January 9, 2024

10 effective how-to videos to engage your audience

How-to videos are a great way to educate your audience. Whether you’re recording a software demo or training instructions, here’s how to create a how-to video.
January 9, 2024

10 effective how-to videos to engage your audience

How-to videos are a great way to educate your audience. Whether you’re recording a software demo or training instructions, here’s how to create a how-to video.
January 9, 2024
Mina Son
In this article
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What type of content do you primarily create?

Videos
Podcasts
Social media clips
Transcriptions
Start editing audio & video
This makes the editing process so much faster. I wish I knew about Descript a year ago.
Matt D., Copywriter
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What type of content do you primarily create?

Videos
Podcasts
Social media clips
Transcriptions

How-to videos can teach us how to do just about anything, from investing to baking a cake. It’s no wonder they’re among the top five most popular type of video content being watched worldwide. 

That doesn’t mean they’re easy to make well, though. The problem: walking people through a list of steps can get boring. This guide will go over the benefits of creating a how-to video for your brand or business, complete with examples of YouTube videos that keep viewers engaged—so you can replicate that magic for your own topic, product, or service.

Why create a how-to video?

At first glance, spending time (and maybe money) to create a free video doesn’t sound like an effective marketing strategy. Here are three benefits that prove otherwise.

Generates trust

These days, people won’t buy products from a company they don’t know or trust. Some 71% of customers would rather buy from a sales professional they trusted than one who gave them a lower price. Creating regular content for a dedicated YouTube channel or social media platform gives you more chances to build trust with your target audience.

Improves engagement and retention rates

Once you grab interest with your how-to videos, you can engage with your audience. Use interactive presentation videos to promote products, ask questions, and even address any concerns your audience may have. You can post high-quality videos to TikTok or Instagram Reels, for example, then use the comment section to interact with your audience in real time. 

If your audience feels like you’re listening to them and considering their feedback, they’re more likely to keep engaging with you. There’s nothing worse for a customer than feeling like their concerns or questions aren’t important. 

Provides added value

On top of creating and deepening relationships with your audience, you can use explainer videos to demo products and eliminate any confusion as to how to use your products or services. This can cut down on complaints about your products due to misuse or mishandling. 

How-to videos are also a great resource for customers who have questions you’ve already addressed. Not only will these videos save you time fielding support tickets, but you’ll save money by cutting down on returns stemming from user error. 

10 best how-to video examples

Before you start writing a how-to video script, take a look at some of the engaging tutorials in the video marketing examples below. Use these to pick up tips and techniques you can use in your own videos.

1. Photography Basics in 10 Minutes

General knowledge videos are great for introducing concepts to a much larger audience. But you need to make sure you’re meeting your audience where they are and not overwhelming them with industry specific terms or ideas.

In this example, David Manning uses this how-to video to explain photography to a beginner audience. He’s able to explain the basics of photography in a succinct and easy to understand way. 

Use this format in your own content and get clear on who you’re talking to. Videos about general principles or fundamentals can appeal to a larger demographic. If you’re introducing something completely new to your audience, you’ll need to explain things in a way that is accessible. 

2. Learn How to Use Zoom Webinars

Screenshots and screen recordings are essential when showing people how to use your software. Take this video, for example, where the host mixes talking-head and screen recordings to walk people through creating a Zoom webinar. 

Video recordings of your screen allow viewers to follow along with the instructions and cut down on the time it takes to explain which button to push or what tab to go to when. You can show your audience exactly what to do in the video.

3. How to Be More Confident

Animated videos are a great way to explain heavier or more difficult subjects. You can keep the visuals light and draw whatever you need—even dinosaurs or fantastical worlds. 

This video from Wellcast, for example, gives tips on how to be more confident. It uses animation to illustrate visual metaphors of feelings and situations. This allows people to relate to the psychological stress and feelings that can come up when trying to tackle this area of self-improvement. 

4. How to Balance Life's Important Priorities

In Gary Vee’s video on how to balance your priorities in life, he uses a great intro to hook his audience. The first sentence appeals to a pain point his target audience is likely facing: “What people don’t realize that don’t have businesses is for entrepreneurs that own a business, it’s the fifth kid; it’s the second kid. It’s a kid.”

What’s especially great about this how-to video example is that the creator uses YouTube chapters to break up the tutorial. People who come for a specific tip can easily find the right chapter—a simple way to improve the viewing experience and make your content more accessible. 

5. We Built Yelan’s Bow from Genshin Impact!

Although general knowledge videos often appeal to a larger audience, sometimes you may want to go niche. A smaller demographic can end up driving more views and followers—there simply won’t be as much competition. 

Take it from Svetlana Schwarz, who started her cosplay channel, KamuiCosplay, over thirteen years ago. Her niche audience appeal has led her to great success: she’s now considered one of the premiere cosplay experts and her tutorials and how-to videos have gotten her over 1.1 million subscribers on YouTube. 

In this video, Schwarz details how she’s being hired by the makers of the video game Genshin Impact to create a character’s bow. She uses this video to cross-promote the video game and her own book.

6. You Can Draw This Girl Character in PROCREATE - Step by Step Procreate Tutorial

For some tutorial videos, the most effective method is to slow things down and create a step-by-step guide. This video, for example, teaches people how to use the digital drawing program PROCREATE using a tablet. 

The creator never even shows her face. Instead, she focuses on the art and goes through each step and tool of PROCREATE to create a lovely picture of a young girl. 

Her videos average 30 minutes to an hour, but the step-by-step process allows viewers to easily follow along. She also keeps the video simple—it’s just a voice over, drawing, and background music.

7. How to Cook the Perfect Steak

An easy way to grab your audience's attention is to get a celebrity or well-known expert to share their expertise. If you can afford it, you’ll get a guaranteed audience (their fan base) before you even market the video.

This tutorial on how to cook the perfect steak, presented by Gordon Ramsay, is an excellent example of how effective using a well-known expert can be. The video was posted on Hodder Books' YouTube channel as a video marketing tactic before Ramsay's new cookbook came out. The publisher only has 52K subscribers, but because Ramsay has such a following, this tutorial video has racked up over 31 million views. 

8. How to Build a Window Seat | DIY

You don’t always need a talking head or a spokesperson to create a good how-to video, as this DIY video from B&Q proves. It shows you how to build a window seat, but there’s no talking at all. It goes through each step and uses captions to explain parts or actions as the viewer watches the process. 

This method keeps things simple and can reduce the length of your video. It can also help you cut down on the time and costs of producing your videos—after all, it’s free to add subtitles in Descript

9. 8 Tips for Writing a Winning Resume

An educational video doesn’t have to be dry and serious—especially when tackling tedious or dry subjects. Humor is a great way to make the information memorable, like in this video that teaches people how to write a good resume. 

Creator Thomas Frank uses humor and sometimes even misdirection to keep people on their toes and make something rather boring (like writing a resume) fun and interesting to watch. No wonder his tutorial video channel has almost 3 million subscribers.

10. Edit Videos like a Document

Yes, we’re shamelessly including ourselves in this list. After all, who better to talk about how-to videos than the video editing software that helps you create them? This video explains how to use the Descript video editor using multiple techniques we’ve discussed above—screencasting, animation, and humor—to engage viewers. 

The best video editing software for marketers

One of the key things every content creator needs if they’re going to be doing any sort of video production is good video editing software. Descript is not only powerful enough to create professional grade videos, but it’s easy to use and has AI features that will save you time. 

What originally started as a podcast editor now has everything you need to create tutorial videos for your brand. Descript comes complete with templates for different social media platforms, transitions, and even features like:

Descript is an all-in-one video creation tool that will save you time and money while making your brand look like a million bucks. Take a free tour today.

How-to videos FAQs

How do you make a video tutorial?

  1. Define what you’re teaching
  2. Write a video script
  3. Plan a storyboard
  4. Get your recording equipment
  5. Record your video using a webcam
  6. Add screen recordings
  7. Record a voiceover
  8. Edit your video 

How do you make a good how-to video for beginners?

How-to videos for beginners should include the basics or fundamentals of the topic you want to cover. The goal should be to appeal to a wide audience and make the topic as accessible as possible.

What’s the best way to make how-to videos?

  1. Define your audience
  2. Break the tutorial into steps
  3. Add screen recordings
  4. Record a voiceover
  5. Vary your camera angles

Add background music

Mina Son
Mina is a writer, video game narrative designer, and all-around word nerd. When not writing, she embarks on adventures with her husky, Moro.
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10 effective how-to videos to engage your audience

a bunch of light blue cameras with white background

How-to videos can teach us how to do just about anything, from investing to baking a cake. It’s no wonder they’re among the top five most popular type of video content being watched worldwide. 

That doesn’t mean they’re easy to make well, though. The problem: walking people through a list of steps can get boring. This guide will go over the benefits of creating a how-to video for your brand or business, complete with examples of YouTube videos that keep viewers engaged—so you can replicate that magic for your own topic, product, or service.

An audio/video editor that includes transcription, screen recording, and publishing.
Check out our useful, powerful tools.

Why create a how-to video?

At first glance, spending time (and maybe money) to create a free video doesn’t sound like an effective marketing strategy. Here are three benefits that prove otherwise.

Generates trust

These days, people won’t buy products from a company they don’t know or trust. Some 71% of customers would rather buy from a sales professional they trusted than one who gave them a lower price. Creating regular content for a dedicated YouTube channel or social media platform gives you more chances to build trust with your target audience.

Improves engagement and retention rates

Once you grab interest with your how-to videos, you can engage with your audience. Use interactive presentation videos to promote products, ask questions, and even address any concerns your audience may have. You can post high-quality videos to TikTok or Instagram Reels, for example, then use the comment section to interact with your audience in real time. 

If your audience feels like you’re listening to them and considering their feedback, they’re more likely to keep engaging with you. There’s nothing worse for a customer than feeling like their concerns or questions aren’t important. 

Provides added value

On top of creating and deepening relationships with your audience, you can use explainer videos to demo products and eliminate any confusion as to how to use your products or services. This can cut down on complaints about your products due to misuse or mishandling. 

How-to videos are also a great resource for customers who have questions you’ve already addressed. Not only will these videos save you time fielding support tickets, but you’ll save money by cutting down on returns stemming from user error. 

10 best how-to video examples

Before you start writing a how-to video script, take a look at some of the engaging tutorials in the video marketing examples below. Use these to pick up tips and techniques you can use in your own videos.

1. Photography Basics in 10 Minutes

General knowledge videos are great for introducing concepts to a much larger audience. But you need to make sure you’re meeting your audience where they are and not overwhelming them with industry specific terms or ideas.

In this example, David Manning uses this how-to video to explain photography to a beginner audience. He’s able to explain the basics of photography in a succinct and easy to understand way. 

Use this format in your own content and get clear on who you’re talking to. Videos about general principles or fundamentals can appeal to a larger demographic. If you’re introducing something completely new to your audience, you’ll need to explain things in a way that is accessible. 

2. Learn How to Use Zoom Webinars

Screenshots and screen recordings are essential when showing people how to use your software. Take this video, for example, where the host mixes talking-head and screen recordings to walk people through creating a Zoom webinar. 

Video recordings of your screen allow viewers to follow along with the instructions and cut down on the time it takes to explain which button to push or what tab to go to when. You can show your audience exactly what to do in the video.

3. How to Be More Confident

Animated videos are a great way to explain heavier or more difficult subjects. You can keep the visuals light and draw whatever you need—even dinosaurs or fantastical worlds. 

This video from Wellcast, for example, gives tips on how to be more confident. It uses animation to illustrate visual metaphors of feelings and situations. This allows people to relate to the psychological stress and feelings that can come up when trying to tackle this area of self-improvement. 

4. How to Balance Life's Important Priorities

In Gary Vee’s video on how to balance your priorities in life, he uses a great intro to hook his audience. The first sentence appeals to a pain point his target audience is likely facing: “What people don’t realize that don’t have businesses is for entrepreneurs that own a business, it’s the fifth kid; it’s the second kid. It’s a kid.”

What’s especially great about this how-to video example is that the creator uses YouTube chapters to break up the tutorial. People who come for a specific tip can easily find the right chapter—a simple way to improve the viewing experience and make your content more accessible. 

5. We Built Yelan’s Bow from Genshin Impact!

Although general knowledge videos often appeal to a larger audience, sometimes you may want to go niche. A smaller demographic can end up driving more views and followers—there simply won’t be as much competition. 

Take it from Svetlana Schwarz, who started her cosplay channel, KamuiCosplay, over thirteen years ago. Her niche audience appeal has led her to great success: she’s now considered one of the premiere cosplay experts and her tutorials and how-to videos have gotten her over 1.1 million subscribers on YouTube. 

In this video, Schwarz details how she’s being hired by the makers of the video game Genshin Impact to create a character’s bow. She uses this video to cross-promote the video game and her own book.

6. You Can Draw This Girl Character in PROCREATE - Step by Step Procreate Tutorial

For some tutorial videos, the most effective method is to slow things down and create a step-by-step guide. This video, for example, teaches people how to use the digital drawing program PROCREATE using a tablet. 

The creator never even shows her face. Instead, she focuses on the art and goes through each step and tool of PROCREATE to create a lovely picture of a young girl. 

Her videos average 30 minutes to an hour, but the step-by-step process allows viewers to easily follow along. She also keeps the video simple—it’s just a voice over, drawing, and background music.

7. How to Cook the Perfect Steak

An easy way to grab your audience's attention is to get a celebrity or well-known expert to share their expertise. If you can afford it, you’ll get a guaranteed audience (their fan base) before you even market the video.

This tutorial on how to cook the perfect steak, presented by Gordon Ramsay, is an excellent example of how effective using a well-known expert can be. The video was posted on Hodder Books' YouTube channel as a video marketing tactic before Ramsay's new cookbook came out. The publisher only has 52K subscribers, but because Ramsay has such a following, this tutorial video has racked up over 31 million views. 

8. How to Build a Window Seat | DIY

You don’t always need a talking head or a spokesperson to create a good how-to video, as this DIY video from B&Q proves. It shows you how to build a window seat, but there’s no talking at all. It goes through each step and uses captions to explain parts or actions as the viewer watches the process. 

This method keeps things simple and can reduce the length of your video. It can also help you cut down on the time and costs of producing your videos—after all, it’s free to add subtitles in Descript

9. 8 Tips for Writing a Winning Resume

An educational video doesn’t have to be dry and serious—especially when tackling tedious or dry subjects. Humor is a great way to make the information memorable, like in this video that teaches people how to write a good resume. 

Creator Thomas Frank uses humor and sometimes even misdirection to keep people on their toes and make something rather boring (like writing a resume) fun and interesting to watch. No wonder his tutorial video channel has almost 3 million subscribers.

10. Edit Videos like a Document

Yes, we’re shamelessly including ourselves in this list. After all, who better to talk about how-to videos than the video editing software that helps you create them? This video explains how to use the Descript video editor using multiple techniques we’ve discussed above—screencasting, animation, and humor—to engage viewers. 

The best video editing software for marketers

One of the key things every content creator needs if they’re going to be doing any sort of video production is good video editing software. Descript is not only powerful enough to create professional grade videos, but it’s easy to use and has AI features that will save you time. 

What originally started as a podcast editor now has everything you need to create tutorial videos for your brand. Descript comes complete with templates for different social media platforms, transitions, and even features like:

Descript is an all-in-one video creation tool that will save you time and money while making your brand look like a million bucks. Take a free tour today.

How-to videos FAQs

How do you make a video tutorial?

  1. Define what you’re teaching
  2. Write a video script
  3. Plan a storyboard
  4. Get your recording equipment
  5. Record your video using a webcam
  6. Add screen recordings
  7. Record a voiceover
  8. Edit your video 

How do you make a good how-to video for beginners?

How-to videos for beginners should include the basics or fundamentals of the topic you want to cover. The goal should be to appeal to a wide audience and make the topic as accessible as possible.

What’s the best way to make how-to videos?

  1. Define your audience
  2. Break the tutorial into steps
  3. Add screen recordings
  4. Record a voiceover
  5. Vary your camera angles

Add background music

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