Skip to content (Press Enter)

Watch and learn: How to create an engaging tutorial video in 5 steps

Instructional videos are a powerful tool for connecting with audiences in a way that written content rarely does. Learn how to create tutorial videos and discover tips for making engaging content in this complete guide.

Discover Dropbox Capture
People watching a tutorial video on a mobile device.

You’ve just downloaded some software and have no idea how to use it. After trying to follow the written ‘Quick Start’ guide, the words aren’t clearing things up. What do you do?

The next step would be to search for a tutorial video. In fact, 83% of people prefer videos for instructional or informational content, rather than text or audio.

So what can you—as a business owner, solopreneur, or industry professional—do to help your colleagues and customers? You guessed it—you can create a video tutorial for them.

Tutorial videos provide an opportunity to demonstrate expertise and grow your business. They also help you expand your marketing to new audiences—research by Wyzowl suggests 91% of businesses use video marketing.

Let’s explore what tutorial videos are in more detail.

Jump to section:

What are tutorial videos?

Tutorial videos are instructional video content, typically how-to videos that demonstrate how to perform a task, like tying a tie or putting furniture together.

Examples of tutorial videos include:

  • Step-by-step instructions—such as how-tos with a voiceover and/or subtitles
  • Microvideos—short tutorials on a single topic, great for social media
  • Training videos—for beginners or learners in a target audience, like new starters at a business
  • Explainer videos—visual explanations of frequently asked questions, complex business ideas, concepts, or products
  • Async lectures, webinars, or slide decks—allowing the audience to consume the content after the presentation was originally hosted
  • Screencasts—a screen capture or recording of a computer screen

What makes a good tutorial video?

There’s no definitive way to create a tutorial video. However, there are a few markers of a good video:

  • A strong intro that captures viewers’ attention
  • Focus on the topic, without compromising detail—it should be easy to understand and follow
  • Authenticity—you don’t need to be overly formal
  • High-quality visuals and audio—you may want to invest in a good microphone
  • Length appropriate for the topic, audience, and distribution platform
  • An accessible format and platform—there’s no point in producing a video if your audience can’t watch it!

How to create a tutorial video with Dropbox

Let’s dive into how to create a tutorial video—using Dropbox as your base.

1. Know your audience

The process begins with understanding who your tutorial will serve. This helps you narrow your focus on the pain points by your audience. Your tutorial video can then answer these questions in a way that is helpful to viewers.

Before storyboarding or practicing your recording, imagine your viewer. What do they need to know about this topic, why? How will your video benefit them? What are their preferences for video length, quality, and format?

If you’re struggling to answer these questions, connect with your colleagues and ask for their input. They may have experience with or expertise in your chosen topic that can guide your video.

2. Plan your video

Even if your video is going to be short, you should outline your content.

You don’t need to plan every detail, like transitions between frames. But having an idea of what your video will show, and when, will minimize mistakes and keep you focused.

Your plan could be a storyboard or a simple script to give you direction when recording the video.

If you’re struggling to find a topic, try to brainstorm ideas. This can help identify a goal you want to achieve.

You may also need to do some research—even if your topic is ‘evergreen’, it won’t hurt to check the latest articles and research to recharge your knowledge.

3. Record visuals and narration

Dropbox Capture makes it easy to create high-quality video content. To record your screen, just follow these steps:

  1. Open the Dropbox Capture desktop app
    1. To record your screen and camera, click Screen recording + camera. You can also record your microphone (see steps for this below)
    2. To record only your screen and microphone, click Screen recording
    3. To save your screen recording as a GIF file, click GIF
  2. Choose which part of the screen you’d like to capture
    1. Click once to record your entire screen
    2. Click and drag to record an area of your screen
    3. Press the spacebar to record a specific window

It’s just as easy to record yourself with your camera, using Capture. All you need to do is:

  1. In the Capture desktop app, click Camera
  2. Click the record button (a red circle icon) in the left-side panel to start recording. Click again to stop recording

If you want to record a voiceover with your microphone separately:

  1. In the Capture desktop app, click Audio recording
  2. Click the record button (a red circle icon) in the left-side panel to start recording. Click again to stop the recording

4. Edit your video

Once you’re happy with your recording, it’s time to refine it using the built-in editing features within Capture, or in a video editor of your choice.

DIY-looking tutorial videos have a charm that social media viewers like. But if you want your video to be professional, it’s worth editing your work to a high standard.

If you had practice runs while planning your video, you might not have a lot of footage to cut. The video editing process can focus more on adding in your voiceover, captions, and background music. 

For tutorial videos, it’s important to add spaces between your voiceover. This allows the visuals to do the talking and gives viewers time to absorb what's been said.

5. Gather feedback and share your video

With Dropbox Capture, you can share videos with just a link. Your recipients can even leave time-specific reactions and comments on your captured recording.

Once you’ve actioned your feedback and made tweaks, it’s time to share. Upload it to YouTube or social media, or send it to colleagues for internal use. Dropbox makes it easy to share videos—even long ones—without compromising quality.