Video Strategies on Insta: Using “How-To” and Tutorial

The world of Instagram is more than just pictures: videos, now more than ever, are a potent tool that can be used in a variety of ways to boost engagement and add value content. This post will focus on one type of video specifically: how-to videos, also known as “tutorials.”

When we think of tutorials, we think of something perhaps more run-of-the-mill, showing us how to do some basic procedure or process. But actually, these types of videos can be used to boost engagement in a variety of ways! We can use them to enhance our authenticity, using our product or brand in a way that applies directly to our followers’ real lives.

We can even create a how-to video or a video tutorial without even using those words. In this sense, we influence the way our followers and clients do something, based on the video content we provide. Take these two video examples, which both follow a type of how-to strategy: One, more traditional, and the other, more implicit.

Ben and Jerry’s: How-To

Taking the caramel apple game up a notch. 🍎🍦🍂 – Link in bio for full recipe.

A post shared by Ben & Jerry's (@benandjerrys) on

Ben and Jerry’s video shows us a more direct approach, outlining step-by-step what our followers should do in order to replicate what they showed us in their video, nicely using their product and brand to encourage their followers to do the same. Looks delicious!

Camping by K-Mart

Camping is Intents! ⛺️ 😉 #LifeIsRidiculouslyAwesome

A post shared by kmart (@kmart) on

Kmart’s video, however, followed a bit of a different approach. They were more indirect, merely giving a how-to “suggestion” of camping, including types of products needed, and an activity. But this type of implicit tutorial impacts our viewers in at least two ways: one, they aren’t being told exactly what to do, which allows them to feel that they are making decisions on their own, using the information in their own way. Two, it leaves a visual impression on them, and plants the seed in their head, providing inspiration. These videos can be translated into any theme: lifestyles, ideas, activities, daily routines, fitness, food, and much more.

Here’s another example from Kmart for back to school:

Back to School by K-Mart

Back to school got us like 🌀🌀🌀 #Kmart #LifeIsRidiculouslyAwesome

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They didn’t give us the step-by-step on how to be ready for back to school; instead, they used their products paired with an interesting video design to show us what it looks like to be ready to go back to school. We now have the visual impression and the implicit “how-to.” In the comments, you can see someone responded that they needed a backpack, and the company responded to the user directly, enhancing their brand authenticity and availability. It can even be done with regular image collages, instead of video!

Check out some more “How-to” examples!
@emilyskyefit Fitness
@bathandbodyworks Lifestyle
@nestle Food/drink
*an interesting example, very short video, but encourages user engagement and also includes content from an employee, which is great for authenticity and value content.
@urbandecaycosmetics Beauty/Cosmetics

Staples has a great strategy using these videos, they have a variety of ways they incorporate this type of marketing into their account
@Staples Business/Office (3 steps, video)
@Staples Business/Office (Problem/Solution)
@Staples Business/Office (4 steps, photo collage)
Remember, these strategies can be used and applied to any topic with a bit of creativity and brand connection! Have you ever done anything similar? What has worked for you? Let us know in the comments!