Tutorials are some of the most valuable pieces of content to share on your company blog and on the social media. With tutorials you can promote your keywords as part of your SEO strategy, demonstrate your expertise on a topic and come through as a helpful specialist among potential customers.
Tutorials are versatile content pieces: they can be packaged as slide presentations, downloadable ebooks, videos or blog articles. Thus, you can repurpose and reuse them on various channels, addressing and attracting new audiences. For this reason, creating great tutorials is a must-have skill for any marketer and small business owner. And today we will help you out with a simple and comprehensive tutorial on…how to create tutorials. Let’s get started!
- Define Your Audience
Who are you preparing the tutorial for? People who have an idea or two on the topic? People who are skilled and are looking for innovative ways to do things? Or people who have no idea how to proceed? The audience you are addressing will determine your tone of voice, as well as the language you will use throughout the tutorial.
Many tutorials fall short of this critical aspect: they are full of technical jargon and start from the assumption that the reader or viewer knows the basics of the topic. Unless you are addressing your peers, assume nothing and explain everything in simple words, accessible to the layman.
- Define the Purpose of the Tutorial
A tutorial should serve a single purpose: to teach people how to do one thing – and it should be fully comprehensive on this topic. From start to finish, anyone following your steps should be able to reproduce your end result and be able to do it all over again on their own.
Many tutorial authors make the mistake of trying to explain several things and being unable to give complete explanations on any of them.
- Create the Outline before You Start Writing or Filming
A tutorial needs to be well organised in order to reach its goal: to teach people. Remember how things happened in school? The teacher would introduce the topic, present an overview of every sub-topic, go in depth with the lesson and then conclude with a recapitulation of the lesson. This simple principle also works for tutorials. As the saying goes, there is no need to reinvent the wheel.
- Use Compelling Graphics and Examples
Images and practical examples are always helpful when you are trying to explain something. In tutorials, graphics are useful to break blocks of text and illustrate your explanations. In videos, you can use pie charts, still images and other such graphic elements to help viewers visualise and remember what you are teaching them.
All graphics should be in high quality and of an adequate size, especially if you plan to make a video tutorial. Avoid stock photos as much as possible – they are going to leave a negative impression on your readers.
- Explain Why, Not Just What
When people watch a tutorial, they need to understand the purpose of every step of the process. They do not want to reproduce a process blindly, but to learn why each of them is important, and how they impact the final result. For example, when you tell your readers to use a primer on a wooden floor before applying lacquer, explain that this is done to seal the pores in the wood and create a level, adherent surface for the lacquer. Otherwise, some of your readers may think that they can skip this step if they are in a hurry or on a tight budget.
Last of all, remember to include a call to action in each of your tutorials and invite readers or viewers to subscribe to your newsletter and be the first to find out about your latest tutorials.