YouTube is a corner of the internet that will teach you how to do a perfect winged liner in one video, and how to beat a video game level in the next.
Across the globe, 82% of us use YouTube to learn how to do things. This makes YouTube tutorials a huge opportunity for creators to build a name for themselves on the platform. But while the market for tutorial-based video content is huge, it’s also extremely competitive.
Over a billion hours of YouTube content gets consumed every single day, and millions of those are tutorials. So in order to break through the clutter, you must learn how to create engaging YouTube tutorials that your target audience will be able to find easily.
As YouTube Creative Partners, Vamp has some pretty incredible YouTubers in our community. We spoke to tk_north, who has over 227k+ combined views on his tutorial videos and has collaborated with brands like Adobe, to bring you the ultimate guide to creating tutorials.
How to create engaging YouTube tutorials
Engaging your audience is key if you don’t to put people to sleep, or worse, click out of our video to find another YouTuber who can explain the topic better than you.
#1 Create what you know your audience wants
Find out what people are searching for. Even if it’s fascinating to you, if you shoot a video that no one wants to watch, you won’t get any views. If you don’t already know what your audience is interested in learning about, use YouTube Analytics to check what other videos they have previously watched. This will help you pin-point which topics and interests your audience cares about.
Once you drop your tutorial and it becomes a hit, you’ll know to continue creating the same or similar content. Making a sequel or part two to your successful videos is a tried-and-tested technique to draw in views and engage your audience for longer.
#2 Film an attention-grabbing intro
Social users, especially Gen Zers, are notorious for having the shortest attention spans. After growing up in the digital age, they expect information to be delivered fast. Around 20% of the people who start your video will leave after the first 10 seconds, so it’s vital you capture their attention in those critical seconds, to ensure they continue watching.
Tim shared insights into creating an engaging intro. “I tend to script a lot of mine. This helps keep my intros concise and I’ll weed out anything that I feel isn’t overly useful. Your intro should also bring your personality and excitement for what you’re about to teach viewers.” Use attention-grabbing language that feels native to YouTube, get straight to the point and tell viewers exactly what you’ll be teaching them. Like Tim advised, bring your biggest personality to the table.
#3 Don’t forget to feature yourself
People come to YouTube to watch tutorials because it’s easier to follow instructions when someone’s doing it with you. Don’t forget to join your audience on your tutorial journey and feature yourself regularly throughout the video. If not, your video could feel stale and impersonal, leaving viewers to find a new video to watch.
Tim says, “My tutorials typically have a lot of screen recordings in them, so to keep them engaging I tend to still film myself talking while editing and screen recording. I can then cut to these clips at any time or even overlay it on top of the screen recordings. I find this helps break up my tutorials and keeps viewers engaged.”
#4 Add your own personal touches
Instead of making your video look, sound and feel like every other YouTube tutorial out there, bring yours to life with your own personal touches. For example, Tim likes to include computer-related sound effects you can hear when he’s editing. “When I’m typing or clicking the mouse during one of my Lightroom tutorials, I’ll add those sound effects over the top of the video to make them more prominent. It’s only a little thing, but for me it adds a nice touch.”
Your personal touches should relate to your tutorial, and don’t feel the need to be limited to just sound effects. They could be your funny bloopers, special editing effects or unique royalty-free tracks. Maybe you’d like to mention a fun fact at the start of every tutorial or close the video with a thought-provoking statement or question. Your personal touch needs to add to the experience of watching your tutorial, that viewers can’t get anywhere else.
#5 Optimise your tutorial for mobile use
According to YouTube’s data, more than 70% of watch time comes from mobiles. We take our phones everywhere with us. They’re our knight in shining armour when we need to quickly learn how to do something. After all, YouTube is the second most popular search engine, so when Google fails us or we need something more visual, we turn to YouTube tutorials.
Because most of your views will likely come from mobile users, it’s important you film and edit your video to suit to keep your viewers engaged. If you’re planning on featuring screen recordings, make sure they’re zoomed in and not too small so viewers can clearly see what you’re doing. Ensure you add auto-captions so viewers can watch without sound, and if you add text overlay, make sure it’s large enough for viewers to read. Finally, every clip you film should be landscape.
How to make sure your YouTube tutorials are searchable
It’s now time to make your tutorial as discoverable as possible. After all, what’s the use in publishing this amazing video if no one can find it?
#1 Direct your tutorial at beginners
A great way to increase your tutorials’ discoverability and views is to title the tutorial so beginners in the field can easily find it. Globally, videos with variations of “beginner” in the title have earned more than 7 billion views and average daily views of these videos have increased more than 50% since March 2020, compared to the rest of the year.
Use phrases like, ‘for beginners’, ‘how to beginners’ and ‘beginner tutorial’. You can even use words such as, ‘the basics’, ‘basic guide’ and ‘basic tutorial’. These are the types of words and phrases people are going to add in their search when they’re trying to source the easiest tutorial for them to learn from.
#2 Use SEO-friendly keywords
You also need to make your tutorial SEO-friendly. YouTube isn’t like any other social platform. In order to find the content you’re looking for, you need to specifically search for it. Plus, YouTube’s partner organiser is Google. So when someone Google searches something, YouTube videos will also come up as a search result.
Keep this in mind when you’re titling your videos and adding tags. Use keywords and think about what you would type in the search bar to find your video. Make them specific to things like your niche, what the video will teach viewers and what tools you use in the tutorial.
Tapping into the audiences you already have is the perfect way to get those initial views, which will help boost your tutorial up the algorithm. Cross-promote your video on all of your other social channels. Your loyal followers will be thrilled they can get more, diverse content from you.
Pinterest is a great place to start because it’s also used like a search engine. Create Pins that are relevant to your tutorial and are titled similarly so they’re easily searchable. Then add your video’s link to the Pin so anyone who clicks on it will be taken straight to your YouTube. You can also use snippets of your tutorial to create mini promos that can be shared across TikTok, Instagram and Facebook. Get your audience excited with this preview and provide them with a simple journey to your video.
Some final words of advice from Tim:
Just jump in. Don’t feel as though you need to know everything, just to get started. Chances are, if you’re ready to start making tutorials, you have some valuable information that will help others, whatever the skill level. Work out what you can offer people, and jump right in. And don’t forget to enjoy the process along the way! YouTube is a great platform to share content, but it’s also a great place to learn and grow as a creator.