The origin and history of how-to videos


A concept-based marketing tool that is an explainer video is very well known to everyone. Any brand without at least an explainer video is like having a delicious biryani without the raita, it just doesn’t make the brand. According to reports, only 12% of online businesses do not have an explainer video. Obviously they are very popular and a lot of these videos made a impactful presence. But when and how did they come into being? There is a lot to learn and know about these interactive videos. They have their own origin story and a very interesting story too!

Switch from PowerPoint to YouTube

The revival of ‘PowerPoint blended narration’, which is now known as how-to videos, was not discovered at the time of ‘Eureka! but were a natural progression. It was in the 1990s that PowerPoint began to emerge as the best “explanatory tool” and became a one-of-a-kind offering. Just around this time, we saw an Internet boom, where YouTube made its first appearance. People started to rave about watching stories rather than listening or reading them. People found it to be a simpler but attractive platform because watching a one minute video was easier than reading a long document. They introduced the concept of ‘what to do’ and ‘how to’ videos, where people could find tutorials and learn new things with one click.

The initiators of these videos were the dynamic duo from Common Craft, who came up with the idea of ​​using hands, markers and cut papers to tell a story, with the camera pointing at the whiteboard on the floor. What started out as a travel video blog quickly turned into a learning platform. “RSS in Plain English” was their first video tutorial, which went live on April 23, 2007. It has gained astonishing popularity! Soon they started receiving requests from various companies to create personalized videos. Their second client was Google and they produced a “Google Docs in Plain English” video for them. Common Craft paved the way for making such videos. They won gold when they made a video explaining how Twitter works. It was so good that Twitter posted it on their homepage!

The formula that turned into a marketing mantra

It took over a year and a half and millions of views after the first video tutorial the term “Explainer Video” was coined. The phrase became so popular that it was at the end of every marketer’s tongue and that was when it was no longer limited to an internet trend. It has become a prerequisite for any business. It was such a rage that all companies started to build a website and post these videos on their websites.

The concept started to become an integral part of every company’s marketing strategy, many companies started creating these videos in-house and their success stories were also shaped with these how-to videos. The best explanatory video story was from Groupon when they posted a similar video on their website and their sales grew rapidly. The impact was such that it made Groupon into the billion dollar company it is today.

The future of how-to videos

Since then, the concepts have evolved and the requirements have become more stringent, making how-to videos perfect for a profitable business model. Even the outlook and the main focus has changed, right now every explainer video starts with a solid script. In addition, the focus these days has shifted to the “core message” rather than the visuals. Marketers realized that flashy visuals without a fuss wouldn’t add much value to their brand.

All of this mixed together with a pinch of “innovation” is the perfect strategy and ensures steady growth. The future has a lot to offer, with the digital transformation happening today, they can ride on different platforms and across different mediums. Currently the trending variations of these videos are – animated how-to videos, infographics, interactive videos and many more …

The best explainer video companies are capitalizing on this ever-changing trend as it has become essential to bring in a professional when animation companies craft their own eye-catching models to perfection. More and more people are opting for such creative indulgences and the future is as digital as it gets.

Source by Dharmendra Ahuja

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