5 Tips for Creating Amazing Explainer Videos
What is an explainer video? They are those short videos you see on a website homepage that show you all about the product. They are everywhere these days. A good explainer video can go a long way to boost a companies customer engagement and click through rate. This makes it extremely important to make sure your company has a well-made video. It would be a shame to miss out on a customer because your explainer video was poorly produced.
Let's talk about the top ways you can produce high-quality explainer videos that captivate your audience and keep customers rolling in.
I started with this one because it's one of the most important ones. Simplicity might sound easy but it's a difficult thing to grasp when creating your video. It's easy to want to dump in as much information into your video as possible. You want to answer every question your customers might have. You want to have every inch of the screen covered in graphics and movements.
People like things that are clear and concise. They don't need to know all the nitty-gritty of what you're about. They only need to know enough to become interested in learning more. That's the role of an explainer video. Give your customers the right amount of information so they continue browsing through your website.
Simplicity is often confused with less creativity but it's quite the opposite. As the late, great Steve Jobs once said:
“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
It's always harder to decide what to pull out of a video than it is deciding what to put in. Don't fall into the trap of dumping loads of information onto your customers. Keep it simple and they will want to find out more.
2. Center Around the story, not the sale.
We see ad after ad. We see them online, we see them on tv. There are even commercials before the previews at the movie theater. It’s everywhere and it’s only getting worse. These ads are annoying and tend to repel the customers instead of bringing them to your brand. So what do you do?
Well, ever since we were little, we’ve loved storytelling. One of the best ways to grab and keep the attention of another human being is to tell them an interesting story. There is nothing better (or maybe worse) than a cliffhanger at the end of a TV series you love. That’s why we Netflix binge. We can’t help but watch next episode after next episode. It’s why we go see movies. People love stories. They don’t even have to be that great. That’s why there are 7 FF movies.
Tell the story of your product. Tell your customer how it came to be. Tell them the details. Get behind the scenes and make them feel like they're on the inside. Concentrate on the value that your product will bring and you won’t have to sell it. Your product will sell itself. Make the story relatable to your potential customers. Your service will sell itself. So how do you do that?
Explain to your customers why they should care about you. Most the marketing you see today forgets this. They’re telling people to love them, but they're missing out on telling them why they should love them. Consumers have needs and problems that need solving. We’re willing to spend the money to address them but we need to feel like we are a part of the solution. We need to feel like the company we are giving our money to, understands us and our needs.
When you’re telling your story, be relatable. Tell personal stories of real people who have used and benefitted from your product. Seeing commercials that use fake actors to share their "opinions" is such a huge turnoff. It’s garbage and it sticks out like a sore thumb. Avoid it at all cost. Use real people. People who love your product will be ecstatic to share their story. You just have to ask them.
I’ll never forget the Nike commercial I saw a few years ago. It was so simple. It was a long road, surrounded by farmland. And just over the horizon, you see this overweight kid running. He slowly gets closer to the camera and you can hear him breathing heavy and hear his footsteps running on the pavement. If you’ve ever tried running to get into shape, you can genuinely feel his pain, but more importantly, you can feel his motivation. All the while the VO was talking about how greatness is something we can all achieve, no matter who we are. Now I don’t know if he was an actual user of Nike products, but it felt like he was.
It made me want to go out and buy a pair of running shoes. Personal stories are motivational. People responds so strongly to motivation so look for a true, inspiring, and motivational story you can share with your customers. They will respond by acting on your product as well as sharing with their friends. Whenever there is a truly inspiring video on the internet, EVERYONE knows about. It feels good to share it. It makes you feel like you’re the one motivating someone.
The emotions your video creates, whether it’s joy, sadness, anger, etc. will provide a great opportunity for you to finish with a call to action. Don’t let this emotion go to waste. Prompt your potential customer to act. Provide a specific URL for them to visit with a custom landing page relevant to the video they watched. All great stories have a beginning, middle, and an end. There is only one difference between marketing videos and videos made for entertaining. That difference is the call to action. By sharing a story but failing to have an appropriate call to action, you may attract several viewers, but you won’t make any money.
3. Educate by answering questions.
Every company knows that they receive questions from their customers and potential customers. How does the product work? How can I cancel if I don’t like it? What guarantees do I have if it breaks?
Make a list of all these questions. Then take some time brainstorming potential questions that may come up. Decide which three questions will most likely prevent customers from buying. Take each question and make a short video answering these questions. This is much more effective than a page full of frequently asked questions.
By providing all the information upfront, you make your customers comfortable spending money, while raising their trust in you. The worst thing you can do is catch your customers in a ‘gotcha’ moment after they’ve made the purchase. They will feel lied to. They will become angry with your company and become huge detractors for you and your brand. Angry people are much more likely to share a bad review than a satisfied customer.
Spend time thinking about the questions customers might have and areas that need clarification. Gain their trust by explaining everything upfront. These shorter videos are great for social media as well. Customers will more likely share and watch them than something longer.
Features and Benefits
A common mistake people make is sharing all the features without explaining the benefits. The features and benefits, or as I like to call it, feats and bennies, are an extremely effective marketing tool. It allows the customer to imagine themselves with your product or service. It puts them in a world where they can decide if your product is worth it or not. This helps your product or service become more accessible. The customer can imagine themselves using your product. If you spend all your time blasting them with features but don’t tell them why they should care, you are losing big business.
If Apple told you they were using the latest Bluetooth in their iPhones, most people wouldn't care. If they tell you it allows for stronger connections and better battery life, you might be more interested. You can now see the value of that feature.
Another example of a great educational video was one that McDonald's created several years ago. It attempted to put an end to the “pink goop” pictures that were going around the internet.
I imagine the sales of their nuggets and possibly all their products took a huge hit. So instead of making some kind of “press release” about their food that nobody would read, they made a video. The video was of one of their employees walking us through the factory where they make chicken nuggets. They showed fresh chicken breast meat and how it was ground up and shaped and then fried and it never once turned pink. Pretty effective if you ask me.
Education is the number 1 reason that marketers ever bother making a video. Educating on new products, new services, or debunking a myth. People love to learn about the products before they buy them so don’t miss out on this opportunity to teach them something cool.
4. Create a campaign.
A campaign consists of a series of videos with the same theme throughout. The campaign could focus on pointing out lesser known features of your service or it could be about empowering people who use your product. Campaigns have the ability to create a familiarity with your brand. Consumers become a part of your brand instead of just spectators. When they see a new video from your campaign series, they get excited and pay more attention to it, so they don’t feel like they’ve missed out on the story.
A well thought out campaign also creates a sense of excitement and your viewers will be more likely to share it on social media. Especially if they are the first to see it.
You will find that campaigns are going to cost a bit more to produce. You are going to want to spend the extra time up front planning out the entire campaign before anything gets created. This may be extra time spent upfront but will save you time and money in the long run. Because of this extra cost to create a larger campaign, it is important to figure out how you’re going to track your return on investment (ROI). If your campaign is slated to run over the next 6 months, make sure you have your analytics in place to measure your sales or measure your web page hits. It’s important to create a specific landing page for your campaign. This way you can track the people who visited your landing page vs. the number of views your video received.
How will your customers act on your video? Will they visit a web page or will they fill out a form or will they make a purchase? It’s important to have this all in place and ready to go before launching the campaign.
Create at least one or two marketing campaigns a year. It helps your company stay focused. It makes your marketing efforts more intentional. It is important to note, however, make sure you are always keeping a close eye on your analytics. People will get tired of seeing the same campaign for too long. Don’t be afraid to leave them wanting more.
5. Can You Hear Me Now?
Lastly, but certainly not least, let's talk about sound. In my opinion, the sound is one of the most overlooked aspects of a good explainer video. We become so obsessed with the message and the visuals, that we miss out on the opportunity to sell with sound.
Audio has such a strong tie to our emotions. Sounds can make us feel a certain way about a situation. If we are watching a video of children at the park, it is much more effective when you hear the kids laughing and playing. You hear the sound of the swings squeaking back and forth. You hear the birds chirping. It brings you back to a simpler time.
Back when we were all using rabbit ears to watch TV, we would have to move those things around until we got decent picture and audio. The funny thing about that is we were always more likely to watch a show if the picture was bad but the audio is good. But if the audio was bad, there is no way we even try watching it until we get better sound.
By using these techniques, you can create a successful explainer video for your company. If you have questions or want to get started on your new video, shoot us an email! We would love to hear from you!