The year 2016 has been an especially exciting year of video marketing and social media growth. In fact, it’s so exciting that we had to roll out our own video marketing predictions for 2017.
Businesses have been churning out content, especially videos, across multiple social media platforms progressively, because social media sites have made it clear that they’re here to stay.
Your customers watch social media videos, no matter if they’re CEOs, marketers, working moms, or working dads. How often do they watch videos on social media? It varies. 78% watch social media videos weekly, while 55% watch every day.
The amount of social media videos watched is astonishing. Facebook alone garners 8 billion daily video views on their platform, and that’s excluding video views on their sub-company, Instagram.
But you know what’s more important than the number of views? Engagement rate. Without engagement, views mean nothing for your business (unless your business relies solely on advertising money).
In this article, I’ll guide you through making videos (or explainer videos) that will give your business’s social media account sweet scoops of engagement in 2017.
Researching the Optimal Video Duration
Generally, shorter videos perform better on social media (counting YouTube as one).
But how short is short?
The answer varies greatly from platform to platform, and from one type of video to another.
Our previous explainer video case study says that explainer videos perform best, in terms of audience retention rate, when between 1 and 2 minutes long, and performance decreases as length grows.
However, length will become somewhat irrelevant when your video content proves to be useful, entertaining, informative, or at the very least shareable.
Facebook’s giant creators like UNILAD, The LAD Bible, Taste, and 5-Minute Crafts have proven that social media videos can grab millions of pairs of eyes when done correctly and aimed at the right audience.
For reference when making your social media videos, have a look at this handy-dandy infographic from Marketing Land:
When you’re looking to engage with your audience on social media, there are several ways to do it:
Provoke your audience for easy comments (not recommended for brand building),
Deliver informative videos (recommended but takes time and effort),
Use simple, bite-sized videos to get viewers on board.
More often than not, simple videos go viral quickly or even become Internet sensations.
The success of internet sensation videos, such as the mannequin challenge, the bottle flip challenge, or other challenges is because of their goal–or lack thereof. They serve no purpose other than challenging people to do some (maybe) absurd stuff.
Should I Do Post-Production Editing for My Videos?
Editing your videos is like working on a PowerPoint presentation: show the main points of what you’re about to present and make some effort to spruce up the slides.
We’re no longer in the static days of Internet where you need a few seconds for an image to load up. It’s moving images time, and we’re well past watching raw footage, especially on social media.
Video editing might sound scary at first, but the truth is you don’t have to use advanced video editing software like Adobe Premiere, Sony Vegas, or Final Cut.
For social media videos, as long as they aren’t animated (like our explainer videos), editing your videos with a mobile video editor such as Filmora Go, Viva Video, or KineMaster have more features than you can use at a time.
But as you may have guessed, better post-production editing equals better visuals–which is never a bad thing for brand building. So, if you have the resources to spend on post-production, don’t hesitate to do so.
Zach King is dubbed “the video wizard” with an audience of millions. His trademark? Awesome jump-cut videos like this one.
Social media videos, when meant for brand building, are the type of content that you should invest time and effort in. Now that the majority of businesses, small or large, startup or established, are in the social media marketing game, here’s what you should do to stay ahead of the tide:
Don’t overcomplicate your video content. Keep everything simple and bite-sized.
Keep duration in mind: Long videos tend to be boring.
Invest in post-production processing and video editing software that suits your needs.
What are your plans for your social media marketing next year?
One among many improvements that a product explainer video can bring is delivering more of your product value and product understanding that will better educate your employees, increase the perceived product value for your target consumer and ultimately, make for better sales performance.
Product value is what justifies the price tag you put on your product. Better product value means better justification for the price.
The problem is, most end-users don’t see what you’re charging for except the whole product.
By showing your target consumer more of the value of your product, you’ll kill two birds with one stone.
First, you’ll be more transparent about what you’re charging for. Second, your consumer will trust you more and continue to use your product
As for the efficiency of a product video, it’s unquestionable. An insivia study reports that 90% of users say that seeing a video about a product is helpful for the decision-making process.
Whether the product video directs users towards the positive decision (to buy) or the negative decision (to not buy) depends greatly on how your product video is made, how it is visualized, and most importantly how well your script performs.
There is one thing explainer videos do that other product videos like product demos or ads can’t do as well: explaining things, hence the name.
In this blog, I’ll show you how you can increase product value understanding using a product video.
#1. Storytelling and Product Showcase
Storytelling provides a better chance to relate to the target consumer’s problem on an emotional level compared to outright advertising.
A series of experiments performed by neuroeconomics pioneer Paul Zak found that stories that are highly engaging and contain key elements—including a climax and denouement—can elicit powerful empathic responses by triggering the release of oxytocin.
Often referred to as the “trust hormone,” this neurochemical promotes connection and encourages people to feel empathy. When released in the brain of your prospect it can help build trust in your brand or product, and by doing so increase sales.
However, a story that doesn’t clearly define where it begins, where it’s happening and how it ends does not engage our brains in the same way. In fact, people ignore it.
A well-told story can move everyone, even people who aren’t your priority target consumers, even the ones who aren’t likely to purchase your product. Like this video from Intel that moves everyone’s hearts.
This video shows how Intel’s product can help its target consumers, tech developers. The fact that their product has an indirect contribution for the betterment of another human’s lives is the value of their product they showcase in this particular video.
#2. Entertainment and Product Highlights
Many companies overlook the importance of slipping a bit of entertainment into their product videos. There’s an old saying: “We buy from people we like.” Making viewers enjoy your video is the easiest way to get target consumers liking you.
I dare say that any campaign or marketing effort you have worked on aims to increase sales. But if you break down the selling process, sales never comes first.
There’s a series of steps your prospects need to take to become potential consumers before they’re ready to see the offer. Most of the time, this set of stairs begins with getting them to like your brand first.
Just watch this Dollar Shave Club video and you’ll see my point.
Did you like the video? Because I did, and if DSC shipped to where I live, I’d definitely subscribe to them.
Granted, it’s impossible to get everybody’s approval, and passive-aggressive jokes like in the video above aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.
So the best chance comes when you have already determined who your target consumers are and you make a product video that will appeal best to them.
#3.Product Feature Highlight
Imagine highlighting product features like this: You are at the grocery store, contemplating Lucky Charms or Honey Nut Cheerios for your breakfast tomorrow.
Lucky Charms have perfectly-sized flakes and just the right amount of sweetness. But a box costs $2 more than Honey Nut Cheerios, which has more in the box and more varieties to choose from.
Each one of them has features that every cereal brand has but that they’re not always good at. That’s what product features are.
Let’s say your company makes email marketing software, which is a quite crowded niche. What does your app excel at? Perhaps its excellent yet simple subscriber organization, or simple analytic interface?
You can do all the feature highlighting more easily with the help of visual representation (i.e explainer videos). Words alone aren’t going to deliver much value for your product’s best feature(s). If you try to do so, your target audience will see it as another marketing gimmick that won’t deliver.
It’s different when you practically show off your product’s best feature, like BlendTec here.
In the blender manufacturer niche, of course the main feature of the blenders is, well, the blender itself. Now, how strong can a blender blend? BlendTec shows that their products are off the chart.
Product value is what justifies the price tag you charge for your product. The issue is that most end users take a product for granted without seeing what a company is charging for. An explainer video can help your consumers see your product’s value better with the help of visual representation as opposed to word-by-word promotion.
Here are 3 ways you can expose more product value using an explainer video:
Tell a story about your product’s usefulness in real life.
Show the non-corporate side of your company, which will get target consumers to like you.
Highlight the strongest feature of your product to justify the cost you charge for it.
Video marketing is not new in any way, but the public demand for visual content is growing exponentially across multiple distribution channels.
In fact, video marketing has been the repeated winner for favorite marketing channel for the past couple of years.
It’s December of 2016, and we’re here to present 10 video marketing trends to prepare for in 2017.
Let’s get ready for a more productive year in 2017.
1. Instagram Stories
The inclusion of Instagram’s new stories feature on this list should be no surprise. During its rollout, the update brought exhilaration to the Instagram community.
Thanks to their recent update, Instagram stories allow users to mention other users and use the Boomerang app, a quirky app to create looping one-second videos and easily share them with your friends like this:
Well, vlogging is crazy popular, and therefore the competition is fierce in this particular niche. Doing vlogs means that you have to be ready with a sack full of awesome ideas that none of your competitors have ever done and the guts to execute them.
3. Facebook Videos
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. In the past year alone, the daily views on Facebook have increased from 1 billion to 8 billion: That’s a 700% increase.
Facebook has invested abundant resources and time into video in recent years. If Facebook continues to be the innovator in the video industry, we predict that in 2017 there will even be more people and business uploading their content there.
On Facebook, you can see how many views a video has received. It doesn’t matter whether the video comes from a person or a page. Facebook believes that it helps people discover popular videos, and help businesses quickly gather information about how their videos are performing.
After introducing videos that start playing automatically in News Feeds earlier, Facebook found that people discover significantly more content with this feature. When it’s combined with Facebook’s new video views objective, businesses are seeing a significant decrease in cost per view for their Facebook video ads.
The video ads on Facebook also offer nice little gimmicks that will prove useful for advertisers including the number of clicks on your video ad, the average time people view your video ad, and the number of times your video ad was viewed to 50% of its length.
So if you’ve abandoned your business Facebook page for awhile, it’s time to clean that up and prepare for next year.
4. Landing Page Videos
Landing page videos are perfect for demonstrating the benefits of the product or service you’re marketing in a concise, entertaining and informative way.
Using videos on landing pages is one of many ways to optimize conversion rates. In fact, it’s been shown by EyeView that using a video on a landing page can increase conversion by as much as 86%.
Among the reasons why landing page videos works to increase conversion rate is because they replace the function of copywriting on your landing page, allowing you to clear out excessive amounts of (often) unnecessary text.
There are best practices to employ in your landing page videos should you look to implement them:
Tell me, what does your company do in one sentence?
You better make it catchy, or I’ll forget what you just said in about 9 seconds.
That’s more or less the concept of an elevator pitch. Luckily, technology comes to our help in making elevator pitches more interesting: product explainers.
Product explainer videos are short (usually) animated videos that sum up a business, product, or service succinctly. The visual elements in an explainer video help viewers understand more about what’s explained with only a few short sentences.
Explainer videos have been a rising star for startups in the last couple of years. And as the number of startups and business increases, explainer videos gain exponentially more popularity. We predict 2017 is no exception.
Last week, it was reported that Snapchat’s ad revenue will reach $1 billion in 2017. In addition, as it turns out, Snapchat is no longer exclusively populated by young people.
According to ComScore, Snapchat adults users are growing quickly. In the last year alone, Snapchat has seen a 103 percent increase in users ages 25 to 34 years old and an 84 percent increase in users over 35 years old. Meanwhile, there’s been a 56 percent increase in users who are 18 to 24 years old.
Gary Vaynerchuck has been growing his audience on the platform for awhile now, showing people that expanding business using snapchat is in fact doable.
In June 2016, Snapchat passed Twitter in daily usage, with 150 million people using the platform daily. All signs point to this channel becoming a valuable marketing tool. Who knows what Snapchat’s daily use will pass in 2017? We can only wait and see.
According to The New York Post, a challenge’s lack of technical difficulty is the key ingredient in a viral, impossible-to-miss video sensation.
It’s about the goal–or lack thereof–of those challenges. To do a mannequin challenge, you just have to stay still, hence the name. That’s it, there’s nothing more.
So the next time a viral challenge surfaces, be prepared to gather your friends, family, or employees to participate in the hive-mind festival for internet likes.
You might think it’s silly, but it works.
8. Videos in Email Marketing
At a glance, emails and videos look like marketing enemies. Some companies do treat them that way, but actually, email and video have the potential to make a great team.
Packing your content into a video allows you to have shorter emails, and email newsletters can be used to present your video to an existing audience. Make sense, right?
To support my argument that email and video can be a dynamic marketing duo, a study by MarketingProfs tested a number of keywords in emails and analyzed their impact on several different actions. They found out that “video” is one of the words with a positive overall impact: open rate (+18%), to click-through rate (+20%), and reduced unsubscribe rate (-26%).
9. Branded/Sponsored Videos
With YouTube’s recent change regarding video monetization, creators (or at least most of them) are losing a big chunk of their revenue.
Many creators have since looked for brands to sponsor their videos in return for giving their product a shout-out in one way or another.
With the current model in place for online video there are two main options, or at least a mix of the two, that creators must utilize in order to support their content.
Creators can either live off of ads, sponsored content, or they can survive off of the generosity of their fans (re: Patreon).
10. 360-Degree Videos
Immersive 360-degree video has been used more and more by news organizations since June 2014 when Google Cardboard made it possible for end-users to dip their toes into the imagination-fulfilling experience.
But the gear to make this kind of video wasn’t accessible by non-tech organizations and end-users back then. Now, things have changed.
Samsung released their Gear 360 camera in August 2016 with a $349 price tag, and there have been more cheaper 360 cameras released such as Ricoh Testa S.
It means that the resource to make 360-degree video content is more affordable, and richer content equals more ways to engage with audience.
The odds of 2017 being another exciting year for video marketing is really great, and it should be much better than 2016 was. As much as we adapt the way we do video marketing to the current trend, the video marketing world will move along with rapid development of technology.
This is why video will have long-lasting prominence in the marketing field.
As a business owner, we have to improve the way we keep up with the trend and stay on top of the competition.
You’re likely familiar with the idea that shorter videos are better.
That idea is based on the premise that shorter videos get straight to the point and hold attention better than long, dragged-out messages.
The deficit of the human attention span has a direct impact on content and video marketing.
SumoMe looked at 650,000 sessions and found that 80% of Internet surfers don’t read articles from start to finish.
With that in mind, we assumed there would be a significant correlation between video length and view duration. We dove into our YouTube channel (which is 90% explainer videos) and collected analytic data throughout 2016.
Here’s what we learned:
Audience Retention Rate Is Related to Explainer Video’s Duration.
The majority of our explainer videos have different lengths. We wanted to find out if our viewers take video length into consideration when they decide to watch one of our videos.
We expected the audience retention rate to decrease for longer videos. The expectation was that 1-minute videos should have higher audience retention rates (not views) than 3-minute videos.
Let’s make it more visual:
Our channel has 584 public videos that have generated around 560,000 views at the writing of this blog post. We believe that the results are representative of wider explainer video trends.
What Does It Mean?
Our prediction was on point, although the graph isn’t a duplicate of what we predicted earlier.
The sweet spot for an explainer video is 1 to 2 minutes long. When the video reaches 2 minutes in duration, the average views drops from 77% to 57%, and that’s a significant difference when we’re talking about explainer videos.
There are a few important points that you can take from our research.
Explainer videos shorter than 60 seconds have the highest audience retention rate.
Explainer videos are meant to be compact and filled with bite-sized information for viewers. The data says the average audience retention rate of a 1-minute explainer video (or less) is 77%. It means that a 60-second explainer video (on average) will hold viewers’ attention for roughly 47 seconds.
The audience retention rate gradually decreases as explainer video length increases.
The longer an explainer video is, the fewer viewers it retains. After an explainer video reaches the 2-minute mark, every second of it counts.
So, we suggest that you avoid going past the 2-minute mark unless you truly have to and there is no other way to squeeze your content into the first 2 minutes.
The acceptable average explainer video length is anywhere between 1 and 2 minutes.
Although the graph line seems to drop significantly after the first minute, 1- to 2-minute explainer videos are still powerful enough to get the most important parts of your content up-front.
The average viewer retention of a 1-2 minute explainer video is 57%, which means that average viewers will receive half of your content. That’s why it’s important to plan your script before pitching it to an explainer video company.
Explainer videos more than 2 minutes long have only a 47% retention rate.
After the 2-minute mark, exponential decay kicks in. The longer you go on, the less retention your video will have–and the difference is significant. The audience retention rate after 2 minutes dropped significantly.
This isn’t to say that you should cut a 4-minute video down to 2 minutes. Some of your content might require longer videos. But the stats suggest that you should strongly consider eliminating the last 30 seconds from a 2-minute, 30-second video to keep your retention rate high.
What about explainer videos more than 3 minutes long?
Just like a piece of writing, an explainer video should be only as long as it needs to be.
Explainer videos beyond 3 minutes are likely to be a deep introduction of a product, a brand story or a very intense tutorial on how to use a product. In these cases, the viewers can expect a longer video, but it will no longer fall under the category of an explainer video.
An animated explainer video makes complex things simple by explaining your product features to customers. The longer you make the information transfer process, the more complicated it is.
An explainer video’s purpose is to explain a product, service, or virtually anything in bite-sized information. That means the shorter it is, the better results it will achieve (based on its essential purpose).
Here’s how to determine how long your explainer video should be:
If possible, squeeze your script into a 1-minute video. This time range has the best viewer retention.
If you can’t keep it to 1 minute, try to keep it under 2 minutes.
Try to compress video that is more than 2 minutes into 2 minutes.
What are your thoughts on explainer video duration? Let me know.
The man behind our featured company in this week’s interview section is Ben Ng.
Ben Ng is the founder of Available app. Available app is a social employment platform that connects freelancers and employers.
For more details, carry on reading this interview.
Ben was born and raised in Hong Kong but he has been a resident of NYC since 2001.
He started his college education majoring in Computer Science. However in his junior year, he switched to film.
According to Ben, it was a difficult decision to make – because of his unparalleled passion in both Computer Science and Film.
“I know after 9 years of a film career I made the right choice.”
He said in our pre-interview chit chat.
During his career, Ben always goes all out on every project he participated in. He has worked on various projects from smaller projects to larger ones like The Amazing Spider-Man, Noah, Ninja Turtles, and Daredevil (TV Series).
Available app is the embodiment of efficiency, which is also a big part of Ben’s personality. And as Ben Ng put it:
“Efficiency is an important part of my personality but it’s also a large part of what makes my app so useful in the freelancing industry.“
On top of his vast range of experience in the film industry, Ben has proven his efficiency by developing Available App on his own for the past year. Until recently some of his friends came along to help him with coding and marketing of Available app.
Let’s get down to the Interview.
As a start, can you introduce Available App to the readers – what it is and what it does?
Available App is a social employment platform that connects freelancers and employers in real time, making finding jobs and hiring easier.
What’s the main concept behind Available App? What pain points does it solve?
All freelancers know how short most projects can be; the average freelancing job can last a day to a few days to a few months, and before you know it, one job has ended and you’re already back looking for the next one.
The other side of the coin is being the employer constantly looking for manpower – always having to keep track of who is available and when; not to mention having lots of other stuff to handle.
Many people prefer to work with who they are already familiar with and more often than not, that is not the case. So, unfortunately you may not know who you’re actually working with until the day of the job.
Right now there is no efficient and effective system for finding work and hiring freelancers; the whole process simply takes too much time and effort.
So with Available, you streamline the hiring process by finding out who is available with one click. You can also update your schedule anytime and the amazing thing is now everyone on your contact list will know that you are available – no more mass texting and waiting for answer.
How do the users choose their jobs / hire their freelancer? Would it show multiple options and users can decide which one that they want to work with?
The user would have more choices now since you can see all the jobs available among your friends through notification functions.
Just one click and you can even search for jobs outside of your normal network but still within the 6 degrees of separation.
Is there any possibility to cancel the job or event? If yes, is there any ‘penalty’ for users who do so?
Yes, the users can cancel the job they posted at any time.
As we know, freelance work can change at a moment’s notice. That’s why we shouldn’t penalize the user for that.
How long did it take for you and your team to build Available App?
It took us a full year from the initial idea stage to the first version arriving in the App Store.
It is always a work in process; my team is working on improving it as we speak.
How do you differentiate your app from the competitors? What makes Available App stand out from the crowd?
There are traditional websites like Freelancer.com, Upwork, Indeed and the old school Craigslist.
They are all great websites but what they don’t understand is how freelancing employment really works.
At Available App, we think of freelancers first, we march on the front lines with them because we ARE them. We understand that networking is 90% of finding every job; rarely do we go apply for a job post from a stranger. So we connect people through the people we already know and trust.
What is your next plan for Available App?
The app is still new to the market; it is always a work in progress. We are still testing what works and what doesn’t.
We are gathering user feedbacks everyday so we can build a better core of functions for users. It is better for both developers and users. And when we start to build other platforms, we will have a model to follow.
There are about 54 millions in US now, by 2020 there will be 50% of American workforce freelancing. In order to handle the workload, a better employment system is a must.
Ben and his team has been working really hard to develop Available app in order to create the ideal platform which not only connects freelancers and employers, but also increases the range of connections on both sides.
We salute the hard work, and we would to give Available. app a shout out.
That concludes our interview with Ben Ng, the brilliant mind behind Available. app that will bring freelancers and employers into one platform.
If you’re a freelancer looking for a job, or an employer looking to hire freelancers, available app is definitely the app you can count on to find manage, and optimize your work.
The winning way in the video marketing game is to create engaging content that leverages your brand’s image in your target audience’s view without actually trying to sell anything.
This can be done by creating content that either interacts with the imagination, grabs emotions, or proves useful for your audience–or, even better, does all three.
Video content has the potential to fit perfectly in the overlapping area in a venn diagram between imaginative, informative and emotional.
On top of that, almost every device has some sort of display on it. That’s one among many reasons why the competition in video marketing and other visual marketing areas (e.g infographics and slides) is rather fierce and demanding.
In the era of digital information, being able to visualize content and brand stories is every business’s key to survival.
And now I’m going to tell you how you can not only survive, but also win the video marketing game.
Explainer videos, like many other types of video content, are tools that can improve your business’s reputation in different ways
First off, explainer videos are both likeable and useful, especially animated ones–sometimes they even evoke certain emotions. What makes explainer videos a way to win the video marketing competition is their quick and witty characteristics.
They are fast-paced and informative, holding viewers’ attention and delivering useful information to introduce your product/service in only 2 minutes or less.
Explainer videos are mostly used on a website’s homepage and landing page as a tool to attract, inform, and convert visitors without having a big chunk of text for them to scroll through.
Animated explainer videos are just one way of visualization, and there is no one big reason for you to choose exactly this type of video content for every occasion.
Animation explainer videos are well-suited for niche businesses in which selling a product through promotional methods is difficult.
For example, imagine you provide website design services specifically for actors and singers. Your explainer should contain target consumers’ problems, address the benefits of choosing you, and explain the workflow of your service/offer.
Plus, you have to admit that charts and data are better represented using animation.
But then again, you can visualize anything when you choose to use an animated explainer video, and that’s one of its main benefits over live-action videos.
While live-action videos are limited to scripts and other real-world aspects such as weather and actors’ skills and voices, characters in an animated explainer video can fly, dance, sing, twerk, or somersault–virtually anything. The limit is your imagination (and possibly time frame as well).
The performance of explainer videos is tried and true.
Founded in 2010, Dropbox grew from zero to 100 million users in 5 years by using an effective viral campaign and the simplest web design: Their landing page had only an animated explainer video and a download button.
Customer success stories
Having your consumer in the spotlight gives them credit and appreciation for their success, with you (the consumer’s provider) as a supporting character that helps them achieve that success.
It allows potential customers to see themselves making a similar smart decision that led to your consumer’s success, which is using your product/service.
Salesforce is committed to telling their clients’ success stories. They don’t do it to explicitly brag about how they help their clients achieve their success.
They show that a company’s internal qualities plus their own assistance made that success. Salesforce highlights the best accomplishments along with the struggles to achieve them–of course, with a hint of Salesforce’s involvement in those achievements.
And therein lies the fundamental difference between marketing and advertising: Marketing provides value to sell whereas advertising sells to get more value.
Company value illustration
Video is an amazing storytelling medium. Your company’s mission statement is essentially its statement of purpose. It serves as a guide for all of the company’s decision-making.
To help your target audience understand the reasons why your company makes certain decision, you need a medium to share your company’s moral values with them.
For the foreseeable future, video will remain the best storytelling medium. Whatever you’re looking at–TV, desktop, tube TV, smartphones, or tablet–video performs better than still images and other content.
Video isn’t always about how to be cool and different. It can also be about story. It’s about connecting on an emotional level; marketers and brands forget this often.
Your audience wants to care about your story, where you’re from, what you’ve achieved, why they should buy your product, and so on.
If you can connect with your consumers in a super-passionate, emotional way and make them feel like you’re part of them, you’re in. That’s all it takes, but it has to be genuine.
Many sport brands can connect with their audience on an emotional level, but Adidas here takes the cake:
Sharing instructive and useful content about company’s product
In addition to brand-building functions, video serves as an ideal format for tutorials, process guides, product demo, and virtually any other practical resources that help your company live up to your product’s promises.
On the consumer’s side, tutorials and practical guides help them to achieve their intended goals when using your products, which in time will turn them into loyal consumers.
Adobe has used tutorials to help their community get the most out of their products, specifically Adobe Photoshop.
The ability to pause, rewind, stop, and play a recorded video tutorial allows your audience to replay important points that they need to remember and put into practice.
In a live seminar, it’s easy to miss what the speaker says at any given moment, but with a video tutorial the replayability is nearly limitless.
A video tutorial allows your consumers to reach the peak potential of your product, as well as play the information in its entirety.
Video is the best content for telling stories and sharing information, and it is currently leading the modernization wave in the business world.
But along with this modernization, the competition to the top is tougher than ever, especially in the video marketing game. Every business is doing its best to make share-worthy video content that proves useful for both their company and target audience.
However, you can still win the competition, with a fair amount of elbow grease. Here are four ways you can create engaging and valuable video content for marketing:
Explainer videos: A short introduction to the what, how, and why of your company’s product or service.
Consumer’s success stories: A real story of how you play an important part in helping your customer achieve a success.
Company value illustration: A visualized version of moral ground on which your company stands.
Tutorial videos: A company’s product success depends on how much its users gain from it, and tutorials help your consumers to get the most out of your products.
What are your thoughts about winning in the video marketing competition? Let me know.
An explainer video can be quite costly depending on how you want it to look like and who you hire to produce it. For one of these beautifully crafted animations, you can spend anywhere from $1,000 up to $25,000.
Smaller businesses, especially in developing countries, don’t always allocate a stack of money for marketing, and $1,000 may well be half or even the entirety of their marketing budgets.
But there are reasons why, when it comes to explainer videos (or any marketing video, for that matter), expanding your budget is recommended.
In this blog post we’re going to talk about why you can–and should–increase your budget for video marketing.
Quality takes time.
We’ve produced more than 2,000 explainer videos, and if there’s one thing that you should know, it’s this:
An explainer video that lasts between 1 and 2 minutes can take more than one hundred working hours to complete.
Don’t misunderstand me: Not all of those hours are used for the illustration and animation processes. A big chunk of them goes to the pre-production and revision processes.
As an explainer video producer, we have to conduct a good amount of research to become familiar with your company so we can come up with the video’s initial idea. Research is crucial for us to develop the video with the right concept, messaging, and story that fits your company’s profile.
The production work itself starts with designing characters and environments, developing the script, recording the voiceovers, animating and rendering (for animated explainer videos) or editing (for live action videos).
These processes work as a whole. One small mistake can cause a butterfly effect that will disrupt the entirety of the production process.
Reduce unnecessary risks.
Have you ever gotten a haircut for $5 at a shady barbershop, and then ended up fixing it for another $15 at your regular barbershop?
Expanding your budget a little more for an explainer video is more or less like that. To get the job done right, you have to work with the best production company that fits your profile.
It doesn’t have to be a premium production company. It just has to be the one that can provide the best value for your budget.
You should take a look at companies’ portfolios to see whether or not their work will meet your expectations. That way you can eliminate the production companies that will not meet your needs.
Video content is branding content that you can’t undo
The purpose of an explainer video is clear: to explain your company, product or service in a compelling and concise video.
A good explainer video should meet these criteria, especially if you’re planning to set it as your landing page or homepage video.
Your explainer video is the one piece of content that gets viewed, shared, and referred to by your sales reps and audience. It’s also possibly the content that you use in a company conference or at a trade show.
Ultimately, it’s the face of your company.
Assuming that’s what you have in mind when creating an explainer video, give it your best efforts. Go all out on this, because once it’s out, you can’t undo it.
Video’s shelf life is longer than most contents’.
Instead of seeing your explainer video as a marketing expense, see it as an investment. As with all investments, make sure that your investment gives you a good return.
Nobody wants to pay thousands of dollars for an explainer video that’s taken down a couple of months later because it’s no longer relevant or, even worse, not showing any results.
It should explain your brand, core message, and unique selling points in a way that will not change or be affected by changes in your niche or general market.
Design-wise, an explainer video with a good return shouldn’t use pop culture as a reference. Ultimately, the video should be clear and support the message without any distractions.
Of course, coming up with a concept that will stand the test of time isn’t an easy task. That’s why you hired a team of artists and creatives to begin with, right?
Not only do you get content that will be relevant longer than other types, but you also can repurpose your explainer video into other types of content like animated GIFs and still images to go with your blog.
Small things do matter.
The little details that go into the production process of your explainer video are often overlooked.
These details include things like music selection, character style, font styles, and other art elements that can make a good video into a great video.
While fonts are mostly free from font library websites like DaFont (and there are ample options to choose from), hand-drawn letters can leave a bigger impression than any premade fonts. In that case, hiring an artist that specializes in typography is helpful too.
There are other things of greater quality that you can get just by spending some extra money.
The most obvious and important one is premium music tracks from websites like AudioJungle and PremiumBeat.
Hiring a professional voiceover artist, rather than one from Fiverr; publishing your videos to Vimeo or Wistia instead of YouTube; auditioning talent; and choosing the right location (if you’re shooting a live action video) all can go a long way toward getting great results from your explainer video.
Producing an explainer video isn’t an easy task, not even for people who do it professionally. But it’s a crucial business decision for you.
You may think that you can’t afford to spend more than what you’ve allocated for an explainer video, but a step into the wrong direction can send your video–and your company’s marketing–into obscurity.
Here’s why you actually can afford to spend more and why it’s really worth it:
It can take more than one hundred working hours to make a single, standard explainer video. Making a great one takes even more time.
A good explainer video is like any quality product: The more you spend, the more you save in the long run.
Put extra money into the little things like premium music tracks instead of free ones.
Your explainer video can be the face of your company. Nobody wants an ugly one.
What are your thoughts on spending a little extra for an explainer video? Let us know.
When it comes to having an explainer video that boosts your overall conversion, planning, execution and timing are everything.
For starters, you’ll have to understand the explainer video’s purpose: to grab the audience’s attention in the first 10 seconds, and in another 50 seconds or so, to hit a home run with your message.
It may not seem like a lot of time, but I can virtually guarantee you that writing a compelling explainer video script takes more time than writing an in-depth blog post about an explainer video.
The scriptwriter’s job is to squeeze an entire company profile into 150-180 words, creating a script that not only tells a story but that also is compelling enough for your audience to start watching.
Fear not! In this blog post we’re going to pour the ingredients into one big pot so you can start cooking your own awesome explainer video right away.
Prepare the script
The script is the foundation–or the blueprint, if you will–for explainer videos, or any directed video, for that matter. Movies, vlogs, ads, you name it.
Like we’ve said before, your script is an entire company profile compacted into a much shorter, yet more compelling, piece of writing.
To achieve that and to smooth out your scriptwriting process, you should know some fundamental things about your business:
a. The kind of problems you solve
Without an engaging and relatable introduction, having an explainer video is like trying to herd cats: You won’t make much progress at all.
The more specific the problems you solve, the stronger the bond you’ll have with a target audience, and vice versa.
b. Who your target audience is
Who is most likely to use your product? When you answer this question, consider factors like age, buying power, geographic location, and marital status.
Take, for instance, a recent college graduate who has just started her first job. She will have different needs from a mother of four teenagers.
You have to be specific in determining your target audience because it will be useful in shaping the script to fit that audience group’s profile better.
c. How you’re going to solve those problems
When you want your audience to connect themselves to your company, you have to think like a member of that audience.
Explaining how you will solve their problem is a good start in building a strong relationship between the two sides.
d. Why you’re better than your competition
To stand out, your business must have advantages over other businesses. These advantages don’t have to be major. They might be something minor that still improve customers’ or clients’ experiences or add convenience to their lives.
Once you get these figured out, it’ll be much easier for both you and the explainer video company you hire to map out the project’s direction.
To get your prospects to do what you want, all you have to do is to include a compelling call to action on your website and in your marketing campaigns. Sounds simple, right?
In truth, many calls to action out there don’t work well. Do you know why? We do.
These are the most common call to action mistakes in most explainer videos that make most of them fail to trigger engagement with the viewers:
Heavy-handed call to action
By heavy-handed, we’re not necessarily referring to the quantity but the emphasis. A call to action needs to be subtle, yet clear enough to provoke an action.
Your approach depends on a few factors: your business or brand’s popularity, how much the product or service costs (if your call to action is for an immediate purchase), and who your target audience is.
Another common mistake for an explainer video’s call to action is when it’s “rushed down” or “thrown in” at the end.
It catches viewers by surprise, which can be a good plot twist in an entertainment video but NOT in an explainer video.
Not only does it confuse viewers, but the shock element is so jarring that it can diminish the explainer video’s good impression and reduce the likelihood of viewers taking action.
Nine out of ten times, the most logical call to action for an explainer video is asking viewers to visit a company website.
This is good since a website is usually the first stop in the conversion funnel.
What is NOT a good thing is the fact that most explainer videos have an extremely short on-screen time for the URL they want viewers to visit. Be sure your URL is crystal clear to your audience.
What’s more important than any visual or audio in an explainer video is the video’s optimization and publicizing.
An email newsletter is a good channel to start publicizing your explainer video. Chances are, whoever subscribes to your email newsletter is interested in your product or company in one way or another.
That’s why an email newsletter should be your first concern when it comes to spreading the word about your brand-new explainer video (or any new content, for that matter).
Whether you should embed the video to an email or not is still an ongoing debate. Doing so improves user experience significantly. However, not all email clients support in-app video playing.
Email is a great channel, but your business social media accounts are the strongest in spreading the word about your brand-new explainer video.
Social media videos have exploded in the past couple of years: They seem to have grown exponentially.
YouTube’s data backs this up. The number of people watching YouTube has increased 40 percent yearly since March 2014
As for social videos, on Facebook alone the number of video posts per person has increased 75 percent globally and 94 percent in the U.S.
But don’t get too excited just yet. The massive number of social videos presents a challenge for businesses to hack their growth using their social media channels.
That’s why we rounded up tips on social media video sharing to increase engagement for entrepreneurs and online marketers like you.
Mind the timing
Timing is almost everything when it comes to sharing your video in social media. At certain times of the day or week, social media is so crowded that there’s only a teeny tiny chance of your video getting views.
Facebook, for example, reaches its peak traffic on Thursdays and Fridays. Research finds that it’s best to publish your video during these two days.
On Twitter, however, Dan Zarella found out that tweets at off-peak times tend to have higher click-through rates (CTR) compared to those tweeted during Twitter’s peak times.
Add images to your social media post
According to HubSpot’s stats compilation, posts on all sites (not just social media) with visual content generally see more engagement compared to those without visual content.
The problem is that some social media sites like Twitter do not auto-generate visual elements unless you upload your video natively.
As a workaround, we suggest that you attach a separate image (preferably the thumbnail of your video) to your tweet.
Landing page videos are usually short (1-2 minutes) video content that present a condensed explanation of your
offer, featuring user-oriented language and visuals.
There are many kinds of landing page videos: animated explainers, live-action explainers, talking heads, screencast tutorials, and more.
Are landing page videos any good? Absolutely.
Many websites receive benefits and conversion lifts after adding videos to their landing pages. We’ve rounded up some of the best examples for our readers:
CrazyEgg received a 64% boost in their conversion rates AND a $21k increase in their monthly revenue after their investment in a landing page video.
Vidyard saw a whopping 69% conversion lift on their landing page after implementing a video.
Interestingly, they also tried using a lightbox popup for their video, and the conversion jumped 100%, even better than with a standard embed video.
Why do landing page videos work?
Using videos on landing pages is one of many ways to optimize conversion rates. In fact, it’s been documented by EyeView that using a video on a landing page can increase conversion by as much as 86%.
One reason why landing page videos are good for conversion rate optimization (CRO) is because they replace the function of copywriting on your landing page, allowing you to clear out excessive amounts of text.
DesignBoost implemented shorter copy on their landing page back in 2012 when their website was brand-new. They generated a 13% increase in their sign-up rate.
To put it another way, your website is a novel, and an explainer video is an epilogue that shows your offers in a short and value-packed way in order to save visitors’ time.
What are the rules for landing page explainer videos?
Like everything else in marketing, the area of using videos on landing pages has its own best practices. In this post I’ll lay out the ground rules for using landing page videos.
1. Make your explainer video the center of attention
It’s crucial that you make your explainer video the center of attention on your landing page.
The purpose is to make the video stick out so whoever visits your website can’t resist clicking the play button.
One of our clients, Bubbl.us, has a nice video placement on their website. The centered position makes it hard for visitors to miss it.
After all, what’s the point of having a landing page video if your visitors don’t notice it?
You want your visitors to watch the video, unless you are 100% sure that your landing page’s design and copy will convert. (Chances are, though, they won’t.)
2. Keep the video and the copy short.
The ideal length of an explainer video is anywhere between 90 to 120 seconds. We didn’t arrive at this figure just by guessing. We did a little research on our own.
Out of 400k views we received from our YouTube channel, 320k views came from videos with a duration of 90 to 120 seconds.
It’s not a good idea to have an entire landing page with only an explainer video. Some copy and content are still needed, no matter the quality of your explainer video.
However, the reason to upload an explainer video to your landing page is to explain, in a simpler way, what you have to offer.
Most internet users tend to avoid reading long text. They prefer watching a video if one is available.
Here are some suggestions for the best content you can use to increase your landing page’s credentials (and thus your company’s):
Testimonial and client lineup
It’s common sense to put a lineup like this on your landing page. Among the many types of social proof, client testimonials can be one of the most impactful on new customer acquisition.
A client showcase is not as strong as client testimonials in terms of providing social proof, since they’re only a gathering of company logos to some people. However, working with Fortune 500 clients will increase chances of better conversions to your product/service.
3. Make the video look professional
This is a no-brainer. Just because you can install Adobe Creative Suite in your computer doesn’t mean you can (or should!) make your own explainer video.
Always use a professional video production company for your landing page, or any page, for that matter.
You can start by mining your brain for basic ideas for preparing your explainer video script. Once you’re done with that, you can hire an explainer video company or freelance graphic designer. (I recommend the first option.)
Explainer videos are not always affordable for startups with tight budgets, but they’re worth investing in. One of our clients, Access, has experienced the benefits firsthand: They received recognition by an influencer in their niche because their explainer video caught his attention.
4. Do not auto-play your landing page videos (This is important!)
Only a handful of things annoy people more than autoplay media.
However, an ongoing debate has been taking place as to whether or not autoplay should be used between marketers. After all, they come to your website looking for a solution to their problem. Yes, that part is true, but give them control over the information they’re trying to digest.
If you feel that autoplay is a must for your website, try using silent full-screen contextual video.
What’s a silent contextual video?
Story and Heart uses silent contextual video with subtitles on their home page. Go take a look to see what a silent contextual video looks like.
5. Test its value
A landing page explainer video is one of many landing page elements, and thus it should be tested like the headline, copy, call to action, etc.
You can easily grab a couple of metrics from your video:
The video play rate is the comparison between landing page visits and the number of times your landing page video is played. If the video doesn’t get a significant enough play rate, you might want to reconsider its positioning and thumbnail.
You can use a heat map tracker, like CrazyEgg, to track which elements of your landing page are working well and which are not, including your landing page video.
Combined with your video analytics, like what Wistia has, you’ll get better insight into how landing page visitors interact with your video.
– View Counts
The importance of view counts is obvious. When your video receives a lot of views, it means that you’ve found the sweet spot on your landing page for the video.
If you think it should get more views than it has, run an A/B test by trying different locations for your landing page video. If it still gets fewer views than you think it should, try changing the thumbnail for your landing page video using these tips.
– View Duration
The purpose of keeping your landing page explainer video short and sweet is to ensure that your visitors watch its entirety. This metric will help you find out whether or not its duration is right.
An explainer video is already awesome marketing content on its own. If you can score a great explainer video and follow these rules, your landing page conversion should increase in a heartbeat:
Always leave the video production to the professionals.
Ensure the video placement is obvious.
Test and measure supporting elements (headlines, showcase, call to action) on the landing page.
However, keep in mind that a landing page works as a whole. All its elements, like headlines, sub-headlines, copy, and design play their parts in making a landing page work.
Your explainer video won’t work magic by itself. Do some fine-tuning on other landing page elements, and don’t forget to run tests to find out what works and what doesn’t!
You may have heard of Dollar Shave Club, a startup company that sells monthly razor subscriptions for $1. In July, the company was acquired by Unilever for $1 billion US.
Huge, isn’t it?
Michael Dubin, the founder of Dollar Shave Club, started the beta website for his company in 2011.
I ran it from my apartment—it was totally bootstrapped—proving out the concept before going out to get some investment.
The idea that led him to start his own company was very simple: solving a problem for guys. The problem that Dollar Shave Club was trying to solve was simple: the frustrating experience men have when trying to look clean and shaved. This includes going to the store, parking your car, and finding the right razor, and then doing it again a week or two later.
To test how the public would react to this idea, Dubin funnelled his company’s early dollars from the beta phase into creating a video, which you’ve probably seen more than once.
After Dubin launched the video in March 2012, the first couple of days were a total disaster for Dollar Shave Club’s IT team.
The site crashed because of the traffic, and the video had gone viral, and we ran out of inventory in the first six hours. And I mean, you know, I blocked a lot of that out because it was a very trying, difficult time to get through.
Dollar Shave Club’s first year was incredible. Though the company started out in Dubin’s apartment with a bootstrapped budget, it made $4 million revenue.
What’s more shocking is how they got more than 400% more revenue in 2013, around $19 million. This revenue grew constantly and rapidly, and in 2014 Dollar Shave Club closed their year with $65 million.
Dollar Shave Club is now on the $100 million+ annual revenue run. It’s quite unbelievable, because when Dubin was asked how professionally made the video was, he answered:
Not professionally at all. I spent about $4,500 on it. I wrote it.
For basically next to nothing, Dollar Shave Club skyrocketed to “billion-dollar company” status in short 4 years.
Of course, the video was not the only thing that brought the company to this point. However, it’s undeniable that the explainer video drove a massive amount of attention to Dollar Shave Club.
Some of the 23 million viewers signed up for Dollar Shave Club’s tempting $1/month subscription for blades, which they claim are “f****n great,” and through their responsive customer service and ongoing focus on social media marketing, Dollar Shave Club created an army of brand ambassadors who endorse them for free.
That’s how they can afford to charge a mere $1/month. (Big brands like Gillette, on the other hand, have paid billions for TV spot, brand ambassadors, and front-shelf placements in multiple stores.)
Now, let’s talk more about the Dollar Shave Club video.
What can we learn from Dollar Shave Club’s explainer video?
It exploded because it was funny
It was funny and it told the story well. There are millions of funny videos on the internet, but Dollar Shave Club’s explainer video was one among few that told a relatable story and served a real purpose.
It managed to be emotionally relatable for most of its target audience (males) because it understood their enormous frustration.
On top of that, Dollar Shave Club created highly shareable social content that relates to conversations people might have during their lunch break or night out at a bar.
A great explainer video doesn’t have to be expensive
Michael Dubin spent only $4,500 for Dollar Shave Club’s explainer video. He and his team managed to achieve the perfect mix that makes an explainer video explanatory and entertaining at the same time.
This comes back to the concept of their business. Because Dollar Shave Club directly confronts a daily problem their audience has, it’s not as hard as for them to be emotionally relatable as it is for a B2B company, such as a corporate security provider company.
If you (and the company you hire) are creative enough to make a dull topic relatable to its target audience, then you don’t necessarily need to pay more for the explainer video.
An explainer video is a gateway piece of marketing content that will drive more customers to your conversion funnel. However it doesn’t work on its own.
Even the amazing ones, like Dollar Shave Club’s video, still need responsive customer service, great quality products, and a competitive price to ensure business success. They’ve got some really tempting value-for-quality ratio – check out their offers.
But when everything is done with precision and in sync, significant success waits for you, just like Dollar Shave Club has achieved.
If you’ve always wanted to get an explainer video for your company, here’s your wake-up call.
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Four Leaf Technology
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