August 29, 2016

19 Tips for Creating an Explainer Video for Your Brand


explainer video (1)

Explainer videos are short videos that demonstrate how to use a particular product or service. And they can provide a big boost for your brand. When creating an explainer video, for it to be effective you need to make sure that it’s really going to offer benefit and appeal to your target customers.

Below are helpful tips for creating an explainer video for your brand.

Keep It Short

The purpose of an explainer video should be to show people how to use your product or service, or how to solve a specific problem using it. So there’s no need for any complicated backstory or lengthy explanations. Only include the most essential elements to make sure you explain your piece as quickly as possible.

Get To the Point Quickly

But you don’t just need to keep the video short in general. You also need to make sure that you get to the point as quickly as possible within your video. Tell viewers right away about the problem your product will solve so that they know what sort of information you’re going to provide for them.

Online business expert Jim Kukral said in a phone interview with Small Business Trends, “You only have a certain amount of seconds before people lose interest. People watch videos on the internet for two reasons – to have a problem solved and to be entertained. So if you don’t do one or both of those right away, they’ll probably just stop watching.”

Explain the Problem

When creating your video, you can’t make it just about your product’s features and how it works. You need to show people specifically what your product can do for them. So it can be beneficial to explain or demonstrate the problem you’re aiming to solve, so that customers can decide right away whether or not it’s something that they might benefit from.

Show What Makes Your Product Stand Out

After you explain the problem, you can then take a moment to explain why other solutions out there aren’t working, at least not as well as your product or service. This strategy can help you really set your offering apart from the competition.

Focus On the Benefit to Customers

At all times, your video should be focused on what your product or service offers to customers, not all of the cool things that your product can do. Your customers are watching your video because they want to see what your product can do for them. So always word things in a way that highlights the benefit to customers.

Mimic Infomercials

Overall, you can think of your explainer video as similar to one of those late night infomercials. Show people the problem (do you have dirty floors that just never seem clean?), demonstrate why other solutions don’t work (tired of dirty mops?), show how your solution does work (try this magic absorbable towel!), then create a call to action (call now to take advantage of this special offer).

Kukral says, “I’m a firm believer in using the model of infomercials. Everyone has had that experience where they couldn’t sleep late at night so they stayed up and watched some of them. But if you go and look at the construct of those stories, they can make for really compelling content.”

Plan It Out Beforehand

To make sure that your video covers all of those bases, and does so in a way that really appeals to customers, you need to have a very specific plan. Come up with a purpose for your video, and then make an outline to ensure that you hit all of the essential points.

Write an Actual Script

You’ll also need a script to make sure that you come across as knowledgeable, professional and comprehensive in the finished video. Pay careful attention to the wording to make sure that it will appeal to your target customers.

Keep the Tone in Line with Your Brand

In addition, you should make sure that the script is in line with your brand image. If you’re a fun brand, keep the tone light and use a bit of humor. If you’re more serious, keep it professional.

Find a Style That Works for Your Business

The overall style and format of the video can also vary based on your business and what type of product or service you are explaining. For instance, if you’re selling a software product, it might make sense to create a video that shows your screen as you work. But if you sell a more general service, you might create an animation to really demonstrate how your offering works.

Research Similar Ideas, but Keep It Original

When you’re coming up with ideas for your video, it can be helpful to look at what others in your industry are doing. Get some inspiration for things like the format, but make sure you keep the actual content and tone of your video completely original.

Make Sure the Video Format is Necessary

In some cases, businesses create videos that might actually be better suited for other formats. If you’re creating something that’s strictly visual, maybe it could make for a good infographic. Or if you’re really just talking and showing unrelated imagery, the content may be better suited for a blog post or podcast. Make sure that if you’re creating a video, it’s actually offering some kind of necessary benefit for viewers.

Utilize Voice-overs

One way you can make sure that your video is offering some kind of benefit is by using voice-overs. While you’re showing customers how your product or service can benefit them, you can also explain it to them very succinctly.

Professionally Shot Video Helps, but Isn’t Required

There are plenty of professional videographers and video marketing agencies out there that can help you put together an explainer video that looks really professional. And that’s certainly a good thing. But having a video that looks professional won’t magically make your content appeal to people. So depending on your budget, you might consider hiring professionals. But it isn’t an absolute necessity.

Still, Don’t Forget to Edit

But even if you can’t afford to hire professionals, you need to make sure that your video looks at least somewhat professional. Use some video editing software to mix your visuals and audio in a way that makes sense. And make sure that your finished product is something that really matches with your message.

Focus on the Story

Again, the most important part of your video is the actual message. Once you’ve completed shooting and are working on editing, make sure that you’ve hit all of your major points quickly and created something that will hold people’s attention.

Create a Call to Action

As mentioned above, at the end of your video, you also need to include a call to action if you want your video to have any impact. Do you want people to buy your product? Tell them how. You need to be very direct and make it as simple as possible for your customers.

Share It on Relevant Channels

Then, you need to actually distribute the video so that your target customers will see it. You might consider including it on your homepage or a relevant product page. Or you could share it on YouTube, Facebook, or any other social channels where your customers could benefit from it.

Measure ROI

Once your video is completed and posted, you need to keep an eye on how many people watch it and what kind of an impact it has on your sales or subscribers. You want to make sure that it is really benefiting your business.

Video Camera Photo via Shutterstock

6 Comments ▼
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Annie Pilon - Staff Writer


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

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6 Reactions

  1. Aira Bongco

    I think explainer videos are great because they are using the video platform – which is better in terms of visuals and packing a lot of information in less time. I think it is one of the best type of content that you can put out there.

  2. Martin Lindeskog

    Annie,

    I will forward your post to the person who will help do a more professional video for my crowdfunding campaign for my forthcoming first book on tea, and for my patronage page on Patreon, for my podcasting and blogging content creation material.

  3. As a guy who writes scripts for explainer videos for a living, I’ve got to emphasize the “Write an Actual Script” part – along with how difficult it is to get it right.

    Explainers run around 90 seconds. That’s about 225 words. Telling your story in 225 words is *hard.* Telling it in a highly visual way that will connect with your audience and drive them to action is almost impossible for someone who’s never written for short form video before.

    I highly suggest finding a pro to work with you on your script, especially if it’s your first time.

  4. Thanks for the tips. I am actually thinking of creating some explainer videos for my business because it looks likes videos are going to be big this year.

  5. Thanks for the tips. I need all the help I can when I create my first explainer video. I am also looking for a good editor. Any suggestion?

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