Thinking of creating instructional videos for your product or service? It may not be as straightforward and simple as you image. Here are some key things to consider before you accept the challenge of creating an instructional video.
Over the years we at Keywest have helped numerous organizations produce instructional videos to help aid their employees, clients or even vendors to better understand their product or service. Instructional videos can be an integral asset to companies marketing strategies and service offerings. When done correctly they will help boost sales and be something which sets you apart from the competition.
However, time and time again through our experiences working on these type of projects, we have stumbled across individuals who see instructional videos as a simple endeavor. The biggest mistake people make is thinking they can just film someone going through the motions, and that will be good enough. When it comes to video production, and getting across the message to an audience in a clear and concise way, so much more is involved. Here are our top 5 factors to consider before delving into your instructional videos.
Write a good script - Do not take an instruction manual and use it in place of a script. Those things are written by individuals who don’t necessarily understand the product/service, and certainly don’t know how to explain it to the general public. Therefore it was not written to be engaging and easily understood. Take the time to think of the best way to describe each and every step in the process.
Go through the motions – Too often I have been in the middle of a shoot only to learn that the step we are currently filming could only have been preformed in an earlier step. Although things can sometimes sound good on paper, you need to perform a dry-run to ensure nothing was looked-over. If you take the time to do this in advance of your shoot, you will save a lot of time and budget over-runs on the day.
Hire a professional – If you are planning on using a host in your video opt for a professional actor rather than an employee. It doesn’t matter how great they are with hand tools or arranging flowers, it is unlikely you will find an employee who is great at their job, and also miraculously fabulous at speaking to camera explaining what they are doing at the same time. The exception comes of course if the task at hand is way too complicated or dangerous to get an actor to perform. In this scenario another great option is to utilize the employee performing the task, and then hire a professional voice-over artist to explain the process.
Have someone on standby – If you decide to go with the route of hiring a professional actor, don’t just bank on them reading the script and knowing exactly how to do everything as if it were their day job. Having an employee from your company on hand in case any questions arise is always a good idea. That way the actor can take tips from the person who knows what their doing, and look as though it were second nature.
Schedule enough time – This is one of the biggest mistakes I see individuals making when planning their instructional videos. If something normally takes one hour to perform, schedule 4-5 hours to film it. Film is not real life, and you want your instructional video to not only by easy to understand, but easy to look at as well. Therefore time and effort needs to be taken to ensure your video looks as best as it can. Factors such as lighting, staging, hair and makeup, all need to be factored in. If you can film everything from one angle then you will save a lot of time, but most often you will want to film a wide shot, then a close-up to punch into certain aspects of the process. A detailed shot list will save time on the day, and also can give you a sense of timing in advance so you know what to schedule.
Contact Keywest Video today to learn about how we can aid you with your instructional videos.