As a business owner, you may be weighing your options on whether to invest in custom explainer videos or use a DIY explainer video software platform that provides ready-made templates, graphics, characters, and props, for creating explainer videos.
Just so we’re clear, DIY software platforms are not a bad thing. In fact, if you’re the hands-on type, creating your own DIY short video to explain your company’s products and services can be fun.
To create custom explainer videos or DIY explainer video? That is the question.
This very question is what lead me to speak with explainer video creation expert, Moloy Dey.
Moloy is a veteran video producer and the Founder of Pixelgenio, a company that specializes in creating custom explainer videos for companies and brands around the world.
Over the last few years, I have witnessed Moloy drive crazy results for several big brands as well as SMBs.
But before we get to Moloy’s expert insights, let’s talk about why explainer videos are such an efficient and engaging way to tell potential customers about your business.
Why create explainer videos?
According to a 2015 article by TIME titled, You Now Have a Shorter Attention Span Than a Goldfish, it only takes about eight seconds before we lose our focus, and our minds start to wonder.
That said, I’m guessing many of you have already clicked away from this article. You know what this means, right? It means the rest of us can talk about you now. (Kidding!)
Still reading? Awesome, because whether you’re the hands-on type or not, following are some great tips for ensuring a successful explainer video that your audience will enjoy watching, including:
- The 5 elements to include when you create explainer videos
- The ideal length for an explainer video (PSSST. It’s not what you think)
- Some of the most common mistakes seen in explainer videos
- And more
The 5 elements to include in your explainer video
While you may be tempted to talk about your product or service features, the most important element to include in your animated explainer video is STORY.
As most marketers understand, storytelling is one of the best ways to engage an audience of potential customers. Through storytelling you get to hook your audience while helping them to understand your value proposition.
“The foundation of the story is set at the script-writing stage,” explains Moloy. “This is where the writer figures out how to narrate the story while defining the audience’s problem and demonstrating how the company provides a solution. Real-life scenarios are an impactful way to do this.”
The second element to include in your explainer video animation is EMPATHY. While the objective of your animation video is to demonstrate your company’s offering, it’s important to keep in mind that the video really isn’t about “you” or your business. It’s about your customer.
“You have to emotionally connect with your audience,” says Moloy. “People don’t buy products, they buy from an emotional level and if you can make the customer the hero of your story, this creates the desired emotional trigger.”
What does every business strive to do? Solve a PROBLEM! Whether you’re manufacturing thingamajigs or providing a service, what you’re really doing is catering to your customers’ needs by solving their problem. If you can show this in your explainer video, you’ve hit a homerun.
“Instead of highlighting the features of your offering, it’s important to focus on the problem. By the way, showing that you understand your target market’s problem also creates emphathy,” states Moloy.
And what do we all look for when we have a problem? A SOLUTION. Again, showing the solution that your business provides through storytelling is a powerful way to demonstrate your business’ value proposition.
“Once the problem is described, which trigger the emotions, only then is it the right time to offer a solution in your explainer video story,” Moloy explains.
5. Call to Action
Of course, any marketing collateral wouldn’t be complete without a strong CALL TO ACTION. As we know, customers and potential customers need to be guided.
As Moloy explains, “It’s very important to define the right call to action because your explainer video serves as part of the top of your sales funnel. With your story, you create an interest and craving to know more about your product or service. Once your audience is excited about how you’re going to solve their problem, they’ll want to know more, and you need to clearly mention where they should go next and treat it as a second step in the funnel towards making the sale.”
The ideal length of an explainer video
When it comes to video, the rule of thumb is ‘the shorter the better.’ Afterall, we don’t want to lose the audience’s attention, right? Here’s what Moloy has to say about length:
“People talk about the ideal length all the time but really, there is no ideal length for an explainer video. There are so many variables. It depends on your marketing strategy as well as how and where you want to use the video.
“A good example is if you are using an explainer video to generate leads on a social media site such as Facebook. In this case, it’s best to keep it as short as possible, preferably within 30 seconds. The objective of an explainer video for social media is to highlight one main pain point with a “learn more” button where viewers can be directed to a landing page. Depending on the strategy, this landing page could have another explainer video that’s a little longer in length and that describes your offering in more detail.”
While 90 seconds seems to be the preferred length these days, To Moloy’s point, it’s important to not let yourself feel constrained by rules. Especially when you’ve got a great story to tell that follows the empathyproblem solution call-to-action elements outlined above.
If you’re focusing on length of time instead of your story, you will paralyze your creativity and we don’t want that.
A few DON’Ts when it comes to animated explainer videos
If you have a story in mind for your next explainer video here are a few tips:
DON’T try to say too much. Often, people try to cram in every great detail about their product or service. The important thing is to keep your messaging simple. You’re not producing a feature film here. You want to generate interest with a “next step” objective. (Call us today! Click here for more info!)
DON’T focus too much on the features of your offering. Remember that in order to be engaging, you need to tell a story. This is how you’ll keep your audience’s interest.
DON’T forget to properly define your call to action. Your audience really does need to be told what to do next. Otherwise, they’ll simply watch your video and then click over to another site.
If your explainer video is going to be your audience’s first impression of your business, DON’T use templates from DIY explainer video software. (I will come back to this a little later.)
There’s a misconception out there that it’s super expensive to produce custom animated explainer videos and that DYI explainer video software offers a cost-effective alternative. The truth is that there are many really good explainer video companies out there that can produce a customized, 90 second explainer video for about $1,500 to $3,000 USD. (Click here to get a one-time exclusive discount on your next explainer video.)
“Imagine creating a live action video or TV commercial with actors,” says Moloy. “The cost would be a minimum of $10,000 USD. Video animation actually offers a great value for your investment.”
Coming back to the long-asked question “Why use custom explainer videos when DIY explainer video software is available?”
I mentioned earlier that DIY explainer video software can be a great solution. At the same time, remember that your explainer video may be your potential customers’ very first impression of your business. As well, your explainer video provides an opportunity to show off your brand personality and resonate with clients.
The moment you use a DIY animated explainer video tool, your video stylization becomes generic in nature with many other businesses using the same style of graphics and animation. As a result, your brand does not stand out from the crowd. And let’s face it, there’s a lot of noise out there and to make an impact, you have to stand out. Custom explainer videos give you a way to do that by resonating with your customer’s needs.
Let’s take the example of a regular web page and a product sales page. While the web page may contain all the required information about your product or service, it is not optimized for sales conversion. In marketing speak, that’s simply not the main landing page’s “job”.
On the contrary, a sales page requires the skills and expertise of an experienced marketer who understands the customer journey, uses proven copywriting and design techniques, and scientifically triggers the site visitors’ psychology to guide their attention down the sales funnel.
Using DIY software tools for the same scenario Moloy has this to say, “When you make your own explainer video using DIY explainer video software, you lack power to drive results. Whether it’s lead generation, sales, or the funnel process, custom explainer videos can help you generate 7X more conversions as compared to template-based DIY videos.”
That said, if you really are the hands-on type, Moloy recommends the following software platforms for their user-friendly interface:
And all this talk about video wouldn’t be complete without … you guessed it. A VIDEO! Here’s the conversation between Moloy and I, where he shares other nuggets on how to produce great explainer videos!
In my next article on this series about explainer videos I’ll be talking to you about my fave subject: Script writing!
Meanwhile, planning an explainer video? Get a custom explainer video at just $297 by clicking here.