Since the beginning of time, people have looked for better ways to present their
products and services to potential clients.
Video on the internet is the latest and most powerful technology; Explainer Videos are one of the most effective ways of harnessing it.
But why now?
Until relatively recently, video production was too expensive to use for general communication.
But digital technology has changed all that; you no longer need a huge budget to make and distribute bespoke videos.
In theory, anyone can make a video; in practice millions of people do.
Take a look at YouTube, Vimeo, and the other channels. On YouTube alone, 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute, all day, every day.
But this raises another problem: How do you stand out from the crowd?
The answer: You have to make a quality video and while making a video is dead easy, making an effective video takes skill.
So let’s take a close look at what an Explainer Video is and what makes some of them successful and some of them crash and burn.
Explainer Videos in Context
Explainer videos are short and to the point. The ideal length is about one minute.
They explain in the shortest time and most attractive way possible what the company does and how the visitor can benefit from buying their product or using their service.
They are used in all stages of the buyers’ journey, from attracting new customers to converting existing clients into brand ambassadors.
Why are explainer videos so Short?
Short and to the point are the most vital elements of an explainer video.
We are losing our powers of concentration. On average, we can’t concentrate for longer than 8 seconds and information overload means people don’t have time to waste looking at pages where information is obscured or irrelevant…
So, if there’s no value in the first few sentences, they’re gone.
How does this impact explainer videos?
Simple: Your prospect needs to see relevance or value in the title or first frame of the video before he’ll click the “Play” button.
If they do that, you have about three seconds to hook their attention again to keep him watching for the next 8 seconds and so on until the message is delivered.
This may sound like a tall order and you may argue with the format, but there is no denying the stats.
The Simplicity Trap
When people are really good at something, they make it look easy. As spectators, we are sometimes fooled into thinking we could do the same thing.
Lasso a speeding steer? No problem!
Sing like Madonna? No problem – especially in the shower.
Explainer Videos have exactly that sort of trap.
They look simple, they’re easy to follow. They must be dead easy to make.
Not so fast. Making a professional-level video that achieves what it’s designed to, brings together several disciplines: Scriptwriting, video editing, audio mixing, voice artist and content marketing.
Writing an explainer video Script
Most people can write a clear message if they are given enough time.
But delivering a short, powerful, accurate marketing message takes skill and experience.
Mark Twain nailed it when he said: “If you want me to give you a two-hour presentation, I am ready today. If you want only a five-minute speech, it will take me two weeks to prepare.”
He may have been exaggerating a little, but the message is clear: Very few people who are not scriptwriters will be able to produce an explainer video script that achieves the results required.
The same level of professionalism applies to the visuals, the music, the sound effects, and the actual voice used to deliver the words.
Explainer Video Key Components
While the key to a great explainer video is a tight, well-worked script, all the other elements have to support it.
Remember, you are working with a very fragile commodity – short attention span, an inability to concentrate and a tendency to click away at the first sign of hesitation.
So, what are these components and what do they need?
Explainer videos represent your company, so it follows, you need to select a voice which enhances your company’s image. If the viewer finds the voice at odds with the script or the visuals, they will click out.
Visuals must be simple, crystal clear and back up the script.
This is why graphics and animation are used rather than actors. The precise type of visuals you end up using will depend on budget and the look you’re after.
Graphics and animation also help you push branding in a subliminal way. You can insert company colors and logo into the visuals – but be subtle.
Music has powerful suggestive qualities; it helps the flow and pace of the voice and visuals. It must be carefully chosen. T
To state the obvious, playground or circus music has very clear associations. Imagine the mess if a legal practice used it for their background music. People would hear the words but have images of clowns, ponies and trapeze artists in their heads, instead of lawyers – disaster!
What Types of Explainer Video are There?
Explainer videos aren’t always about attracting and converting prospects.
They have many after-sales uses such as showing customers what can be done with their new purchases, how to set up or realign products for specific uses or how to change things like filters, light bulbs or other consumables a product might have.
They make great additions to instruction manuals. They can quickly and easily clear up all sorts of areas new product owners might find confusing or daunting.
For companies in the services sector, explainer videos are a good way to introduce existing clients to the company’s full range of services and departments they might not be aware of.
Do You Need an Explainer Video?
Now that you know what an explainer video is and what they can be used for, there is no way you should be without at least one.
More and more, clients and companies you do business with will be expecting you to have explainer videos.
They are, quite simply, the new way of communicating; they are the elevator pitches of cyberspace.
Properly executed, they will enhance your communication and give you excellent returns.