23 March 2021

How to make educational videos to share your skills and boost your social channel

Thanks to the power of video, learning has become easier and more readily shared via different social media platforms. How-to videos and learning programs are hugely popular.

Half of YouTube viewers use the platform to learn how to do things for the first time and TechSmith found that 53% of people watched two or more educational videos per week as far back as 2014. This is why learning how to make educational videos that entertain and instruct is a key tool for growing your social media presence.

Whether you're a teacher by nature or just passionate about a topic, making educational videos can be a lot of fun AND give you great returns in popularity and engagement. So, let's have a look at the best ways to shoot such videos on your mobile, at home or on the road, and how to edit and publish them in the most effective way.

Research what's trending

Making a good educational video doesn't require very specific skills, but it does require serious upfront research.

In order for your TikTok educational videos (or those on any platform, really!) to go viral, you need to pick trending topics. This can mean subscribing to helpful newsletters like Exploding Topics that show you what the Internet is talking about, or just being in tune with your community of specialists in any one topic. Websites like Answer The Public are great resources for seeing what people search for in terms of questions - e.g. "How to..." / "What is..." type content. That can be a great starting point for your educational video title, too.

Start with a hook

Video names and descriptions are the number-one reason most people will select your video from a list, especially if they're just browsing through search results on YouTube. This is why you need to be aware of some SEO in order to capture what people most often search for Additionally, think of the user intent: how would YOU look for the educational content you've filmed? Then, use that wording in your description and title to make it clear why your video should be viewers' first choice.

Keep your viewers interested

One of the main reasons people stop watching an educational video is that they are not getting the information they're looking for. To avoid this scenario, you don't just need to have good content - you need to have great structure.

Here's how to make a good educational video that keeps your viewers interested:

  • Research your topic and your audience (remember the tip on user intent and hooking your viewers)
  • Draw up a plan for your video (include a list of your props, how many angles you'll shoot from, and where you'll be located e.g. if you change location mid-shooting)
  • Edit down your video (remember - shorter is better!)

    • It's easy to learn how to make educational videos on mobile phones, without much equipment, and then make them look professional with a video editing app that will allow you to cut and frame your content in the best way
  • Be passionate... or find someone who is!

    • Talking about your topic with passion and a smile can make a world of difference. We've all switched off those YouTube tutorials where a boring voice drones on, even if the content is what we need!
    • If you feel that you can't muster the level of excitement required, try and find someone else to act on camera instead of you
  • Be casual and speak in plain English

    • Educational video production isn't about sounding like a university professor. Remember to be friendly and approachable to your viewers to get the most engagement (making videos on your mobile, thus more casual, also helps with this)
  • Engage with viewers from the first frame

    • Ask them a question or speak directly to the camera to make sure you're grabbing their attention
    • Try to be dynamic and invite comments and feedback to your educational video - then use these when you're filming your next one. After all, the secret to making a good educational video is meeting your audience's needs!

Go beyond the camera

Whether you're making a TikTok educational video that's short and sweet or a YouTube series on all the dinosaur species, you don't have to be on camera all the time... or any of the time. In fact, animated videos are very popular alternatives to the traditional speaking-to-camera set-up. You can learn how to make short educational videos with animation and graphics with some tutorials (yes, the irony of using an educational video to make one yourself isn't lost on us!).

Alternatively, you can be the knowledgeable voice-over behind an acted-out educational video. Simply overlay your recorded instructions over the footage during the editing process.

Finally, use slides and infographics! These are great to pause and refer back to for your audience and they take some of the pressure off you performing in front of the camera. They're also ideal if you're conveying more complex information like equations, raw data, etc. Mixing images and infographics with video content can make the video more dynamic, too.

Find a new angle on your topic

This isn't so much a tip on camera angles (although having good shots helps!), but more on the way you approach your topic. Depending on what you are making educational videos about, it's likely that the subject has been covered before. Therefore, do your research not just for inspiration, but also to know how others have addressed similar questions.

Brainstorm different ways to cover your topic. Social media can help here: ask your followers what they'd like to see and engage with your audience before you post. Then, you'll already have an interested public by the time you post your video!

Make sure your video can be found

SEO optimization isn't just for blogs and website content. When you post an educational video on social platforms, you'll join a massive pool of similar content. The more viewers have been engaging with video content online, the more video channels have been developing. This makes educational video production all the more competitive. Therefore, make sure your content is easy to find in a search. To do so, follow these simple steps:

  • Research user intent and trending topics (see above)
  • Use an SEO search engine to figure out what the most popular keywords are related to your topic

    • This free keyword tool uses the autocomplete function to give you most typed-in searches and it has a YouTube specific tab
  • Make sure that the top keywords appear in the title of your video as well as in your description
  • Write a description that entices your audience to click "play"
  • Create a thumbnail that looks appealing in the search results gallery - you can do this with your video editing app
  • Share your content on your social media channels with lots of related hashtags so you direct your audience to the full video
  • Create some pre-publishing buzz with teaser trailers if you already have a decent following - simply cut some intro scenes and share them ahead of going live.

Whatever your video channel focuses on, educational content is set to only become more popular. In fact, TikTok itself is launching into the education market and the rise in popularity of online learning has been accelerated by the recent lockdowns caused by the health crisis. So, what better time to learn how to make educational videos that boost your subscriber numbers and get you noticed? Whatever you're passionate about, it's time to share it with the world!

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