How to use video to simplify the complex.
One of the first questions we ask our prospective clients is, “What exactly do you do?” Often, the answer is not that simple. Especially in tech, products are intended to make life easy, but to that end, they are highly sophisticated. Whether it’s a B2B or direct to consumers, there is a lot going on to make all the wheels turn in perfect sync.
A marketing video, especially an explainer, should clarify what it is that a product does…in under 2 minutes. It’s an elevator pitch to get users and investors interested and hooked. But oftentimes, the complexity of the product muddies the overall message.
Your videos should achieve a balance. The sophistication of your product should be conveyed so that its advantages are clear. At the same time, the overall story should be told in a way that anyone can understand.
Here are some tips to help you reach this balance.
What’s the Story?
For a marketing video to be effective, the story needs to be clear. Is it about how your SaaS will improve the on-boarding process? Or how your app will consolidate credentials? Focus on one key message and stick to it.
And one story is all you should focus on. Think of this video as a stand-alone movie. One story arch. It’s not a 10-part television show where you can delve into half a dozen different characters.
Later on, if you want to dive deeper into a product, an option is the product demo, or a series of them. The product demo is like the television version of your main marketing or explainer video.
Here’s an example of a marketing video with a clear story line:
Remove the Dross
Nothing makes a video complex than things that don’t need to be there. This is something filmmakers do during editing. They remove things that don’t substantially add to the story but instead create unnecessary complexity. This is a difficult part of the process since everything seems important and relevant. Clients, especially, want to keep everything and anything that they feel makes their product stand out. The result is usually a messy stew that stinks up your entire house for a week. And is 2-3x longer than it should be.
So we know it’s difficult killing your babies, but mercilessly cut for the greater goal of producing a video that is clear and simple.
Show Not Tell
This is why you make a video in the first place. But it’s surprising how so many videos are dense with text and language. They talk and talk without showing much of anything. Whether you use animation or live action, it needs to be visual. We know how many words a picture is worth, so do the math on a 90-second video. It makes things much simpler if you show.
Now, we know that’s easier said than done. So you may need some help – a creative agency, a creative director, writer, video production company – these are all professionals that can help you translate the complex into simple images that can be easily understood.
Here’s an example of a visual explainer video:
It’s not easy to make a video, especially when your product is unique and complex. You’re not selling toys or a shirt. You’re selling life-changing technology. And so your video should help make that into a morsel that can be easily chewed and digested.