Explainer videos are great, but as with every marketing tool, you need to know how to use them. And for that, you need a plan on how to create a great video — every step is important here!
1. What Are the Goals of Your Video?
You need to understand what the main goal of your explainer video should be. Do you want to explain your product, service, or a new feature? Increase sales or leads? Tell your brand story? Educate your audience?
What’s crucial is to select 1 goal. Focus is necessary to hook your viewers; you don’t want to be all over the place with your video. Remember, you can always create more videos for other goals.
It’s also important that your explainer video fits your marketing strategy and has its own purpose in your sales and marketing funnel. There should be harmony — it should be one of many gears in your marketing machine.
2. Decide on Your Main Message
This is where clients are most likely to make a major mistake. They’ll try to say everything to everyone. This will almost guarantee your explainer video will fail. You need to have 1 main message, then develop the rest of the concept around that core. Otherwise, your viewer will be distracted and won’t remember anything. Or worse, stop your video because it’s ineffective.
3. Decide on an Audience
The same warning applies here. Don’t try to talk to everybody. Get your target audience, and be specific. Let’s say you’re a B2B company. Deciding simply to make a B2B video isn’t enough. Are you speaking to account executives? Sales managers? CEOs? CEOs of SMBs? CEOs of enterprise level corporations? It’s these details that make the difference. And remember, if you don’t speak to anyone particular, you don’t speak to anyone.
4. Decide on Your Style
Style doesn’t just mean visuals. We also have to decide on the concept and style of script.
•Visual Style. First and foremost, the visual style should be custom. No templates or online creation platforms are allowed if you want to create a tailored message to display your brand properly. Also, the style should fit your company’s image, branding, and the kind of message you want to deliver. You’re probably not going to use wacky characters and bright colors for a funeral service (although that might work since it’s so unusual!).
•Script. The style of script also needs to fit the message and audience you’re targeting. Should it be conversational? Formal? Funny? Serious? You can use some casual lingo that speaks to your audience but don’t play around with it too much. Ultimately, the script should be straightforward and personalized with simple language that speaks directly to the audience.
Concept. Address the pain points, provide your solution, and tell about the benefits your customers will receive. Don’t get too deep with features — it’s more important to share the positive results people get in the end — BENEFITS. And don’t forget the CTA; the Call To Action. Your viewers need to be told specifically what you want them to do at the end, whether it’s head to your product page, sign up, ask for a free trial, or something else.
5. Decide on Your Explainer Video Length
Most agencies advise going with 60 – 90 seconds and this is true when it’s your first and/or main video. Shorter or longer videos can also work well, depending on what kind of information you need to explain. You can learn more and make a decision on which length works best for your video in this post.
6. Decide on Where to Use Your Video
This is often something marketers start thinking about after the video is finished and inexperienced explainer video producers forget to ask before they start production. If you’re using it on social media, you can use a CTA to point people where they can learn more. If you’ve got it on a homepage, they’re already there so your CTA may say something different. Knowing where the video will be shown is important because it should correlate with your sales or marketing funnels. If the video is used for remarketing campaigns, people will already have familiarity with your business, and you should focus more on why you’re different from your competitors. If you’re targeting an entirely new audience, they don’t even yet know if or why they need your product, so you’ll need to inform them. They are many scenarios that can come into play, which is why this needs to be figured out before beginning.
7. Where to Host Your Explainer Video
Video is far more effective when you use it properly. You can customise your call to action for different marketing campaigns, collect email addresses, convert users, integrate marketing or CRM software, etc. Different hosts have different options, and you need to select the right one to be able to customize your CTA. We recommend you check out Vimeo and Wistia. Of course, you’ll want to upload to YouTube as well, since this is the second most popular search engine behind Google. Also, having videos on YouTube helps you with SEO on the Google platform.
8. Plan Your Explainer Video Budget
We wouldn’t bring this up if it weren’t the fact that there are so many conflicting opinions. You’ll find prices that vary from $50 – $50,000. Here’s the bottom line. If you want to have a proper, custom made 60-second explainer video, plan your budget starting at $3000. Also, there’s no need to go beyond 10k for an animated explainer video (depending on style and length). Learn more about how style and length affect pricing here.
9. What to Consider When Selecting an Explainer Video Company
3 things. Pricing, Portfolio, Experience. Also, make sure it’s not just a bunch of creatives creating nice visuals. Explainer videos are primarily marketing tools, and then art. You need to make sure whoever you work with also has a great marketing expert on the team that understands your objectives and strategy. And talk with the company to see if they’ll let you have the source files in the end. You never know if you’ll need any changes made down the line (new logo, different CTA, etc.) See if the company will also provide you with GIFs for your Google Adwords campaign.
We recommend you plan this process to give yourself enough time for a production that isn’t rushed. Most places will quote 6 – 8 weeks, and for good reason. They need to learn your business, create a great concept, and produce the video from scratch. And what many people tend to forget is, each step along the way needs to be approved by you. If you take 3 business days to approve or provide feedback every time, that could add weeks!
Explainer videos are a fantastic tool to add to your marketing strategy. But just like anything else in business, you need to have a plan. Without that, you may as well leave your video buried in a folder somewhere on your computer. Put the right strategy in motion, though, and you’ll see great results. For a free consultation on how to make an explainer video work for you, contact us here.