Explainer videos do exactly what they say on the tin…they take a concept or product and clearly explain to the viewer/potential client, what benefits the product would bring to their life.
Explainer videos that work particularly well are ones that identify the ‘problem’ (getting your viewer to nod in agreement, building empathy) and then outline how your produce or service solves the ‘problem’. They concentrate on ‘benefits’ not ‘features’. They tell a story.
Google use them, Dropbox use them and we use them.
Their popularity is growing rapidly because they can be one of the most powerful ways to explain your business, add humour, clearly explain complexities and they have a sense of detachment.
Detachment is usually seen as a bad thing, but here is the crux, when producing a ‘film’ including interviews, people being people, will judge your interviewee and you run the risk of them not buying into them. With explainer videos, you create an environment where it is easier to get across the message you want to portray with a lower risk of getting sidelined. Of course if the message or animation doesn’t tick the right boxes you can still alienate your audience!
In the case of Dropbox, they ran a failed campaign using Adwords which cost them as much as £245 ($388) per customer. The product price tag being £62 ($99). Until, 5 years ago, they decided upon a very basic website that featured only 2 elements:
1. An explainer video
2. A Download button
This strategy was so successful for them they they now lead the market in this service despite there being dozens of similar services competing in the same space. Of course, the product was good too and we use it on a daily basis.
The website focuses on the 120 second explainer video. It a lot more likely website visitors will press the download button when you know how something works and understand its benefits.
They increase the chances of being reported on. Reporters will be pitched to by a plethora of companies trying to get coverage. If you make it easy for them and show them what problem your product is solving in a short explainer video. then they’re more likely to feature you… and your explainer video, explaining to your target audience why they should use your product/service.
More and more businesses are jumping on the band wagon and why not? There are a host of casestudies documenting success. Visual.ly had over 80,00 signups from a video on its LaunchRock page and Crazy Egg recorded an increase to their income by over £13,000 ($21,000) a month…to name but a few.
There are many reasons that we like creating these but here are our top 4:
1. We can tell a story in a structured way. We have more control over taking the viewer on a journey. With interview based corporate films you are at the mercy of people buying into the interviewee and what they say. If you’ve ever caught yourself inadvertently agreeing with an animation (we call it the “nodding head effect”) then you are probably agreeing and building empathy with the company.
2. We can be more literal. Don’t get us wrong, we love filming and we have as many customers who we produce films for as we do animations. However, the beauty of animation is we can show the viewer exactly what we mean in a very clear, concise way AND create clever traditions between the points to really engage the viewer.
3. Freedom. There are some ridiculous ‘facts’. This is one made by a Dr McQuivey:
“one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words”
And although we don’t believe this figure, we do agree that using image to convey metaphors and having the freedom to create multiple environments/scenarios in less than 60 seconds gives us the freedom to get a client’s message across. You don’t have to rely on the interviewee saying their point succinctly.
4. ROI. – Using Dropbox as an exemplar, their most extreme CPC (cost per click) was (£245) $388. Whereas their explainer video strategy works out at a CPC of $0.001…
You get the point.
Animation Company UK.