How to make instructional videos: A quick guide

This guide shows you how to make instructional videos for everything from your company YouTube channel to employee training. See instructional video examples and learn tips for making your own content.
A woman with glasses teaching an english online, using a laptop and a whiteboard in the background.

From cooking tutorials to online courses, instructional videos are among the hottest and most engaging content online today. It seems like everyone who’s anyone is making instructional videos — and garnering a staggering amount of views and shares on social media along the way.

But instructional video content does more than just gather social media attention.

If you’re looking to build relationships with your customers, instructional videos on YouTube, Facebook, and your website are a smart choice. Four times as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than to read about it.

Instructional videos are also a great way to cement yourself as an expert in your field. And many companies now make instructional videos for staff training. The possibilities are endless.

Learn how to make your own instructional video content with our guide to success. (And when you’re ready, head over to Biteable to grab a brandable, customizable template and make an instructional video in minutes.)

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Why make an instructional video?

Instructional videos — when done well — can help make your sales pitch, employee training, even cooking directions much more engaging and easier to understand. Seeing an idea in action is much more powerful than reading a list of accolades and features.

How long should my instructional video be?

The length of your instructional video depends on your topic and your audience. But the most effective instructional videos are usually between 30-90 seconds long. If your topic is really complex, your video can be a little longer. But even complex content should stay under 5 minutes max.

Types of instructional videos


How to make an instructional video

It’s really easy to make an instructional video. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Head to Biteable. Start with a our 7-day free trial.

  2. Pick a template. Choose from hundreds of templates or start from scratch.

  3. Customize your training video. Swap in ready-made scenes or upload your own content. Add a voice-over, record new video clips, or record your screen without ever leaving the app.

  4. Brand your video. Biteable’s branding feature fetches your brand colors from your website and automatically applies them to your entire video.

  5. Share your training video. Share your training video on any platform with a single, trackable link.

Best practices for creating instructional video content

You’ve already got the expertise. All you need is a little video-making know-how to turn that knowledge into engaging content. Follow these best practices to create scroll-stopping instructional video content.

Keep it simple

The best instructional videos are simple, yet informative.

Start by writing a script for your video, then pare it down into bullet points. These bullet points are what should make it into your final instructional video.

Keep it conversational

Even if you plan to do a voice over, keep your language conversational. Don’t stick to the script too carefully or you’ll come off as robotic.

Be aware of your platform

When making an instructional video, keep in mind the platform on which you’ll share your content.

For example, Buzzfeed’s Tasty videos are made specifically for Facebook. They’re tailored for autoplay without sound when a user scrolls through their News Feed. The content comes with subtitles and an attention-grabbing headline that stands out from the noise.

Pro tip: For autoplay without sound, add animated onscreen text to your instructional videos. It’s easy with Biteable.

Mind your length

Instructional videos vary in length, depending on the topic. But in general, short and sweet is best for instructional content. When mapping out your video, treat it as you would a PowerPoint presentation or elevator pitch.

30-90 seconds in length is about right. This translates to a written script of around 180 words or less.

For longer content, consider breaking your instructional video up a series of shorter videos.

Examples of good instructional videos

What better way to gather inspiration than through example? Before you make your own instructional video, check out this content we’ve gathered from around the web.

Buzzfeed: Tasty Videos

The king of instructional video content right now is Buzzfeed. Their Tasty Videos have garnered over 50 million subscribers on Facebook, with each new video receiving millions of views.

Buzzfeed – Mango Lime Cheesecake

This instructional video for Mango Lime Cheesecake makes it seem like anyone can bake a fancy cheesecake. There’s cheery background music, clear lighting, and a simple background. Otherwise, the video relies on a few subtitles and the action at hand to convey a complicated recipe in a way anyone can follow. Even if you don’t plan on making cheesecake, it’s mesmerizing to watch, no?

Mental Floss: List Shows

Mental Floss is another great example of an instructional video. Following Buzzfeed’s lead, Mint turns ordinary content into engaging and educational videos.

With their “List Show” videos, typical list-style blog posts get a makeover. While longer than the Tasty videos, MentalFloss personalizes the instructional style with a personality — John Green — who explains interesting subjects each episode.

Mental Floss – 26 Wild West Facts

Mint: Financial Life

Mint’s instructional video relies on moving text and kinetic typography to lead you through their storyline. More product-focused than Buzzfeed and MentalFloss, this instructional video outlines how to take advantage of Mint’s financial planning tool.

It’s less about general knowledge, but it includes the basic tenets of an instructional video: clear storyline, high-level bullet points, and explaining a complex topic simply.

Mint – Financial Life

Make instructional videos with Biteable

No matter how you choose to outline your instructional video, make it short, snappy, and visually arresting. And do it all with Biteable, the world’s simplest video maker.

Choose from hundreds of video templates and brandable scenes. Then make it your own by easily recording your screen, adding a voice over, or recording first-person video clips from directly within the app.

Once you’re done, share your instructional video on any of your platforms with a single link. Then head back over to Biteable to track your analytics. With Biteable, you’ll make your next instructional video before they can say, “What are we learning today?”


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