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How To Narrow Your Focus To Create Better Explainer Videos

Originally published March 7, 2016  ·  Updated March 7, 2023
How To Narrow Your Focus To Create Better Explainer Videos

Here is a quick story about The Paradox Of Choice:

A person selling delicious jam sets up shop in a friendly neighborhood. To find out how she can sell more jam, she’s going to offer free samples to the people that regularly walk past the area where she has her jam stand.

She plans to try a two-week experiment.

For the first week, she offers six different jams. During the week, 252 people walked past her stand. 109 people stopped at the stand to taste the free jam. Of those 109 visitors, 31 ended up purchasing.

Not bad!

The next week, she offered 24 different jams. Again, she had 261 people walk past. 161 people stopped for a sample. However, only 14 people purchased it!

It looked like offering more jam varieties would work. More people stopped, but fewer people actually made a purchase.

What happened?

The Paradox Of Choice.

This story about jam is actually a famous experiment in choice performed by Columbia professor Sheena Iyengar. The study was famous because of the findings regarding choice.

The study has been done in a few different ways. Studies have found that humans like the idea of choice. And a few choices are within our liking, but once there are too many options we freeze and fail to make decisions.

This goes against common thinking, especially in the US where many feel that choice is power, but as we see in the experiment, too many options have a negative effect on our purchasing decisions.

The Marketing Tendency

There is a tendency with business owners and managers. It’s tempting to try to provide everything for everyone. Even if you have a narrow focus on a specific customer the tendency is to try and offer them as much as possible hoping something connects and gets them to purchase.

But as we’ve just learned, too much information leads to confusion and discourages purchasing.

Based on our experience, the best approach is to limit information and choice. You want a narrow focus.

Narrow Your Focus: Single Call-To-Action Explainer Videos

Videos bring incredible conversions and are fast becoming the primary method for savvy marketers to broadcast their message. With ever-diminishing attention spans there’s no better way to communicate large amounts of information in short periods of time.

A lot of well-meaning marketers become a little over-eager when realizing how effective videos can be. As we said, there’s a desire to include as much information as possible in a video, highlighting every single benefit and good point.

Unfortunately complicating your message and cramming in too much information only serves to confuse and confound. Your video needs to have one call-to-action (CTA) and all of the information leading up to it needs to be focused on building trust and reputation for that CTA.

To prevent audience confusion, here is a five-step checklist for staying on track.

1. Determine the target audience for the video; be specific

2. Identify the biggest need they have that your solution solves

3. Identify your number one goal or CTA for the video (Examples: viewers contact you, follow you on social media or signup for a webinar)

4. Build a script that reaffirms the need in the mind of the viewer and presents your solution

5. Finish the video with your single CTA

As you go through this checklist you may find yourself or others on your team pushing to include more information. Have a discussion about the priority of audience needs and goals again. But make sure you come back to a single goal or CTA.

Limit Information On Your One CTA

So you’ve got your focus now.

You’ve narrowed it down to one subject and one CTA.

The next question is how to clearly communicate your information.

We know video is great for putting across large amounts of information. Why not take advantage and really wow the viewer with information?

You can easily cover a lot of good information in sixty seconds. More is better right?


Have you ever had a conversation with someone who just continues to talk and talk?

It’s terrible, right? Not only can you not get a word in edgewise, but you also don’t have time to properly assimilate the information or even remember the most interesting points.

The same thing happens when you try to pack too much information into an explainer video.

Choose your points carefully and take the time to really explain the benefits and uses clearly. Keep it slow, steady, and clear to make the best impression possible.

Make Your CTA Stand Out

If you’re trying to draw your audience’s attention to a particular benefit or piece of information, let it be the only thing they have to consider. No other bright colors, loud noises, or confusing jargon to take away from its impact.

If you’ve taken the time to find your CTA and get a clear, concise message across you don’t want to fall down at the final hurdle by distracting your audience with something that goes against the result you want.

Avoid Surrounding Website Distractions

People are easily distracted not just by what’s in your video, but by things surrounding it on your website. As we know, providing too much information can actually hurt your conversions.

Instead of embedding your video on an already text-dominated page, consider creating a purpose-built squeeze page or use the video in a popup that dims the rest of the screen.

You don’t want viewers clicking off your video because they’ve spotted an awesome article or page title in your sidebar.

Final Thought

In business, we have to focus on the bottom line. That’s true if you’re selling widgets or selling jam. Any information that helps us improve the bottom line is good information and when it comes to explainer videos, a narrow focus is the best course of action.

We could go into more here, but we have to save some explainer video secrets for future posts!

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