The 6 types of instructional video and when to use them

The 6 types of instructional video


According to Google, learning and educational content drives over a billion views a day on YouTube.

That means that instructional videos are no longer just a way for teachers to help their online students catch up on a subject, or a tool for companies to use when training new employees.

Nowadays, an instructional video on a popular topic can also make for a great piece of evergreen content that will continuously draw new viewers in to check out your channel.

That’s why, in this video, we’ve decided to analyze the 6 different types of instructional videos out there. We’ll define what they are, how difficult or expensive they are to make and when it’s best to use them.


1.  Micro Videos

Micro videos are a type of instructional video that focuses on explaining one single highly specific task. They typically last for less than a minute and they don’t require much editing or even a voiceover.

If you’ve looked around on our channel before, you probably noticed that in the past, we made quite a few of these micro videos ourselves.

They’re great not only because of how cheap and easy they are to produce, but also because they appeal to people’s short attention spans, resulting in very high Audience Retention Rates.

Micro Videos are also well suited to being embedded in help sections on websites or apps. Their short duration and lack of any narration means they compliment written instructions well, without ever being intrusive.


2. Tutorial videos

The most common type of instructional video, tutorials provide step-by-step instructions on how to perform a certain task.

A bit longer than micro videos, they tend to be between 2 and 10 minutes in length and can use a variety of instructional methods ranging from verbal instructions, to annotations, live footage or screen recordings.

Video tutorials are more difficult to create than micro videos, since they tend to require more planning, shooting and audio recording as well as a whole bunch of video editing if you want to give them a professional touch.

With that being said, though, they are by far the most popular type of instructional video on YouTube and pretty much the only way to instruct people on how to handle more complex tasks through video.


3. Training videos

Training videos are the workplace equivalent of video tutorials. They’re most typically used by companies in order to educate employees on job-specific skills, or cover topics such as workplace conduct or software training.

Training videos often use footage of actual people in order to connect with the audience, making them a bit more expensive to produce yourself, unless you’ve got access to actors and professional video equipment.

You’re also not very likely to see training videos on YouTube, since they’re normally only shown within the company.


4. Explainer Videos

Explainer videos are relatively short clips that are meant to illustrate more complex or abstract ideas which can range from business concepts to product functionalities.

They typically use animation and illustrations as a visual way to present information and make it more easily digestible for the viewer.

When deciding on whether or not you should make an explainer video for your business or YouTube channel, keep in mind that professional animation is both expensive and time consuming, so make sure you have a large budget and a deadline that isn’t creeping up too fast!


5. Video Presentations

Video presentations are pretty much what they sound like: recordings of live presentations that are then turned into a clip. They can either focus on the slides themselves or consist of footage of the actual person that’s giving the presentation, kind of like a TED Talk.

Obviously, a video presentation won’t have the same appeal as a live one, but even so, recording your live presentations and editing them into clips can make for an easy and relatively inexpensive way of creating instructional videos.


6. Screencasts

If you’ve been on our channel before, you probably already know what screencasts are. They’re a type of instructional video that primarily uses screen recordings and narration to show people how to complete tasks using software.

Screencasts are undoubtedly one of the most popular types of instructional video on the internet right now! They’re inexpensive, don’t require a huge amount of editing and with screen recording software being more accessible than ever, they’re also super easy to make!

In fact, you can easily make your own screencasts with Flixier by clicking the blue Record button next to import. You can even record webcam footage and audio at the same time if you want to record everything in one go. 


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