Make How-To Videos That Sell

Customer education is an essential part of your company’s growth and continued success. You might make a fantastic product, but if no one knows what to do with it or how to use it, it isn’t going to get very far.

Did you know that the makers of Jell-O ran into the same problem back in the early 1900s? They had pioneered a way to make powdered gelatin, giving homemakers the ability to enjoy the jiggly dessert that was previously reserved only for the wealthy; who had days to spare in the kitchen or the means to pay someone to do that same. For the first few years, after it hit the market, sales were lackluster. That is until the owner learned about the power of content marketing and customer education.

If the Jell-O company had access to video marketing, who knows how far they could have gotten in their first few years allowing the debut. However, they made due and still put a lot of emphasis on educating homemakers about their product, printing up recipe booklets and instructional guides to hand out to their potential customers. In no time at all, Jell-O became a household name.

This story is an excellent example of how, no matter how great of a product you have, no one is going to buy it if they don’t know what it is, how it works, or what exactly makes it so great. As the company trying to sell it to them, it’s your job to find a way to teach them these things–and there’s no better way to do that than with how-to videos.

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A Compelling Example

One great example of effective how-to video marketing is for a product called Sugru. It is a moldable glue product that is popular in the maker scene. But, not as much in the mainstream. At first glance, you may, quite frankly, not know what to do with it. But, it has a million uses, practical and otherwise. And that is why their catalog of how-to videos is so essential to their success. Their product and videos have even spurred a movement of Sugru users creating their own how-to videos utilizing the product. Here is one of their how-to videos.


Why Video?

In today’s world, most people are too busy to sit down and read anything (or at least they think they are). At best, you might get some people who skim your long-form “how to” guides or printed materials. And that is if you can even find the printed materials in the first place. There are also language barriers and misunderstandings derived from writing styles that can lead to instructions being frustrating and confusing for your customers.

If you want to show off your products, and you want to do it using the most engaging form of content available. Invest some time into producing how-to videos built around your products.

In other words, why wouldn’t you use video to show off your products?

Video can show and tell in an engaging way that is much clearer to the viewer than a written article. Even if you included pictures with a written how-to guide, it would never be able to engage and inform your viewers at quite the same level as video.


What Makes A Great How-To Video?

Before you grab your camera to begin assembling your how-to video content, there are some considerations you’ll want to keep in mind to ensure that the result is of the highest quality and, ultimately, will be the most effective that it can be.

Number one, do some research. Your how-to video is going to be the most effective if it addresses the needs of your audience. Use Google Keyword Planner or another service to discover what people are searching for related to your product or service. Is there a common problem that your How-to video can solve?


Number two

Be sure you have someone create the how-to videos which is highly experienced with the product yet also able to speak comfortably on camera. No one wants to watch a nervous or uncomfortable presenter. Luckily, you probably have someone in your company willing and able to make a how-to video on your behalf.


Number three

Plan your how-to videos out ahead of time. This plan may be a script or an outline, but some semblance of a plan will help you keep the video moving, say what needs to be said and entertain. These are all critical parts of a how-to video. There can be some overlap in the fundamentals regarding your product, but there’s no reason to explain the complicated things more than once, it will just bog your how-to videos down.

Depending on the complexity of your product, you may need a couple of how-to videos, or you might want to walk customers through multiple scenarios and uses, which will call for a full series of how-to videos. Lay them out ahead of time and decide what main points each video will cover. Then, come up with descriptive titles for each so that customers can quickly reference them.


Number four

At the end of each video, you should include a strong call-to-action. If someone is watching these videos trying to decide if they want to buy or upgrade their product, where do they go? Leave a website address or phone number so that they can reach out to you while they are in that moment of interest for your product. Make sure your sales team is very easily accessible.



Be sure that your how-to videos are engaging. Think about your brand image and what sort of tone your company is trying to convey. There’s nothing wrong with throwing in some jokes and having fun, in fact, that’s encouraged! People will be more apt to watch and share your videos if you make them entertaining and informational. Just be sure you balance the two out, or people may feel like you’re dragging out a tutorial that they would like just to go ahead and finish up.


With the right people behind the camera and the right people in front of the camera, you can showcase just how great of a product you have and help educate your audience on why they need it.


Are You Interested in Integrating Video Into Your Marketing?

Good news. We have a guide for you. The Video Marketing Strategy Blueprint is a quick, actionable guide to planning a video marketing campaign. Sound like something you’re looking for? Check out the Blueprint today.

Neil K Carroll

Neil K Carroll


I was your average small-town video guy, but when the pandemic hit, everything changed.

I ran a traditional video production agency with exclusively local clientele, a downtown studio, and a busy schedule. My days were long, travel frequent, and life as I knew it revolved around producing video content for my clients.

Then everything changed. Schools and daycares closed, my professional life was disrupted, and I found myself navigating a new path. It was one of uncertainty, with no end in sight and no destination obvious, but it demanded flexibility and resilience.

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