The internet has taken on an enormous role in the day to day lives of people, not only as a way for people to connect, but also as a source of information for just about anything imaginable. And that’s where explainers videos comes in . Check out our Beginners Guide to Explainer Video for more info. They are a visual representation of products or services presented in a video format where people can see exactly what the product or service is all about—and then judge for themselves whether or not they need this thing in their lives.
Explainer videos are already incredibly popular, and it’s forecasted that in the future, the demand for them will only grow. It’s a fantastic way for companies and individuals to reach people, draw attention to what they have to offer, and ultimately, increase their bottom line.
Why Explainer Videos Boost Your Marketing Efforts
No matter what you’re marketing, just about every business can benefit from explainer videos to showcase your products and services. There are a few very good reasons why:
- Video formats are one of the most efficient ways to educate your target audience on what you have to offer because it allows you to show your offerings in action.
- Search engines tend to boost pages that include video content, which means higher search engine rankings if you embed explainer videos among the rest of the content on your site.
- Video is easily shareable. People are more likely to pause and watch clips posted on Facebook or social media sites than they are to click a link provided in your social post, which increases your chances of making an impression.
- People are pressed for time these days. When it comes to content consumption, many prefer video formats because it delivers the information much more quickly than text.
- Video also retains attention for longer. People are more likely to click away from text within a few seconds, but when presented with a video, they will typically view for longer than they would content delivered in textual format.
Another crucial component that ties into the efficacy of video content is the way people absorb and retain information. Research from Andrew Angus, the founder of Switch Video, shows that when people are presented with audio only, they retain only about 10% of the information that they are given. However, when you combine audio with visual, the information retention rate goes up to 68%.
That number is important because it translates to viewers who will view a video for longer than they will stay on a text page, and who are much more likely to make a purchase at the conclusion of the video.
With all of this, there is a kind of beauty in explainer videos in that they are incredibly versatile. They allow you to present facts, statistics, products in use, graphics, animations—anything you can imagine to describe your offerings—all in an engaging format that invites people to participate.
Types of Explainer Videos
These videos come in a variety of formats, which is another reason why they’re a versatile marketing tool. With explainers, marketers are able to create content best suited to their business, and to the needs of their target audiences. Here are some of the formats you could use:
- Demonstrations: These are videos that showcase a product or service. To create an effective demonstration, it is necessary to show the product or service in action so that viewers can understand how it works, how to use it, and thus, whether or not they should purchase it.
- FAQs: Much like an FAQ page, this type of video answers common questions on a particular topic—only in video format. The advantage to these over text-based FAQs is that you can release new answer clips as new questions crop up.
- How To’s: This type of explainer lets you dig deep on a certain subject. Perhaps you are a software developer who has already created a demonstration that features a broad overview of your product. How-to videos let you show your software (or other products) in very specific applications.
- Benefits: These explain the benefits of what you are offering—and they do it in a format that is typically more engaging and more efficient than something like a landing page, which means you are more likely to communicate this information to potential customers in video format.
- Testimonials: When you can produce testimonials featuring satisfied customers, particularly live, unscripted testimonials, it allows you to build trust and credibility among viewers.
These are the major categories, though there are other types of explainer videos. Essentially, if it explains something, then it is an explainer video!
What Elements Should Be Included in Videos?
This type of video varies widely depending on the industry, your company’s voice, and the topics you are covering. However, explainer videos that boast high conversion rates all have a few elements in common with each other. When creating your videos, be aware of these things so that you can produce the highest quality content possible.
Create the Voice Over
Voice work is important in video. If you’re doing the voicework yourself, it helps to spend some time rehearsing the script before you record—and don’t hesitate to do retakes if you have to in order to get the voice just right. In general, the guideline here is that the voice over you choose should be a reflection of your brand, something that meshes with the brand tone that you have established on your website or elsewhere. This may mean choosing from among your employees to do the voicework, or even hiring someone to create it for you.
Almost all explainer videos feature music of some kind—either a lead in to introduce the video or quiet background music. The key here is to choose music and other sounds that elicit the emotions you desire in your audience. For example, if you’re creating a light, happy, playful video, then choose something cheery to accompany the voicework.
Graphics are a great way to show statistics or to illustrate a concept. Whatever graphics you choose, they should fit the personality of your brand, and they should also be easy to understand so that viewers can gain information from them at a glance.
Be Sure to Include Subtitles
A large share of videos are watched while muted, especially videos shared to social media. When you think about how people consume video content, it makes sense. They might be on a bus, the subway, in a waiting room—in other words, somewhere that they don’t have the leisure to listen to sound without disturbing others. Thus, if you want to get as much information as possible across, subtitles will help you provide narration, even when the video is muted.
Animations Increase Engagement
Including professional animations does a couple of things for your videos. For one, people enjoy animation, which helps boost interaction with a video. Another reason to include them is because it signals to viewers that you have high production values since animation is typically one of the more difficult features to design.
As far as what types of animation you should choose, it could be any number of things—an animated lead in, charts and graphs in motion, or even a cartoon if you so desire. The main thing to remember is to create animations in keeping with your brand’s culture and personality. If your brand tends toward humor, then feel free to use humorous animation, whereas if your brand has a professional style, then you’ll want to keep your animations on the serious side.
Write a Script
A good script is what pulls your video together. Even if you’re creating an unscripted testimonial, it helps to write out questions that you will ask the happy customer in order to help facilitate conversation and to draw out detailed answers.
For other types of explainer videos, you should target around 90 seconds worth of scripted material. Focus on the pain points to explain how you are solving a customer’s problem as you showcase the benefits of what you are offering.
How to Create a Good Script
Since scripts are crucial to your video, you’ll need to know how to approach the scriptwriting process. If you’re at a loss for ideas or unsure what direction in which to take the script, the best way to start developing one is by asking yourself a few questions to help clarify the ideas you would like to present. Read below for examples of the kinds of questions you should ask and answer.
What is My Elevator Pitch?
Explainer videos need to be short if you want to enjoy maximum engagement. About 60 to 90 seconds is ideal for keeping viewers watching throughout the duration of the content. So, a good way to begin script development is by figuring out what the elevator pitch for your product or service might be. This should be a one to two sentence description—brief, but descriptive and alluring enough to get people interested in what you have to offer.
Who is My Target Audience?
This is an important question to ask not only for explainer videos but for all types of content that you will produce. That’s because your target audience is what determines the style and content of your productions. For example, if your target audience is business professionals, then you’ll likely want to adopt a more serious style and present as much factual information as you can. Conversely, if your target audience includes teenagers looking for something fun to do, then you’ll want to use a fun style and show them how your offerings create enjoyment.
What Tone and Visual Style Should I Use?
This goes back to understanding your target audience and their needs. If you have determined them to be a professional subset, then it’s best to keep your script in a professional style that matches your brand voice and the visuals you’ll be creating, whereas if your tone and visual style is lighthearted, then you might want to include a couple of jokes or some fun dialogue.
What Problem am I Solving?
People watch explainer videos because they have a need and they are looking for a solution to that need. If someone wants to buy a new digital camera, for instance, they are likely to watch several explainer videos about various digital camera models in order to learn which model best suits their needs. Ask yourself this question to identify customer pain points and figure out how your offerings make those pain points go away.
What Benefits I Should Highlight?
In general, it’s best to avoid rattling off a long list of benefits during an explainer video because this can begin to sound more like a lecture, which may put some people off. However, if you list a few of the benefits of your product or service that you would like to highlight, this will help you come up with ways to put those benefits on display as you write the script. For software providers, for instance, a key benefit might be user friendliness, so it would be important to show off how user friendly the software is during a demonstration.
Do I Need a Call to Action?
Calls to action can take many forms, and they are all dependent on what you want to gain from your video. For example, if the goal of your video is to boost brand awareness, then it may be prudent to include a call to action that encourages people to share your video. If, however, you want your video to make sales of your product or service, then your call to action might include details about where people can buy your offerings. Think about your goal for the video and create a CTA to suit.
How Long Should My Script Be?
As mentioned above, shorter explainer videos are typically better because that’s what keeps people on the page throughout the duration of the entire video. But how many words will you need to create that 60 to 90 second script?
Within the video industry, the rule of thumb is about 150 words per minute of video, which is about one hundred words shy of a double-spaced page. This might seem short considering that you are likely able to read more than that over the course of 90 seconds. However, it’s important to remember that during an explainer video, you won’t be narrating the entire time. You’ll need to leave pauses throughout the video so that viewers have time to absorb your messaging, and so that you can spend time demonstrating your project or showing visuals.
Can You Create Explainer Videos with Your Phone?
It’s tempting to simply use your phone to shoot an explainer video. After all, that’s an easy way to create video inexpensively with a tool you already have. However, keep in mind that production values are crucial to build brand awareness and to keep viewers on the page throughout the duration of the video. Produce something lower quality, and people are more likely to click away within the first few seconds.
The best route is to either invest in good recording equipment and video editing software if you have the expertise to work with video. If not, then consider hiring an agency skilled in video production to ensure that the content you are creating is high quality.
How Do I Launch My Video?
Once you’ve created video content, the big question becomes how to share it with the world. There are a few things to keep in mind here.
- You’ll need to choose a video host. This can be YouTube, Vimeo or another hosting provider. The key thing to remember is that you should choose a host that is familiar to most viewers and that is easy for them to use—and it should be one that integrates seamlessly with social media and your website for optimal sharing. You may also need to choose a hosting service where you can build a community, like a YouTube channel if you’d like to build a large YouTube following.
- Plan where to share your video. This can be on your blog, in newsletters, or on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Research your target audience and the channels they are most likely to use, and then share your video within these channels.
- Post your video on your website. It’s a wise idea to post your video on a sharable blog if you have one, but you can also post it on the front page of your site where people will see it immediately upon visiting. If you have a collection of videos, then a separate video page makes it easy for viewers to find all of your video content and watch as many as they like.
If you haven’t included explainer videos as part of your content marketing strategy, give it a shot! No matter what type of product or service you offer, there is an audience out there hungry for audio-visual content. It’s a great way to boost engagement, build brand awareness, and ultimately, increase your sales.