How To Create Video Tutorials From Scratch – Part 2

by Aura Dozescu August 31st, 2012 

In Part 1, we explored together the first steps in setting up our own strategy for creating video tutorials to boost our SEO efforts. Here's a little memory refreshment:

1. How to choose the topics
2. How to write the scripts

At this point, we already have some nice topics for our videos and a good set of scripts to work with. But this is only half the job done – the "black and white" half, as I like to call it, because so far we've only handled text items.

There are two more steps we need to take to complete our journey, and I promise things are going to get a lot more colorful along the way:

3. Record and edit the output
4. Publish and promote the content

To illustrate each stage, I will use some examples with video tutorials for a desktop software solution.

Record and edit the output

This is actually the most interesting part, because you have the chance to be inventive and use your creative skills to the fullest. All you need is a good plan, a good microphone and a good video recording tool.

Before you start the recording process, you need to make sure that you have all the necessary means at hand. For me, this "endowment" consists of:

  • Video recording and editing tool

When choosing your tool, you need to take into account several factors that would further influence the difficulty level in making the video tutorial. Will it contain an audio track? Will it be converted from a PowerPoint presentation or will it contain zoom in plans and callouts?

To have at hand a great variety of options, especially for audio recording, I've chosen to work with Camtasia Studio.

So, my video examples in this article are made with this tool.

  • Headset and microphone

You must be very careful when making the choice for these devices, because they will determine the quality of the video tutorials you will create. If the investment is not up to you, then arm yourself with the best argumentative rhetorics skills to advocate for the necessity of quality tools.

I confess I am very lucky to be working with a Samsonite microphone, which seems to make a good team with Camtasia.

Needless to say, when you are ready to start recording the audio track, you need a special room as far away as possible from any loud noises in the building.

Ok, now that you have everything setup, its time to get behind the camera and: Action!

1. Record the screen

In this step you will record the dynamic part for your video, one step at a time, according to the scenario that you have previously prepared.

Using Camtasia, once you decide on the resolution that your video will have, you can activate the Record the screen feature. This will highlight the exact area on your desktop that will be recorded.For me, this makes it very easy to adjust the margins of the software application that I am recording. Also, when I need to switch between the application window and a browser window, for comparison reasons, I adjust the size of my default browser window according to the resolution set in Camtasia.

While recording the video part, you can also choose to activate your webcam or the microphone to record the audio track at the same time. This is a very time efficient method (for those who can do it:)), because it saves you a lot of effort with the editing work.

I avoid recording the audio part at the same time, because I always end up remaking the more difficult sequences over and over again. However, I always read out loud the sentences in the script while making the video recording, so that I can coordinate what happens on the screen with the steps that I am describing.

So, when the video recording is completed, save the video capture in a Camtasia project. This will also be automatically added to the Timeline for editing.

Note that the video content and the actual project in Camtasia are two different items, having different file formats. If, for example, you want to further copy the project over to another computer to record the audio track there, it is not enough to just take the project file. You also need to move the video file, so that when you open the project on the new computer, you'll have the video set in the Clip Bean.

2. Import media

This step is necessary only if the video tutorial that you are preparing contains other types of media, not just the dynamic recording.

In my videos, I always use static images at the beginning and at the end – the Title Slide and the Thank you slide – to emphasize the topic approached.

Here is a partial screenshot of one of my Title Slides:

So, once you have the video recording ready, just import the images you need into the Clip Bean. Then add them to the Timeline for further editing.

3. Record the audio track

With the video material and the images imported in place, its time to synchronize your voice with the steps already performed and record the audio track. Although this may seem difficult to achieve at first, youll end up discovering that this step is actually fun to do.

To record the audio track with Camtasia, you can use the Voice Narration feature (you'll find under the More option). Dont worry if you mispronounce a word or if you just forget for a few seconds what you wanted to say. You can easily say it again on the same track without stopping the audio recording process, and then remove the part that you dont like upon editing.

When you finish the voice recording, just save the track in the project folder and it will be automatically added to the Timeline.

Here is how a project with all its items looks like, just before editing:

4. Edit the output

In this step, you have the chance to refine the raw material recorded so far. You need a lot of patience to remove all imperfections and make the synchronization between you voice and the video recording.

In Camtasia, the editing is done in the Timeline. The green – red pointer marks each frame and helps you analyze it in detail in the Preview panel.

Thus, if the video speed is too fast compared to the voice recording, you can either extend the video using the Extend Frame option, or you can remove the unwanted voice selections from the Timeline.

At this point, you can also add zoom – in plans or callouts, or you can optimize the voice recording reducing the background noise and adding Fade in/Fade out effects.

Publish and promote the content

Once all the editing work is completed and you are happy with the result, you can finally produce the video tutorial and then promote it online.

  • The production process

There are several video file types you can use, depending on the intended use of the video.

In Camtasia, I like to use the MP4 file type because, although the rendering process takes more time, the files will be a lot smaller than when they are produced to AVI. This way, I can easily upload them to the web.

So, to enter the Production wizard, just click on Produce and Share and select the Custom production settings.Then choose the file type and the custom path on your computer, where the video tutorials will be stored (note that if you are producing a video from PowerPoint, the custom production settings are different).

When the rendering process is completed, you can watch the preview that is automatically opened, or you can just go directly to the path you have selected and watch the actual video tutorial.

  • Publishing the videos online

There are various methods you can take to publish your video tutorials on the web, so that later on you can promote them to your audience.

For example, with Camtasia you can choose to publish the video directly on the web, with a link to the HTML file that is created when you produced the video.

However, I prefer the old fashion way of preparing a bunch of video tutorials and then uploading them manually on the YouTube channel and then in the Video Tutorials section on the website.

The work does not stop here though, because the new content that has just been published must reach the indented audience.

  • Promoting the content

With the diversity of channels that you can use today to promote video content, you need to have a detailed plan with all the video sharing platforms at hand, so you won't miss any promotion opportunity.

Video sites, social networks and blogs are just some of the channels you can take advantage of.

When preparing to promote your videos, you have two approaches you can take:

1. You can make a simple promotion campaign only for the videos that you just created. Upload them on YouTube and other video sharing sites and share the news on social media; or

2. You can promote the videos within a more general framework of a content marketing strategy that covers all types of content that you produce.

I favor the second approach, because in this way, the video tutorials can become an excellent resource for other content items and may reach a wider audience.

Thats about it! I hope you enjoyed the article (both parts:) It'd be interesting to see what other tools you use for your videos, and how you promote them online.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

If you liked this, you'll love Will Embedding Video Improve Your Google Rankings?  

Photo credit: Boltron

Aura Dozescu

Aura Dozescu is the Dir. of Business Development for the AWR Cloud. Passionate about SEO technologies, she is working closely with developers to implement the feedback received from customers.

advancedwebranking.com

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