If you ever visit the World Wide Web, and I’m guessing you do since you’re reading this, then you’ve probably seen an explainer video. An explainer is a short (under two minutes) animated video that, not surprisingly, explains how a product works or what a new/start-up company does.
These have become very popular in the age of “I don’t have an extra 15 seconds to read that paragraph so just show me in cute pictures the very least I need to know.”
Since well over half the requests we get from prospective clients are for them, I thought I’d give a few pointers on what makes a good explainer video. Feel free to note the irony that this is a written post about a topic that is eradicating written content.
WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN deciding to use EXPLAINER VIDEOS on your site
1. Just the good bits
The point of these videos is to give people just enough information to “get it” and want to find out more. If you try and include every possible point of view and speak to every possible customer you’ll end up confusing more than helping.
2. Keep it short
The quicker you can make your point, the better chance that the viewer won’t browse away to the next thing that catches their attention. Two minutes or less is ideal, but if you can get your point across in 60 seconds… all the better.
3. Talk to YOUR audience
Don’t try to make the video for everyone. If your product is for consumers, don’t spend too much time talking to vendors or B2B partners. On the other hand, if you only work with other businesses, then it doesn’t really matter if regular folks watch it or not. If you can tell your story in a way that everyone understands and likes, great, but don’t seek “viral” in exchange for the right views.
4. If you make it… use it!
These types of videos (at least the good ones) take time to create. Typically we spend 4-8 weeks from start to finish. So, if you’re committed to having an explainer video, give it the real estate it deserves on your site and elsewhere on the web. If the idea is to provide an overview so people want to know more, then why make them have to work to find it?
5. Listen & hear - audio matters
A good voice over is definitely important, but including music and sound effects to help set the tone can be invaluable in making a video feel more interesting or interactive.
6. No video is an island
Just because it seems that everyone out there wants to watch a video, there are still those who want to read. If you can design your site to show the explainer video and then put a simple, easy to read, block of text and pictures nearby, you’ll cover off on all bases.
Like anything else, there are good and bad examples of explainer videos. If you look around, you’ll see everything from (barely) glorified PowerPoints to pieces of art that make you forget your learning anything. So if you think this type of video can help sell your product, introduce your company or anything else, try and use these tips towards a better explainer.
Did I miss anything? What do you look for in a really great explainer video? To view some of the explainer videos we’ve created, click here