What do readers pay attention to the most out of any other form of content?
It’s video. People love to pay attention to video, especially younger consumers. Text
content still has its place, of course, but the fact that videos grab attention means that
marketing teams should consider using it at strategic points. Including a video on a landing
page can dramatically increase conversions, anywhere from 10%-80% according to
rkale.com, and a study by Animoto found that four times as many consumers would rather
watch a video about a product than read about it.
So you definitely don’t want to ignore video completely! But how do you get started?
An easy way to dip your toe into video is to create an explainer video. Even if you don’t
know what one is, the odds are high that you’ve seen one on a website, an email, or even
as a YouTube ad. Here’s what you need to know to make an excellent explainer video.
What Is An Explainer Video?
An explainer video is a short piece of video content that powerfully explains something to
the reader. Often it explains a business’ product or service, but videos can also be used to
explain a complicated concept in an easy-to-understand manner.
- Are often short, no more than 30-90 seconds in length.
- Can use animation, screenshots, or live video depending on the need.
- Communicate one clear idea that solves a problem
- Gives the viewer a clear action to do after viewing
Due to their short length, budgeting for an explainer video is within the reach of most
businesses. The costs can go down a lot if you can learn how to make videos in-house.
That said, since explainer videos are used to capture attention, they can’t be haphazardly
Do You Have An Example?
This post from Hubspot has some excellent examples of explainer videos, most of which
follow the rules we just described. CONCURED has one too, and we’ll be using it to
explain our reasoning behind explainer video creation. Check it out before you continue!
The First Step: What Do You Want To Explain?
The first thing to do when making any piece of content, including explainer videos, is to
know what role it plays in your content strategy. What do you want the video to do? Some
videos, like ours, clearly describe our product. Some videos in the Hubspot post explain things like artificial intelligence and APIs in a way that is easy for the layperson to
But there’s more to it than just describing a concept. Explainer videos also ask the viewer
to do something at the end. That could be signing up for a subscription to your product or
signing up for a mailing list to receive more videos. Furthermore, the call to action (CTA) in
a video should be targeted to a specific audience.
Avoid trying to have your video reach your entire audience unless your audience is quite
specialized. Think about who your most valuable segment is, or the one that you want to
grow the most. What needs do they have that you can fulfill, and how can you explain that
you solve that need? Distill that into a sentence or two and you have the core of the video.
Let’s take our explainer video as an example. We want to reach enterprise-level content
marketers who are having trouble fulfilling the demands that upper management is asking
for and give them a tool that will help them answer those questions. We give marketers an
AI-powered tool that can answer questions about the audience, the performance, the
competition, and the ROI of their content marketing strategies.
The Second Step: How Do I Explain It?
90 seconds of video is roughly 200 words of content. That’s not a lot to communicate your
idea. That’s why explainer videos often follow an elevator pitch format:
- Describe a problem
- Introduce your solution
- Explain how your solution solves the problem
Notice that the problem should be singular. There is not enough time to cover every use
case for your product or service. Choose a single problem that weighs heavily on your
audience segment’s mind that your product can solve quickly and thoroughly. Then, solve
it. Show how your product solves the problem.
Avoid the trap of dwelling on features. If the viewer is enticed by the video then they can
read about those in your other content. Show how you solve the problem first!
In our video, in a nutshell, the problem is “How do I, a content marketer working in an
enterprise business, get upper management off my back about how my work is benefitting
the company?” We open with a story we’ve heard many times from new clients and show
some of the common questions in the animation. Then we reveal our product and how it
solves those questions.
Another feature we added was the use of testimonials. If your product is something on the
cutting-edge, like ours is, sprinkling in social proof by including testimonials and the names
of brands who are using your product can be a big help. Otherwise, it may sound like
you’re offering something too good to be true.
There are two tools that will help you get ready for video production. The first is creating a
script that communicates what you want while remaining short. The second is to create a
storyboard of your video. A storyboard is like a rough pictorial summary of the segments of
your video, just enough to get the idea across to whoever will be creating your video.
Having these in hand before you try creating the video or approaching an outside company
will make the process much smoother.
The Third Step: How Do I Make It?
Most companies do not have video creation experience. Before video creation tools were
so accessible, businesses had to go to commercial production studios to cut a video. Now
we can do it ourselves, in theory. But if you’re looking to knock something out the park
then you may need to look at a professional studio unless you’re willing to spend a lot of
time and money learning how to do it yourself or hiring someone internally.
Hiring a video production crew is not cheap. You’ll be looking at an investment of several
thousand dollars to start, maybe even tens of thousands if you choose to make a live-
action video. One of the big reasons animated explainer videos are so popular is because
they are much cheaper to create than live-action videos.
There is a third option as well. There are plenty of video templating tools available to try
out. Just do a search for “explainer video” in Google and you’ll turn up a crop of them in
the first results page. These tools make creating video much simpler but can also make
your video feel much like others that used the same tool. You’ll also have to invest in the
tool but it won’t be as much as a video production crew.
Reflect on the potential ROI of your video. If this is something that is going to live on your
front page, it’s worth paying for something a little more showy. But if it’s a simple FAQ
video or a how-to on how to use a feature of your product, you may just need some
screenshot software and someone in your company who sounds good on video. If you
have a PowerPoint expert in your company, you could recruit them to do the slides and
transitions for your video.
Another way to cut costs is to avoid the use of voice and use the words in your animation
instead as a subtitle. Subtitles are a great idea to include in your video. Research by
Digiday says that 85% of Facebook videos are watched with the sound off. It’s also a good
idea to use subtitles for accessibility purposes.
The Last Step: Posting And Tracking The Results
Once you have your video, it’s time to post it and track the results. There are specialized
tracking tools for video analytics like Wistia but your current analytics setup may work just
as well. If you plan on using your video on a cross-channel fashion then go for the fancier
The tone of your video should match the tone of the copy on the page it is displayed. If
your video appeals to younger viewers but your copy is old-fashioned then that can cause
some brand confusion. Place it where it can have maximum impact. If you are introducing
your product, you’ll probably want it near the top of the fold. If it’s a FAQ, put it near the
question or have it reveal when the visitor clicks on it.
Now you know the power of explainer videos for increasing the ROI of your company by
delivering insightful information to visitors while their attention is strong. You know how to
create the purpose of your video, explain what you want to say in an impactful way, the
approaches for making a video, and some tips on how to display it on your page and track
As you devote more of your attention to video, you’ll most likely still be haunted by the
same questions that content marketers have…what do I talk about? The CONCURED
platform offers deep AI-based insights that answer just that very question. Schedule your
demo today and take HOURS (maybe even days) off of your ideation time.