Video Marketing: How to make an explainer video

All articles | Video
Published Dec 04, 2017 | Written by Jeremy Knight

Outstanding video marketing campaigns create awareness, drive engagement and influence buyer decisions.

Explainer videos are increasingly becoming the go-to solution for marketers seeking a way to get the best content in front of a company's target audience.

What is an explainer video?

Explainer videos are used to help people better understand your product, vision or service. Often, they include attractive graphics and audio. No matter the lookbook, an explainer video’s main intention is usually to convey your business message in 60 - 90 seconds.

They are one of the most popular formats available for commission by video marketing professionals - and with good reason.

Your buyers are becoming increasingly independent. In fact, when faced with an issue, the majority of people prefer to try and solve their own problems before deferring to support teams or talking to Sales.

Why are businesses investing in explainer videos?

It's no secret that video is an important part of any online marketing strategy.

Research shows that 45 percent of businesses who use video include an explainer video on their home page, and of these businesses, 83 percent say their homepage explainer video is effective.

Videos of this kind help boost conversion rates, generate traffic to your landing pages, promote your educational content and result in fewer support queries. This takes considerable pressure off of your sales team; 68 percent of people would prefer to watch a video as opposed to calling the business. Your explainer video is the pitch that is always ready.

Video has great versatility as a marketing tool - it can be distributed via social, targeted email campaigns, or simply exist as high-quality content on your website.

Choosing your topic

Many users watch explainer videos to learn more about a product or service. In fact, where both text and video are available on the same web page, 69 percent of users say they would prefer to watch a video to learn about a product or service.

It's highly likely there is somebody out there struggling with a problem that could easily be solved by what your business has to offer. Making a video that demonstrates your solution is a good place to start making contact with them.

Perhaps you want to describe your business, or a service you provide? A product launch? Or the summary of a successful blog topic? The opportunities for making video content that educates, entertains and connects with buyer personas are endless.

Use the information you have about your target audience to determine what they would find most useful. Ask your customers for their opinions, analyse your blog metrics and identify the most common questions raised by your audience.

FREE eBook: The Manufacturer's Guide to Developing and Using Buyer Personas

Find something that can be discussed coherently in a short amount of time. Best practice within the industry is to aim for no more than 150 words per minute.

Though you may certainly be able to read more than that in a blog on screen, it’s helpful to adapt your content to suit the video platform. This means speaking simply and clearly as well as allowing pause for thought.

Here’s a simple way to break down your topic:

  1. Problem - Address your customer’s pain points (20 seconds)
  2. Solution - Introduce your product or service as the answer (5 seconds)
  3. How it works - Describe what your solution looks like and how your customer can get started (25 seconds)
  4. A call to action - Move prospects along the sales funnel by providing them with clear next steps (10 seconds)

What should you look for when choosing a web video production partner?

The first thing to do is watch video showreels and compare the portfolios of the web video production companies you are considering.  

Before embarking on a creative project, ask the producer for a quote. It is important to discuss pricing and whether there will be a fixed fee, daily or hourly rate.

SMART goals are fundamental to successful inbound marketing campaigns and there is no reason you shouldn’t apply the same logic to your video project. Get an understanding of likely turnaround times.

Endless revisions can be damaging to your project and its ROI, especially if you are paying a daily rate. It also holds the risk that a project will go stale, and not be delivered to your target audience at the optimal time.

A good web video production team should ask questions about your company - and that goes beyond the subject of your budget and expectations. Key considerations, like the brand (and brand story), the product, message in need of explanation and the customer or target audience should all be understood by the filmmakers you choose.

How do you make explainer videos?

The direction, visual style, editing, length, graphics, animation, voiceover and music will most certainly fall on the shoulders of your production team. However, you may be asked to make some input on the script.

Video is a perfect example of visual storytelling. If you are intimidated by the thought of writing, why not try breaking down your key points into presentation slides?

Many of the same things that make good blogs make good video scripts - a compelling headline, emotive language, short, succinct and helpful copy.

Regarding graphics, be aware of what’s out there! 2D animation, whiteboard, kinetic typography and infographics are just some of the visual styles you could explore. Talk to your video production team to make sure the graphics in your video are inline with your branding.

You may need to share information with them, such as hex codes for your brand colours, so make sure your in-house creatives are involved in the conversation.

When embarking on any video project, always make sure it is in keeping with your overall inbound marketing strategy. 

Follow these guidelines and you will create excellent explainer videos.

New call-to-action

Published by Jeremy Knight December 4, 2017
Jeremy Knight