The trend for ‘explainer videos’

The trend for ‘explainer videos’

If you’ve been on the internet recently – especially on social media like Facebook and LinkedIn, you’ve probably seen a slew of ‘explainer videos’. 
 
What is an explainer video?
With explainer videos, the clue is in the title. They are short, ‘snackable’, shareable animated videos that explain something (a concept or product or service). Typically they are fun, informative and light-hearted, they are a great way to keep the customer’s attention for long enough to provide understanding about what your business does. 
 
Why are they proliferating?
There are three main reasons for the current proliferation of explainer videos. 
  1. They are a great way to get your message across quickly and simply. Because you’re using animation as well as voice-over, you can convey more meaning in a shorter amount of time than just a written text.
  2. Animation is SO much cheaper to produce now. There are many easy-to-use, cheap, online packages that make it simple to pull together something that is powerful and impactful. From something as simple as a whiteboard explainer using a tool like VideoScribe (a bit like ours, here) or a simple screen-capture video using something like ScreenFlow, or even a simple animation using a package like PowToon, there is a do-it-yourself option for everyone, every budget and every creative direction.  
  3. Google rewards time on page – which means that keeping people on one page (e.g. through the use of video) is a clever idea. 
How much does it cost?
You can DIY, in which case the only costs will be for the software that you use, or the sky is the limit if you want to do live-action video with special effects! As a rule of thumb, you’d probably want to budget around $5K for a professionally produced animation of around 60 seconds. 
 
However, as with any marketing collateral, think about your return on investment. How many people will this attract? How will you measure impact? Where in the conversion funnel will this asset sit?
 
What makes a good explainer video?
  • 30 to 90 seconds (200 words)
  • Catchy music
  • Professional (or at least clear and credible) voice-over
  • Interesting and relevant graphics and/or animation
  • Punchy messaging
  • On-brand (messaging, colours, style)
So why use one?
Obviously there are many ways to get your message across – and people consume media in many different ways. At the moment, the stats do seem to show that video is having its day – people are drawn to it and are consuming a lot of it (often to the end of the video). 
 
However, I think the biggest reason to invest in explainer videos is for your SEO. The more people come to your site and watch your video, the more Google is going to think your site must be relevant and house good quality content, the more highly you will rank, and the more people your site will attract. It’s a virtuous circle. 
 
How do I get one?
  • Firstly, make sure you know what you want to achieve. What exactly do you want to say, and what do you want the watcher to do after watching it?
  • Decide on your budget (after looking at your ROI figures). This will, to a certain extent, determine what type of video you can afford.
  • Create a story-board with ideas on structure, script and graphics
  • Either DIY or go to market to find a professional production house that can bring your idea to light!
Remember, you can always DIY on this – but be aware that, like any marketing collateral, it can be a false economy to scrimp on production costs. You may fail dreadfully with a badly produced video, where slightly more funds might have been all it would have taken to succeed beyond your wildest dreams!
 
If you want help or guidance with your explainer video, get in touch with Atomic Tangerine
 
Sybil Williams
Founder & Growth Catalyst