Need to Explode Your Marketing ROI? This Is How You Do It

According to marketing specialists, video content is the most popular type of content marketing to date. In fact, by 2018 it will account for around 80% of all consumer internet traffic (as predicted by Cisco). Other reports corroborate these facts and figures, showing a clear preference towards video and live streaming from Internet users and marketers alike. A Nielsen report highlights the fact that around 65% of marketers expect video to dominate their strategies in the nearest future.

Video content is shared on Facebook 12 times more than pictures or written content. Around 300 hours are posted on YouTube every minute. Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram are also doubling their efforts to tap into the endless possibilities offered by video as opposed to written content. In this context, marketers face numerous challenges:

  • How to get their video to stand out of the crowd and not get lost in the inherent noise everybody makes to get exposure and users’ attention?
  • How to properly use Facebook as the rising star of video marketing considering that we now have the opportunity to create video ads?
  • How does the fact that over 65% of all Facebook video views happen on mobile change the way they create content?
  • How can they make a video that is compatible with all devices and draws viewers’ attention, no matter what social media platform they prefer?
  • How can they showcase a brand or a product and persuade people to engage with it when users are flooded with video clips, ads, and streams from all over the place?
  • What types of videos are the most popular and have the greatest chances of creating social buzz?

One of the biggest challenges for marketers these days is to create content and campaigns that clearly distinguishes their brand and products from the competition. But since we don’t live in an informational void, the chances are that other businesses and other marketing agencies work with the same data and try to get ahead using the same opportunities. While marketing isn’t an exact science – as it needs tweaks and tests, and going back to the drawing board a few times – there is an interesting trend that can answer many of the questions above: the explainer video.

In the words of John Kincaid from TechCrunchI sure as hell don’t know all the secrets to building a successful company, but there are a few things I’ve seen that seem like surefire ways to ever-so-slightly grease the road to success. Here’s an easy one: make a video demo and prominently promote it somewhere where new visitors can find it. One that shows off the core function of your product without making people think they’re watching an ad or a pitch. And answer, as thoroughly as possible in 2-3 minutes, what it is that you’re bringing to the table.

His powerful and visionary discourse dates back to 2009, and the ones who had ears to listen already made huge steps forward in creating innovative and attention-drawing explainer videos. Granted, nobody promises such videos are the only solution to jumpstart a business or a marketing campaign, but they are now considered one of the most powerful tools to increase users’ engagement, social buzz, and ultimately, the ROI of content marketing. Why? Because it seems that 85% of online shoppers are more likely to purchase a product or service if they can watch a video explaining it beforehand.

But what is an explainer video? It is a short clip meant to describe your business, products, services, and story. It is the quintessence of business storytelling done right and one of the most powerful tools to keep users engaged. Today, we will take a look at explainer videos and try to understand what they are, how they work and how to make them boost your ROI.

How Do Explainer Videos Work in Marketing?

The logic is simple: a catchy explainer video (be it animated or not) has is usually appreciated by a larger numbers of people. The more users come to your site to see the content and the more shares the video gets, the greater the chances are for you to increase your online presence. And we all know that a huge online presence is a stepping stone into converting viewers into buyers.

But are explainer videos the way to go? Last year, Google presented a survey’s results, proving that animated explainer videos can increase sales by 20-30 percent. A Nielsen study corroborated the results – taking Facebook video-sharing into study – and reporting that animated explainer videos increase brand awareness, purchase intent, and video recall by 30%.

From this point of view, things look simple: all you have to do as a company is to create a great explainer video with viral potential, unleash it upon the world and then sit back, enjoy, and watch your viewer numbers grow. But there is nothing simple when it comes to social media and marketing, so we will go a step forward and try to see how to make a great explainer video that actually works.

Explainer Videos Styles – Tips, Tricks, and Best Practices


If you take the word “explainer” out of context, you end up with a task you have probably dealt with before: how to make an impressive piece of video content that showcases the brand and its highlights, attracts customers, triggers their emotions, and becomes viral? Video marketing has some stories that were so successful that they made it into the hall of fame.

One of them is the video campaign. The video piece is an ad for a product, granted, but it does meet the criteria for explainer videos, as it talks about the brand, the product, its perks, who the product is meant for, and why the company chose to do things a certain way. The video gained over 23 million views in four years, deemed as one of the most genius ads of all times.

So, what makes an explainer video stand out of the pack? It is hard to break things down into the smallest components, but specialists agree it needs to cover some bases, so it has growing chances of success:

  • Design – the video should be tailored so that your audience identifies and empathize with the characters. Also, it should more or less subtly feature your brand’s colors and catchy music that matches the subject and the style of the video.
  • The element of noveltyour brains react to novelty. By placing concepts and ideas which are apparently different or contradictory on the same page, you give people’s brains something to be intrigued about. If it baffles and gives us something we didn’t actually think about before, we are more likely to watch that video and share it, so others see it as well.
  • The element of curiosity – this can be achieved by the headline, usually, or by how you introduce the explainer video to the world. This is the gray area all marketers need to tread carefully because some great pieces of content failed without catchy enough headlines. On the other hand, curiosity-sparking headlines turned out to be click bait and poor-quality deliverance, so you need to be very picky when it comes to the title, headline, and meta-description and so on.
  • The emotions – any video, explainer or not, should trigger viewers’ emotions. Among the emotions mostly linked to viral videos, researchers found amusement, interest, surprise, happiness, hope, affection, and excitement. You can tweak and twist your explainer video, so it triggers such emotions into your viewers. A/B testing, focus groups, and polling are good resources to learn how your video is perceived by targeted viewers before you officially release it.

Explainer videos come in many shapes and sizes – it is only natural. If you want to showcase a hot app to Millenials, you should tailor it so it speaks to them. There are no two explainer videos alike, but there are some guidelines when creating them to take into account:

  • Screencast video – if you are on a tight budget, such a video is the simplest solution to present how your product or service works and why is your company so proud to deliver such products/services to its target audience. It is a branding tool more than a sales tool, and it works great for those who want to take their time and compare brands, products, and services before they make a purchase. Its purpose is to attract prospects and leads and keep people close to your brand.
  • Cartoon videos – this is the face of business storytelling: you tell a story where there is a problem few know how to solve, and your company is the hero who saves the day and comes in with a fast and perfect solution. Such videos, while expensive, have incredible viral potential. They are also usually amusing, triggering the humor and interest emotions while delivering a real solution to a real problem. As a piece of advice, in such videos, it is essential to use characters that embody your brand and key people in your company, so your target audience identifies with them. It is essential to know your demographics by heart before you release it.
  • Whiteboard animations – complex and pretty expensive, such animated explainer videos are perfect when you need to explain complex concepts, so the user has two sources of information: audio explanation and real-time drawing. It is usually used to showcase IT solutions, software, apps, complex services and so on.
  • Motion graphics – used to explain even more complex concepts. It’s the “serious” type of explainer video that works well with financial issues, stock market fluctuations and so on. They are educational and work great as branding tools while they humanize your company and offers people simple explanations to challenging

Explainer videos, just like movie trailers (if the comparison can be made) should be short in length (from 30 seconds to 2 minutes) and visually striking. If all you want is to showcase your brand, the décor can consist of your company’s offices for instance, but if you want to go the full ten yards, you need to consider bringing aboard good animators, insightful designers, and expert multi-media specialists to edit the piece to the highest standards possible. Technology is on your side – remember that video also boosts your SEO efforts – but you should make it visible and accessible on mobile, not only on desktops and shareable. Even more, it should be available on several social networks, and not only on your website.

With these things in mind, you can start thinking about creating your next viral explainer video and enjoy the optimization boost, social media buzz, and conversions!

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