How To Make the How-To Video

How To Video Blog

Think with Google recently released an article on the importance of “I-Want-To-Do” moments for brands. For example, let’s say you want to make a GIF but you’re not quite sure how to do it. An “I-Want-To-Do” moment is looking up how to make a GIF on YouTube.

According to Google, “I-Want-To-Do” searches are increasing 70 percent each year and 91 percent of smartphone users turn to their smartphones to complete tasks.

Investing in how-to videos for those “I-Want-To-Do” moments can be an effective bridge between you and your audience.

Below are a few low-cost, high-impact resources and best practices for creating how-to videos:

Video Editing Software

Two of the most popular editing software options for video are iMovie and Windows Movie Maker. They are easy to use and can be acquired for under $20.

Lighting, Audio, Framing Tips

  • Always keep lighting bright and balanced. Record several test shots so you can evaluate how it will look to viewers and ensure the best quality of the lighting.
  • Use a quality microphone and test your audio to make sure it is crisp and clear. Smartphones such as iPhones and Androids have great microphones, which you can also use for recording audio.
  • If you are recording from your phone, use headphones with a microphone to help eliminate ambient noise.
  • Speak clearly and slowly.
  • Have a clean and interesting backdrop behind the subject of the video that represents the story you are trying to tell.
  • Put your main subject in plain view so it is clear that he/she is the focus of the shot.
  • For portrait style videos, have objects well-lit with a contrasting background (bright or dark).

Production, Video Length, File Type Tips

  • Try to use a high-resolution (720p) or HD recording device. Most smartphones and digital cameras can record in 720p.
  • Make sure your camera is able to focus, zoom and correct white balance. Most newer-model cameras provide these controls through software.
  • Export your video in the correct format. Check out this guide from Vimeo for the best export settings to use on an online video.
  • For digital media, shorter is better. The average length of a video on Facebook is 44 seconds and those that are under a minute have the best engagement.
  • Video length will be based on your content, but remember that most people know within the first 30 seconds whether they want to finish watching the video or not.
  • Keep files under a 1.0 GB size limit to help with upload times.
  • Use .mp4, .mov, or .flv formats to be acceptable to online video players such as YouTube.
  • Use a widescreen (16:9 ratio) for optimal formatting on online video players.


Several sites offer stock and royalty-free music published under Creative Commons’ flexible copyright licenses. A few good resources are below; more can be found on the Creative Commons website.