I’ve been watching video tutorials for almost six years now, and making them for three. In this amount of time, I’ve been able to assess what makes for a good video editing/post production tutorial. There are many services that offer video training; such as Lynda, PeachPit, Digital Tutors, and others. However, some of the best training has come from random contributors who decided to share the knowledge to the masses. In the last three years, I’ve learned that there are quite a few ways to make concise and strong video editing/post production tutorials. In this article, I will highlight some tips you can use when constructing your own content.
Know your audience
This is obvious and very important. When you decide to make video tutorials, you have to know who you are trying to reach. Making a video tutorial and hoping for the best won’t yield the strongest results without understanding your audience. For example, Videocopilot makes visual effects and motion graphics tutorials for After Effects. They show you techniques and skills that you would have to go to film schools to learn. They receive many views and a strong audience by understanding that there are people who want to create cool stuff in AE, but don’t want to spend thousands of dollars. They also show you ways to get a better understanding of the software. Understanding your audience will help establish a direction for your video tutorial.
Show the audience the demo of your technique
If you want someone to invest their time watching your video tutorial, you need to show them what they are in for. That will make the difference between whether they watch the video from start to finish, or tune out within a few seconds. There is nothing worse than a tutorial author not giving you a glimpse into the final product, and you feel you’ve wasted your time watching something not beneficial. This After Effects/Cinema 4D tutorial from After Effects guru Eran Stern shows what the final result so that the viewer has the choice whether or not to invest more of their time.
This is a technique that I’ve used many times on my tutorials and have had subscribers make note of how beneficial it was to them. Overall, give your audience a reason to keep watching.
Inject production value
If you want to stand out from the crowd, inject your own brand of production value into it. Have an intro and an outro for your tutorial, insert a logo bug at the bottom third of your screen, and any other items that may enhance production value. It also helps to record with a good microphone (like one from Blue Microphones) and screen recording software (like Screenflow). Tools are important to your quality. Invest time in adding production value, an aesthetically pleasing look, and good hardware.
Maintain good pacing and focused presentation
In this day and age, a short and concise video is vital to getting a lot of views. People don’t want to watch anything over five minutes long… unless it has a lot to offer. Tutorials can bypass this rule if they show something intricate, like creating a lightsaber effect or a complex motion graphic. If you followed the aforementioned rule of demoing your finished result, you can get away with having a tutorial that lasts 10 minutes or more. You can generate more content by breaking up a long video into multiple parts. You can also turn a long lesson that may consist of 20 minutes of content into four separate five minute videos. This generates at least a month’s worth of content from one lesson. This is a technique used a lot by the authors of Lynda.com when there is training on a particular subject. Instead of one long tutorial, they break things up into multiple sections and a playlist worth of videos. Overall, these are just a few of the tips you can use to create strong post production tutorials. You can learn other tips by observing what successful authors have created, but if you plan to create your own, you should be aware of the following: know your audience, demo your skill/technique, inject your own brand of production value, and have a focused and concise presentation. I’m the NLE Ninja asking you to stay creative.