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8 Tips on How to Make Awesome Explainer Videos

8 Tips on How to Make Awesome Explainer Videos

Online users simply don’t have the time or patience to scroll through pages of content to find what they are looking for. Most visitors will simply click the back button on their web browser before that happens; a number of case studies show that the average web page visit lasts between 10 to 20 seconds.

Why does this matter?

Because it means that you have a very limited window to capture the attention of your visitors. Failing to do so ultimately means losing potential sales to competitors.

A captivating web design can certainly help to increase engagement and reduce bounce rates. But there is another effective way to get visitors to stick around long enough to learn more about your offer. Using them has also been shown to dramatically improve conversion rates.

Explainer videos.

What are explainer videos?

Chances are you have seen one of these yourself. They are short, whiteboard animation-type videos typically found on landing pages that describe the products or services a business offers in a manner that is easy to understand. Explainer videos are a highly effective way to increase engagement and boost conversions.

The challenge is getting them right. The following are 8 tips for creating engaging explainer videos for your business.

1. Aim For Short Videos

As previously mentioned, attention spans are incredibly short on the web. Simply slapping a video on your homepage is no guarantee that it will work, and could actually have the opposite effect.

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The following chart from Wistia shows a direct correlation between video length and engagement:

    The sweet spot in terms of video length appears to be around 2 minutes. That engagement starts to drop off dramatically after the 3 minute mark. If you can get your message across in a shorter amount of time, then by all means.

    The bottom line is to get straight to the point, and to only include the most important parts. If your videos are over 3 minutes, then edit down the content until it is only a minute or two. Any longer than that and you risk visitors clicking away from your video.

    2. Answer the Why

    Customers ultimately want to know what’s in it for them. In other words, what problem does your solution solve, and why should they purchase from your business?

    It might be tempting to simply rattle off the features of your products or services. But a better approach is to highlight the benefits, as consumers tend to respond more positively if they can visualize your products making their lives better somehow.

    Apple offers a great example. Watch any product unveiling and it becomes immediately apparent how the end consumer benefits (e.g. a better camera to capture precious moments, a faster processor to get more work done, etc.). While other companies focus more on the technical aspects of their devices, Apple takes a different approach by highlighting how consumers benefit.

    Follow this example when creating your own explainer videos to make them more effective. Tell people how your products or services makes their lives better.

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    3. Write a Short Script

    You know that video length matters, and to focus on the benefits for your target audience.

    These are important points when creating the script, as you want to get your message across without boring your viewers. Spend time to write a short script that highlights your products or services in a matter that gets the point across. It should also be straightforward enough for anyone to understand.

    Start by writing a first draft of your script. How would you describe your products or services to potential prospects?

    Your first draft likely won’t be perfect, and it may be longer than anticipated to the point that it goes over the 2 minute sweet spot. So be absolutely relentless when editing, and cut out any parts that don’t contribute much to the video. This is your chance to share your story, so make it count.

    4. Inject Humor

    One characteristic that many viral videos share is a sense of humor.

    Content that genuinely makes you smile or laugh leaves a lasting and memorable impression. It gives you something to talk about and greatly increases the likelihood of you sharing it with others.

    Take, for example, the “Smell Like a Man” campaign from Old Spice. The video is not only creatively made in what looks a single shot, but it also incorporates humor. The campaign has been a resounding hit for the company, attracting positive attention and boosting sales. While not exactly an explainer video, it illustrates just how effective humor can be.

    Incorporate humor to keep your video fun and light-hearted. Your video may just go viral across the web and become a huge success, driving more traffic and sales to your business.

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    5. Don’t Compromise on Quality

    First impressions matter more than you think.

    Consumers are often highly critical of new businesses they interact with, especially if they have no point of reference. If a visitor is presented with a low quality video with sound that doesn’t properly sync, it leaves a poor impression. An explainer video can dramatically boost conversions when implemented right.

    Either invest in quality recording equipment, or consider hiring video production services. If you are working with a limited budget, another option to consider is to buy doodle ads. Whiteboard animations are a fun and creative way to increase engagement on your landing pages.

    High quality imagery and a professional voiceovers also accompany the video to deliver even better results for your business.

    6. Set the Tone With the Right Music

    Music has a powerful impact on the brain. Composers are able to skillfully manipulate music notes to evoke all types of emotions. The effect that certain songs can have should not be underestimated.

    Use the right music to help set the tone and pace of your explainer video. But it also shouldn’t drown out the voiceover or dialog, as the music should blend into your video to give it a more professional feel. Services such as PremiumBeat offer massive libraries of tunes and other sound effects for a reasonable price.

    7. End With a Call to Action

    Including a call to action is an important part of driving visitors to a conversion. It instructs visitors on the actions you want them to take. A call to action that offers a clear benefit has a much better chance of converting than a generic “Click Here” or “Call Us Today.” Xero, an online accounting software for businesses, ends their explainer video with a simple message to get started with a free trial.

    After detailing your products or services and outlining how they address certain pain points, end the clip with a call to action, whether it be to start a free trial, or call a number for more information.

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    8. Plan the Launch

    Your video is finally complete and you are satisfied with how it turned out.

    Now what?

    Your job is not yet done, as there are still a number of things that you need to do before the video can start driving measurable results. Successfully launching a video for your business consists of the following steps:

    • Choose a video host: YouTube is perhaps the most popular video platform, with over a billion users. But you are not limited to YouTube, as there are plenty of other options to host your video including Vimeo, Wistia, Brightcove, and more.
    • Integrate with your site: Now that your video is uploaded with a host, the next step is to integrate it directly into your site. Most companies choose to put their video directly on the homepage so that it is front and center for new visitors. Regardless of where you place the video, it should integrate seamlessly with the rest of the page.
    • Market your video: If you want your video to have more of an impact, you need to take steps to get the word out. Uploading to a popular hosting service such as YouTube should help to get some traffic to it. But leveraging your blog, newsletter, and social media channels can help to attract even more traffic.

    Conclusion

    Video is an excellent medium that is able to convey a message far more effectively than text or images.

    If visitor engagement is low and bounce rates are high on your landing pages, consider turning to explainer videos: Short clips that provide a more visual overview of your products or services, and how consumers can benefit.

    The use of explainer videos on landing pages can not only increase engagement, but also drive more sales to your business, as numerous case studies have shown. The challenge is getting these types of videos right; simply slapping a video on your site is no guarantee that it will work.

    So before getting started on your own explainer videos, follow the tips as outlined here to make them more effective.

    Featured photo credit: Envy Creative via thinkenvy.com

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    Yasmin Rasidi

    Copy Writer at Swotfish

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    Last Updated on July 23, 2019

    5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

    5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

    In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

    Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut, only to get back into another one.

    How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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    • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
    • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
    • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
    • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
    • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
    • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

    When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnation, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help. Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

    1. Realize You’re Not Alone

    Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths. Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

    2. Find What Inspires You

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    Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation. What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

    On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

    3. Give Yourself a Break

    When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

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    Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave. Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future. These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

    4. Shake up Your Routines

    Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

    Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’s 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

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    When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

    5. Start with a Small Step

    Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

    Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward. Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years. On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

    More to Help You Stay Motivated

    Here are some resources that will help you break out of your current phase:

    Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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