Startups

The Start-Up’s Guide to Making an Explainer Video that Sells

Animated explainer videos are the go-to promotion tool for start-ups. They’re very effective at selling a product and increasing conversion rates. This is exactly why companies from all over the world like them. They work and they look awesome on websites and Kickstarter pages.

Explainer videos are the opposite of long sales pages — shorter explainer videos tend to work better than longer ones. Snappy, concise explainer videos (< 60 seconds long) have a 77% retention rate on average. The longer a video is, the more it moves out of the average viewer’s attention span. More viewers will stop watching without having seen all that the video offers. In other words, explainer videos should be short and packed with value proposition.

To produce an explainer video that gets you a real bump in your sales, follow the specific steps that this post will guide you through. Let’s go to the first step:

Picking the Right Company

Choosing an explainer video production company to make your explainer videos can be a challenging task because a premium price alone can’t guarantee a good result.

PRO TIP: A higher price doesn’t guarantee great quality, and a lower price doesn’t always translate to poor quality.

You can base your judgment on several elements of a good explainer video company.

First, you need to find a company that understands how they’ll approach a problem just from reading the initial brief you give them. Knowing how they are going to handle a project from the start is an indication of a positive experience to come, since it means that they’ve likely done this process frequently.

Second, look for a company that’s really trying to get a deep understanding of your company and its target customers. An explainer video is a type of content that’s targeted to a specific set of potential users. If the production company you work with has no ideas about who will be watching the video, it’ll be a near-guaranteed flop.

Third, choose an explainer video company that won’t just rubber-stamp all of your requests. They should have a strong foundation of their own styles and values. An explainer video company is a creative company at heart, and a good one knows how they want to do things.

Last, but not least, they should be easy to work with, both on- and off-project. This isn’t a PR or customer service consideration. It’s more about finding the company that you can share your vision with, and as a result, align goals better.

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Starting the Project

Preparing Calls to Action

Writing an explainer video script requires an understanding of what action you want viewers to take after watching the video and what they’ll get in return for taking that action.

Calling for actions is easier when you offer the means, whether your product or service, to resolve specific issues. This means that you need to conduct thorough research to know your target market and their problems that your products can solve.

PRO TIP: Although calls to action are typically presented at the end of videos, you need to decide on this video’s call to action before anything else.

Writing the Initial Draft

Why? Simple: Nobody knows a company’s target audience better than the company itself. Don’t worry about creating Shakespeare-quality writing, because the production company will help you polish everything before it moves to the next phase.

PRO TIP: Most explainer video companies include scriptwriting services in their pricings. However, it’s much better for you to come up with the script concept.

Here’s how your script should flow:

Presenting your product as the solution immediately after pointing out problems will help viewers associate the two together, and make your brand’s name stick in their minds better.

Explaining to viewers how the problem-solving process works shows that you have the real solution your viewers need.

Time to Get Creative

The production company you hire is the creative team responsible for the development process, so you can sit back and spend more time thinking about your marketing strategy after the explainer is done.

PRO TIP: The creative development process requires your involvement to unleash its true potential, not in the visual creation, but in giving feedback. Don’t hold anything back.

Storyboarding

In the early stages of an explainer video’s development, visuals don’t matter much since they’re rough sketches. In later stages, visuals should match your company’s branding guidelines and appeal to your target customers. This process is a group effort between you and the creative team.

Illustrations and Animation

To make the illustration and animation process smoother, prepare the assets you want to be presented in the video (e.g., screenshots, company logo, data tables). Hand them over to the creative team. It’ll save some time and give the creative team guidelines to work with.

Putting the Video to Good Use

The explainer video you just made may look awesome, but you still need to make good use of it. You can do this by placing it in a prime spot and optimizing the page where it’s published.

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PRO TIP: Test and measure an explainer video’s performance by considering where you actually put it.

Placing the Video

Where you place a video in a page can entirely change the results you get. “Above the fold” is considered the best place for your video. (FYI: “above the fold” means at the top of a page.)

As visual content, your explainer video should be the first thing showcased before everything else.
The logic behind placing a video above the fold is simple: For your video to reach its maximum potential, you have to present it to as many people as possible, and the top of the page is best for that.

Optimizing for Landing Pages

Landing pages are the best place to put your videos because videos on landing pages can increase conversion rates by up to 86% (research by EyeView). Combined with above-the-fold placement, your video will be really hard to miss.

One reason why landing page videos are good for conversion rate optimization (CRO) is that they replace the function of copywriting on your landing page, allowing you to clear out excessive amounts of text.

DesignBoost implemented shorter copy on their landing page back in 2012 when their website was brand-new. They generated a 13% increase in their sign-up rate.

Testing the Video

Explainer videos are not all equals, so your judgment of whether or not it did the job may vary. Try A/B testing the performance of your website with and without an explainer video.

You can also utilize analytics provided by your video hosting site to dive deeper into your viewership data. Free video hosting sites like YouTube provide adequate analytics, but a business-oriented hosting platform like Wistia will likely serve you better.

After crunching all the numbers, you’ll see what works and what doesn’t from your own point of view. You can use the data as comparison for your next changes.

Explainer videos have several purposes. One is as a tool to boost sales. What you need to start now is to gather information about your customer and their pain points that you can solve.

This infographic breaks down the explainer video production process and prices an explainer video.


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