What are Explainer Videos

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Cut the Crap and Close More Deals Your ticket to a magnificent brand story By Eric Hinson Founder, Explainify 2 CUT THE CRAP AND CLOSE MORE DEALS At Explainify, we believe that animated explainer videos are one of the best ways to tell your business’s story. They’re 60-90 seconds, so they get your point across quickly. They’re formatted as stories to engage viewers on an emotional level. And with beautiful visuals, compelling concepts, and (sometimes) a little bit of humor, they’ve got the extra sizzle to make your story stick. Explainer videos increase sales, improve search engine results, and boost conversion rates. In this guide, we’ve pooled our collective wisdom to give you some killer ideas on how to tell your company’s story – what every good story has, how to tell it quickly, and how to make it stand out. While most of this advice has come from our experiences making explainer videos, everyone can benefit from these recommendations. Whether you’re writing copy, making a presentation, or simply talking to someone on the street, you should know how to cut the crap and simplify your story. SIMPLIFY YOUR STORY Explanations increase sales, improve search engine results and boost conversion rates. 3 CUT THE CRAP AND CLOSE MORE DEALS Customers look to businesses to engage them online, through social media and web content, in new and creative ways; moreover, they want to know the story behind your business – the story that gives your brand meaning and helps your customers develop a sense of loyalty and affection for your company. When telling people about your brand, they expect you to make use of speed, story, and sizzle. STORYTELLING is the most important skill business leaders need to learn in the next five years (Hubspot). Speed Story Sizzle 4 CUT THE CRAP AND CLOSE MORE DEALS In a world where Twitter and Vine set the standard for how quickly and briefly you can convey a message, speed is king. According to research, it turns out that consumers have on average an 8-second attention span, which is 1 second less than a goldfish. Ouch! That means you have on average 8 seconds to get people interested in what you have to say before they get bored and swim away. SPEED So if you’re going to make a pitch for your business, you’d better make it snappy. 5 CUT THE CRAP AND CLOSE MORE DEALS But it’s not enough just to have the fastest sales pitch; we are constantly bombarded with ads and marketing, and because of the sheer number most of these messages just become white noise. So how do you break ahead of the pack and get your potential customers to listen? You have to engage them emotionally, make them feel a connection with your brand and with your message. Do that by telling a story. As humans, we respond to story on a primal level, and we crave the meaning that they give. If you want people to take notice of what you’re doing, you must tap into the power of story. STORY – Lee Lefever “ ” Facts give stories substance. Stories give facts meaning. 6 CUT THE CRAP AND CLOSE MORE DEALS Perhaps you’ve figured out how to pare down your company’s message, and maybe you’ve even harnessed the power of story. But speed and story alone are not enough to really make your message take hold. You need a little something extra. You need your story to sizzle. In other words, you need to find a way to make your story interesting – innovative, exciting, and impactful. Because when your message is interesting, it’s also memorable. Remember the Old Spice guy? Of course you do, because he was interesting, funny, and ultimately left an impression on your consumer self. SIZZLE Find a way to make your story interesting, innovative, exciting & impactful. 7 CUT THE CRAP AND CLOSE MORE DEALS HOW TO TELL YOUR COMPANY’S STORY IN UNDER 90 SECONDS: How is that possible? The best answer I can give you: have someone else help you do it. The fact is, we are all too close to our own work to step back and take on the necessary point of view of an outsider. You know every nook and cranny of your business and think that every aspect is vital knowledge for viewers. It’s called the “curse of knowledge.” It happens to the best of us (ourselves included). You know too much about your company to simplify your story, or you may simply have a tough time conveying it. That’s one of the reasons people hire us to make their explainer video. To create an effective explainer video, you really have to boil your story down into a simple, easy-to-understand package that any viewer can understand, including your 10-year-old son and your 70 year-old-grandma. And businesses frequently just can’t quite step out of their own expertise effectively enough to tell the story. But if you want to do it yourself, for most, a simple problemsolution story format will get you started. Step back and be the outsider. 8 CUT THE CRAP AND CLOSE MORE DEALS Get your audience to relate; help facilitate empathy. Start by introducing a story where the character is facing the same problem your customers face. From the very beginning, show them relevance. If you tap into their emotions, they’re much more likely to keep watching. If you’re taking the emotional route, it must be funny, upsetting, uplifting, or offensive. Whatever emotion, it has to hit hard (Fast Company, 2013). Once they’ve connected with the problem, propose a solution. Convey your product/service as the answer to everyone’s problem. Talk about ‘WHY’ it exists. Explain what you do. Now that they know you exist, you have to quickly narrow down the top 3 benefits of using your solution that set you apart from others. This is where you can include more details about your product or service. Wrap it up. Reiterate the fact that you solved the original problem and offer up your call to action: “Check out our website,” “Click the link,” “sign up today,” etc. PROBLEM/SOLUTION FORMAT: Problem Solution Conclusion How it Works { { { { 9 CUT THE CRAP AND CLOSE MORE DEALS And that’s it. That’s a great basic structure to use in telling your brand’s story. A story like this flows – your clients can follow your story from beginning to end in a way that is familiar to them. And a story like this is satisfying – you’re framing the problem in such a way that your business is the perfect solution. In just 90 seconds or less, your audience is exposed to a problem that needs addressing, then shown how you help fix it and why they should choose you. That’s the power of storytelling – the audience becomes caught up in the emotion and drama you’ve presented, connecting with your brand. And that’s the goal! PROBLEM/SOLUTION FORMAT: That’s the power of storytelling – the audience becomes caught up in the emotion & drama you’ve presented. 10 CUT THE CRAP AND CLOSE MORE DEALS We’ve discussed the basic structure of a good story – and that’s a good place to start. However, it is possible to tell your story and still not reach your audience: Maybe you don’t give your hearers a clear course of action to follow, or perhaps you’re speaking in such a way that doesn’t connect with your target demographic. Fine-tune your storytelling with these suggestions. (Note: These suggestions are written to someone writing a script, like we do for our explainer videos. Once again, however, keep in mind that this advice is applicable to anyone wanting to tell a better story – one-on-one, in a presentation, or by mass e-mail.) GOING DEEPER: 6 TIPS FOR TELLING A BETTER STORY 11 CUT THE CRAP AND CLOSE MORE DEALS 1. Keep it Simple & Short About 150 words is all you can pack into a one-minute script, so keep it simple. Also, simplify the visuals so people have time to retain what they’re seeing. Keep this in mind the entire time you work on your script. 2. Focus On The Script Your script is the most important part of the entire process. Don’t forget that. Visuals are great and add a ton to helping people retain what they’re watching. In fact, studies show that if you only stimulate the auditory sense, people retain just 10% of what they hear. Stimulate both the auditory and the visual sense and you end up with a retention rate of 68%. However, don’t over-stimulate people to the detriment of your storytelling. If your story is weak or unclear, they won’t continue watching and they’ll miss the audio and visuals altogether. Your script is the most important part of the entire process. 6 TIPS FOR TELLING A BETTER STORY 12 CUT THE CRAP AND CLOSE MORE DEALS 3. Keep Out The Jargon This is probably the most common problem that companies have while trying to formulate their story. You don’t want to sound so complicated that people tune you out. Remember, all of your audience is human. It doesn’t matter if you’re business-to-business or not. A human will be watching your video and humans don’t have conversations in long, complex sentences. Most likely, they hear jargon all day long in meetings and want to watch a video to escape that. Look at the writings of companies like Apple or Starbucks: so simple and yet we all buy in. 4. Speak To The Right Audience If you’re not talking in a way your viewers can easily grasp, you’re going to lose them. You speak very differently when selling to an enterprise executive than to the average consumer. You need to appeal to the executive’s bottom line and they typically need more detail to make a better buying decision. If you’re a new company that nobody’s ever heard of, you need them to know why they should use you (or your product) over the competition rather than going into detail about what you’re selling. You speak differently to a 10 year old girl than you would a 49 year old man, right? Think about your audience when you’re writing. Target the right person and cater your message to them. 6 TIPS FOR TELLING A BETTER STORY 13 CUT THE CRAP AND CLOSE MORE DEALS 5. Have Fun The quickest way to grab attention and be memorable is to make someone laugh. Add something comical to your videos. But be careful not to push it too far. If your joke falls flat or comedy is overused, you’re likely to turn off your viewer. Subtlety is the name of the game. 6. Have A Clear Call To Action Whether you think it’s obvious or not, some people don’t know what to do after they’ve heard your story. Tell them what you want them to do. Do you want them to sign up for your newsletter, go to your site, download your app, call you? Make it clear and it’s much more likely that they’ll do it. Your story, whether it’s your company’s story or your personal one, has the power to motivate and drive people to action. It can increase sales or cause people to turn away and lose attention. It’s all in the delivery. Simple is good. People understand simple, short and to the point. Try it and see how powerful it can What have be. you done to simplify your story? 6 TIPS FOR TELLING A BETTER STORY 14 CUT THE CRAP AND CLOSE MORE DEALS Shortly after a small virtual storage company started a few years ago, they hit a stall point where they were no longer acquiring a decent number of customers. They were having a hard time converting people on their home page because no one knew what they did. And they were faced with the challenge of marketing a product to solve a problem people didn’t realize they had. Then they released a short explainer video that condensed their massive techy talk pitch into a fun, witty, and enjoyable video. This video propelled DropBox onto a trajectory that saw them acquire a huge heap of funding, 50 million customers and a 4 billion dollar valuation. They even had Steve Jobs knocking on their door looking to acquire their company. It’s one thing to have a great story, but it’s an entirely different (and much more difficult) thing to communicate that story and vision to potential investors, partners, and customers. And that’s exactly what Dropbox did. Everyone blazes through websites, extremely skeptical that what companies are offering will actually be of any benefit to them. Think about it. Just in the past 5 minutes, you probably went to a site, weren’t interested and bounced off. WHAT THE HECK IS AN EXPLAINER VIDEO? 15 CUT THE CRAP AND CLOSE MORE DEALS So, what’s the quickest way to make people understand what you do and get them interested enough to convert them to customers? Show them your story, don’t just tell it to them. And a solid way of doing this is using an explainer video. The explainer video is a short video that businesses use to quickly introduce themselves, explain what they do, and tell how they help solve their customer’s problems. It’s a very quick, memorable way to make an impact on your audience and help provide the viewer with the important information they need to make a decision. This is vital to your site’s conversion. Attention spans aren’t long these days, and after years of research and experience, we’ve found that 90 seconds or less is the sweet spot for most. If you don’t say what you need to say and get people excited about you and your product quickly, you’re dead in the water. Just ask Kevin O’Leary from Shark Tank. And because you only have 90 seconds (which translates to a measly 150-240 words), your video should not include every detail you want to put in. The details have to be limited to the most important things you need your customer to know about your service/product. WHAT THE HECK IS AN EXPLAINER VIDEO? 16 CUT THE CRAP AND CLOSE MORE DEALS 1. Increase Conversion Rates According to Internet Retailer, up to 85% of people are more likely to buy a product if they first saw an explainer video. This helped Rypple (who recently sold to SalesForce) increase conversion rates by 20%, CaseComplete upped the game 23% and CrazyEgg added an explainer video to their homepage and increased conversion rates by 64%! 2. Better Google Results Websites with video are 50 times more likely to be ranked on Google’s first page. What do you think people will click on first: the text link or the ever-inviting video thumbnail? That’s right. The thumbnail! In fact, your video is 41% more likely to get clicked than a text listing. Now that you’re on the front page of Google, more people will watch your video and be totally stoked to buy your product. You earn money. Sales are good. 5 BENEFITS OF EXPLAINER VIDEOS: Your video is 41% more likely to get clicked than a text listing. 17 CUT THE CRAP AND CLOSE MORE DEALS 3. Your Perfect Pitch Every Time There’s nothing worse than not knowing how to tell people what you do in a way that they get it immediately. An explainer video helps you give your perfect pitch all over the world at any time of the day. You don’t even have to be there! And if you choose the right explainer video partner, you may just end up with your perfect company story that you can use in pitches, on your website, in email marketing and more. 4. Easily Shareable Now that you’ve got your perfect pitch, you can easily share your story with the world. 70% of internet users are watching online video, so go ahead and captivate them with your awesome business! It’s now way easier to share because you have a video that can easily be sent to anyone and viewed by thousands, and if you really strike internet gold, millions. You can also bring it with you to meetings, conferences and more. You’ll never have to worry about messing up your pitch again. 5 BENEFITS OF EXPLAINER VIDEOS: 18 CUT THE CRAP AND CLOSE MORE DEALS 5 BENEFITS OF EXPLAINER VIDEOS: 5. ROI Explainer video companies can produce videos at much better rates than agencies. Take advantage and watch a small spend turn into a great, gigantic return. Dropbox spent $50,000 to tell their story through an explainer video. It resulted in 5 million new customers and over $24M in revenue. CrazyEgg stepped up their revenue $21,000 a month. What will your success story be? 19 CUT THE CRAP AND CLOSE MORE DEALS Want to Learn More? Whether they say it or not, a lot of companies believe bigger is better. We’re not so sure about that. Which is why we’ve chosen to stay boutique by design, working with just a few clients at a time so that their projects have our complete attention. It’s not just a video. It’s a partnership. The greatest brands aren’t just looking at the bottom line. They’re looking to push boundaries. And the funny thing is, when you’re willing to raise the bar – the bottom line follows. If you agree, let’s talk! Contact us: hello@explainify.com

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