Video & Audio

How to Make a Tutorial Video

Learn how to make tutorial videos for YouTube or other platforms with this guide to creating video tutorials.

Portrait for Marie Gardiner By Marie Gardiner
Posted 25 Mar 2019

You might be thinking that a tutorial video is pretty self-explanatory, but there are a number of different ways to go about making one. You need to give some thought to who your audience is and what you want them to get from your how to video: will it be personality-led, for example, a step-by-step instruction, or a YouTube tutorial?

Social media platforms have allowed us to create engaging video content that really connects with our audience and builds trust, relationships and reputation. YouTube is the most popular platform for hosting videos, and it’s really no surprise: it’s free, and it’s the second biggest search engine, so help people find your video tutorials by using YouTube.

How to Create Video Tutorials

1. Choosing and Using Equipment

If you prefer to use your phone or tablet to create your video, that’s okay! You can still create some great quality YouTube tutorials using a mobile device, so don’t feel you need to run out and buy an expensive camera.

What you do need to do – and this applies to any video really, not just one filmed on a device – is to light your scene properly (even a well-lit window works) and to use a separate microphone for your audio.

Keep your camera or device steady by using a clamp, tripod, or even a beanbag – try not to handhold it, and if you really must do that, invest in a gimbal.

2. Settings and Preparation

Research other ‘how to’ videos to see some different approaches, and note what worked for you and what didn’t. It’s okay to take inspiration from elsewhere and then do your own thing.

Write yourself a script, or at the very least some bullet points about what you’re going to say – don’t ad lib. If you find it hard to remember what comes next, try to deliver your script in short chunks and then use cutaways to hide your edits.

Remember to set your focus and to disable autofocus. Have you ever seen a video where the focus suddenly shifts from eyes to waving hands? That’s auto-focus hunting; switch it off!

It can be difficult, but you should think carefully about who will be the best person for the presenting job. It might be that your skills lie in the technical aspects, not in being on camera, and that’s okay; recognizing what you can’t do is as important as knowing what you can.

Make sure the area visible on camera looks good, and is clean and uncluttered. You don’t want your audience distracted by the pile of dirty washing on the bed!

3. Recording Your Tutorial Video

Tutorial video audiences have short attention spans, so get to the point quickly. It’s also a good idea to mix up the visuals so that it’s not just the presenter talking to camera the whole time, so remember to get plenty of b roll and make use of cutaways.

Film your tutorial more than once – you should have one perfect run through, even if that’s without words, so that you can demonstrate what it is that you’re doing.

Aim to do simple things well, rather than trying to pack everything in and ending up with a mess. Remember that your video is designed to be a tutorial, so make that your priority: teach cleanly and simply.

For more tips on video production, check out our ultimate Video Marketing Guide.

Tutorial Video Templates

If your video skills are still developing, it can be intimidating to try and make a great YouTube tutorial video, particularly when you see all the impressive films already out there. Using a video template to put your tutorial together can be a real help with this, particularly as there are options geared towards the specific type of tutorial you want to create.

If you use one of the major film creation suites, like Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro, Envato Elements and Envato Market both have a large selection of the best tutorial video templates to help you create something that looks great.

At Placeit, you can create professional and engaging tutorial videos without the need for any movie-making software, whether you want to make an image and bullet points, slideshow-based tutorial, or add in some of your own footage. As it’s just a case of uploading your content and adjusting things like font and color to suit, it couldn’t be easier.

Templates are great for beginners who are still developing their technical skills, but they’re also widely used by professionals who want to save time and keep their videos consistent.