Website Explainer Videos: What Not To Do

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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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