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Introducing Video Tutorials at Draft.dev

Ever since I started Draft.dev in 2020, one of the most common requests we’ve gotten from prospects has been video production. Unlike our content writing services, video was an area where I had little to no professional experience, so I was wary of taking it on without the expertise available to do it right.

Fortunately, as our team has grown, so have our capabilities. I’m excited to announce that as of this month, we’re offering video tutorial creation services to all our clients in the developer tooling space.

Here’s an example of a video we did for our own content recently:

Learn more and book a call to discuss video tutorials here.

Why Video?

Our success at Draft.dev is largely due to the fact that we focus on doing very few things, very well. We only produce technical content for companies trying to reach subject matter experts.

Most marketing agencies can’t resist the draw to become full-service providers for their clients, offering everything from branding to design to ads to content. Draft.dev is different because we intentionally say no to all those other forms of work in favor of doing fewer things better.

So, I didn’t take the decision to add video content to our list of offerings lightly. But I also want Draft.dev to be the premier content creation company for developer tools brands, so I knew we’d eventually need to have it. There’s a lot of reasons clients want video tutorials, but a few include:

  • Supplement SEO - Written content with an embedded video tends to have higher time on page and a lower bounce rate. This in turn helps Google recognize the value of your content.
  • Reach younger developers - While my generation learned on text-based platforms like Stack Overflow, developers coming out of school today are more video-native than ever.
  • Improve social reach - Social platforms like TikTok and YouTube are extremely popular discovery platforms, and even text-based platforms like Linkedin and Twitter are doing more to support video than before.
  • Augment documentation - Text-based documentation is the standard among developer tools companies, but video is quickly becoming an expected addition. Having videos to supplement documentation will be essential in the coming decades for some of the same generational reasons above.

Why Aren’t More Developer Tools Companies Using Video Today?

Video tutorials are incredibly hard to do well and even more so at scale.

Clients are often surprised by how well we do written content because they know writing for developers is notoriously difficult, but video adds another level of complexity. You need at least four different roles to do video work well, but most companies can’t justify making all these hires:

  • Engineer to create the tutorial
  • Another engineer to test and verify the tutorial
  • Editor to create the script
  • Engineer to record the video
  • Video producer to add visuals, transitions, and effects
  • Voiceover actor to read script

Obviously, you can compress a few of these roles, depending on each person’s skills, but then you run into a question of time utilization. Does it really make sense for a software engineer to spend 8 hours editing and producing a video? Can you afford to skip testing when it means you might have to re-record the whole thing because you find a bug in 2 months?

How We Create Technical Tutorial Videos

Similar to how we produce written content, our philosophy with videos is the same:

Find experts in each step in the process and hire them to do the part of the work they do best.

This allows each of them to focus on their area of expertise and ensures that our team can cover a wide range of technologies while keeping costs down.

With over 300 engineers in our writing pool, there were plenty who had some video experience and the software necessary to record tutorials. Two of our editors also had experience writing scripts, so we were able to build that capacity quickly.

Finally, I bought an audio and video production company earlier this year, and part of the reason was that they’d be able to do the video editing and post-production work that I didn’t know how to do yet. Their expertise has been invaluable as we explore adding short-form and long-form video to our offerings.

I’m really proud of all the work our team at Draft.dev put into figuring this out. If you’d like to learn more, please book some time with us here.

Karl Hughes

By Karl Hughes

Karl is a former startup CTO and the founder of Draft.dev. He writes about technical blogging and content management.