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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 September 16, 2019

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

    We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

    The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

    Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

    1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

    Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

    For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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    • (1) Research
    • (2) Deciding the topic
    • (3) Creating the outline
    • (4) Drafting the content
    • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
    • (6) Revision
    • (7) etc.

    Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

    2. Change Your Environment

    Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

    One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

    3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

    Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

    Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

    My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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    Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

    If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

    Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

    I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

    5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

    I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

    Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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    As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

    6. Get a Buddy

    Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

    I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

    7. Tell Others About Your Goals

    This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

    For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

    8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

    What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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    9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

    If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

    Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

    10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

    Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

    Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

    11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

    At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

    Reality check:

    I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

    More About Procrastination

    Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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