It seems we all love how-to videos. Whether we’re learning how-to use a new tool, how-to complete that next computer game level or even how-to take something out of a box – we’re increasingly turning to how-to videos on YouTube to learn (‘how-to’ searches grow 70% every year).
However, learning at work can be a different experience. Most corporate tools and systems are much less intuitive than what we use in our personal lives, and they’re so bespoke that you can’t find support online. Instead, the answers we seek are often hidden away in lengthy presentations or webinar recordings that most of us don’t have time to navigate.
Creating your own how-to videos is a great way to help employees to quickly adopt new tools and ways of working. The trick is to keep them short and sweet, focused on specific tasks and easy to access.
At Bundle, we’re how-to video aficionados. We’ve helped employees at organisations including Kantar, Capita and Heathrow to learn the tips and tricks of new tools and systems with bespoke how-to videos and documents. Here are ten tips we’ve learned from working with the best.
Focus each how-to video on one task
A series of short how-to videos each focused on a particular task are much better than one long video showing everything they need to do within a particular piece of software. Shorter and more targeted how-to videos provide teams with immediate performance support when they need it, without having to navigate through content that isn’t relevant at that particular moment.
Prepare a script
Think about what action you need your employees to be able to take after watching each how-to video, then work out the minimum amount of information they need to be able to take that action. Putting this information down on paper will help you keep your how-to videos laser focused and as short as possible.
Use real-life scenarios
Before your screen-recording, think about the most common scenarios in which your teams will be using the tool. Entering realistic data (or ‘dummy data’ if there are privacy concerns) instead of entering random text (e.g. ‘ABC’) will help your teams to quickly understand how to use it themselves.
Download screen-recording software
Screen-recordings are effectively videos of you moving your mouse and entering information into a piece of software. They’re great at showing your audience exactly what field to update or which button to click. We use ScreenFlow if recording on a Mac, and Adobe Captivate on PCs – but here’s a good list of free alternatives.
Make your mouse easier to follow
Most corporate software isn’t exactly intuitive. You need to click into different fields to enter data, and then click obscure buttons that are hidden away. We use a tool called PinPoint Mouse Enhancer to make it much easier for people to follow our mouse movements and progress through a process.
Learn some basic editing
Once you’ve captured your screen-recording, use editing software to cut out any mistakes, loading times or time spent entering text into a field within your tool. Most editing tools also allow you to zoom into areas of special interest, and add titles and text effects which help your audience understand your message.
Use animation to set the scene
The best how-to videos start by explaining what the audience will get from watching it. We work with incredibly talented illustrators and animators to make these intros visually appealing (instead of looking at a screen-recording of software with nothing happening). You can easily use tools like PowToon or Vyond to create your own simple animations.
Support how-to videos with step-by-step documents
How-to videos don’t work for everyone. Some people prefer a detailed step-by-step document instead. We always create a quick reference guide document for every video we create, using screenshots from our video to provide a visual reference for employees.
Promote your how-to videos
Once your how-to video is ready, make sure your teams know where and how to access them. Speak to your communications team about sharing them with the wider business – but be sure to focus on the benefits that employees will get from watching them (e.g. ‘save time by using this simple trick’).
Encourage employees to share tips
The people using a particular piece of software in their roles every day often figure out amazing shortcuts and workarounds. Setup a space on Teams, Slack, Workplace or Yammer for people to share their own tips – or even better, get them setup to create their own how-to videos.
If you’re looking to support your employees with how-to videos and guides, get in touch and find out how we can help. Whether you want some more free tips, support in setting up professional and impactful video templates, or want us to manage the whole shebang, we’d love to hear from you.