What strategies do you use to acquire new clients?
Whether you’re an agency that employs a team of professionals or a freelancer working solo, getting customers takes a well-thought-out approach. And animated explainer videos could just be the perfect medium to help you achieve your goals.
If you look at the various types of multimedia assets your business has at its disposal, videos undoubtedly make some of the most valuable ones. As a short explainer telling your brand’s story, these videos have a wide range of uses. Their efficiency particularly stands out in describing products or services that would be difficult to articulate with words alone.
Since one of the first animated explainer videos was published by Common Craft in 2008, many companies have realized the possibilities offered by such content. Concise, understandable, visually attractive, and preferable to the human brain than other media types, professionals have been doing their best to tap into the potential of animated explainer videos.
And the great news is, they’re so much more than an animated product/service description tool. Explainer videos also make for a powerful marketing method, capable of kickstarting growth through boosting site traffic, brand recognition, conversions, and, ultimately, your bottom line.
The Value Of Animated Explainer Videos
There are different reasons why animated media is worth creating. The most obvious one of those is, of course, the success of videos in general.
As a type of asset that drives both traffic and conversions, explainer videos offer a high ROI. Plus, they’re easy to repost and reuse, making them one of the most versatile pieces of content in your arsenal.
So what are the exact benefits of using animated explainer videos on your website?
1. They’re Shareable
One of the most impactful gains to your business when using animated explainer videos will be the shareability aspect. On average, video content gets 12 times the shares of images or text. Plus, it promises a significant boost to organic traffic, both from SERPs and authority websites. Because they are concise, understandable, and look good, videos are the ideal multimedia for blog that posts product reviews (like this post for example), as well as for how-to guides on a variety of topics.
2. They’re Easily Digestible
The average person reads at a speed of 300 words per minute. This speed, naturally, depends on the complexity of the material at hand. The advantage of video, in this regard, comes from two elements.
The first is pace, with video having the capacity to shorten the amount of time necessary to digest a piece of content. The second, more impactful advantage comes in the form of visual and auditory feedback. Because it combines these two types of input, video lessens the amount of active effort necessary to understand information. This makes the medium a highly effective form of teaching material.
3. They’re Emotionally Impactful
In terms of advertising, appealing to people’s emotions has long led the race in an attempt to attract clients and customers. As studies have shown, emotions often play a much larger role than critical thinking in purchasing decisions, especially when advertisers manage to elicit a positive emotional response or association towards their brand. And it turns out that the second most efficient way of forming a bond between entities is through video, preceded only by in-person communication.
4. They’re Branded
The last significant advantage video offers over texts or imagery is that it is far more memorable than written content. According to Pop Video, consumers are likely to retain a staggering 95% of the information found in a video, compared to a mere 10% explained through text. For companies and individuals attempting to work on their branding, this is an extremely significant benefit of using animated explainer videos, especially for cornerstone content, unique value propositions, and company mission introductions.
Animated Explainer Videos: Creation Guide & Examples
Now that you understand the basics behind why video works, it’s time to get down to business and come up with a plan to incorporate these multimedia assets into your content marketing strategy.
Although the production process will take a bit more effort than a traditional blog post, image, or infographic, there is no doubt that the ROI will be higher too.
Example #1: Write An Awesome Script
When it comes to creating content that will be engaging, shareable, and that’ll inspire conversions, your first course of action needs to be the planning phase. For video, this means writing a script.
On the whole, you don’t have to be a professional to write a video script. However, it’s safe to say that there’s a noticeable difference between material composed by amateurs and experienced professionals. When hiring a screenplay writer, look for someone who has a background in your industry, who will be capable of adapting to your brand’s voice, and who understands the importance of brevity.
Make sure to clearly define goals about the purpose, tone, and overall look of your video before you start the writing process. Knowing what effect you want to achieve with the video will allow the production team to make the right creative choices, injecting the correct dose of branding for maximum impact.
If you take a look at this animated explainer by Osano, you’ll see that it’s a great example of a well-written asset. It addresses a commonly asked question, describes a complex subject to a wide audience, and uses humor and imagery to promote easier understanding. The equivalent of a well-written blog post, it uses metaphors and imagery to drive understanding, thus managing to cover a relatively complex issue in less than 90 seconds.
Example #2: Keep Things Short
Now, you may be tempted to go into detail about your brand or offer. However, you need to consider the statistical data about video engagement.
According to Wistia’s research, video engagement drops after the 2nd minute. Interestingly enough, if it does end up being longer than 6 minutes, you’ll be very unlikely to see serious consequences, as long as it doesn’t run longer than 12 minutes.
Think about the standard length of different marketing videos. You’ll likely find that commercials run somewhere between 15 and 60 seconds, explainer videos go from 90 to 120 seconds, and crowdfunding content runs just over 2 minutes.
A good rule of thumb to keep things within a desirable timeline is to have your script contain the following elements:
- An introduction that is 1-3 sentences long. You can start by introducing your speaker, describing an imaginary customer, or speaking directly to the viewer.
- A hypothesis/question that presents a problem your product addresses.
- The solution your company offers, along with 2-3 customer-oriented benefits.
- A call to action.
Of course, you can include additional elements like social proof or more detailed how-tos. Whatever you opt for, always make sure that you keep within the conventional timeframe to achieve the best possible effect.
To see how length impacts engagement, take a look at these two explainer videos by Slack.
This first video is around 30 seconds longer than the second one, yet it’s noticeably less engaging. Yes, it does go into more detail regarding the way the app works, but, from the point of view of a new customer, it makes out the onboarding process to be much more complicated than it actually is.
The second, shorter, explainer rights these wrongs. It follows the prescribed script elements we’ve talked about, keeping to the conventional 90-second length. It covers features and benefits just in the right way to intrigue but not to overwhelm.
Example #3: Focus On The Consumer
When pitching your product as a possible solution to a customer’s needs, your best bet is to address the issue from their POV. And that means paying extra attention to how you present the features you offer.
Ideally, your explainer video will position the consumer as the central focus of the narrative. Whether you create an animated representation of the person or simply speak to them as if you were having a conversation, your ultimate goal will be to show them the full potential of your services.
Take a look at ClickUp’s animated explainer video.
In this video, the production team based the script on the app’s benefits and capabilities. There are 5 points covered in total:
- ClickUp organizes all work in one place.
- It allows customers to only use one app.
- Users can choose and create a multitude of views, including calendars, timelines, etc.
- Workflows are shareable.
- There are automatic import and integration features to make the transition process seamless.
Of course, this is not the only way to go about presenting your product’s benefits. You can just as well give a quick overview of the software features or offer a brief demonstration.
Examples #4 & #5: Prioritize Storytelling & Emotional Impact
If you go back to the science behind what makes ads effective, you’ll quickly realize that emotional impact makes for one of the most valuable elements of your video. However, it’s essential to understand that you don’t have to produce something that resembles a Coca-Cola Christmas ad.
You can achieve just as powerful of an effect by keeping things straightforward and relatable.
The easiest way to get an emotional response from your potential clients is to voice their frustrations in the problem-presenting part of your video. For example, if you look at the Ahrefs explainer, you’ll see that the emotion is delivered in the first 20 seconds.
The resource starts by reminding potential customers that they’ve spent a great deal of money on their website but poor SEO is preventing them from getting the results they need. For many businesses, this type of approach will be the best way to connect to their audiences.
However, it’s not the only solution. If you really want to get your message across, you can add a storytelling element to your script.
The Meet Grumpy Grandpa animated video from Bay Alarm Medical follows the routine of an animated senior citizen. It addresses a contrast between the main character’s need to remain independent and the realistic safety risks they deal with daily. Once the premise is fully set, the medical alarm product is presented as the ideal compromise between independence and safety, thanks to its non-intrusive yet efficient design.
This video works because it’s equally impactful when being watched by an elderly person and a caregiver. It addresses the universal worry over the safety of our loved ones. And most importantly, it justifies our wish to keep them protected without imposing on their personal freedom.
Example #6: Hire Professionals
The last tip for creating amazing content is, of course, to leave the more technically demanding aspects of the creation process to professionals.
If you’ve chosen the route of going animated, you’ll need to hire an artist who gets your visual branding. They’ll not only have to use the appropriate style for your type of product and storytelling agenda. They should also have the skill to successfully implement visual branding elements such as your logo, an animated representation of your service, and your preferred typography.
The one explainer video that does this perfectly comes from Miro. An asset that doesn’t feature a voiceover, it relies on impressive visuals that are the perfect equivalent of what potential customers see on the company’s website. Not only are the fonts and colors on point, but the video also features fun and engaging snippets of the app in action, making it more appealing for people looking for this type of solution.
Other than visuals, you’ll also need audio. The best course of action is to hire a voice actor who’ll be able to record a professional voiceover. Pay attention to the background music you use as well, as it will have a significant influence on your emotional impact. As you can see, although the above example by Miro skips the voiceover, it still uses an uplifting music background to portray the app’s usability and creative solutions.
If you’re on a tighter budget, you can skip the bespoke option and use open-source music for your explainer, combining it with text overlays. Still, be aware that it won’t be as effective at conveying information as a multimedia asset.
Using Animated Explainer Videos To Boost Site Traffic
So, you’ve got yourself a great video that perfectly sums up what your business is all about. Now what? Well, what you’ll need to do from here is get as many eyeballs on the asset as possible.
The most obvious step is, of course, to upload your video to your website. You can choose to display it on your homepage, as done here on Twine. Or, you can create a separate How It Works or Resources page and place it there.
Moreover, explainer videos will be a great media type to add directly to the landing pages you use for lead generation, mainly because these spaces tend to get large amounts of paid and organic traffic.
Of course, don’t forget about social media either.
These explainers should make for a consistent part of your content marketing strategy, and they’re perfect for platforms like Facebook and Instagram. In fact, video works so well on these platforms that over 4 billion views happen on Facebook every day.
Lastly, if you have the resources required, you can consider basing your entire content marketing strategy around animated explainer videos. By uploading to YouTube, you’re tapping into one of the most popular social networks. And the best part is, many industries are still relatively poorly represented on the platform.
You can take inspiration from Notion, whose channel is filled with various explainers, tutorials, feature reveals, and advanced tips. Interestingly enough, they even have a whole playlist dedicated to user reviews, tutorials, and templates, showing just how well the company understands the potential of video content.
Having all of these resources available right on their channel, they’re making the most of user-generated content, allowing them to create the perfect collection of video content combining in-house and influencer-made materials.
As you can see, there’s a lot you can get from incorporating animated explainer videos in your marketing strategy. Whether you need an ad, a way to present your product to your customers, or you want to reach a relevant audience on social media, you’ll find that these assets have excellent potential to grow your business.
Looking to hire an animator for your explainer video? Post up a job on Twine and freelance animators will contact you with their rates.
Once your project is underway, streamline the revision process with ReviewStudio, which allows you to annotate video drafts with detailed notes for the freelancer, saving time and ensuring a top-quality result.