Table of Contents
- 02Table of Contents
- 03The Ultimate Guide to Successful Explainer Videos
- 04What Is an Explainer Video & Why Use It?
- 06Communicating with your Target Audience
- 07The Script
- 08Video Script Best Practices Things to Include in Your Video
- 10Keep It Simple
- 11A Glance at Some Successful Videos11
- 12Animation: Non-Animated Videos
- 13Animated Versus Non-Animated Videos Whiteboard Explainer Videos
- 14Craft a Clear Call-to-ActionVoiceover Do’s and Don’ts
- 15Final Tips Measuring the Performance of Your Explainer Video
The Ultimate Guide to Successful Explainer Videos
Explainer videos have quickly become the preferred method of telling the whole world about your products and services. This is a very effective and fast way to let website visitors know who you are and why they should do business with you. The really good ones tell an interesting story that draws viewers in and captures their attention which results in higher engagement and conversion rates in the end.
Below are some of the major brands that are using creative and successful explainer videos to increase engagement and sales:
What Is an Explainer Video & Why Use It?
A great explainer video exemplifies the old age, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Instead of going into great detail on your home page about your company, you simply place an explainer video there, website visitors click on it and within a couple of minutes, they know exactly who you are and what you do.
You simply take away all the guess work by simplifying the message for your audience. This is what makes explainer videos unique because they can take complicated or boring subjects and turn them into fun, simple and effective ways to engage your audience further. In the end, they explain things better compared to static text.
One of the major reasons why explainer videos have become so popular has to do with the average person’s attention span. Want to take a guess what it is? According to recent research, the average person’s attention span is about 8 seconds. But that only applies with old-fashion web content; not with videos. Most users will sit and watch a video of up to about two minutes. After two minutes, you’ll lose most viewers and that’s why 90 seconds is the recommended length.
Videos have become the preferred way to explain how to repair an electrical outlet, what a widget is, or any number of things. You can now go to popular video sites and learn just about anything. It’s fast, easy and takes almost no effort on the part of the viewer. Many websites have enjoyed a huge increase in traffic and conversions because they make it easy for their visitors to get the information they need.
Many Internet marketing experts now say that this is the future of the internet and it just keeps on growing. Humans are just naturally impatient. We want everything right now. We don’t like reading through paragraph after paragraph of boring text to learn something and we need to be entertained in order to listen. And the statistics now support this2. Video advertising is the wave of the future!
Google knew this many years ago, which is why they acquired YouTube back in 2006. Since then, it has grown leaps and bounds and is now positioned as the second biggest search engine after Google. From our own experiments, we have seen rankings in Google improve when we embed a highly engaging video on a client’s website.
Explainer videos can meet many types of needs and be an excellent method of communicating with a target audience, employees, potential investors or whoever you want to engage. Consider these essentials that all business people encounter everyday:
PITCH/PRESENTATION VIDEOS – Are you sales in a slump? A clever whiteboard video can bring new life to your presentation and increase your conversions.
DEMOS – Show the world how your products work!
TRAINING/E-LEARNING – Whiteboard videos have been used by major universities, kindergarten teachers and high school teens. This is a great way to learn anything.
CROWDFUNDING PROJECTS – One company recently got over $2 million dollars for a solar roadway project. This whiteboard video has been viewed over 17 million times. It highlights what you can truly accomplish with a creative video campaign: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlTA3rnpgzU
START-UP PROJECTS – Get the neighborhood or the world involved in your project.
BLOGS – Wanna get more people reading your blog every month? Do a whiteboard video instead of the traditional text.
TRADESHOWS & CONFERENCES – Entertain visitors to your exhibit. Hold their attention longer.
ANY CONCEPT/IDEA THAT IS DIFFICULT TO EXPLAIN – Try to make it simple for your target audience to engage with you. Help them get more involved.
Communicating with your Target Audience
Websites that are using visual-centric homepages to quickly communicate their value proposition to visitors are seeing huge leaps in traffic and conversions. Text alone just won’t do the job anymore.
Check out these 8 startling statistics:
- Video was the fastest growing form of advertising in 2012.
- Combining video with full page ads boosts engagement by an average of 22%.
- Video ad spending increased from $1.97 billion to $5.71 billion from 2012 to 2013 and is slated to make an even greater leap in 2014.
- 100 million internet users watch a video every day.
- 90% of users say that watching a video about a product helps them make a decision.
- According to NIELSEN Wire, 36% of online consumers trust video ads.
- 46% of users take some sort of action after viewing an ad, according to Online Publishers Association.
Though videos are a great way to get traffic to your site, a poorly done video can actually hurt more than help. That’s why it’s often best to hire professionals who can handle everything from start to finish. But what if you simply don’t have the budget for it? Below, we’ll cover all the basics of creating your very own, professional explainer video.
A strong and well-crafted video script is the key to creating a successful explainer video. If you have the most creative video but the script is not executed properly, your video will flop. Though there are many other elements, the script itself is what draws it all together. Most people do not have the professional copywriting skills necessary to write a good, solid script, but you can find an experienced freelance copywriter online who will do the writing for you.
Professional copywriters understand how to create effective word-pictures that speak directly to the target audience. It’s important to address their major concerns and pain points. What problems are they dealing with and how can your products and services solve those problems?
Your video script should begin with a something that grabs your target market’s attention and interest (your target market’s pain points or concerns or you can use humor to get their attention). If you want it to be like a story that the user can identify with, start off with a brief overview of your product.
Talk about all the benefits of your product (or services) and how it can solve the viewer’s problems and meet their needs. Your product is the perfect solution and it’s so affordable. End with a strong call to action. If you have some good testimonials, awards or other things that can promote trust in your company, then include them here.
A memorable video script might begin with a character. Give him/her a name (such as, “Meet Joe”), then introduce the Happy Fox who tells the story. (First video on the top left).
In the overview of your product, make sure not to get too technical and always keep it simple. If you bombard the users with too much information, they may drop off and you lose them. Adding humor to the video also helps prevent user drop-offs and hopefully leads them to watch the video until the end. Lastly, end with a strong call to action with an irresistible offer that they simply cannot say not to. This could be in the form of a download, special deal or anything you can think of that would make your product stand out from your competition.
Video Script Best Practices
In order to achieve success, you’ll need to be extremely creative. Clever videos are memorable and even go viral sometimes. Users normally enjoy a well-put-together video with a good script, fun graphics and engaging music or sound effects.
Remember that the whole reason they’re watching your video is to learn more about your company, products or services. Below are some best practices for effective video production:
- Keep it short! A 90 second video is ideal.
- Relate your key message and value proposition during the first 30 seconds.
- Write in 2nd person with words like “You” and “Your.” This helps you identify with your audience.
- Use simple language that makes your viewers feel comfortable. Avoid technical terms. Use an easy conversational tone.
- If you can make people smile when they watch your video, it creates positive associations with your brand. Never use a condescending “know-it-all” tone.
Things to Include in Your Video
This depends on the type of video you are producing. If you’re placing this on your home page for the purpose of explaining your company’s products and services, then get right to the point. Introduce your business, talk about what you do, mention your qualifications and years of experience and end by a call to action. If your company has a unique story, then be sure to share it. Everyone loves interesting stories.
On the other hand, if you’re making a video that explains all the features of your new vacuum cleaner/cell phone/Flatscreen TV/mattress or whatever, then introduce your company, talk about how amazing your new product is and then highlight a few of its top features/benefits.
Let’s say your video is about the new DSX Vacuum Cleaner. Talk about how your new vacuum will make housework so much easier. In fact, you could save hours each week that you could use for your favorite hobby. Show a happy figure out on the lake fishing instead of doing drudgery housework chores.
Though it’s important for consumers to know all the features your new vacuum offers, during your 90 second video, it’s more important to talk about the many advantages of owning this vacuum. Later, when the viewer is ready to make the purchase, they can be directed to a webpage that lists all its features.
Cover the problems and issues someone might be struggling with. For instance, vacuuming is hard work; it can give you a backache, but the new DSX vacuum cleaner is so easy to use that you’re done with the work before you know it. Your floors will be spotless and you’ll be relaxing in your favorite easy chair. (Be sure to show a picture of a guy relaxing in a big recliner and drinking coffee.)
Don’t be afraid to use humor and light-hearted wording that makes it sound like you’ve been there too and you know exactly how the viewer feels. If you can relate well to your target audience … if you can correctly speak their language, then you can get into their mindset. Once you accomplish this, you’ll quickly build a loyal following of customers.
Remember, your products and services MUST follow through on all the promises you make in your video and on your website. If you say that the vacuum comes with a 90 day guarantee, then stand behind your product with great—very friendly—customer service. Your reputation as a business is very important. With today’s prolific use of the internet, it’s just too easy for a disgruntled customer to leave a negative testimony about your company. Consumers do read those nowadays and they do respond to them, whether negative or positive. Build a great reputation and fearlessly defend it!
Keep It Simple
The average consumer just doesn’t like lots of technical information. If they do need the specs on a product, they can go to that specific page and get them. Don’t bore your viewers with lots of highly technical jargon. Give them the streamlined version. The point of your video should be to hook them into wanting more information or even to press the “Buy” button. Normally, that’s the first step in any sales transaction.
Later, when someone has made up their mind to purchase your products and/or services, this is the time to reveal technical information and only then if they opt to receive it. Honestly, some people just don’t care how many watts of power your speakers have. For instance, female shoppers often buy a car based on its color. They do ask about features and safety, but color is an important factor.
Yes, you could on and on all day about how well your car is built but if the female purchaser doesn’t like the color, she will still say no to the deal. And that brings us to another very important point:
What does your target audience really want?
If you can answer this question thoroughly and accurately, then you can craft your video and all of your advertising materials around those desires and needs. That’s where Google/Video Analytics can be so helpful. They will show you exactly what messages are getting through to consumers. What is working and what is failing to grab their attention?
Be flexible. Change is the way of the world, especially on the internet. You may need to update your video every year or two in order to stay up-to-date with current trends. Don’t be the last person in your industry to find out that consumers are no longer purchasing encyclopedias (or whatever!). This happened to Encyclopedia Britannica and almost led to their demise. In 1990, they sold 120,000 sets of encyclopedias but today, print encyclopedias only account for about 1% of their annual revenue. They had to change with the times and you will have to do that as well.
A Glance at Some Successful Videos
We can learn so much from both failure and success, but today we’re going to look at a few highly successful videos and see what made them so special. We’ll first look at animated videos and then at non-animated. Try to pick out the critical elements in each one and understand why it worked as well as it did. Was it funny, profound, or memorable in some way? Did it speak to some need in your life?
What is Pinterest
This 90 second video has been viewed by over 150,000 people. Pinterest has become a hot topic over the years and this animated explainer video explains it very well with a short and sweet message. The graphics are professionally done and overall the presentation has a nice flow from the beginning to the end. Just like many other explainer videos, it has a simplistic approach which most people seem to respond well with. Just like Pinterest has gained a lot of popularity, your company could pick major brands and make educational videos on how they work. Then just use a soft marketing approach to introduce your products and services.
This clever video uses a humorous script and visuals to engage audiences. They also create a few catchy characters. This is a good way to make a lasting impression with audiences. We all remember amusing, funny or quirky characters long after we’ve forgotten what product they were talking about. Padmapper created Miguel, a friendly Latin speaking man who showed us how to quickly and easily find just the right apartment in our preferred neighborhood. They were not afraid to go out on a limb and be silly, even with their company slogan, which is: “Padmapper: Making Apartment Hunting Suck Less”.
Dollar Shave Club
Everyone’s talking about this edgy video. It was released last March and has already been viewed 5 million times. This video is wholly responsible for catapulting a small start-up into an overnight success. The video reportedly cost $4,500 to make but has earned the company millions of dollars thus far. This video uses a clever script along with well-delivered lines by Mike, the founder of Dollar Shave Club. He is not only good-looking but cocky in a way that attracts both male and female viewers.
Electing a US President in Plain English
The video “Electing a US President in Plain English” has been viewed by over 1 million people. Obviously it has gained great momentum because lots of people have shown interest in the topic. It’s currently showing up in Google search results when you search for “electing a US president” and many other related search queries. Many blogger, forum, Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus users have shared this video, which has resulted in the video to go viral. You can use a similar approach in your industry by picking a hot topic and making it engaging and very simple.
Animated Versus Non-Animated Videos
This can be difficult to decide but take into consideration your company, its values and the products and services you’ll be selling. Animated videos are very popular now, because they offer good results for a low cost. This can be the perfect choice for startups and small companies that don’t have a huge budget.
Consider your product and your target market. Normally, more technical products and services such as CrazyEgg, the new heat mapping tool, will get a better response if you use cute, friendly animated characters. This eliminates much of the fear of technology that people often experience. The goal of the video should be to let the consumer know in an unforgettable way, what your company stands for and how you can solve all their problems and make their life much easier.
Whiteboard Explainer Videos
The whiteboard video has become quite popular and features hand drawn images such as those in the Zen-Cash video. Their 90-second video utilizes hand drawn words, images and figures that are created and then erased on a whiteboard. This format of video works because it’s easy and stress-free to watch. There’s no hyped-up dialog and crazy music. It has a tranquil, unintimidating feel.
Whiteboard videos tell your whole story using simple words, shapes and figures. This style is not threatening at all and welcomes the viewer into the animation. It is also very affordable and inexpensive to produce. That’s why so many start-ups nowadays choose whiteboard explainer videos. They’re cheap and effective!
Craft a Clear Call-to-Action
All of your advertising should leave site visitors knowing exactly what they need to do. If a person leaves your site wondering who you are and what you do, then you haven’t done your job properly. Make your call to action very clear and concise. It doesn’t have to be a message that SHOUTS at the viewer, but rather gently nudges them to take action now!
Do you want them to sign up for your emails and newsletters? Download your app? Call you? Schedule an appointment? Make it obvious! When your call-to-action is clear and to the point, then your viewers are much more likely to follow through.
Voiceover Do’s and Don’ts
So you’ve decided to make your own video … great idea! Now what? Most videos do require some type of voice over artist to read a script. Whether you will do this yourself or hire someone make sure to remember the below.
The first step is to ensure that the voice over sounds professional. This may sound like common sense, but I have seen it so many times on various videos that it’s worth mentioning again. The voice over should sound natural and never like he/she is reading the script. That will put the viewer to sleep and your video will fail to make an impact. Professional voice over experts read and understand their script inside and out before they start doing the voice over. Remember to make pauses whenever necessary. A voice over that talks fast with no stops will be very tiring to listen to. Practice in front of the mirror or with friends is a great way to get some feedback.
In terms of equipment, you can use a hyper-cardoid mic and Audacity, which is a free and open source platform for recording and editing sounds. Depending on the subject, remember to set the emotion that you want the user to experience.
Think about your own industry and whether a male or female voice over would suite the best?
The most important element of making any type of successful video is to know your audience. Start with a brief overview of your products and services, then talk about pain points. With the Dollar Shave Club, they used things like:
- It’s easy to forget to buy razor blades.
- Many brands are very expensive these days.
- Why waste your valuable time and money on such a small thing?
The video leaves the viewer thinking:
“Hmmm…this sounds cool. I wouldn’t have to worry anymore about buying razor blades, I’d never run out again and it will only cost me one dollar a month. Why not?”
Start with a good, solid outline of your video, a creative script and the right voice talent. If you are stuck in one area, ask an experienced friend or colleague for some helpful advice. If you don’t feel up to the task, then by all means hire a pro to do your whiteboard explainer video. Remember that it is an important advertising component in your business and it will represent you to the world at large. Leave a positive, lasting impression on your viewer and you’ll be rewarded with stronger sales numbers.
Measuring the Performance of Your Explainer Video
As with any form of advertising, measuring its effectiveness is the key to tweaking and improving your message. Google Analytics, Wistia and YouTube Insight can all provide you with solid data about how your video is doing. Track info like how many viewers leave after 30 or 60 seconds. If you have too many leaving early, then examine when they leave your video and make some changes.
If you can’t see what the problem is, then ask a friend or hire a professional to go over your video. Don’t just give up if you don’t see exceptional results right away. Stay at it until you produce an award-winning video that everyone loves!
Make your video simple. Make it relatable. Make it yours!
Are You Short On Time And Need A Professional and Experienced Video Production Company Behind Your Belt?
Our Professional Explainer Video Service Includes:
- Script Writing That Turns Visitors Into Sales
- Voice over talents in more than 20 languages
- Engaging and eye catching videos
We offer free unlimited revisions and a 100% money back guarantee.
Contact us today and we are looking forward to helping your with your project.
Whiteboard Explainers Co. Ltd.
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Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Tel: +1 (310) 953-9823