There are people out there with problems that your products or services can solve. And often, all that stands between them and a shopping decision is a better understanding of what your product is all about.
That’s where video marketing and explainer videos come in.
Explainers are short animated pieces that offer your audience a simple and engaging description of how your product can solve their problem and improve their life.
As simple as that? Well, if you ask any experienced production company in the business, they’ll all tell you the same thing: Yes, but it’s seldom used to its full potential! As there are a number of crucial details that can make the difference between an O.K. piece and an amazing conversion tool.
In this article, we’ll go over some of those factors, to help you make an effective piece that keeps your brand in people’s minds, and motivates them into action. Let’s go!
Harnessing the Power of Storytelling in Your Scripts to Convince More People
A script’s narrative and storytelling are one of the most important foundation of creating effective video content. Taking the time to focus on your script gives you a better sense of what you’re trying to achieve with your piece, and how to get there. Without a solid script behind your video, your expectations will hardly ever pan out.
The ‘Why’, the ‘What’ and the ‘How’
Every explainer video has a unique way of getting its message across, but their scripts all share a simple yet effective three-act structure. Of course, I’m talking about the story of the ‘why’, the ‘what’ and the ‘how’.
So, first of all, explainer videos begin by answering why your audience should be interested in your product or service. This means starting by introducing the problem your targeted audience is having through the characters in your narrative.
Once you’ve got that out of the way, now is the time to show what your product actually is. It doesn’t need to be too super specific, but at least provide a short overview of your creation: what it does and its main benefits. Because next, you need to show how your product manages to solve your audience’s problem better than any other product in the market for the big finish.
Keeping Your Message Short and Sweet
Because of their straightforward and uncluttered nature, most explainer videos are usually no longer than 90 seconds. Plus, the key message or value proposition should be within the first 30 seconds – as to make sure anyone who sees the beginning of your video walks away having heard the gist of it.
This translates roughly into a written script of around 200 words (or even less in most cases), so you need to hone your message to a razor’s edge!
You don’t need see this as a limitation though. It’s a way to make the most out of people’s short attention span! Most people go online to look for short videos with a direct message that can solve a problem they’re experiencing. And explainer videos are experts at making the complex, simple.
But simple doesn’t just mean short. Explainer videos use simple language and avoid convoluted technical definitions so that there’s no confusion about what your product is and how it works.
Pro tip: Speaking in the 2nd person and using words like “you” and “your” makes your message easier to follow and more relatable to the viewer. And on that note…
Mirroring Your Potential Customers Through Effective Characterization
There’s no better way to address your audience’s issues than with a character they can attach to. Marketing researchers know that shopping isn’t an entirely rational process: there’s some emotional connection with the brand that goes into the process as well.
Empathy can be a hard thing to achieve in advertising, but by creating a relatable character, you are making sure your audience has a better understanding of your story and your message. After all, it’s mirroring theirs!
Don’t get me wrong: a relatable character doesn’t always mean “average” or “plain”. Your audience will resonate with specific characteristics about themselves and their everyday lives. Explainer videos are all about talking directly to your target audience, so this is the moment to show how much you know your clients.
Let’s look at an example from a digital platform called “DocuSign” that facilitates paper-free digital signage.
The piece introduces Stacy – an H.R. manager – and illustrates how the service being promoted works, helping the audience understand its benefits. This is a good example of how effective characterization humanizes your message. People will feel closer to your brand if you show that you care for them and their problems!
Implementing Your Brand’s Color Palette and Other Branding Techniques
Explainer videos come in all sorts of shapes and forms. Some use illustrated animation, others use 3D designs or a clean whiteboard style, and some go simply with live-action. But animated videos have at their advantage, a wide variety of styles and tricks to do branding effectively.
Using your brand’s color palette is a subtle-yet-effective way of branding your video without making it feel like a traditional ad. The following Orthoscience explainer video, uses the platform’s blues and grays (the interface’s main colors) throughout the piece to reinforce the brand style without being too on the nose.
Plus, animated explainer videos work great with apps and software platforms that otherwise can be hard to show how they work. The example above uses cool transitions and motion graphics to make the software come alive.
But the same branding techniques can be used in explainer videos that show characters and locations. This way the color scheme of your video will complement the colors from your product or logo.
Letting the “Entertainment Factor” Do the Marketing for You
The most effective explainer videos are those that make the audience feel something, even if it’s just a little tiny laugh. If you’ve planted an emotion in your audience’s heart, chances are they will remember your video and the product or service you’re offering.
We’ve already covered how a captivating script can use the power of storytelling and likable characters to make your message entertaining. But animation also plays a big part in this. Let’s see what we can learn from this great video from Green Geeks, an eco-friendly web hosting service.
This video uses bright, creative and enticing visuals that hook the audience right away. Web hosting isn’t exactly a service that’s easy to sell in an engaging way, but this video’s animation makes the best of it with a bit of humor and clever imagery. Notice how they show the brand’s benefits with cool illustrations such as rocket spaceships when talking about being the fastest web hosting platform available.
Using Clear Marketing Cues to Prompt Users into Action
Once you’ve got your audience interested, it’s time to tell them where to go next. The CTA, short for Call-To-Action, is the last (but not least!) part of every explainer video. You need to give your audience clear directions of how to purchase your product, use your service, or how to accomplish the actions you want them to take. Doubly so if you are using your video on social media platforms or landing pages!
If your CTA isn’t clear enough, you’re wasting your piece’s conversion potential. It can be as simple as sharing your website or something more direct like “Look for it at your local store”.
Your CTA will also be aligned with where are you planning to share or embed your explainer video. You can adapt your specific message depending if your piece will be hosted exclusively on your website, or shared on your brand’s social media.
As we’ve seen in this article, explainer videos are a key piece of every brand’s marketing campaign. They are great at promoting your product or service in a fresh and creative way that doesn’t feel at all like a traditional ad.
Plus, they offer audiences a solution to their problems that are designed just for them and their needs. This way, explainer videos are the only ones of their kind that can generate brand awareness by showing your company as an expert in the field.
So, if you’re looking to increase conversions while also building a strong connection with your audience, you can’t go wrong with an explainer video.