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15 Expert Tips For Creating Effective Explainer Videos In 2021

By News Creatives Authors , in Leadership , at August 10, 2021

An explainer video is an excellent way to introduce potential customers to your company or a new offering. The goal of an explainer is to explore a problem your product or service solves, then show viewers why they need it and why they should choose your brand over your competitors.

That’s a lot of heavy lifting for one short video to do, but if you approach it correctly, an explainer video can live on your website and social media pages, serving as a virtual elevator pitch for your company. Of course, as consumers become accustomed to seeing explainer videos, their expectations for what they communicate and how are evolving.

To help your explainer video stand out from the crowd, the key is to relay your value proposition in the most succinct and compelling way possible. Here, the members of Forbes Agency Council shared 15 ways to create an effective one that does what it is supposed to do in 2021.

1. Use An Influencer To Jump-Start Traffic

Consumers have come to love unboxing and how-to videos on social media platforms, so tap into that by using an influencer in your own explainer video. It will feel more authentic if it features a known influencer and could be more cost-effective to produce as well. You will also get a jump on driving traffic to the explainer video via the influencer’s existing audience. – Lyle Stevens, Mavrck

2. Remember That Viewers Don’t Know What You Know

It’s easy to forget that some of the most basic things about your product, which you know intimately, could be completely new to the viewer: new concepts, new terms and new ways to solve a problem. Don’t take for granted that the viewer knows what you know. Take the time to quickly review the fundamentals and speak in a common language (no acronyms) that is known by all. – Lori Paikin, NaviStone®

3. Be As Clear And Concise As Possible

At the beginning of the video, detail what you’re going to be explaining and why it’s important. Second, present the information in a visually appealing way. After following steps one and two, keep it short. You can only keep the viewer’s attention for so long. Make sure you get to the point quickly and do it in a way that they’ll remember. – Marc Hardgrove, The HOTH

4. Mine Customers’ Social Comments For Tonal Clues

Use customer data such as keyword research, social comments, site search data and forums to determine new explainer video topics. In addition, mine comments and look for tonal clues. Do comments around a topic that use words such as “really” or “myth” suggest skepticism? These clues should guide the tone and creation of explainer videos to ensure they meet audiences where they are with content that resonates. – Donna Robinson, Collective Measures

5. Incorporate Movement And Branding Up Front

Whenever you’re doing a video, especially for social, make sure that the first three to six seconds have movement and branding. Movement draws the casual viewer’s eye toward the video, while immediate branding assists in viewer recall for subsequent conversion videos. Also, make sure to use either B-roll footage or captions to reinforce the action and accommodate the majority of viewers who watch on mute. – Ralph Burns, Tier 111


Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?


6. Use A Concise Problem-Solution Script

Use a concise problem-solution script that meets the audience at their level: not too trivial nor too advanced. First, outline a concise goal, or thesis, that is derived from a real problem that your customers experience. Once you have your goal, let your script flow naturally. Start by hooking the audience with a quick explanation of the problem, then describe the steps leading to the solution. – Ahmad Kareh, Twistlab Marketing

7. Don’t Distract Viewers With Unnecessary Things

Explainer videos need to be focused on explaining. Too often, creatives will overdo it, and what is meant to be a straightforward, effective explainer video becomes too crowded with unnecessary things. The fewer distractions in an explainer video, the more focused the consumer will be on what is being explained. Eliminate the need for anything extra and keep the explainer video clean and concise. – Tony Pec, Y Not You Media

8. Keep Up With A Fast-Paced World

Viewers expect to receive clear answers to their questions within a short time frame, so avoid tangential dialogue and wordy backstories. In the context of a website, the video should be short and to the point, as it’s only one part of the visitor’s experience and they’ll find additional information elsewhere. – Hannah Trivette, NUVEW Web Solutions

9. Use Graphics To Add Understanding

The most effective explainer videos use graphics to add understanding to the story, not necessarily to mirror what the words are saying. You should use illustrations as opportunities to express the message via images. This is why explainer videos are so successful at breaking down topics: They appeal to both auditory and visual learners. – Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design

10. Add Context With Evocative Terms Or Imagery

Explainer videos often act as introductions to your products and services, so be sure the content is engaging. Include clear and concise information that adds context without being overwhelming. Enhance video content with SEO keywords and imagery and quickly highlight important features. For example, a dispensary may want to focus on terms or imagery evoking cannabis culture. – Evan Nison, NisonCo

11. Craft A Compelling Storyline With Your Script

Even the most visually compelling explainer video won’t be of much benefit without a compelling script to match. The best way to create a script that converts is to first establish your goals for the video and your company as a whole. From there, you can craft a storyline that clearly and concisely delivers the message you’d like to convey to your audience through your video marketing strategy. – Adam Binder, Creative Click Media

12. Create And Refine A Storyboard Based On User Input

A storyboard will help you organize and flesh out the key points you wish to capture in your explainer video based on the input of actual users. Before going into production, refine the storyboard as you get more eyes to review it and offer fresh perspectives. Keep the narrative simple and concise and break down technical concepts in a way that anyone can understand and follow. – Lars Voedisch, PRecious Communications

13. Don’t Skimp On The Production Quality

This means a concise, well-written script and higher video quality. If you’re using animation, make sure it looks like it was produced in 2021 and not 2000. Make sure your main actor or narrator is easy to understand and lively, not robotic or too scripted in their delivery. Cheap videos are all too common and don’t reflect well on a brand. – Dmitrii Kustov, Regex SEO

14. Focus On Answering Your FAQs

This is the “shooting fish in a barrel” answer, but what could be more engaging to your target audience than you understanding their worries and troubles, then anticipating their needs by creating content that addresses these concerns? It sounds so simple, but it is overlooked all the time. – Christopher Tompkins, The Go! Agency

15. Show Off The Benefits Your Customers Receive

Use an explainer video to show off the benefits customers get with your product or service as opposed to creating just the standard “how it’s done/how it works” video. The only thing more important than the benefits is proof—social proof, awards, accolades and so on. Interjecting this social proof, or even some user-generated content, will speak far louder than traditional explainers, which focus on showing customers what is “under the hood.” – Bernard May, National Positions

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