If a picture is worth a thousand words, then an explainer video is the equivalent to all the words in a brochure or fact sheet, and then some. Explainer videos are usually brief clips (90 seconds to two minutes, tops) that show how something works: think of them somewhere between a commercial and an instruction manual. Smart integrated marketers are also using explainer videos as the centerpiece of successful email marketing campaigns and social media initiatives.
When thoughtfully created, explainer videos can be an unforgettable branding tool. Take, for example, this classic from Dollar Shave Club—and note its 25 million views on YouTube. In addition to laying out its novel subscription model, the video brands the company better than any logo or color palette could. Another great explainer-type video that will make you smile and then figure out how to adapt it for your company is this low-fi, hyperactive video an applicant made to explain his credentials for an internship at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago.
Remember What Your Audience Needs Before you start studying every Will Ferrell movie ever made, know that your video doesn’t have to be funny or aggressively in-your-face. The above videos are perfectly suited for the brands they represent. If your product or service is tech-related or complex, simple and straightforward will serve you and your customers better. Consider this video for the PandaDoc integrated business system. It’s basically just a PowerPoint presentation come to life, embellished with great animations and instructive voiceover.
Your Most Versatile Marketing Tool Of course, you’ll want to put it front and center on your website, but explainer videos are practically made for social sharing. Their zippy format is perfect for capturing and engaging the typical 8-second attention spans. You’ll also want to use it in your email marketing, since adding video to email has been shown to increase click-through by 55% and boost conversion by a whopping 24%.
Are you excited to make one now? Good! Simple is often just as effective as rehearsed and choreographed which means you could have your video online in just a few hours.
Explainer videos should generally be 30-90 seconds in length, which translates into a written script of around 200 words or less in most cases. Start with a strong script. If you’re using people, make sure to avoid “floating head syndrome.” Make sure your video is optimized for mobile. Now get in touch with your inner Spielberg and have some fun!