Website Explainer Videos: What Not To Do


Website Explainer Videos: What Not To Do

By now, every business knows the value of video as a marketing tool. Or, we should say, every successful business knows. As noted by online marketing guru John Rampton in his article for Forbes, “User engagement with video material is higher than other forms of content, video is more accessible than ever before (thanks to mobile devices and faster internet), and it’s easier to produce than it has been in previous generations.”

Statistics provide the support. WordStream reports the following:

87% of online marketers use video content.
51% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI. For more on this, read our blog post of April 6, 2018, “Measuring the ROI of a Video Marketing Campaign – How to Capture the Unicorn.
• Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users.

So how can you best use video for your brand? Rampton recommends starting with an explainer video, which is designed to give prospective customers and new users a run-down of what your products or services are and how they work. But while creating an explainer video may seem straightforward, there are pitfalls to avoid.

Here are 7 Common Explainer Video Mistakes to Avoid

1-Don’t forget your target audience – Every product, brand or service is made for a specific demographic. Your explainer video should represent your brand identity – be it young and hip, upscale, down-home, etc. – as well as that of your buyer persona. Whether your video is animated or live-action, be sure the script, manner of speech and appearance of characters/talent reflects (or appeals to) those of your target market. Keep the focus on your audience and their needs, rather than delivering a hard-sell about the greatness of your product or service.

2-Don’t make it too long – In this fast-paced world, people don’t have time to watch long videos. Experts recommend an average of 60 seconds, with a maximum of 90 seconds.

3-Don’t forget that you need a good script – Like any other effective marketing tool, an explainer video requires a clear, concise message with a strong call-to-action. Don’t try to convey your company’s entire history, philosophy, etc. in a single video. Introduce your product/service, describe the need it meets, describe its features/benefits, then conclude with a brief recap and the CTA. If possible, hire a professional scriptwriter.

4-Don’t talk too much about the features –People don’t want to hear details about what went into making the product during its initial development, or the difficulties you faced during the product testing stage. All they want to know is how your product will help them save time and add value to their life. Don’t speak only about the technical aspects of your product – emphasize how it will solve their issues. It is better to connect with your target audience on an emotional level than focus on specs.

5-Don’t sound too serious or boring – If appropriate, a little levity can be welcome. Just be cautious in using humor, as not everyone finds the same things funny – and, in the worst-case scenario, may even be offended. It’s easier to create an entertaining explainer video using animation than live action, as people tend to find animated characters and settings more engaging. Again, knowing your target audience will go a long way in conveying the right tone.

6-Don’t neglect the quality of your video – Constantly bombarded by videos all over the internet, audiences are more demanding than ever – and will immediately dismiss a poor-quality explainer (or any kind of) video. Invest in professional animation, voice-over talent, editing and sound mixing. If your video will be live action, hire an actor, or invest in a session with an acting or broadcasting coach to help you polish your on-camera delivery technique. Hiring professional talent should not be difficult or particularly expensive.

7-Don’t poorly distribute your video – Once your explainer video is ready, you need to upload it to all the right platforms. Many people think that uploading it to YouTube is all it takes to get an audience of prospective customers. Because your video distribution strategy is vital for getting the desired results, upload it to your website (home page, about us page, services page(s) and/or blog). Videos greatly improve website SEO, creating a win-win situation. Also post on your social media platforms, in advertising and on landing pages – which is proven to increase conversion rates and sales.

If you’ve noticed a theme running through this list, it’s summed up here: Making an effective explainer video is not a DIY project. Virtual Stacks Systems produces informative, entertaining explainer videos for a wide variety of businesses and industries. Contact us to discuss your digital video marketing needs.

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Measuring the ROI of Video Marketing – How to Capture the Unicorn

Is Your Video Marketing Strategy Working?

Video marketing has matured beyond the “next big thing” or “shiny new toy” stage. Digital consumption trends have shifted heavily toward video over the past six years. That is, people would rather watch video than read. However, grabbing eyeballs for cat videos is different from making sure your marketing video is not only being seen by members of your target market, but that its viewers are taking the desired action to make your investment worthwhile. For those wondering if it’s possible to measure the ROI of video marketing, the answer is yes. In fact, 51% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.

Achieving measurable results with video marketing takes planning and some amount of work – it isn’t as easy as posting to YouTube and waiting for views. And for those expecting your video to “go viral,” even if lightning strikes, it doesn’t mean that everyone who watches will be your customer. Approaching video in the same way as other components of your marketing campaign can help your business reach its goals – whether to draw in qualified leads, increase sales, etc. Here are the main steps.

Establish a goal – It may seem obvious, but first determine what business objective the video content addresses.

Video marketing goals typically fall into one of the following categories:
• Brand awareness
• Engagement
• Lead generation
• Lead nurturing
• Increasing sales
• Customer service
• Education (product demonstration videos, for example)

Determine what specific action you want the viewer to take after watching the video. Keep in mind that a video is one piece of your larger conversion funnel, which should also consist of social media, blogging, email marketing, etc. Tracking ROI is easier when you are more accurately able to identify each video’s place in the conversion funnel and its specific objective.

Make sure your content is designed to accomplish its goal – A video intended to generate leads should link to a demo request landing page instead of standing alone. Again, this goes back to identifying a video’s role in the conversion funnel and making sure all of the components work together. Creating a dedicated landing page for your video rather than relying on YouTube as its sole host can make a big difference, because 60% of visitors will watch a video before reading text on the web page. When visitors click on the link, they’ll be drawn to engage further with social calls-to-action, promotions of your blog, and other related materials on the page.

Establish your KPIs – Having established your goal, you need to link them to key performance indicators. KPI benchmarks are measurable and closely related to the underlying goal. KPIs provide metrics that tell you how well (or below par) the video performs.

Best KPIs for Measuring Video Marketing

• Awareness: Determined by the number of views and/or the percentage of viewers who watched the explainer video all the way through, etc.
• Engagement: Includes the percentage of completed video plays, average length of viewing, referral traffic to your website, shares on social media and comments.
• Lead generation: The number of sign-ups to a mailing list or the number of downloads of a report/booklet/whitepaper, etc., after viewing.
• Lead nurturing: The number of requests for an initial consultation, product demo or free trial product/service.
• Sales: The amount of revenue attributable to video views.

However, be aware that many of these KPIs depend upon a basis of reference. You can’t measure the impact of video on the effectiveness of a landing page without recording a baseline of how that page performs without video. Or be able to track video’s effect on purchase behavior if your content analytics aren’t integrated with a CRM (customer relation management) system – such as our own eZnetCRM platform for integrated business operations.

Establish the right frame of reference – Measurement is even more valuable when put into the context of a frame of reference that helps guide future decisions.

The basic frameworks are absolute, relative and attribution modeling ROI.

Absolute ROI  - looks at what result spending X-amount of money on the video creates. If it costs $500 to produce and nets 80 brochure downloads (your key benchmark), determining the amount each lead costs tells if the video was a profitable investment.
Relative ROI  - compares how well a video performed with your other marketing strategies. If spending the same amount of money on another strategy, like PPC text ads, which produced the better result?
Attribution Modeling ROI - measures the impact of each marketing component – such as display, social, print, etc. – on the overall results in a comprehensive manner.

The Take-home message – If your business is just looking into the marketing value of video, or is currently exploring it but not quite satisfied with the results, getting the right focus will justify your long-term investment. Our video production services at Virtual Stacks Systems produce a wide variety of marketing videos – and we provide social media marketing services for a comprehensive solution. Contact us to learn more.

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Seven Ways to Increase E-Commerce Conversions in 2018

Seven Ways to Increase E-commerce Conversions in 2018

According to the eMarketer, total e-commerce sales worldwide are expected to reach $2.77 trillion in the year 2018.

The e-commerce market has shown a steady increase in the last five years  ̶  a trend that is likely to continue. From $1.34 trillion in 2014, the e-commerce industry is projected to reach a whopping $4.48 trillion in the year 2021.  

E-commerce is a growing, yet complex market in which to succeed. It is a growing market because more and more people are turning to the internet for shopping. After all, online shopping isn’t just convenient, it spoils consumers with a variety of choices that aren’t as readily available in a brick-and-mortar retail store. And it is a complex market because not every e-commerce business owner is enjoying great profits.

If you are in the highly competitive e-commerce industry, conversion rates should be the greatest area of concern. Your e-commerce website may receive numerous visitors, but if they leave without becoming customers, it isn’t generating sales.

However, you don’t necessarily have to spend a great amount of money to improve your conversion rates. A website makeover may be in order, but there are many conversion rate optimization techniques that can improve your figures.

Understanding E-Commerce Conversion Rates:

The percentage of people who visit your website and complete the desired action is known as the conversion rate. This is the percentage of people who visit your site and buy from your online store. Nevertheless, this is not the only parameter for gauging success.

Any of the following actions can qualify as a conversion: a online sale, a buyer adding an item to their cart, someone adding an item to their wish list, social media shares, email signups and any other key performance indicator (KPI) you think is valuable for your e-commerce business.

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the method of finding ways to help the shopping experience of visitors to drive sales. On average, e-commerce conversion rates vary from 1% to 2%  ̶  but this is when you are doing most of the right things. For example, if 10,000 people visit your online store and 100 conversions are taking place for a particular period, your conversion rate is one percent.

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7 Ways to Increase E-Commerce Conversions in 2018

1- Use more product images and visuals – Attractive product photos make a big difference. People want to look at what they’re planning to buy, making product images one of the major factors in improving conversion rates. Because visitors can’t pick up and touch the items, providing as much visual information as possible is essential to enhance the shopping experience. Use high-quality, high-resolution images, with enough white space around them to prevent a cluttered appearance. Also include photos that show the product from different angles. And don’t skimp on size: Large images can increase your sales by as much as 9.4%.

2- Use high-quality product videosAdd videos to your marketing strategy! Videos now appear in 70% of the top 100 search results listings, with viewers being anywhere from 64-85% more likely to buy after watching a product video.

Businesses that use product videos generate revenue faster than those that don’t. However, low-quality product videos don’t help in increasing the conversions – 62% of customers form a negative opinion about the brand if the product video is poor quality.

3- Product descriptions are important, so improve them – Well-written product descriptions help your visitors convert to customers if they find all the relevant information alongside the product. Text should be in an easy-to-read font and point size, and in high contrast to the background. Add a summary of features and benefits for those who are currently just browsing.

Writing original product descriptions – rather than just pasting the manufacturer’s – can also boost your website’s search engine rankings. Hiring a professional copywriter on a freelance basis may be worth the investment.

4- Improve your checkout process and resolve cart abandonment issues – Cart abandonment is a common problem. According to a study by Forrester, 89% of customers have at some time left the website without completing the sale.

There are many reasons customers abandon a cart, including: mandatory registration, shipping costs, site speeds, comparison shopping (visitor not yet ready to buy), doubts and/or distractions.

Improving your checkout process by making it simple, easy and user-friendly may remedy the situation. For example, provide guest checkout so that customers aren’t required to register before buying. About 80% of U.S. online retailers offer guest checkout. Or, when a registered customer abandons their shopping cart, send a follow-up email asking if the reason was an issue you can help resolve.

5- Encourage your customers to post a review – Online shopping is about trust. Customers who give good reviews are bound to increase your conversion rates. More than 60% of online buyers read the reviews before purchasing the product. About 88% of individuals say that they have faith in the online reviews, and that they carry the same weight as personal recommendations.

Encourage your customers to post a review. Offer incentives, such as a discount, reward points or even a gift. The positive reviews can increase conversion rates, while negative reviews can provide a valuable opportunity to address the issue and ensure an improved shopping experience. If you’ve taken action to solve the problem, reply to the complaint. Removing negative comments or reviews can harm the reputation of your business.

6- Offer free shipping – About 28% of online shoppers will abandon their purchase because of shipping costs that weren’t revealed until checkout, and 74% will do so if they consider the shipping cost too high.

Offering free shipping to all customers is an ideal way to increase conversion rates. It attracts new customers and acts as an incentive for repeat business. If you do add shipping costs, be sure they are clearly stated.

7- Offer choices, but within reason – Too many product choices can overwhelm visitors. According to HubSpot, Columbia University questioned the widely accepted belief that choice is good through the “jam study.” Customers were offered the choice of six different jams in one location and 24 flavors in another. Of those with six choices, 40% were more likely buy, as compared to 3% faced with 24 choices. The result is clear evidence that too many choices discourage buying.

Product filters – which display a specific number of products on each product category page – also can lower conversion rates.

If you’re ready to increase the conversion rates of your e-commerce store, Virtual Stacks Systems can put our industry best practices to work for you. From product images and engaging videos to other conversion optimization techniques for connecting with your target audience, Virtual Stacks Systems will help you improve conversions, drive sales and increase your overall revenues.

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New Year’s Resolution: Add Videos to your Content Marketing Plan!

New Year’s Resolution: Add Video to your Content Marketing Plan!

As the saying goes “new year, new you”.  So why not apply that to your business marketing plan? The New Year is the perfect time to reinvigorate your content marketing plan with videos!

At Virtual Stacks, we have streamlined the process and know how to develop successful scripts, professional audio voiceovers, and effective visuals that will capture interest and improve the impact of every video we make and publish online.

Video Marketing Can Strengthen SEO

Including videos in your content marketing plan will help strengthen your SEO by keeping your visitors engaged, and providing them with content that gets shared and viewed. YouTube is the second largest search engine, second only to Google. According to ComScore, adding a video to your website can increase your chance of a front page Google result by 53 times, and give you the ability to monetize videos and earn some YouTube ad revenue!

Improve Optimization

In addition to facilitating SEO, videos allow for increased optimization opportunities. Video has a built-in feedback loop so you can measure click-through rates, drop off points, or the number of times watched on both a micro and macro level. This allows you to better target what is and isn’t working for your audience so you can do more of what works.


Video content increases engagement and catches consumer attention. In today’s busy, fast-paced lifestyle, with so many digital distractions, it’s important to catch the consumer’s attention right away.

video marketing

We’ve all been scrolling through our Facebook feeds and stopped to watch a video because of

auto-play. According to a 2014 study done by Invodo, 65% of video viewers watch more than ¾ of a video.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words but Dr. James McQuivey said, “A video is worth 1.8 million words.” A video is the most powerful way for your company to evoke emotions and make strong connections with consumers. This strong connection will lead to increased customer conversions.

Virtual Stacks Systems can check this resolution off your list, improve your digital marketing strategy, and help you develop your company’s following. Call us today to get started!

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How to Make Money on Youtube!

How to Make Money on YouTube!

YouTube content is a strong way to drive viewers to your business and to make money off of original content. YouTube and other video advertising avenues can be an effective strategy to growing your business revenue.

YouTube ad revenue

Create a high quality video that is short and memorable, upload it to YouTube, and then link it to Google AdWords. Google AdWords will allow you to target your audience based on the demographic of customers you are looking for, including your target audience’s age bracket, location, and gender. If you need help attracting your desired demographic, you can reach out to a SEO and digital marketing service such as Virtual Stacks Systems.

Another avenue to gain income from YouTube is to monetize your original video content uploads, and get money from others advertising on your page.

How can I monetize YouTube videos?

You can monetize your YouTube videos after 10,000 lifetime views on your channel, according to YouTube’s “Creator Academy” page. In order to pass the 10,000 view threshold you can build an audience through frequent, consistent, and high quality video posts. It is important that you have the commercial rights for the content you are sharing, as well as proper documentation that these rights belong to you, before going forward with monetization. According to YouTube, failure to comply with copy right law can result in your right to monetize being frozen or taken away.

Once you reach the 10,000 video threshold, YouTube will allow you to apply to join the YouTube Partner Program, and if you are accepted, you can begin monetizing. YouTube’s monetization process is through a service called AdSense. When using AdSense, it is important to comply with their terms of service, particularly in regards to not telling consumers to click on ads. It is against AdSense’s policy to tell viewers to click ads directly. Instead, continue to encourage viewers to like your page and subscribe to your channel so that they click on ads organically.

How can I make money on YouTube without monetizing as an individual content creator?

One avenue is sponsorships. Individual companies can approach you to sponsor their product or service in your video. The terms of the sponsorship will vary between you and the company, and likely vary depending on the number of subscribers and lifetime viewers you have. The larger your audience the more attractive your page will be to companies looking to give out a sponsorship deal.

How can I make money on YouTube for my business?

YouTube videos can be used effectively to draw traffic to your website. YouTube is the second largest search engine on the web, after its parent search engine Google. You can use YouTube to drive traffic to your website, drawing viewer interest in your content by drawing them in with a well-produced video, and directing interested parties to a link to your product.

What kind of content is YouTube friendly? 

YouTube has a policy against putting advertisements on videos which contain references to sensitive events and topics, drug use, “family entertainment characters” partaking in illicit activities, violence, and sexual content. Content containing these items may not have advertisements.

Choose thumbnail images that honestly reflect the content of your video, are visually appealing, and are likely to appeal to the widest possible audience.

Use high-quality equipment and do not overlook production value. A well-edited video with a clear picture, clear sound, and a professional edge is more likely to appeal to viewers than one where they are straining to hear the audio or see the main action. Make your content interesting and varied, and make sure it appeals to your target demographic.

SEO Search terms

A knowledge of SEO best practices and the proper keywords is essential to reaching your demographic and making your video easy to find. Virtual Stacks Systems has experts in SEO that can help build your audience for you, and ensure your video is seen by not only the widest pool of viewers, but viewers in your target audience.


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