by Greg Ball, President of Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
If you have a product or provide a service that requires a comprehensive explanation, an explainer video is an excellent marketing tool to use. It not only helps to explain the information quickly and succinctly but is also an excellent way to convert potential customers into leads.
Though they can vary, explainer videos are generally 60 to 90 seconds in length, and often use unique music and voice-overs to capture a viewer’s attention.
An explainer video as part of your overall marketing strategy is a representation of your brand. In addition to providing information, they are used to build brand awareness and convert viewers into customers. They also help create an emotional bond with your customers.
Statistics show that explainer videos work! 97% of businesses reported that their explainer video helped increase viewers understanding of their product or service, and 81% stated that explainer videos helped boost sales.
What can you do with an explainer video?
Most businesses place their explainer video on their landing page and/or website, so viewers who are searching for a particular product or service will be able to see the video you created. This is important because the average time spent on a website is only 8 seconds! But if there’s a video to click on, a visitor will spend more time to watch it. The additional time spent on your site will help to boost your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy because Google rewards longer site visits.
Explainer videos also integrate well with all types of digital marketing campaigns. On social media, for example, videos on Facebook are shared 12 times more than a link or text together. And on a website, a video can increase your conversions by as much as 64%.
So creating explainer videos for your business is often a great move!
Here are some tips to keep in mind as you move forward with the development of your explainer videos.
Should you use animation for your explainer video?
It's not necessary but most explainer videos use animation to capture the viewer’s attention and deliver information. These videos can be really successful, however, the type you use will depend on the target audience you’re appealing to. So be sure you have clearly identified that target market and consider their preferences.
There are also live-action explainer videos that are used to add a personal connection you just can’t get with any other style. It can also add a new depth to your product or service because with live action you can show/demonstrate the product or service in use. Because customers can actually see what they’re buying, live-action helps to boost buyer confidence.
This video that we created for a medical manufacturing company was a combination of both animation and a live spokesperson. They found this to be highly effective. It was a way to cover a very stressful topic in a way that would lighten the mood.
Keep in mind that the more custom your video is, the more it will cost, but there are situations where the benefits far outweigh the cost!
Your script is key when it comes to creating successful explainer videos!
While visuals in an explainer video are very important to convey information, the script is without question the key to the overall success of your explainer video. You could have all the production values imaginable, but if you don’t have a solid script, your video won’t convert.
There are four key goals to keep in mind when creating an explainer video:
- Capture the viewer’s attention quickly
- Explain your product or service
- Convince the viewer why they must have it
- Once these above goals are achieved, you need a strong call-to-action.
All of these goals must be reflected in your script.
Develop characters that engage in your explainer video.
If you’re using an animated character to explain your product or service, remember that it’s going to be the face of your video and your company. The character must connect with your target audience, so be sure that your character engages with your audience by using appropriate clothing, age, facial expressions and other elements that people will relate to.
Use a distinctive and appropriate voice over that will appeal to your target market.
Equally important to the character’s appearance is how he or she sounds. You want to have a distinctive voice over that keeps the viewer locked into your video for the entire time it plays. This is one area where you don’t want to go low budget - a professional voice over talent is worth their weight in terms of pulling all the video elements together. A voice that is less than professional can do the opposite. As most explainer videos are a maximum of 90 seconds, there’s no reason your viewer should lose contact with the screen even for one second!
As with the visuals and the script, you'll want your voiceover to appeal to your target market. That might mean that they could reflect a certain age, culture, etc.
If using animation, opt for a Unique Animation Style
There are many different styles of animation you could use, but when all is said and done, opt for a style that’s totally unique and visually stimulating. At the lower-cost end of explainer videos is a screencast video, where visual elements are moved around the screen. It’s more of an educational approach than a branding one.
There are also “cartoon style” animated videos that use storytelling to disseminate information. They’re often used to “humanize” your brand while building trust with customers. The characters that are created for these videos are intended to represent your brand’s persona. Cartoon style videos are most often used to target small businesses, startups, and end-users.
Whiteboard animation is a style where images and words are drawn onto the screen, often with a hand and marker. Whiteboard animations are created right in front of the viewer’s eyes, grabbing attention while delivering your message. These days, whiteboard animations are considered “old school”. That doesn't rule it out, however. It may be appropriate for your target market and for what you're trying to achieve. Here's an example of a whiteboard animation we created for a company called BariMD:
Another style is motion graphics, which is often more elegant in style and often incorporates 3-D elements and words building and moving on the screen.
Putting your explainer video to work for your business
An explainer video is an excellent investment that not only builds brand awareness and loyalty but helps to boost conversions as well. We’d be happy to show you how we can create an effective explainer video for you that will integrate into your overall marketing effort. Just call us and we’ll share some of our success stories. We’ll even provide you with a cost estimate, with no obligation of course!
Or just contact us to get started.
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About the Author & His Company: Greg Ball, is President of Ball Media Innovations, Inc. We specialize in creating videos for business, including website videos.
Prior to starting the company, Greg ran the Burger King World Headquarters video operation. He founded Ball Media as a Miami video production company in 2002. He eventually expanded services to also become an Orlando video production company. Greg directs shows in both locations, as well as nationally. We offer crews throughout the country.
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