Video Tips

How to Make an Instructional Video With Screen Recordings

Eliza Talvola


Instructional videos are available on demand to teach your clients, colleagues, and employees new skills. But for complicated processes that require a computer, you might lose viewers unless you can share your screen. Luckily, with tools like Animoto, you can show viewers exactly what they need to know! In this blog, you’ll learn how to make an instructional video with screen recordings plus tips to maximize engagement and retention. Consider this your guide on how to make a how to video!

What is an instructional video?

Instructional videos explain how to complete a certain task. Instructional videos, AKA how-to videos, may include photos, videos, screen recordings, text, audio, and more to help explain topics and concepts.

Instructional videos take trainings to the next level. By combining multiple forms of media, you can teach viewers to complete a task in a way that makes sense to them. Plus, they can stop, pause, and resume the video to learn and follow along at their own pace. That’s a game-changer!

Rather than in-person meetings, instructional videos can be shared anywhere, any time. This empowers remote teams to access the information they need, whenever they need it. Instructional videos are a crucial part in keeping teams informed, connected, and on the same page. And with screen and webcam recordings, you can add the personality to make your content stick.

Types of instructional videos with screen recordings

There are many reasons to make an instructional video. Say, for instance, you just hired a group of new employees and they need to learn how to set up their emails. Rather than a dull and confusing packet or email, you can share an informative instructional video to every employee at the same time!

But that’s not all you can do with them. Here are even more examples of useful instructional video ideas plus free templates so you can make them yourself!

Employee training videos

Whether introducing new hires to old processes, or senior employees to new processes, employee training videos can help! These videos ensure that every employee gets the same instructions. Training videos can be used for complicated processes like submitting an expense report, or simply explaining the importance of diversity in the workplace.

Below is an example of a training video that explains how to set up a meeting. With added screen and webcam recordings, you can guide viewers through the process every step of the way.

Product demos

Product demos can be used in sales pitches, added to the “Help” section of your website, or shared internally. The goal of these demos is to show your product in action! Not only can they help your customers to troubleshoot, they highlight the value of your product. If you have a digital product, screen recordings will be a major component of your demo.

Tutorial video

For more complicated processes, make tutorial videos with screen captures. These videos contain in-depth information that can guide viewers step by step. The great thing about video tutorials is that they can be paused to allow time for viewers to replicate the steps shown. And with clear screen recordings, it’s even easier to follow along!

Presentation videos

Lastly, presentation videos can also be used as instructional videos. They can help outline important, need-to-know information and guide the viewer to their next step. For instance, it would be critical to an employee’s success to know users’ satisfaction while working to develop new product features. You can share that information in a dynamic and memorable way with a video!

The goal of instructional presentation videos is to educate and guide users to take action. Below is an example of a video that you could use during an employee orientation or onboarding meeting.

How to make an instructional video with screen recordings

Screen recordings don’t have to be the entire video. By incorporating them alongside other forms of media, you can add more context to your video. Text, photos, voice-overs, and more can all support your screen recordings. Together, they help make solid, comprehensive instructional videos.

One of the trickiest parts of making instructional videos with screen recordings is using the right tools. Juggling too many different tools can complicate and slow down your video making process. On the other hand, comprehensive video makers like Animoto contain all the tools you need in one place. With Animoto, your screen recorder, voice recorder, license-free music library, media library, and more are all at your fingertips.

Here’s how to make an instructional video with screen recordings using Animoto.

Step 1: Start a project

First, create a video project using one of our free templates or by starting from scratch.

Step 2: Storyboard your video

Now it’s time to start creating your video’s storyline. Consider what steps you want to cover in your instructional video and what actions you want viewers to take. At this point, you can begin adding text and images to help develop your story.

Next, identify where you want your screen recordings to go and what you want them to include.

Step 3: Start recording

Now it’s time to start screen recording! Make sure that you have unnecessary tabs closed out and all relevant tabs and applications open.

To start your recording, click the black RECORD button at the top of your screen. If you haven’t previously given Animoto permission to access your microphone, you may receive a small pop-up in your browser.

Next, choose whether to record your screen or screen and webcam together. Select the window, screen, or tab that you want to record. Then, click the red Record button to start your recording.

To stop your recording, click “Stop sharing” in the box in the bottom of the screen you are recording or hit the stop button back in your Animoto workspace. Your recordings will be automatically uploaded to your Media tab.

For additional information about screen recording, check out this comprehensive guide.

Step 4: Customize your instructional video

Now that you have your media in place, it’s time to start customizing. Watch your video from start to finish and ask yourself:

  • Does this include all the steps needed to complete the task?
  • Is this information easy for anybody to follow, regardless of experience?
  • Could certain areas of my video be shortened?
  • Will my video be stronger with added voice-overs, text, etc.?
  • Are any steps confusing or overwhelming?
  • Does my video end with a strong CTA to get started or where to go for more information?

Based on your answers, you may want to change your video’s colors or fonts, swap out media, add an intro or outro, or record a voice-over.

Step 5: Gather video feedback

Feedback is crucial! Before you start sharing your instructional video, gather feedback from some members of your target audience. They will help you identify areas that need improvement or added clarity.

Once you’re ready to start gathering feedback from clients or colleagues, you can generate a private feedback link that allows them to leave time-stamped feedback on your video. Check out this how-to guide to learn more!

Step 6: Share your instructional video and start educating!

Finally, your video is ready to share! You can download it in 1080p directly to your computer to save for later. Or, if you want to share your video on social media or via email, you can do so right from Animoto. Simply click the SHARE button in the top right corner of your video workspace and select your desired destination.

Just like that, you’re ready to share your instructional video with the world!

Tips for making an instructional video with screen recordings

Creating instructional videos that are memorable, engaging, and effective can seem daunting. Luckily, Animoto has tons of video templates with best practices already in place! As you start creating your own instructional video, keep these expert tips in mind.

Define your learning objective

Not all instructional videos have the same outcome, and thus there is no universal way to measure their success! Define your learning objective for your video before you start building it. This will help ensure that you always lead your audience in the right direction with the right materials. You can then use this objective to measure how well your video performed.

Storyboard your instructional video

Instructional videos should educate your audience, not overwhelm or confuse them. This is easier said than done!

By creating a storyboard for your video, you will be able to discern the “need to know” info from the “nice to know” info. Then, you can identify what media will best help you tell your story. Storyboarding will also save you time editing later on!

Show, don’t tell

Wordy explanations simply aren’t effective. In fact, viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to only 10% when reading it in text alone. When in doubt, show it with a screen recording, don’t just tell.

Keep it simple

Too much information or competing elements at one time can make viewers feel overwhelmed or confused. To keep your viewers engaged, focus on one task at a time.

Ask for feedback

When you know a process by heart, it’s easy to overlook important details that a newcomer might need. That’s why it’s always best to ask for feedback!

Collecting feedback from colleagues and clients adds a fresh perspective to your work for the better! Especially when creating educational materials, make sure to collect feedback from the audience it was made for. Just read this blog to learn all about the importance of feedback and how you can give great feedback too!

Make instructional videos with Animoto

In today’s remote workforce, instructional videos are key to consistent communication and training. Unfortunately, many of us have learned (the hard way) that emails and instant messages aren’t enough to break through!

With Animoto, anyone can make a tutorial video by recording your screen. Sign up for Animoto for free and use any of our ready-made templates to create your own professional videos in minutes!

Instructional video FAQ

How long should my instructional video be?

Instructional videos should be no more than 5 minutes in order to maximize viewership and retention. The content will largely dictate the length of your video, but as a rule of thumb, remember – the shorter the better!

How do I make a screen recording instructional video with audio?

Voice-over narration is a great addition to instructional videos because it allows you to explain what you’re doing at each step. You can also use music as a background element for a finishing touch.

Where can I share my screen recording instructional video?

Instructional videos can be shared internally via email, messaging boards, instant messenger apps, and company intranets. They can also be shared via cloud drives, shared on social media, or simply downloaded to your device.