create video tutorials for your blog

One of the best ways to improve the relationship with your readers and customers is to create video tutorials for your blog, which you can then share in blog posts normally, or as part of your knowledge base. People retain up to 95% of the information they learn from videos, versus 10% of the information from text. This makes video the most effective way to basically teach anyone anything.

(Charts by Visualizer Lite.)

Done right, they’re also a great way to build a personal connection with your customers. You’ll give your company a voice, a face people can recognize. And a customer who feels like they know you is a customer who will stick around.

Today we’re going to walk you through the basics of how to create video tutorials for your WordPress blog.

Choosing the type of video tutorials that will work for your business

The first thing you need to figure out is what type of tutorials you’ll make. There are two layers to this decision: what topics you’ll cover, and what format (screencast, live video, etc.) you’ll use.

What will you create video tutorials for?

For product based businesses, this question is usually easy to answer. You’ll be making tutorials about how to use your products. If your customers frequently run into specific problems, you’ll want to start with tutorials that tackle those issues.

Here’s an example of such tutorial of our own, “How To Create A Landing Page In WordPress”:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBjX_AChoC8&t=231s]

For service based businesses, this can be trickier. You don’t want to explain how other people can do what you do. You want to inspire them to hire you. One solution to this problem is to create video tutorials for things they can do before calling you. For example, if you offer freelance writing services, your tutorials can teach people how to create a compelling article.

You may also want to consider making loosely structured “tips” videos in addition to (or as a substitute for) video tutorials.

What format will you use to create video tutorials for your blog?

There are three main formats you can use to create video tutorials:

  • live video,
  • screencasting,
  • animation.

a) Live video

Live video involves you physically walking through the process and narrating each step. This is usually the best format for tutorials about physical products. It’s also usually the most expensive format, as you’ll need to purchase or rent equipment. You may also need to hire people to manage that equipment.

A great example of a live product tutorial is Beebom’s, “How to use a DSLR Camera? A Beginner’s Guide”:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WUW-OgBTe0]

b) Screencast tutorials

Screencasting is about filming your computer screen and recording you speak. This format is ideal for software tutorials and anything else that’s done on a computer. You can get several screencasting programs free, and very little equipment is required.

An example of a screencast is our own tutorial on how to use one of our WordPress themes:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dN_YtscEY4]

c) Animated tutorials

Animated tutorials typically use very simple animation and focus on explaining things like how to build a marketing plan. There are several affordable programs specifically for businesses who want to make this type of video.

A great example of an animated video tutorial is, “10 Questions to ask when creating a social media marketing plan” by Entrepreneur:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIrS2zkWXY4]

If you’re still not sure what type of tutorial you want to create, take a look at what other businesses in your niche are doing. Then figure out how you can adapt and improve on their videos.

How to create video tutorials for your WordPress blog

Once you know what type of video tutorials you want to create, it’s time to start building the first one. Every tutorial should go through a four step process: brainstorming, scriptwriting, recording, and editing.

1. Brainstorming

Tutorials are pretty straightforward, but you should still think about what you want to include. Set aside 20-30 minutes and brainstorm everything that could possibly be included. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How detailed should this tutorial be?
  • What are the exact steps to complete the process you’re trying to explain?
  • What are the most common problems people have with the process you’re trying to explain?
  • Are there any bonus tips you can offer to streamline the process you’re explaining?

Pro Tip: If you have more than one page of ideas, consider splitting them up into a tutorial series. Shorter, tightly focused videos get the highest engagement levels. Under 4 minutes is ideal.

2. Scriptwriting

The best tutorials offer advice in a friendly, natural manner, so you don’t want a detailed script. But you still need to know what’s going on. To achieve this, you’re going to adapt your brainstorming notes into a loose script.

Start by moving the brainstorming points you absolutely want to include into a new document. Each point should become its own numbered step.

Now expand on each item in the new document. Each point should have 2-3 sentences of “script”. You should also write detailed descriptions of any physical movement. Make it clear that all the information must be included, but the phrasing can be altered.

Steps should then be organized into the easiest order. There may be several ways to do something, but your tutorial should only focus on one.

Once you’ve completed a script, ask someone to look over it. They should point out anything that isn’t 100% clear on the first read. You may also want someone completely unfamiliar with your business to read the script. Edit your script until everyone completely understands what you’re trying to say. Don’t be afraid to edit it a dozen times. You want the tutorial to be perfect the first time it’s recorded.

Pro Tip: If you’re going to use a lot of technical jargon in the tutorial, be sure to explain each term. You should also include a glossary of terms in the video description.

3. Recording

Now that you’ve got a script, it’s time to actually create your video tutorial. You’ll want to set aside at least one full day for recording.

If you’re screencasting or creating an animated video tutorial, all you’ll need is the appropriate software and a good microphone. The Blue Yeti microphone is highly recommended for computer based recording. For software, check out these lists of screencasting software and animation software for businesses.

If you’re filming a live video, you’ll need to rent cameras, a microphone, and possibly lighting equipment. You’ll probably also have to hire people to use this equipment. Look for videographers in your area that typically work with businesses.

Pro Tip: Always record at least three takes of everything. Too much footage is always better than not enough.

4. Editing

Once the video is recorded, you have three options. You can edit it yourself, get one of your employees to do it, or hire outside help.

The programs used to create screencasts and animated video tutorials typically include built-in editing. These are designed for business owners, not film professionals, and tend to be fairly intuitive.

If you’re working with a live video, you’ll want to use a program like Adobe Premiere Pro or Lightworks. These programs take longer to learn, but offer greater flexibility.

Want to work with a pro? Be sure to carefully research anyone you’re considering working with. If you can’t afford an experienced professional, you’re better off learning to do it yourself.

Pro Tip: You can find millions of tutorials on video editing on YouTube. Watch several, and create a few practice videos, before making your tutorial.

How to publish video tutorials to your WordPress website

This is the easiest part, luckily!

First off, publishing video on a WordPress site is different than publishing images, or other visual media. Most importantly, you don’t actually want to upload the video file itself to your WordPress blog.

Instead, you want to upload the video somewhere else, and then just embed that video in WordPress.

The main reason for this is that videos are quite heavy when it comes to the bandwidth they consume, and especially if the video in question starts getting popular. In other words, your hosting bill would go through the roof.

So, what you actually want to do is instead upload your video to the biggest video site on the web – YouTube. From there, all you need to do is grab the video link and embed it in WordPress.

Here’s an example video of ours, available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dN_YtscEY4

Having the link address – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dN_YtscEY4 – all we need to do is pick the post or page where we want to embed the video and then use a shortcode to do the actual embedding. Like so:

How to create video tutorials for your blog

The structure of this shortcode is:

Shortcode template

That is all! The shortcode will be converted to a live video.

Final advice

Done right, video tutorials can be excellent marketing and branding tools for your website or business. Make sure you follow this process and take the time to make every single tutorial shine. Your customers will love you for it.

Want to expand your video marketing strategy in other ways? We’ve also got some great ideas for using video in blog posts.