topic is; any subject can be engaging or dreadfully boring depending on how it's presented. Even though your video is educational in nature doesn’t mean it can’t be interesting.
Make your words count
Some topics do start off at a disadvantage, though. So the best place to start with is the script. When preparing your script, stick to words that you would actually use, and avoid jargon unless absolutely essential. But remember, how you write isn’t how you speak. Read it out loud. This is KEY. If you can, read it to a friend or colleague. This will alert you to any phrases or words that don’t sound natural, and ensures your message is clear and concise.
Whether it’s you or paid talent, make sure the person on camera or providing voice over speaks as if they are talking to a real person. You want to speak TO the audience rather than AT them. Use body language to help the presentation come across as more natural. Being professional doesn’t mean you have no emotions. In fact, establishing that emotional connection helps make the video that much more memorable.
Have movement in your visuals
This comes in a number of formats: text, breaking up your camera angles, and video/stills. Everything in your video should have one of two purposes: be a visual aid to educating the viewer, or to keep their mind stimulated so they keep watching. Find areas where you can naturally break up the content.
The human brain can only take so much of a static shot before it gets bored. Even if you’re shooting a single camera, try to shoot a little wide than you normally would. Then, in post, you can zoom in just a little bit, and move the subject to the other side of the screen to make it feel like a multiple camera shoot. Just make sure you do this during natural pauses in the video.
TEXT, Video, and Stills
Any on screen text should be planned out. By thinking about text before shooting, you can position your talent in the frame so that the text flows nicely with the shot. Keep the word count on the screen minimal. Don’t make your viewer work too hard by reading a ton of text on the screen - that creates anxiety on the part of the viewer and will turn them off.
Using still images or even other footage can be a great way to break up the visual pacing from just a person talking. It gives the eyes something new to look at and keeps viewers engaged. It can also be used to mask mistakes or cuts that needed to be done to maintain the video’s flow. When using any footage, however, make sure the video quality matches the rest of your video as best as possible. If only using voice over, then this applies even more so.
Surround yourself with experts
It takes a team of multi-talented individuals in order to make a successful video. There are far too many moving parts to go at it alone. Understanding the power of video will give you a competitive edge over others. Which is why it so important you surround yourself with experienced and passionate professionals that will work with you to craft and mold your vision from start to finish. Request a quote with Sorrentino Media right now in order to get started on a video you know will deliver real results.