Explainer Videos help close sales.
When companies ask us for an explainer video, we often ask why exactly they need one. There’s a small pause, and they look at us like, “Duh, we need to explain what we do.” Okay, awesome, but the real value of an explainer video as a marketing tool is that it addresses many, and sometimes all, the barriers that companies face when trying to close a deal. Before we set out to develop the video’s concept and write the script, it’s good to know what obstacles you’re trying to remove.
Every product has its unique set of challenges, but this Forbes article summarizes them into 6 barriers to profitability. They are:
2) Poor Branding
3) Missing Information
4) Too Much Information
5) Too Many Options
Here’s how the explainer video addresses these six barriers.
Invisibility (“If you are not found, you are not selected.”)
The explainer video is an exceptional tool for content marketing. People are more likely to watch a video than read text (I don’t even have to cite stats on that these days…but here’s one anyway). And if done well for an intriguing product, the video will be shared and discussed.
The key there is that the video has to be done well. Avoid the cookie-cutter 2D animated stuff. And definitely no white board borefests. Go out on a limb and do something entertaining and different. Remember the DollarShaveClub explainer? Okay, that’s an extreme example, your explainer probably won’t get 25 million views, but if you play it safe and go with the ho-hum, it won’t even get 250.
Poor Branding (“Your brand must communicate exactly what you do and how it benefits the potential purchaser.”)
That’s pretty much the definition of an explainer. It not only explains your brand, it conveys it visually. What you see is as important as what you hear. During our kickoff meetings, we always ask clients to describe their brand’s character. Is it formal, playful, global, sincere, sophisticated, rugged, etc, etc? That’s an important factor in how we design the video.
Here’s an example of an explainer that perfectly captures a brand’s personality:
Missing Information (“…provide whatever the prospect needs to keep them moving along the purchase path.”)
The explainer is often viewed at the early stage of the sales process. It educates the potential buyer on who you are and what you do. If the video has compelling, relevant and sufficient info, then the chances of making that sale down the road is almost a certainty.
Too Much Information (“…do not throw so much information at the prospect that he or she gets too distracted to purchase.”)
Explainer videos are 60 to 90-second elevator pitches. There’s no room for TMI. Get to the point, stay on target and make a compelling case in a short amount of time. Unlike an actual elevator, exiting a video is just a click away. So explainers need to provide enough detail but can’t afford to have distracting content. For example, this Checkpoints video has a lot of info, but stays on target:
Too Many Options (“…more options can lead to indecision….”)
The well-made explainer will present the big-picture choice that matters. There’s no time to dwell on anything else. It’s built to clearly define the problem and provide the solution, and cap it off with a clear call to action at the end. Of course, since it’s a top funnel tool, there may be other product options that creep up at the bottom, but the video itself should be focused.
Complexity (“A confused customer buys nothing.”)
The explainer’s sole purpose in life is to clear things up. They do the Marie Kondo treatment on your awesome, but complex and probably cluttered, startup. Is the product too confusing? The explainer will simply. Too cluttered? The explainer will organize. Too controversial? The explainer will make it cute and fluffy (case in point: our Blippy Explainer below). The reason why we have explainers in the first place is to make things easier for people to understand.
There’s no reason not to make an explainer video. It’s a revenue-driving bulldozer that removes the most common barriers to making that sale.