Explainer videos are one of the most important pieces of marketing collateral you'll produce for your business, and they're usually an early priority for new entrepreneurs. They're a useful tool for introducing your brand to new people, and can be used for marketing and advertising purposes as well, covering the basics about what your business does and what customers can expect.
However, some brand explainer videos are demonstrably better than others. So what can you do to improve yours?
Defining Your Goals
First, you need to decide what counts as "success" for your explainer video. There are many examples of "good" explainer videos
out there, but this assessment is usually done from an aesthetic point of view. In reality, there are many different ways for you to define success. For example, is your explainer video trying to introduce your brand as concisely and efficiently as possible? Are you trying to get people to sign up for a demo of your software? Are you simply trying to raise brand awareness and recognizability?
Once you have a goal in mind, you can build your video around it�"and you'll also have a useful metric you can use to determine whether you achieved your goal (or whether the video needs retooling).
Audio and Video Quality
This is a simple step, but it's one that too many brands overlook. If you want people to have a good first impression of your brand, you need to present them a video that's professionally made. That means your visuals and your audio both need to be on point, and produced by professionals who know what they're doing.
If you have an in-house videographer, you'll have an edge, but most startups don't have the budget for someone full-time like this. Instead, you can hire a videographer as an independent contractor, and you can hire a professional audio engineer online
to edit your sound, create custom music tracks, and more.
Elevator Pitch and More
Not everyone who starts watching your explainer video will stick around to watch the whole thing. Accordingly, you should plan the video to appeal to both patient and impatient audiences. Most brands handle this by starting with a quick, short, high-level explanation of how the company works (and what customers can expect). This is basically your elevator pitch
, optimized for your end customers.
You can then follow up with a more detailed explanation. Depending on the nature of your business, this could be a walk-through of your software, a tutorial for how to place an order, or an example of someone who's used your services in the past.
You have the power of video on your side, so take advantage of it. This is your chance to show what your business does, in action. This might mean providing a short demo of how your software works, or it might be a shot of one of your employees in the field. Either way, you'll present people with a depiction of your business that can't be achieved through text alone.
Even if your business is purely digital, people find it easier to connect with brands when they show other people in their videos and marketing collateral. Consider interviewing a real customer onscreen, or having a spokesperson explain how your product works. You could even have the founder of the company briefly talk about their motivation for starting the business in the first place. Try not to make this too salesy or ad-like; the more genuine the people in your video are, the better.
Even if you're confident in the effectiveness of your explainer video, you need to be aware that sometimes, audiences are hard to predict. Just because a model works well on paper doesn't mean it will work well when it goes live�"and just because an idea works well doesn't mean it's the best idea for your business.
One solution to this problem is to conduct an AB test
, or several AB tests. Essentially, you'll create two different versions of your explainer video, with a handful of key differences. Then, you'll introduce them to the same live environment. From there, you can actively measure which version of the video works better and keep the most effective variables. If you keep experimenting, eventually you'll improve your video to perfection.
One of the most important takeaways for explainer video success is that you need to measure your video's performance. How many people are seeing it? How long are they watching it? Are they converting after watching the video? These are the metrics that can guide you in not only determining whether or not your explainer video is effective, but also how to improve it in the future.
Opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of WITI.
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