"How-To Videos" and How To Do Them Properly.

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What is a “How-To Video”

Well, it does what is says on the tin. These videos have exploded over the internet and social media platforms, whether it be folding a fitted bed sheet correctly (deceivingly difficult) or make-up tutorials (how I mastered the eyeliner flick) there's something for everyone. The How-To video covers all bases and their unprecedented popularity has soared, meaning that marketers and advertising companies are rapidly jumping on the bandwagon to promote their brands and exploit a cost effective way to advertise their products. 

The Rise of the “How-To” and why

As a video production company we understand that video is crucial for marketing success. From branding to improving SEO, video is the perfect way to support your brand and promote your products. "How-To Videos" offer a simple and relatively cost effective way of showing off your products, or simple getting improving brand awareness. With a video tutorial for "How To Make A Frozen Princess Themed Cake" reaching 176 million views, you'd be foolish to overlook the power of the How-To Video. 

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5 Top Tips for a How-To Video

1.     Keep it short. Keep it clear.

73% of Consumers are deciding in less than 30 seconds if they will watch to the end of the video. If people don’t have the time/ patience to read an instruction manual, the likelihood is they don’t have the time/patience to watch a 15-minute-long video of the intricacies of Ikea flatpack furniture. Your "How-To video" shouldn’t be a vanity project, it needs to work in favour of your target audience. A few minutes maximum helps keep the attention of our ever distracted and preoccupied millennials whilst also keeping within social media time restrictions. This also means one more wonderful advantage: shareability

2.     Targeted & Specific.

Who are your target audience? Who do they follow? What do they like? If you’re selling electrical products or tech devices, churning out Make-Up Tutorials just because you know they’re going to get likes and shares isn't going to attract your target audience. Engagement over reach is crucial and if you’re reaching people who aren’t going to purchase your product or take interest in your brand- what’s the point?

3.     Accessibility.

When it comes to anything marketing related, one of the most fatal errors is to alienate your audience or worse still, make them feel stupid. Even if your tutorial is putting up a pram or baking a Victoria sponge cake, don’t get caught up in jargon or market specific language that you personally think is universal. It always helps to have someone check through the scripts first to make sure you've not gotten carried away in a sea of technical vocabulary. Another important issue is that 85% of Facebook Video is watched with the sound off. We’re forever on the go so most video and social video in watched on the go, so subtitles in video are the perfect way of allowing video be inclusive at all times. 

4.     Always Entertain.

With the overload of information and the plenary of social media advertising, our minds are becoming increasingly selective. We have the ability to filter information that doesn’t grasp our attention, or more importantly, give us something we want. All digital marketing needs to entertain and actually give something back to the consumer. The same goes for video, even though you’re providing 'free entertainment', the video needs to be slick, well-executed and interesting. The message needs to be clear, understandable and never monotonous.

5.     Remember the why

It happens all too often that when people take their first plunge into video, they simultaneously try to discover their inner Spielberg. Creativity and direction is clearly important when it comes to video but remember why you’re actually making the video- to sell a product and/or promote your business. If you’re getting caught up in slow-mo shots and stylised graphics rather than focusing on brand exposure, the likelihood is that people may well enjoy the video, but they’re not necessarily going to remember YOU or your brand. Make sure there’s a Call-To-Action button at the end of the video, a 'sign up' or a link to subscribe. Never assume the consumer will be interested in your brand simply because you strove for Oscar perfection.

 The benefits of the ‘How-To’ video

1.     Trust. Arguably the most valuable asset in terms of marketing and building a relationship with your client. Video allows for an intimate and behind-the-scenes aspect to your business. By putting yourself on camera in a “How-To Video", you present a certain vulnerability which will earn you that much sought after trust. If you’re authentic and likeable, all the better.

2.     Visibility. In other words: SEO. We’ve banged on about it time and time again but a video on your website is going to seriously boost your SEO (remember that Youtube is owned by Google). If you can create a strong, well-branded ‘How-To’ Video, your google ranking will repay you kindly.

3.    ROI. Despite initial fears of the cost of video or the unknown aspect of what the world of video hold, ROI is clear and well documented with 73% of B2B marketers say that video positively impacts marketing ROI.

4.     Shareability.  The written word is losing prestige in our digital age and we're demanding everything in it's most immediate form. Video allows for that. It’s universally accessible and more importantly; it's shareability, which means more reach and likely, more engagement. 


Words by: Colette Kellgren-Parker, Jack-All Productions