Just a few years ago, creating marketing videos was an expensive and demanding task, something only big businesses could do. Nowadays, there is an easier, cheaper – and arguably more effective – way to enchant your audiences with that medium: Animated explainer videos.
These insanely useful pieces of content have it all: They’re dynamic, entertaining, and more accessible to produce than other kinds of videos.
However, having the best video in the world does nothing for your marketing efforts if nobody sees it!
Due to the sheer amount of information available to them, customers have grown extremely selective with the content they do interact with. On top of short attention spans, they have become able to tell high-quality pieces from the rest within seconds, and promptly move on.
How do you keep that from happening to your explainer videos? How can you get your customers to watch them all the way through?
Here are five strategies to increase engagement and get your customers to watch your explainer videos.
1. Identify Your Customer Touchpoints For Distribution
Decide where you want your explainer video to live and how you want to deliver it to your customers. Consider whether you want to send it via email, social media, on a landing page during onboarding, embedding it within your product, or all of the above.
Then design your video with those distribution methods in mind.
For example, a video meant for social media should spend a great deal of design on the opening moments, as most people will scroll past them if those crucial seconds don’t grab their attention.
On the other hand, videos sent by email are probably targeting an already-interested audience – which means that your video will benefit from being more customized to their personas.
The medium in which you’re using to showcase your video can also inform its ideal length. A Facebook video should last ideally 60 seconds, while an Instagram video will most likely perform better with half that duration.
So you’ll need to edit your explainer video based on what customer touchpoints you’re going to use for distribution.
2. Grab Your Viewers’ Attention Right From The Start
We touched upon this in the previous point, but a strong introduction will ensure that your viewers will watch your video until the end. How do you grab their attention?
The first thing your video should do is lay out your customer’s problem, and promise them a solution by the end of the video. These copywriting formulas can help you with your script.
If you are clear, dynamic, and inviting from the beginning, the interest for the rest of the video will flow.
Following the same premise, think about the character you open with. Use one to whom your audience could relate and empathize with, someone who is going through the same problems as your customers and even looks and sounds like them!
Strong openings make people want to stick around.
3. Focus On The Value Your Product Provides
There’s an old saying features tell, benefits sell. And this goes for explainer videos as well. Your customers are not going to watch your explainer video if you don’t tie features and functionality to benefits and value.
It’s crucial that your explainer video doesn’t only focus on features, but on the advantages (value) for the potential user.
Instead of going into some long-winded speech about your product’s technical aspects, your video should focus on answering this question: What problem does your product or service solve, and why does your company have the best alternative to do it?
What can your product do for your customers?
After answering that question, go even deeper and ask yourself what makes your brand different from others that sell a similar product or service? Are you worried about sustainability? Do you care about the well-being of the people that work for you? What makes you unique?
Take those answers and weave them into your video’s content, and people will be more prone to watch it in its entirety.
Painting a very clear picture of just how your customer will benefit from each feature in your how-it-works video will give meaning and emotional value to what would otherwise be an empty product tour video.
4. Incorporate Your Brand’s Identity (Color & Tone)
An excellent video script can sound compelling on paper, but it could quickly disappoint if you don’t choose appropriate visuals and the voiceover to bring it to life.
How do you go you stay on brand with your explainer video?
By focusing on your company’s style and target audience through the power of effective branding.
Try to use your brand’s identity as a guide. What colors define it? To answer this, you might take a look at your logo, your stores, or your website. What color palette abounds? Reflect it in your video; consistency is compelling.
Likewise, it is essential to choose the voiceover that will set the tone for the whole piece. To do so, ask yourself: If my brand had a voice, how would it sound? That will make it easier for you to discard voiceovers that don’t align with your identity, and that could drive customers off.
This can all sound like too many things to handle at once, but if you take your time, it becomes more manageable. And you can always get help from a skilled explainer video company to make things easier.
A cool example of using a company’s colors to brand an entire video.
5. Be Pithy.
If you want people to watch your video the whole way through, cut the fluff.
Every scene has to address an issue, make a clear point, and follow a succinct structure.
A good rule of thumb is to structure things in threes: have an introduction, body, and a conclusion for your video as a whole and for each subsection within your video.
For instance, if you have a 90-second video and you give 30 seconds to each act, those individual acts have to be divided into three acts as well. Ten seconds for an introduction, ten for development and ten for a conclusion.
That structure will help your customers follow your video’s logic without getting confused or bored.
Summing It All Up
To sum things up:
- First, design your video with your customer touchpoints in mind.
- Second, write a strong intro that will engage your audience from the first second.
- Third, tie features and functionality to the benefits and value your product provides.
- Fourth, stay on brand and be professional.
- Fifth, keep it clear and concise with a three-act system.
Editor’s Note: The article is part of the blog series Run Your Business brought to you by the marketing team at UniTel Voice, the virtual phone system priced and designed for startups and small business owners.