In the nearly two decades the internet has been around as a marketing vehicle, a concept has recently emerged, gaining broad application on the web: explainer videos. These videos are utilized by businesses to augment or enhance other more traditional forms of marketing and advertising. Running for one to two minutes’ duration (and rarely longer), explainer videos are used to present a new company or product or service and explain why a consumer should use it. These are often presented in a more casual framework, deliberately keeping the message short while generating interest in what they are promoting.
One of the best explainer videos of all time comes from the Dollar Shave Club. I saw it for the first time a couple of years ago, and it’s just as funny today as when I first watched it (see “Traffic” below). It is edgy (they use the “f-bomb” although bleeped out) and probably appeals to a younger demographic, but it captures the essence of an explainer video—and they nail it in 1 minute and 33 seconds!
Explainer videos offer a number of advantages to those who use them. Here are a few ways they can help benefit your business, product or service:
Rather than using simple text or pictures to market and advertise, explainer videos can spark more consumer interest that grabs their attention with a simple message and explanation of a product. People are usually more attuned when they can just watch short clip rather than read a short passage or analyze it through one still image.
When people like an explainer video and find it helpful, they share it, sending the links to your videos across the web to those they know. Many who may watch a specific explainer video probably have friends and acquaintances that share similar interests including the product or service being described.
It has been well documented that visual imagery generates far greater retention than written or audio standing alone. Accordingly, an explainer video helps make the message and product stick in a person’s mind, making them more likely to share the information with others. Oh, and make ‘em laugh and it will add to the retention factor!
When people watch a video that explains a product or service and why it would be of benefit, it becomes a point of conversation. These videos network independently because they can be shared and talked about by those who have viewed them. More to the point, it’s a fact that text heavy websites may not come up in the top search results on search engines and directory listings. Video can be “tagged” and affixed with keywords, which will put your website and products in a much stronger light for Google, Yahoo, Bing, and potential customers!
The term “going viral” is ubiquitous today and a compelling explainer video can trigger the kind of response that can send it…well, you know, viral! A number of products have benefitted exponentially through the clever use of this medium.
So there you have it. Deploy these ideas in the production of your next explainer video, and if you need a hand, we’ll be happy to lend a few of ours!
PS: To be sure, there are plenty of uses for longer form videos—and I will address them in a future post.