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3 Examples of Effective How-To Videos

Follow these tips and you will be a master of the how-to video.

It’s no secret that video in 2022 is a powerful medium for learners to improve their skills. It allows creators to deliver swift, thoughtful content to anyone with an Internet connection. Youtube, the world’s most popular video sharing platform, is a prime example of just how much we humans love to watch videos. The site boasts over 1.7 billion unique monthly visitors, and half of the videos hosted there are instructional in nature. 

It may stand to reason, then, that how-to videos are extremely popular, and with good reason. For example, if your spouse or partner super glued their fingers together by accident, what would you do to help them get unstuck? My choice is instant: find a how-to video! How do I replace the lint filter in my brand-new dryer or fix an electric lawn mower? Explainer video, please! 

Perhaps you’d like to explain your software to a customer and want to improve your ability to spread knowledge. Or maybe you have an amazing product or service to bring to market, but you’re not sure how to enable your customers.

Let’s look at how some of the top creators make how-to videos informative and rich. Guidde is a leading software-enablement platform, so given this, it would be appropriate for us to look at excellent how-to video examples regarding Guidde’s software and other offerings in the software space.

How to Create a New Related Contact in Salesforce

This Guidde video contains a link to an automated video teaching people how to add a new related contact in Salesforce. The video contains step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish this and has screen caps to accompany the viewer as they learn this new process. The video is brief with no extra offerings, which can be crucial in this new era of short-form content delivery, as seen with offerings like Tiktok or Instagram reels. Every part of the video, each title, heading, or highlighted piece of text points to the problem at hand and the solution to that problem. One must clearly define the problem they wish to solve and the way they are going to get from point A to B. 

Now, one may think that because they searched for a video with the terms “how to create a new related contact in Salesforce” that the video results they receive will obviously address that concern. This isn’t always the case. Famous author George Orwell once said, “The first duty of intelligent people is to restate the obvious.” If creators embrace this, the people clicking on their video to learn a new skill will never be left wondering where to turn next. Follow this rule and you will be on your way to creating amazing how-to videos in no time at all.

Salesforce - How to create a new related contact

How to use Jira

This offering teaches people how to use project management software called Jira to manage workflows with clarity and ease. The video contains some of the self-guiding elements of the previous video. It is well-narrated, has a clear and concise script, and tells the viewer what they can expect to take away from the video. 

This video offers viewers screen recorded clips that show viewers exactly where to click, what functions do, and where they can be found. As he narrates, he is clicking through the software in real time to connect viewers visually to the outcomes he is describing in the narration. 

Unfamiliar software can leave people feeling lost as they wonder if they are making critical mistakes. They also wonder if their lack of expertise has them leaving productivity and functionality on the table. Real-time screen recordings flatten the learning curve to allow viewers to learn processes and procedures more easily.

Another excellent addition to this how-to video are the clear divisions contained in the video to show viewers what topic is being addressed in each section. Viewers are able to click through various sections of the video like flipping chapters in a book, going back to review key instructions as needed. This keeps the viewer’s anxiety about learning something new at bay as they are guided step by step through the software’s features. 

The Official Shopify Tutorial: Set Up Your Store the Right Way

Lastly, let’s look at this popular video that teaches people how to set up stores on Shopify, an e-commerce platform for a broad set of vendors selling all types of products, both physical and digital. This video contains all of the hallmarks of the previous two videos: great script and excellent narration, a well-defined problem to be solved, and a clear, well-defined call to action. It also has great step-by-step instructions with screen caps that follow the narration. 

Where this video takes it to the next level is the comprehensive nature of the instruction and content coverage. Someone who does not even know what e-commerce will be able to open an outlet on Shopify in several hours using this video. The creator does an excellent job of not only telling viewers what is important, but why, and what are some alternative factors to consider when making decisions on how to establish their store and brand. 

It is a great skill to be able to shift a project’s focus back and forth from macro ideas and strategy to nuanced tactics and niche software capabilities. This video does that and more with great attention to detail. Keeping a viewer’s attention is not easy, so engagement, and how one wishes to accomplish that, should be top of mind for any creator at all times.

So, we have seen through these three examples what makes for an excellent how-to video. If we could sum it all up in a few lines, we would say that excellent how-to videos:

  • Clearly define the problem and the methods by which one can solve it
  • Have clear, step-by-step instructions of how to complete processes and procedures
  • Contain real-time, screen-recorded content to help viewers follow along and build familiarity with the software
  • Have a clear script that answers common questions and guides the viewer from ignorance to some tangible knowledge of a subject
  • Keep viewers’ attention, which is the most critical part

Follow these tips and you will be a master of the how-to video. Technology has given instruction and training more impact potential than ever, and you can leverage great video content to keep critical information flowing, build a business, teach others vital skills…the sky's the limit.

Oh, and how to unstick those superglued fingers? Nail polish remover with acetone.

If you want to start making how-to videos today with clarity and ease, check out Guidde’s innovative software enablement platform.