Video Tutorials And Your Brand

Video Tutorials are an integral part of our mobile world. It is also the most easy to learn something new. Many businesses have extensive libraries of How-To videos to help their customers learn more about the products they sell. Video is here to stay.

What is a Video Tutorial?

A tutorial is a set of instructions that teach you how to accomplish some task. Some examples of tasks are: booking a flight ticket for a business trip, filing income tax returns, or adding a new blog post to your website.

When a customer buys your new product, he has to learn how to use it. And it is your responsibility as the manufacturer or developer to teach your customer how to use the product. This teaching is usually done as a training provided by you right after the sale of the product. Many a times a product has got so many functionalities that it is not possible for the customer to learn everything in the first training that you provide them.

To overcome this problem most companies provide their customers with online help in the form of User manuals, task based tutorials, guides, etc. Our area of interest in this book is only on tutorials. The tutorials can be of a few kinds:

  1. A textual document which contains instructions primarily in text form along with pictures and graphics to illustrate the instructions better.
  2. A video tutorial that shows the step by step instructions for accomplishing a task. The video also contains background sounds and usually includes a voice narration of the instructions for added benefit.
  3. An audio only tutorial that relays the instructions in audio format.

The area of primary focus in this book is going to be on Video Tutorials. There is a good chance that you have by now seen many video tutorials. There is a very high chance that you would have seen an tutorial video on youtube. For example here is a link to a video tutorial on youtube:

Why do You Want to Create Video Tutorials?

The main reasons why you would want to create video tutorials are:

  1. You sell a product and want to teach your customers how to use your product using video tutorials
  2. You are an instructor / teacher and want to sell a course online and your mode of teaching is through videos

Each reason listed above will influence your overall planning quite a bit. The “Why” behind your motivation to create a video tutorial will tell you how to design your video tutorial. We will cover this in more detail in a future article in this series.

Some Interesting Statistics about Video Tutorials

Youtube is one of the worlds largest repositories of video content. The youtube statistics page shows the mind numbing numbers that youtube operates with:

For example, I searched in youtube for “how to make a video tutorial” on Monday 25th August at 2.26PM. Youtube showed me 90,800,000 results. The sheer volume of video tutorials out there means that learning content in video format is one of the highly preferred formats for people who want to learn new things.

If you want to teach your customers how to use your product or if you want to sell your course of any topic of your speciality you cannot ignore video as the medium of instruction.

What is a tone of a Video Tutorial?

Robert Mills in his article for Smashing Magazine writes about the tone of voice of written messages.

In writing, tone of voice isn’t what we say but how we say it. It’s the language we use, the way we construct our sentences, the sound of our words and the personality we communicate. It is to writing what logo, colour and typeface are to branding. - By <a title="Robert Mills" href="" target="_blank">Robert Mills</a>

Harriet Cummings writes about the tone of voice of your brand:

It’s an expression of the people behind the brand. - By <a title="Harriet Cummings" href="" target="_blank">Harriet Cummings</a>

When it comes to creating your tutorial video. The tone of your video is determined by some of the following:

  • the graphics that you use on the slides and images
  • the background music
  • the tone of voice of your narrator
  • the seriousness or the funniness of your sub-titles and callouts
  • everything else

What type of tone should you use?

You get choose how you want the audience of your video to think about you. Do you want to come across as a paternal guide or a collaborative facilitator of learning or something else entirely. The choice is up to you. But you need to think about this when putting your video together.

The choice of your tone should also be heavily influenced by your audience. What kind of a tone would make them trust you and accept the message that your video conveys to them?

We will talk more about the tone in a future article. What Makes up a Video Tutorial? If you break down a video into it’s components the list will look like this.

  1. Script
  2. Audio Narration
  3. Slides / Images
  4. Video Clips
  5. Imported Videos
  6. Video of Speaker/Presenter
  7. Screen Recording
  8. Animation
  9. Background Score / Music
  10. Sound and Video Special Effects
  11. Subtitles / Callouts
  12. Transcript

When planning your video tutorial you need to think about all of these aspects. In a future article of this series we will cover each of these aspects in detail and tell you how you can go about creating or choosing the best pieces of content to build your video.

Delivering the Video to Your Audience

The last and most important action that will take the video that you produce to its intended audience is deciding how provide access to the video to your audience. Some of the ways that you can make the videos available to your audience are:

  1. Burn them on DVDs and ship to your customers
  2. Upload the videos to a free or commercial video streaming websites ( like youtube, vimeo, ustream, wistia) and send only the links to those videos to your customers
  3. Upload the videos to video streaming services and embed the videos on a web page and share the web page with your audience
  4. If you are making and selling a video course you can also choose to go with websites that are dedicated that market like udemy or, etc.
Written on August 24, 2015