Educate and inform with explainer videos.

Tell your customers how to best use your company’s product or service with video content. Show them the ins and outs of what you have to offer.

An explainer video being watched on a latop

What is an explainer video?

Explainer videos are effective ways to answer customer questions. These short, expository videos usually talk about a discrete or limited topic and help viewers better understand a certain aspect of your company’s product or service.

 

Explainer videos are generally geared toward customers or potential customers, but they are not, strictly speaking, marketing videos. Promo and marketing videos are made to generate excitement about a new product, service or brand. Explainer videos educate your customer about how to do something. Video marketing is about getting customers in the door and increasing conversion rates, while explainer videos are about helping them, keeping them happy and providing them with useful information.

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Define your target audience.

Knowing who you’re talking to and what they need is key to making an amazing explainer video. “It always starts with the questions, ‘Who is our target audience? Who are we talking to? And what message do we want to convey to them?’” says filmmaker and director Mike Leonard. “Those are the baseline creative questions that dictate the rest of the project.” If you know who your audience is, you’re likely to know what their pain points are and these pain points should inform topics for your explainer videos.

 

Defining your target audience will also help you to understand how much information they may or may not have about your topic. If you’re making a video for people in a given industry, you can assume a certain amount of baseline expertise. However, if you’re making a video for the general public, you don’t want to use industry jargon or assume that your audience is familiar with technical references.

 

Stay focused and get to the point.

The best explainer videos stay focused. It’s easy to put extraneous content into a video, but if you don’t get to the point you’ll lose both the viewer’s attention and goodwill. If you’re doing a live-action explainer video, avoid the temptation to begin with small talk or pleasantries. “They didn’t come to your site to get to know you,” says filmmaker Taylor Kavanaugh. “They came to your site to figure stuff out. They want that information in 60 seconds or less.”

 

Keep your information clean and clear. Begin by telling them what the video will cover and then tell them what they need to know using the clearest language possible. “End with a quick recap,” says Kavanaugh. “Here’s what we talked about, here’s what we did and here’s some hyperlinks for additional information.”

Cartoon illustration of a person flying a drone
A person explaining how to pair a drone to their phone in an explainer video

Design and produce explainer videos.

Explainer videos are successful insofar as customers trust them and good video production is key to earning and maintaining that trust. Making your video look professional and polished speaks to your credibility. “If a video about how to do something online doesn’t look good, you’re probably going to distrust it,” says Kavanaugh.

 

Great explainer videos leverage visuals and text alike to explain things to an audience. There are several types of explainer videos, but animated videos and graphics offer an opportunity for you to better illustrate information. Good explainer videos aren’t just voice-overs or talking heads. Even if your explainer video is largely live-action, you’ll likely want to overlay text or graphics that drive home your most important points. If you’re explaining an app, you might want to use an animated infographic, motion graphics or whiteboard animation to both show and tell your customers what they need to know.

A series of illustrations for creating an explainer video

Animated explainer videos can naturalistically include pop-ups, graphics and visual elements illustrating what the viewer needs to know. When animated effects are deployed well, they can reinforce each other and make it more likely that your viewer will walk away with a firm grasp of the topic. “Multilayered communication increases your chances of getting people to understand what you’re trying to say,” says Kavanaugh.

 

Maintain customer relationships.

Good promo videos generate excitement. Good explainer videos maintain trust. Giving customers a positive experience after their purchase makes them more likely to make another purchase or refer their colleagues to you.

 

Marketing strategies are about more than just acquiring potential customers and getting them to buy your products. You also have to cultivate relationships, earn people’s trust and keep them happy after their transaction. Clearly addressing their pain points and solving their problems with explainer videos is a great way to accomplish this.

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