You’ve got an amazing product and you want to teach the world how to use it. And, brilliant marketer that you are, you want to do that using a How-To video instead of subjecting people to user guides and instruction manuals aplenty (snoooore).

But with so many products and so many videos out there, how do you get the world’s attention? How do you keep it? If you dream of getting comments like “How did I ever live without this?!” or “I’d give up my firstborn just to hold it”, keep in mind these four things to make a watchable, useful product tutorial video:


I get it, you’re an expert in your field, you’re not a professor or actor. But if you’re dry and robotic, people will click away before you even get started.

Ensure you’re not just another “How-to-D2” by making your video engaging! Show the human side of a company that personally understands your customers. Use humor if it fits with your brand. Use simple language so people don’t have to google each fancypants word you use. If you use industry terminology, explain it if your audience wouldn’t already know it.

Just as important as what you’re saying is how you’re saying it. So rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. Did I say rehearse? I meant REHEARSE! And when you’re done rehearsing, edit. Just like you’d throw away a newspaper full of typos, umm’s and ahh’s, no one will tolerate it in a video either. It affects not only watchability, but the credibility of your message. So protect your cred, speak knowledgeably, and like you’d talk to a friend.

Your Technology

Your TechnologyThink you can make something mind-blowing in your garage?

Okay, okay, before you say “Steve Jobs did it!”, I know it’s possible to make incredible stuff in a garage. But just work with me here. My point is that if your product tutorial doesn’t look professional, it isn’t going to be trusted or even watched. Without selling you on this camera or that microphone, I’m simply going to remind you that the right equipment is necessary for any kind of video marketing. So fix that blurry camera and patchy audio.

Thinking of reverting to a user guide because it’s too expensive or not worth it to get the right technology? Well, the cost of video marketing has dropped dramatically. And adding video to a landing page, for example, can get you a 130.5% increase in leads, according to Marketing Tech Blog. Don’t you want a 130.5% increase in leads? I thought so. Don’t worry, I’ll chalk up your brief hesitation to momentary insanity. Let’s continue…

The set-up to shoot or edit the video is only a small part of the technology you should consider. How you share your video will affect who will see it (are you posting it to a social forum like YouTube, or are you hoping they’ll find your video on your own website)?

If you post it on YouTube, you will have limited metrics to work from. There are tools (*cough*Vidyard*cough*) that can provide you some really useful data, including your audience’s geographic and contact information, if they’re rewatching a certain part over and over (maybe it’s confusing? Maybe you need to edit for more detail?), and how long they watched it for.

Don’t forget how technology can be used to encourage people to find, click on, and talk about your video. Use SEO keywords in your title and metadata, and do some A/B testing to figure out which splash screen makes people want to click on your video instead of another. Don’t forget to consider activating a Comments section to start a dialogue with you and your potential and current customers.

Your Technique

You don’t need to drive a lambo and drink Cristal in your video, but if you want people to watch and listen, you do need your own style.

You may have the script and the technology, but if you’re absentmindedly swirling your cursor around the screen while demoing a software product, you’re going to annoy your audience. Same goes for your desktop background or your physical background: it needs to be clear of clutter and looking professional.

But of course technique involves more than just cursors and backgrounds. Maybe your product would be best explained with an animation video. Or, if you want to use talking heads, break up the visuals throughout the video to keep your audience’s focus.

Don’t forget that music and voiceovers are great ways to spice up otherwise dry or routine content. And, while you’re managing all these interesting parts of your video, you must remember to pace it accordingly. Don’t change the image to a different one while you’re still talking about the first.

Your Content

We’ve all heard that “Content is King”. But did you know that King Tut actually stands for King Tut[orial]? Okay, I made that up. But I’ve still got some useful tips for you to make sure that your content is worth making a video that rules (insert groan here).Content Is King

If you want to make a product tutorial, you need to have a script. Don’t just wing it. Outline the goal for yourself, and then for your audience at the beginning of the video. If you tell (or show) them what they will learn at the outset, they’ll be able to determine if it’s relevant to them. As your video progresses, outline each new step so your audience can follow along easily.

But how do you know what your potential or current customers need to learn? Imagine what you would want to know the first time you heard of your product. Or, if you can, ask your customers! Are they basic or advanced users? That would determine which steps you should cover and which are so simple you should skip. Maybe they already know industry jargon or they’re new to what you do. What are your customers’ pain points in using your product? Do they have any hesitations about using your product? Is it expensive? Is it complicated? Is it hard to set up? Build trust and credibility by addressing concerns head on, and help your viewers understand why they should care.

But how long should you talk for? If you don’t want to be tuned out for rambling, try to keep the video to between two and five minutes. If you have too much content to fit into one video, there’s nothing wrong with breaking it up into a series! Cover a different topic in each one and your audience will keep coming back to learn more.

Last, but definitely not least, should come your Call-To-Action. If you make a great video but don’t provide any follow-through, you could be losing some product converts. Get their contact info, get them back to check out your website, or to check out more of your videos. Whatever it takes!

Now it’s your turn.

Go on, give these useful tips a try. The world is waiting to learn all about your amazing product!

Emily Ross