Why Should You Use Explainer Videos?
So you think you want an explainer video on your website? Well, there are plenty of reasons why you should be seriously considering this option to improve your conversion rate on key pages.
- People are 174% more likely to buy after watching a product video
- Videos are typically shared around 12 times more than links and text posts combined.
- Posts with videos attract 3 times more inbound links than those without video.
- 90% of the information received by our brain is visually processed. You can communicate much more information in the same amount of time using visuals.
- Visitors spend around double the amount of time on pages with videos on them.
Videos can be great for a number of purposes:
- Business – Get your visitor’s attention by explaining your
product or service is less than two minutes
- Crowdfunders – Having a video as part of a funding campaign
often helps raise double the money than if you don’t have a video to explain your proposition and business plan.
- Authors – Can benefit from having an engaging and
entertaining book trailer.
- Marketers – Communicate your latest service or content using
- Contests – Grab attention for promotions or contests using a
You can then use your video on your website and drive more
traffic to your website by uploading it to YouTube and sharing it on social media. Crazy Egg has a video on their homepage and they estimate it generates an additional $21,000 a month in new income.
Types of Explainer Videos:
1. Live Action Video:
A non-animated video can be good if you are selling a tangible product or a people-oriented service, such as a design agency or consultancy. People love to see what a product looks like in context and having the people who your customers would interact with in a video may help establish an emotional connection.
However, live-action videos do restrict you to the real world and so special effects are limited and unless you have a large budget your location is also going to be local.
2. Animated Explainer Videos:
This type of videos allows for much more creativity in your visual story and they are easier to edit or refresh if you need to adapt them at a future date. Animated videos are particularly good for explaining services and intangible products, such as digital tools or
If you don’t have a physical product or object to show you can use an animated video to construct a compelling narrative about how your solution will be the answer to your customer’s problem.
3. Whiteboard Explainer Videos:
This is where the animation is hand drawn and erased using a whiteboard. It is popular because of its simplicity and the low
cost of producing such a video. However, they can be very compelling and powerful at telling your story.
4. Kickstarter Videos:
Almost every Kickstarter project has an explainer video because it’s a great way to sell an idea and persuade people to part with their money. They do tend to be longer than your average explainer video, but Kickstarter does give you easy access to lots of examples of explainer videos.
Ok, if you are convinced you want to use explainer videos it is important that you have a reliable process to create a video. Outlined below are six steps people normally follow to produce an awesome explainer video.
Step 1: Get Script Right First.
The main determinant of whether your video will improve
conversion or revenue is how good the script is. The audio script needs to engage and persuade viewers that what you are communicating is relevant to them and worth staying
with until the end of the video. You are likely to be better at understanding your product or service than a video studio or freelancer. So a draft script should be generated from within your organisation to capitalise on this knowledge.
The aim of the video should be to answer any important questions that your potential customers may have within two minutes. If you can’t do this within the time you should review the amount of detail that you are going into or the scope of the video.
Step 2: Understand Customer Goals and Concerns:
It is important that you take a step back at this point and assess how well you understand your potential customers or reader’s needs. Your visitors come to your site to complete a task or achieve a goal. To allow you to structure your script you need to be able to answer some or all of the following questions about your visitors by conducting some research:
What tasks are they looking to complete by coming to the site?
- If they didn’t complete their main tasks, what prevented them from doing so?
- What information is missing from the page?
- What is their biggest concern about the product or the site?
- What, if anything, is unclear or confusing on the page?
- What is their number 1 reason for wanting to buy the product?
You can use tools such as SurveyMonkey or Qualaroo to ask your
website visitors questions and see my post how to use Voice of Customer tools to boost conversion for other providers. This should help you identify the main barriers to customers purchasing and what questions you could seek to answer in the video. By better understanding the topic from your customer’s perspective you are more likely to press the right buttons and deal with potential objections.
Step 3:The Script:
To keep your video to within two minutes it necessary to plan your script carefully so that you deal with the most important customer
objections and effectively communicate why your product/service will meet their needs.
- Introductory slide:
This should communicate what your organisation does or the
product/ service that you are promoting. Ensure it states a clear and important benefit.
- Introduce the problem:
Outline the problem that potential customers have using the language expressed in your visitor research.
- Explain your solution: Answer the problem with how your product or service provides a solution and again try to use some of the language customers used in your Voice Of the Customer research.
- Focus on important features: Make sure you communicate how some of your product’s features solve specific and important problems.
- Call to action: Ensure you include a clear and compelling
call to action at the end of the video so that people are clear what to do next.
- Build trust: Demonstrate why customers can have confidence in your organisation by displaying trust signals. This should be
evidence such as well-known clients or partners, awards or other independently verified seals of approval. A free trial offer can also reduce the perceived risk from the customer’s perspective of making a wrong decision.
To retain viewer interest you should aim to have a video of 90
seconds or less. As a script of between 110 to 140 words should translate into a minute of video, you may want to aim for around 165 to 210 words in total. Other things to consider are:
- Communicate your most important message and value proposition in the first 30 seconds
- Use 2nd person language, using words such as “you”, “your” and “yours”
- Avoid jargon and technical words to keep the language simple
and easy to understand.
- The tone of voice should be appropriate for the subject and
your audience. This usually means that people choose a casual, conversational tone of voice.
Step 4: Choose A Narrator.
You can find your own voice-over, perhaps you have a brand ambassador or local celebrity, who has done adverts for you before. Alternatively you can ask your video studio or freelance to suggest someone for you. Either way they need to have clear diction and a tone of voice that aligns with the subject matter and your audience.
Step 5: Create Your Video.
Here you have a number of options from leaving it all to a professional studio to producing your own animated video using a do-it-yourself website. However, given that it is good practice to A/B test your video and you are unlikely to produce the optimal video on your first attempt, I suggest you keep the cost to the minimum. You are likely to have to tweak or even make new videos as part of the optimization process. Further, if your product changes fairly frequently you may be forced to make new videos on a regular basis.
The main options are:
1. Professional Studios:
A studio will be more expensive than a freelancer or DIY option, but they do have the advantage that they can often also help with such tasks as choosing a narrator and background music. You will find
over 100 explainer video studios in near the bottom of this post.
The list includes Explainify who have produced videos for Nestle and Walmart, while PlanetNutshell have been used by Google and Microsoft . Demo Duck on the other hand have worked for Netflix and Crazy Egg.
This option tends to be cheaper as freelancers have to be more competitive to get the business and don’t have the high overheads of a digital studio. You can either search the internet for a freelancer or use a crowd source website, such as Video Brewery, who will arrange for a handful of quotes from their network of professional freelancers. This makes the whole proposal process a lot easier for you.
3. Do It Yourself:
If you have the time and inclination you can create your own
animated videos. Websites such as GoAnimate, Videoscribe
and PowToon provide you with easy to use solutions and advice on how to go about this process.
Step 6. A/B Testing Video:
It is always wise to A/B test your video for a number of reasons. A great video can certainly engage visitors and improve conversion,
but a video that is on the wrong page, is too long, has a poor script or lacks a compelling call to action can in some cases reduce conversion. So you may have to test more than one video to find one that improves conversion and then you should continue to adjust the video to test different versions or calls to action to optimise the video.
Check that you have analytics tracking for your video. If you use video players such as Sproutvideo and Vimeo they provide analytics to allow monitoring of how many unique impressions and plays your video receives. These video players can also tell you the location of viewers and the type of device that visitors are using. This can help you with deciding how to amend your video to further improve your conversion rate.
For your video to be successful it is important to follow a clear
process and set an appropriate budget for creating your explainer video. By following the steps outlined above you will increase the chance that your video will be both relevant and engaging for your website visitors. You will also have allowed for A/B testing to further optimize your video content and be flexible enough to respond to product changes.
Here are some great examples of different templates of business explainer videos that you may find useful.
Studios & Production Video Companies:
Here is a list of over 100 studios and video production companies for you to choose from. I have checked every link personally to ensure they are relevant to explainer videos.
- #1ExplainerVideo: A studio for creative animated explainer videos. Clients: Google, XBox360, Personality Plus, Ion Digital
- 1/29 Films: Inspiring brand loyalty and love. Clients: Intel, BrightCove, Adobe
- Advids: Online studio for explainer videos on-demand. Clients: Mercedes Benz, Valmont, holidog.com
- AmodFilms: Animated video production studio using video to explain & promote. Clients: Hasbro, iimyjobs.com, iBluebottle
- Animated Video: Studio for explainer & promotional videos. Western Union, The World Bank, AAPT
- AnimationB2B: Animated explainer video. Clients: Reebok, Zenith Optimedia, Hashi-Tashi, Socializer S.A.
- Animotus: Amsterdam-based animated explainer videos. Clients: Juniper Networks, Westcon, Amsterdam RAI
- AppVideos: Explainer videos for mobile apps and software. Clients: Flockthere, Vito Technology, Quickoffice
- Barq Video: Animated explainer video production. Clients:
- BWD: Johannesburg based digital marketing agency. Clients: NEDBANK, T Systems, BOSUN
- Blink Tower: Animated explainer videos. Clients: National Academy of Engineering, Mozilla, Vodacom
- Brandlovevideos: Animated explainer videos to help sell your site. Clients: moviebuddy, VirtualDoctor, inFeedo
- Brandepix: Make kick ass videos that focus on the bottom line. Clients: HP, Infosys, ORACLE, Makemytrip.com
- Breadnbeyond: Offers Free guide on animated explainer videos. Clients: AskForTask, Pinterest, BetterBoo, Wealth Dragons
- Broadcast2world: Hand crafted videos for your business. Clients: ebay, Nokia, Johnson & Johnson, RICOH
- Cartoon Media: Awesome explainer videos built to achieve your profit goals – Premium Whiteboard Videos & explainer videos. Clients: Mazuma Mobile, HILTI, Wrexham Council
- Coat of Arms Post Production: – Unique explainers & original post production services. Clients: Land Rover, Undercover Cupid, Marriott
- Common Craft: Hand crafted media for explainers.
- Corporate Video Sharks: Animated video production
- Creamy Animation: Explainer and whiteboard videos. Clients: Microtek Corporation, Unstoppable, Pure Mortgage
- Creative Theory: A Canadian based creative and business services agency that operates in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. Offers video production services.
- Cullin Collective: Explainer and explanation videos. Clients: basho, Zopim, onit, AES International
- Daily Planet: A full service design and production studio. Clients: Subway, Nationwide Insurance, CocaCola, AT&T, Capital One
- Demo Duck: Make little videos that get big results – Clients: Netflix & Crazy Egg
- DemoFlick: Customer explainer videos
- DemoNinja: Explainer video, tour video and app demo video
- Easy Explain Video: explain, educate, entertain – explainer videos
- EdmanTV: Freelance producer and motion graphics designer specialising in website videos
- Epipheo Studios: A digital video studio that creates video content for large enterprises and small businesses alike.
- Explainers.in: Your story, explained in video
- Explania: Animated explanations, interactive tutorials and instructional videos. Free to embed existing videos on your own website
- Explainify: It’s about awakening your best story. Showing people what your brand is all about. Clients: Walmart, Coca Cola & Expedia
Engaging. Instigating. Converting.
- Explain It Videos: Animated explainer videos for your mobile apps.
- Explanimate: Corporate animation company based in Brisbane, Australia
- Flikli: Create top-notch animated videos faster and more affordably than ever before to make your brand truly shine
- Flock of Pixels: Vimeo animation, motion design and post production. Clients: Amex
- Fueled: Award winning mobile design & development. Clients: Porsche, Ducati, P&G
- FunnerVids: Make fun, inexpensive, animated business explainer videos that will wow your customers. Clients: Micro Strategies, Convince & Convert.
- Fire Starter Videos: America’s number 1 animated video company. Free e-book about explainer videos. Whiteboard, cartoon, demo and explainer videos. Clients: MasterCard, Volvo, unicef, The World Bank
- Gisteo: Creates one-of-a-kind marketing videos built to engage, entice & convert. Clients: ORACLE, Intel, KPMG, CITRIX
- GoAnimate & GoAnimate for schools: Make professional animated videos. Easy learning curve,low budget, simple do-it-yourself tools. Clients: CNN, WIRED, Mashable, The Wall Street Journal
- Green Iguana: Video production company, cartoons & animation, customer live action & stock videos, motion graphics & 3D. Clients: pci Security Standards Council, Virtual, Spirit Telecom
- Grumo Media: Product demo videos. Clients: Microsoft, Walmart, Fidelity Investments, Halifax, Recket Benckiser
- Howcast: The best how-to videos on the web. Clients: Next, Adobe, Virgin Media
- How It Works Media: Animated explainer videos.
- Idea Rocket: Put your message into orbit with animated videos. Clients: Bank of America, Alcatel Lucent, Verizon, Electronic Arts
- Illustrate It: Digital media agency who create compelling videos for companies. Clients: Uber Media, P&G, Microsoft, Call Fire
- In 60 Seconds: Develops creative concepts, infographics, video productions and animations. Clients: Philips, eon, Oxfam Novib.
- Instruxion: Digital agency who specialise in conceptual design, development and distribution of high-impact digital content to achieve your business objectives. Clients: Sony, Bayer, IKEA
- Kasra Design: Premium animated explainer video, corporate video and anything in between. Clients: Panasonic, HTC, Dell
- Kicker Inc: Emmy award winning video production. Clients: Nike Golf, ATB Financial, Share Vault
- Kukuzoo: Canadian based animated explainer video production company. Clients: South Dade Toyota, Western University Canada
- Less Films: Create videos that turn web traffic into customers – Free case study. Clients: Salesforce, Dashlane, Grasshopper
- Legwork Studio: Digital agency which delivery app design & development, ecommerce and explainer videos.
- LooseKeys: Chicago based video production company who don’t just make videos, but tell stories. Clients: Cars.com, nakedwine.com
- Lumeo: Affordable explainer videos. Clients: Accenture, Plexus, Professionals Australia
- Mable Animation: Mable Animation is a passionate illustration and animation studio located in Adelaide, South Australia
- Media Whale: Explainer animation video production company. Clients: Appsee
- MKShft: Creative company based in San Francisco. Clients: Saatchi & Saatchi, Twitter, HTC, Velocidi PR, Bloomberg
- MindBug Studios: Your ideas explained in short, fun, animated video. Clients: Rent Hackr, NOPSEC
- Mypromovideos: We make your message sell. Clients: Ogilvy, Flipkart.com
- Motion Crafter: Explainer video production company. Clients: HP, Rackspace, Allstate
- Panda Motion: We make explainer videos. Clients: Squarespace.com, Quipster
- Paper Krane: Portland-based studio that makes engaging & affordable animated marketing videos. Clients: Adidas, Clean Water Services, SkyLift
- Picturelab: A team of creative folk who are passionate about visual storytelling and everything web and tech. Clients: Google, eSignal
- Piehole: Create kick ass video to explain what you do. Clients: Zapper, Agent Converter, Smartvault.com
- Planet Nutshell: We make videos called Nutshells that explain alien concepts to everyday people. Clients: Microsoft, Google, cpb
- RapidFire Consulting & Video: Explainer videos to help tell your story.
- Revolution Productions: Authentic Marketing Videos
& Animated Video Production. Clients: Lexis Nexis, John Deere, The World Bank
- RocketWheel: Ignite your sales with video on mobile & desktop. Clients: Amazon, Symantec, Dell, Bloomberg BNA
- Sandwich Video: Make videos and TV commercials, mostly for neat tech products. Clients: Groupon, OSMO, Slack
- Say it Visually: We explain complex ideas for clients. Clients: Amazon, Chevron, Met Life
- Sean Duran Studios: A freelancer who creates live action and animated videos. Clients: Panasonic, Coachd, Metalab Flow
- Seed Well: Social video champions. Clients: YouTube, Microsoft, Google
- Simple Story Videos: We create video for brands that’d rather make history than repeat it. Clients: CocaCola, Shopify, Citrix
- simpleshow: Hand-crafted explainer video production. Clients: Adobe, BMW. ebay, Audi, Swiss Re
- Simplifilm: Enterprise grade product demo videos. Clients: Seth Godin
- Splainers: Videos that get results. Clients: Microsoft, Pepsico, MasterCard, NFL
- Sprinkle Lab: We make and distribute delicious videos. Clients: Levi’s, IBM, Microsoft
- Sundstedt Animation: We make hand-crafted explainer videos. Clients: Pushdigital, VMS, Onyx Health
- Startup Video: Animated explainer videos. Clients: Standpoint, ABP
- Studio Pigeon: Even the best ideas needs explanation. Clients: farmerfinder, StudioPress, Snip2Code
- StudioTale: Creative videos. Clients: Scootr, Marbles App, Gotogether
- SureelVideo: Animated explainer video production
- Switch Video: Corporate video production & animated video production. Clients: IBM, Microsoft, HP, Bayer
- Tadapix: Animated video studio. Clients: Del Monte, Zooztunes
- The Video Animation Company: Explain your business with video animation. Clients: Mashable, ebay, The New York Times
- The Explainers: Digital communications studio focused on explainer videos, infographics, and content strategy. Clients: National Broadband Network, National Australia Bank
- Think Mojo: Smart videos that get results. Clients: ebay, LinkedIn, Western Union
- Think Video: Web video specialists with a knack for explanation.
- Topic Simple: Great animated videos for your product, idea, business, or startup. Clients: MSN, Springboard
- Topline Comms: Digital agency that covers technology PR, content marketing, search marketing, video production and B2B PR. Clients: Sony DADC, Barclays, ABN AMRO
- Transvideo Studios: The largest video production company and studio complex in Silicon Valley. Clients: Mint.com, esignal
- UserFarm: Content creators – Connecting you with the world’s largest community of film makers. A global crowd of 100,000 classified filmmakers, backed up by a team of awesome professionals. Clients: Fiat 500, Smeg Factory, Santal, Rio Mare
- Veedme: Any video task. Clients: Google, MOSCOT, WAZE
- Veracity Colab: A video agency driven by strategy, story and design. Clients: Lenovo, Google, Adobe
- Video Brewery: Video crowd-sourcing website connects you with freelancers to provide competitive quotes for your explainer video. Clients: UPSIDE, BusBank, Vero
- Video Explainers: We tell great stories about your business. Clients: Bright Promotions, SDG, Tune Gigs
- Video Igniter: Turnkey animated video production for agencies, businesses and marketers. Clients: LinkedIn, RICOH, ALTIMETER
- Video Sales Lab: Videos that will increase your conversions, guaranteed. Clients: AffiliateDotCom
- Vismo Media: Ideas into motion. 2D/3D animations. Clients: Thompson Reuters, Allstate, WSO.com
- Vjsual: Explainer videos to improve the way you communicate. Clients: Commerzbank, Groupon
- Vungle: Provides the infrastructure for app monetization through video ads. More than 200 million people worldwide see a Vungle ad each month.
- WeblyGuys: Explainer video production studio. “We create marketing systems that convert your visitors & prospects into buyers, followers and fans!“
- We Can Explain: Animated explainer video production. Clients: EasyAzon, Rightmove, Zoopla
- What Now? Exactly! Explainer video production. Clients: Fidelity National Financial, Global Heart Network Foundation
- Whiteboard Explainers: High Quality & Animated Whiteboard Explainer Videos at Affordable Prices. Clients: NSCAA, NAPA, CASK
- Wienot Films: Explainer videos, whiteboard animation, editing and production.
- Wooshii: Find an animator or video-maker for your explainer or demo video. Free e-book. Clients: Google, ebay, Unilever
- Wyzowl: Create animated explainer videos with and without characters, website or web app walk-through using screen recordings, mobile app walk-through and video graphics based around statistics. Clients: UserReport, Heebo.com, Postify
- Ydraw: What’s your story. Explainer video production company. Clients: BlueSafe, Magic Sock,
- Your-60-seconds: Custom video productions for your website and App.
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- About the author: Neal provides digital optimisation consultancy services and has worked for brands such as Deezer.com, Foxybingo.com, Very.co.uk and partypoker.com. He identifies areas for improvement using a combination of approaches including web analytics, heuristic analysis, customer journey mapping, usability testing, and Voice of Customer feedback. By aligning each stage of the customer journey with the organisation’s business goals this helps to improve conversion rates and revenues significantly as almost all websites benefit from a review of customer touch points and user journeys.
- Neal has had articles published on website optimisation on Usabilla.com and as an ex-research and insight manager on the GreenBook Blog research website. If you wish to contact Neal please send an email to email@example.com. You can follow Neal on Twitter @northresearch and view his LinkedIn profile.