In any business, engagement is paramount. You can’t hope to convert to sales or gain loyal customers without being able to engage them. This is becoming harder and harder, as more and more things compete for our attention every minute. How do you draw your potential customer in, and keep them enraptured with what you have to offer? Explainer videos are the answer. While not too many sites in the country are using this strategy, using explainer videos in the Philippines can really give your business a boost.
What is an explainer video?
Video has become an important aspect of our daily media consumption. They are excellent for telling your brand’s story, and an engaging way of telling your potential customers what you can offer them. Explainer videos specialize in this — short, animated clips that introduce and summarize your brand.
Explainer videos also go by the term “home page video” and “landing page video”. You can probably point out a few websites that have nothing on their site’s homepage except for a video that narrates who they are and how they can help you. Aside from a subtle toolbar that allows for site navigation, the video takes the whole spotlight.
Such was the technique that file-sharing giant Dropbox used to attract its customers and grow. Their explainer video “explained” what you can do with their service, like some sort of animated calling card for your site or business. It tells your customers who you are, what you do, and almost nothing else. Given that a majority of people are visual learners, such an introduction makes more of an impact and helps people remember you long after they left your site.
Explainer videos are growing in popularity, as faster Internet speeds and more powerful machines make the effective transmission of audio and video content an easy task. Explainer videos in the Philippines are also much easier to deliver. Everyone’s in on this, not just the millennial generation. Forbes revealed in a study that a majority (59%) of C-level executives would rather watch a video than read a block of text. Text-based information still has its place, but it’s fast disappearing from the homepage of the modern business.
Explainer videos are not just perfect for telling people what you can do. It is also an effective tool for sales conversions. A survey conducted by Internet Retailer revealed that watching a video helped 52% of customers be more confident about making their online purchases. Unlike text, video (at least the good kind) takes more effort to create. This translates to professionalism and dedication, by showing the visitors that you are willing to make an effort to get your point across. In the same survey, 66% of consumers mentioned that they will even watch videos more than once. This translates to more opportunities to making a lasting good impression upon your potential customer base.
In a sense, the explainer video is the modern counterparts of the elevator pitch. People don’t want to read because it takes up too much time. That’s why you have to be able to define your brand in as short a time as possible.
But this is easier said than done.
Is your explainer video effective?
When making an explainer video, it is very easy to get lost. This is especially true for those new in making explainer videos in the Philippines. You could too easily focus on the things that you want to say, instead of the things that people want to hear. It’s not all about grabbing your video editing software and editing away. It’s a structured — often painstaking — process.
Here are the top things you need to consider when creating a good explainer video.
1.) The script matters most.
Your script is the backbone of your video, and is the key to the minds of the customer.
You would think that you want to write the script yourself, “to get it right”. However, it is one of those rare times when you have to get the help of someone who is not affiliated with the business. Remember that the main audience of the explainer video would be your site’s visitors — people who don’t know the nitty-gritty of your company. You’d need a fresh pair of eyes, someone who knows exactly what a newcomer would be expecting when they click that play button.
Your script should be tailored as much as possible for the layman. No jargon, and no inside references. You need to consider the following:
- What demographic you are talking to
- What problem this demographic has that you are solving
- Your service in a nutshell — in as little as one to two sentences. This can include a basic layout of your services.
- A call to action
It is also important to ensure that your script jives with the creative direction your video will take — if the visuals don’t jive with the words, the video will come across as disjointed and unpleasant.
2.) Keep it short and sweet.
According to a study by Kissmetrics, videos that last up to 1 minute can keep around 70-80% of its viewers’ attention span. Nudge it up to about 2-3 minutes and the video only gets watched a little more than 50% of the way through.
This means that you have to keep your video as short as possible, without rushing through. Keep it interesting, with as few words as possible, and people are more likely to remember your message. The average is around 150 words a minute, with appropriate pauses.
Don’t fall into the trap of telling people all there is about your business. On the contrary, use the explainer video to build curiosity and excitement about the service, so people will take the leap and get to know you better. Focus not on what your business has, but how it can solve their problems.
3.) Keep it lively.
No matter how good your visuals are, your video won’t be watched if your voice sounds dull, or if the audio is poorly recorded. Eliminate awkward pauses, pops, crackles, and the like. Keep the voice engaging and animated, too. Use background music only to highlight the narration and to set the tone, or when there is no narration at all.
In the same way, great audio can’t save your explainer video if you’re using PowerPoint-style visuals. Use moving elements (just not enough to distract) and large fonts. This is a common mistake in explainer videos in the Philippines. The most effective videos nowadays are animated using hand-drawn graphics, so it pays to invest in a good studio to help craft it for you. They will make sure that the visuals serve to highlight — instead of distract from — the message you are trying to get across.
Above all, keep the video fun — your customers can tell when you sound strained or forced into delivering your lines. Work some witty and relatable lines into your script, and make your visuals lighthearted. A little entertainment factor can set you miles above your competitors. Use something humorous or surprising if it fits the bill.
4.) Mind the technical side.
Choose a good video server, and integrate the video properly on the site. Plan for mobile viewers, too. The perfect video will be useless unless people can access it all the time. It would also help if you can promote the video on other platforms (such as social media) to help increase its viewership.
Here’s what the experts say
As if that’s not enough, several experts also have their own take on how they make each explainer video successful. Here are a few of their top tips.
Wyzowl. Wyzowl is an explainer video company whose clients include top companies, especially in the technological front — Seagate, LG, Oracle, Barracuda, Kodak, and a lot more. To them, choosing the right video style is a very important part in their company’s success.
In their blog, Wyzowl gives us different video types:
- Great for showing customers how your site works.
- Great for inexpensive videos that demand simple imagery for complex subjects.
- Kinetic typography. Great for driving home messages and creating impact through words.
- Animation and Stop Motion. Perhaps the most complex, but are great for engaging and entertaining at the same time.
- Live action. Great for showing people behind the scenes.
VideoGuru. The company is an expert at creating explainer videos for almost any industry, with hundreds of clients around the globe. But they don’t just make great videos — they also give tips on how to incorporate it in your site.
According to them, a great video-based landing page contains the following elements:
- Title and subtitle
- Explainer video
- Concise company description
- Benefits of the company
- A contact form and call to action
- Client logo/branding
They also mentioned that landing pages should undergo A/B testing, where two different versions of the landing page are seen by different sets of users, to determine which one is more effective at engaging and converting.
Demo Duck. Demo Duck is still a young company, but it has worked for some big ticket names like Netflix, Lowe’s, and Crazy Egg. They have also launched a sister site, Video Brewery, for startups in need of low-cost explainer videos.
In an interview with The Startup Videos, Demo Duck’s CEO cites the fact that too many companies want to play it safe in the creation of their content. This might sound like a good idea, but a “safe” video breaks no grounds. It is not fun, and does not disrupt the game. It is more challenging to create “interesting” videos, but “new and risky” is the way to be heard in an overcrowded marketplace.
The Best of All Time
To illustrate the points we had, let’s take a look at some of the best explainer videos of all time.
This is a combination of live action and motion graphics. The work is trendy and explains the business well. It also happens to be created by none other than Adam Lisagor. In an interview, Lisagor mentioned that they strive to make the product “look as good as it is” in their videos. To him, being able to present a product in the best light possible has value in itself. A good product to start with, incidentally, also allows the team behind the video to have more freedom with presenting the most interesting aspects of the business from the customer’s standpoint.
This is a great example of simplicity. Aside from entertaining visuals and a good background, this short video has no voice-over or fancy designs. This setup lets the video highlight Spotify as a music service, with great music being on the foreground.
This is a great example of the short-and-sweet technique, with the entire concept being explained in 30 seconds flat. The video was made by Brad Chmielewski. In his Tumblr blog, Brad describes himself as someone who loves to “brainstorm and collaborate with people” — two acts that can bring a great explainer video to life.
Onto the Big Guns
We have already mentioned some of the best explainer video companies around — Demo Duck, Video Guru, and Wyzowl. Here are a few more that you shouldn’t miss, to give your video the edge it deserves:
- Sandwich Video. Headed by Adam Lisagor, and made videos for Facebook, Starbucks, Yahoo, Slack, Uber, Amazon, Dolby, and EBay — among other big-ticket clients.
- Again Studios. Made explainer videos for large names as Google and TomTom.
- Made videos for Intel, Citrix, Emirates National Bank, Jamba Juice, and other clients from 18 countries.
- Cartoon Media. Made videos for Allianz, Siemens, and Cargill.
- Switch Video. Made videos for Dropbox and SalesForce.
For those seeking to create explainer videos from the Philippines and through local companies, there is also a selection:
- Sophie Creatives
- Plainly Simple Studios
- Cebu Web Concepts
There are also lots of individual animators from Upwork that can help out, though you will need to be more hands-on in working with them.
There will be a lot of changes as technology and user preference shift — but here are three of the most important.
The social media landscape will be an even more important scene for videos, with Facebook being the foremost battle front. Text posts will decline, and your company should start building explainers especially for social media.
The success of Facebook Live will usher in the age of live videos, which, when framed properly, could be perfect for explainers.
The video world is fast being shaken up by the Virtual Reality wave, so it is time to start preparing for VR-worthy explainers — the better to engage your customers with.
The act of using visuals to engage and inform has gone a long way from its PowerPoint days. As computers amplify the power of the human mind, everything has become possible. Even explainer videos in the Philippines are getting their break, despite our dismal connection speeds. But as more and more content flood the senses everyday, it gets harder and harder to be heard. How will you stand at the forefront of your industry? The answer could be a short video embedded in an otherwise blank homepage — and it could change your business forever.