Explainer videos are known for being content whose sole function is to advertise a business’s product or service in an explanatory way.
However, they serve another purpose too, and they’re useful from the top of your marketing funnel all the way to the bottom.
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Explainer Videos for Brand Awareness
The top of the marketing funnel is where you need to create brand awareness for your company.
You spread out information about your company and how your products or services can solve your potential customers’ problem.
The main challenge in creating awareness is getting as many views and shares as possible. They key to getting easy shares on social media is making an explainer video entertaining.
As many as 76% of users say they would share a branded product/service video with their friends if it was entertaining.
If a video is informative but not entertaining, only 65% of users would share it.
And if you think getting people to share a branded video is difficult, think again. Only 3% of consumers say that they would never share a branded video under any circumstances.
Explainer Videos in the Engagement Stage
Explainer videos are a universal type of content, but it’s more effective to specifically create different videos for each stage of a buyer’s journey.
In the brand awareness stage, an explainer video should only share information about your company and how your product/service would help potential consumers resolve their issues.
In the engagement stage, the key is to inform and share useful knowledge that centers on your products. This will make your audience stick around longer to hear what you have to say.
They will do that because you’re providing useful information to them.
Explainer Videos for the Lead-Nurturing Stage
The lead-nurturing stage is where you woo your leads with good treatment, friendly emails and freebies. On top of building good rapport with your leads,the nurturing stage also involves answering their question, which is along the lines of:
“Can this product actually solve MY problems?”
The best way to answer this is by showing them how your product works in specific scenarios and how it has benefitted people.
As additional supportive content, you can make a video with social proof, case studies, or other type of testimonials as psychological triggers for brand trust.
Explainer Videos in the Purchasing Stage
After you successfully nurture your leads, they are now ready to purchase. An explainer video can help you close the deal, but again, it needs to be made specifically for sales purposes.
A great product demo video is essential.
As many as 64% of customers are more likely to buy a product after seeing a product demo video. Place this explainer video right next to the product description copy and add a CTA to purchase.
These are the three key stages in which explainer videos can help you a lot. But you will need much more detail before you can actually put these ideas into practice.
What about the practical, tried-and-true uses of explainer videos?
To answer that question, I have listed the 10 practical uses of explainer videos for businesses. Let’s jump right in.
Download FREE infographic on 10 Real-life Uses of Explainer Videos and The Tools You’ll Need.
1. Explainer Videos for Presentations
Going against the mainstream belief that explainer videos are an exclusively online content that can’t be taken into the offline world, I dare to prove them wrong.
Inc.com points out that the best presentations have something heart-stopping as the opening bit. A product explainer video captures your audience’s attention by making the grand entrance right after the intro. In addition, an explainer video is among the very few types of content that can put surprising facts about yourself in the spotlight.
A well-written explainer video tells stories about your business. This is because human beings are hardwired to respond to stories. Using a story-heavy video at the beginning of your presentation helps grab your audience’s attention and increases the likelihood of your audience engaging in the presentation.
To help you use explainer videos and other media in your presentation flawlessly, here’s a list of tools that you can use:
Prezi, in a nutshell, is a virtual canvas for presentations. You can create and arrange your ideas for presentations in one large zoomable page. You can easily place your videos, images, and text in a natural flow that would make your presentation smooth.
Having multiple explainer videos for your presentation will not be a problem when you use Prezi. You’ll just need to click and drag to arrange those videos or spread them to fit your intended presentation flow.
Prezi works with multiple formats: cloud (web), desktop, and iOS. Once you sign up for an account, you’ll get 100MB of free storage.
I include SlideDog in this list because it supports a vast range of video formats, which means that whatever format your explainer videos are in, chances are good that SlideDog will be able to play them.
SlideDog is a neat-looking and versatile presentation program that is able to broadcast your presentation to the Internet for any online meetings you might have. There is also a chat room in which your audience can engage with you.
From my point of view, SlideDog is designed specifically for active presenters who need to walk around the room as they speak.
You can control the entire presentation from a mobile device, which means you can have your laptop idling in your desk as you roam around the room. so if you’re one of those presenters, SlideDog is for you.
SlideDog can also use presentation files made on Prezi.
There is a downside, though: SlideDog can be installed only on Windows OS.
2. Explainer Videos for Conventions
Trade shows are naturally crowded with all the participating companies (plus their crews), visitors, and committees. It’s not an easy task to be the one booth that stands out from the crowd.
You can do a few things to make your booth more appealing to passersby at trade shows. Having a great display is one of those things.
Putting up some videos on loop is a great way to catch visitors’ attention between all the noise that are happening at the convention venue.
A common misconception is that any video–whether a short corporate promo, an installation piece, or a product knowledge clip–is perfect fodder for trade show viewing.
In reality, an explainer video is its own animal and needs to be approached as such.
Exhibitors need video content that gets their message across quickly: “This is who we are; this is what we do or what we make.”
Trade shows are often noisy and people are sometimes twenty feet away when they see your large screen display. They can’t hear what’s being said in a video and they don’t usually start watching it from the beginning.
That said, relying on an audio element isn’t the best option. But an animated explainer video is designed to have eye-catching and colorful visuals that grab the attention of passersby even if they only have a glance.
At a tradeshow, you will need a solid media player to play your videos over and over so you don’t have to keep pressing play.
VLC is a great all-around media player that can play almost any kind of video you throw at it. Looping videos using VLC is as easy as pie. Here’s how you do it:
Step 1: Open the video you want to loop using the VLC player. If you want to loop multiple video files, add them to the playlist.
Step 2: To loop the video, go to the loop button and click on it. If you want to loop multiple files, toggle the button to either loop one or all and toggle until you reach your desired result.
3. Explainer Videos for Landing Pages
Explainer videos are a powerful weapon for your landing pages. EyeView, a video marketing agency, has documented that landing pages with videos see a spike in conversion rates up to 86%.
Explainer videos are among the few types of content that have a positive impact overall on CRO. If your business offers a sophisticated product, landing page explainer videos make every bit of essential information about your product much more accessible to your visitors.
DesignBoost implemented shorter copy on their landing page 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 a prologue that shows your offers in a short and value-packed way to save visitors’ time.
Basically, landing page explainer videos serve as visual copy that grants ease of access to necessary information about your product so visitors can better understand why they would want it.
In order to place and track an explainer video’s performance on a landing page, you’ll need several different tools.
Wistia or YouTube?
Everyone’s go-to video hosting platform is YouTube. It’s free, and everyone else is using it. Technical-wise, embedding a YouTube player onto your landing page source code should be super simple.
However, know this: YouTube is designed for content creators (who look to monetize their videos) and big-brand-building advertising campaigns.
If you look at your company’s future plans and see large-scale brand advertising or video monetization, using YouTube from the start is a good choice.
Wistia, on the other hand, is designed exclusively to serve companies using video on their websites for marketing, support, and sales. Wistia is a paid service–and you’ll reap what you sow.
Wistia provides clearer and deeper data about how your landing page video is performing and more insights on visitor interaction with your landing page explainer video.
You can get an aggregated view of a video’s performance with engagement graphs, or you can drill down to see how individual viewers are watching your videos with heatmaps. You can also attribute specific viewing activity to a viewer’s email address.
In short, Wistia has the upper hand if you are looking for a business video hosting service.
4. Explainer Videos for Email Marketing Campaigns
Explainer video and email together make a communication tool that stands out from others. The advantage of sending video emails is that it hooks viewers and speeds engagement with them.
An explainer video in an email is an effective way to impress, inform, engage, and even entertain recipients.
You might dread this, but think about your next dental appointment. As responsible as you may be about having healthy teeth, you already dread the thought of having them drilled and poked. But you just have to do it because it’s the right thing to do–or at least that’s what dentists make you believe!
What do you think would happen if your dentist sent you a personal reminder email for your next appointment along with a video about the advantages of having healthy teeth, plus a 20%-off coupon for whitening at your next visit?
You are now a patient who has received a personalized reminder with a special offer and who is likely to return to the same dentist.
Below are additional benefits of sending an explainer video in email:
- Deliver Messages Easily – Explainer videos are significant for your overall marketing plans as they draw the attention of viewers while at the same time delivering necessary information about your product(s). Your email subscribers find them more interesting and active in comparison to plain text. Therefore, a video email is very likely to have a greater impact on recipients.
- Saves Time – An explainer video in email saves both your time and your subscribers’ time. It provides information on a product or service in significantly less time than reading requires, and it makes complex subjects easier to understand.
- Penetrates Marketing Barrier – Video content has a higher chance of quickly going viral than other forms of content. Explainer videos also have an impressive way of saying things and delivering messages. The majority of viewers respond more positively to a product after a video about it.
- Fresh SEO Juice – The technical benefit of having an explainer video in email marketing is improved Google search ranking. An online video can attract more attention and be more popular. It can lead to more shares on social media and therefore a larger scale of exposure to the brand.
Now, moving on to the tools you can use for email video marketing: There are hundreds, if not thousands, of email marketing tools out there. Below I’ve listed the best of the ones that offer free plans.
I’ve been using MailChimp for more than two years, and it’s still a solid email marketing platform that suits my every need. The sleek user interface and simple campaign management are what I like best about MailChimp.
Since not all email clients support in-app video playing, MailChimp can automatically strip the video out of the email and replace it with a thumbnail image that directs the recipient to a new tab to watch the video.
And best thing is, Mailchimp offers a free plan that you can use to try out the basic features before deciding to go ahead and pay for the full unlocked features.
SendInBlue is another email marketing tool that offers a free plan. Its free plan essentially works as a feature-constrained free trial, without a timeout period, and it does not require a credit
5. Explainer Videos for Facebook Video Marketing
Facebook is one of the strongest and most popular social media platforms today. And Mark Zuckerberg’s team doesn’t seem to stop growing anytime soon. You should ride the wave for your own benefit.
One of our client, TruLocal, has published their explainer video to Facebook as one of their distribution channels.
They know that millions of people are on Facebook daily. Take a quick survey of your office or group of friends about their Facebook use and you’ll be able to deduce the general result. By being present on Facebook alone, you have put your business under the noses of everyone.
Adding visual components such as an explainer video and infographics makes you much more discoverable. Facebook videos are also easily searchable on Google. Similar to YouTube videos, Facebook videos also appear on search engine results pages (SERPs).
To gain the exposure you need, you’ll need to invest more time in promoting your social media videos and fan pages and less time making updates that will probably drown in people’s newsfeeds within hours.
There are social media management tools that allow you to easily manage your social media updates to match your target audience’s active social media hours.
Buffer is an all-around tool for social media marketing, analytics and management tools. Using Buffer allows you to schedule and manage your explainer videos (and all sorts of content) on Facebook. It offers you a 14-day free trial, and a business subscription plan starts at $99 per month.
While Buffer is stronger in terms of content management and UI, Socialbakers offer more in-depth analytics about the data your business might need to improve your explainer video performance and amplify its reach. Membership at Socialbakers starts at $120 per month depending on the features you want unlocked.
Like the other two social media tools, Hootsuite offers a content management platform and data analytics. The unique selling point, according to Hootsuite’s page, is the ability to “protect your brand on social media,” which uses a message approval and permissions workflow to cut internal risks.
6. Explainer Videos for Instagram Marketing
Technically, Instagram is one of Facebook’s sub-companies. Many features between the two have been synchronized. However, the crowd at Instagram is a completely different group of people with 180-degree differences in the content they want to find.
On Facebook, you can find any kind of content you would possibly want to see on the Internet: photos, status updates, articles (or notes), videos, songs, check-in places, company pages – you name it.
In short, Facebook is like a big bowl where many kinds of content can be found. Instagram, on the other hand, specifically serves you videos and photos.
With the limitation of 60 seconds, short explainer videos like the one we made for HistoWiz here is a perfect example of Instagram marketing content.
A visual-based platform means a whole new hunting ground if you have an explainer video. If you are still planning to make one, be sure to put Instagram on your funnel list.
Beware: There’s a thin line between tastefully promoting your company on social media and spamming.
Most marketers tend to give off a pushy vibe when using social media as a marketing ground. That doesn’t fly on Instagram. It doesn’t even stand a chance against the high content marketing standard on Instagram.
Unlike other large social networking sites that are crowded with businesses and marketers, Instagram is still packed with casual users. That means a business-to-business approach is still a hard task.
Explainer videos are an awesome type of content to have on Instagram*.
Notice the * mark there? Let me explain the T&C.
As long as your explainer video doesn’t focus on your product alone, there is a chance it will do well on Instagram. Instead of creating a video about your product and how it is the “best product on the market,” you have to get creative.
Here is the key sentence that you should, at all time, have in mind when creating an explainer video for Instagram:
Make your product a piece of the video, not the entirety of it.
There are tools that you can use to manage and monitor your video’s performance on Instagram.
The three things that you will get from Iconosquare are management, analysis, and engagement. You can pre-schedule your Instagram posts. Essentially, upload your content and draft some captions and hashtags, and Iconosquare will post them when you want them to be posted.
You will get all the data that you’ll ever need to grow your Instagram account, starting from basic data like follower growth, to detailed data like followers’ locations. With Iconosquare you will be able to sort your posts based on performance, and from there you will also get recommendations about the best time to post your videos and images.
Iconosquare is “the big fish” among Instagram marketing tools, so it only comes with 14-day free trial. Membership plans start at $9 to $49 monthly.
Social Insight is an Instagram analytic tool that provides in-depth data for your Instagram account. Being capable to use with multiple accounts, Social Insight is a powerful tool to improve productivity for social media managers.
It is an awesome all-rounder tool to monitor engagement, follower growth, and interactions in your Instagram accounts.
These are the key features of Social Insight:
- Best Time to Post Quickly see the best time to post based on history and the engagement rate of your previous posts.
- 28 Analytical Data Points There are 28 analytical data points that are tremendously useful for your future decision makings such as followers lost and gained, post engagement rate from minimum, average, and minimum, most engaging filters and more.
7. Explainer Videos for E-Commerce Product Showcases
Shopping online is a convenient way to get everything you need, delivered right to your doorstep. However, I’m pretty sure that at some point you’ve felt something is not quite the same between online shopping and shopping at a physical store.
The problem with shopping for a physical product online is the lack of first-hand experience with the product itself. That may not be the case for a digital product such as software, an app, music, or other digital services, but it definitely unnerves some people to shop online for a physical product.
For some people,seeing a stock photo of a product instead of the actual product they are going to buy can be a deal-breaker. Some of them want to know as much information about the product before proceeding to the checkout.
Explainer videos excel at providing that missing first-hand experience in online shopping.
Take a look at the 3D video we made for shaker fuel. It showcases the features of a bottle, a physical product, in 3D style animation to give the full hands-on experience for online shoppers.
Unlike written descriptions that (most of the time) include only general information about the product, explainer videos focus on providing more information about the product you’re selling — information that one can’t get through text.
Explainer videos can showcase your product with audio and visual elements that build an online experience to make visitors fall in love with the products.
Combined with other elements of an e-commerce website, an explainer video can complete an online shopping experience that is emotional, guided, and almost realistic-feeling.
In fact, our quick research shows that shoppers who view videos are 1.81 times more likely to purchase than non-viewers.
These are the tools that will be useful for e-commerce owners in utilizing the best of their product explainer videos.
Shopify is the go-to platform for beginners in e-commerce with conventional requirements. Shopify has earned this title since it has everything in terms of an easy setup, with a handy dashboard and customization tools you’ll need accessible just a click away.
With over 100 store templates to choose from, you will definitely be able to choose which one shapes your visitors’ online shopping experience in the most compelling way. Having many templates to choose from means you have more options to mix and match your product explainer video (in terms of color, mood, etc.) with the general look and feel of your store.
A subscription to Shopify is $9 per month. But given what you’ll get in return as an e-commerce business, that’s nothing.
BigCommerce is a tad more costly than Shopify in terms of subscription price. Next to Shopify, BigCommerce has the cleanest dashboard and clearest directions for getting your site built within a few minutes. In fact, the dashboard looks surprisingly similar to Shopify’s, with modules for accepting credit cards, customizing your store and more.
The monthly fee on BigCommerce is $29.99. The massive gap in pricing is due perhaps to the difference in the target user persona between Shopify and BigCommerce.
8. Explainer Videos for Content Marketing Enrichment
An explainer video has the potential to add more ammunition to your content marketing arsenal. When your content armory is close to empty, an explainer video can be turned into many kinds of different, smaller content pieces that you can use for other occasions and funnels.
Repurposing your explainer video content creates opportunity. It opens new windows that can eventually improve your website’s SEO ranking, build stronger relationship with audiences, distribute different and refined content to reach new audiences, and support content marketing consistency.
Break it down to GIFs
It’s unlikely you’ll keep someone’s attention for all 2 minutes of your explainer video, especially if you’re using social media channels to promote it.
Break down long videos into several short videos or animated GIFs as an additional attachment to catch the attention of social media newsfeed scrollers.
If you’re doing email campaign, an animated GIF could brighten the mood of your emails. In other words, nothing could go wrong if you make animated GIFs from your explainer video.
GIPHY is the easy way to make GIFs from a pre-existing YouTube video. That said, the quality of an exported GIF will not be as good as one manually made from more advanced software like Adobe Photoshop.
The upside of GIPHY is that you can upload and share your GIF with everyone else on GIPHY. It’s like a whole universe of GIFs in one website.
Other than YouTube, no online GIF maker tool supported other popular video hosting sites like Vimeo or Daily Motion.
Someone else had to do it, so Gyfcat did. The only downside is that the GIFs are not the same quality as those created by paid software like Photoshop or RecordIt.
9. Explainer Videos for Online Advertising Campaign
Consumers are gradually cutting down their interest in traditional media and turning to digital videos for discovery, entertainment, and brand awareness.
According to the latest IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report, the year 2016 was the all-time high for digital video advertising revenue at $3.9 billion (including mobile and desktop). That’s a 51% increase from 2015’s $2.1 billion revenue.
Explainer videos were traditionally a piece of content that you put on your website as a highlight of your products. However, the spike in digital video advertising revenue means that the consumption of digital video in general has risen, which is a sign for explainer videos to add one more point on their list of tactical benefits.
An online advertising campaign using an animated explainer video is something that most people are afraid to try due to the explainer video’s origin as explainer content.
Today’s Internet users expect video advertising to be brief, targeted and convenient. Internet content consumers engage with content at a rapid pace, meaning they jump from one to another extraordinarily quickly and frequently.
What does that mean?
That means they scroll away from or skip a video ad that fails to capture their attention at first glance.
Explainer videos for advertising create a breakaway from the stigma of irrelevant online advertising and shape a stimulating environment for consumers by meeting their expectations for content.
They allow brands to inform users with bite-sized information about products and to visually entertain, which generates a conversion-oriented platform when accurately targeted across user behavior patterns.
Nanigans is a multi-channel advertising software with an emphasis on Facebook marketing. Its software has access to the Facebook Exchange (FBX) for retargeting and a plethora of other tools that make targeting more efficient. Nanigans is the tool of choice for companies such as eBay, JackThreads, and Zynga.
Facebook Power Editor
The Power Editor is Facebook’s own tool for creating and running advertising campaigns. Facebook is constantly improving its ad platform, and the tool frequently releases new targeting and budgeting features for users. For marketers just starting oit on the paid social front, this is probably the best choice as there is no third-party fee to create and manage your advertisements.
Twitter Native Advertising Platform
Twitter is another major network that brands should consider paying to advertise on. Twitter has some fantastic features for targeting, with segmentation functionality that includes the ability to target certain keywords so that whenever someone tweets, or engages with a tweet, using that key phrase, they’ll be targeted.
10. Explainer Videos for Internal Company Training
Thus far, we know that explainer videos are very efficient when involving external parties, like introducing your product to the world, creating a video advertising, designing a stunning landing page, or adding an attractive element to your business emails.
Internally, an explainer video is also an incredible tool that can help you build a better team. Using explainer videos, you can introduce a new process or policy, share knowledge, and coach your staff in different areas, such as marketing or IT.
Animated explainer videos have a strong knowledge retention rate. The average person only retains 10% of what they hear, while they retain 50% of what they see.
According to Social Science Research Network, 65% of people are visual learners. That means that, in general, there is a greater chance your employees will learn better when visuals are used.
Now, let’s break down how explainer videos can help you build a better team.
Breaking Down IT Gizmos
Technology is moving at a rapid pace. It´s very common to have new versions of software released frequently, or new products announced every month.
And at some point in your business career, you might add one or more pieces of technology for better productivity in a certain division or even the entire company. It can be a new, top-of-the-line printer-scanner combo, an automatic time clock system, or a new emergency alarm system.
You can save training costs and time by developing an animated video, which will certainly help your employees better understand the new tech you just installed, with the use of graphics and animation.
In this context, an animated video can be used to simplify a complex how-to-use process or general safety precautions (if there are any).
Introducing a New Company Policy
Introducing a company’s new policy is usually done by broadcast email or notes on office bulletin boards. They are efficient, simple and sometimes good enough. But presenting your new policy in a meeting (or seminar, if your company is huge) with an explainer video is better.
For a new policy or rule to be effective within the entire company, it’s essential that you communicate everything clearly and coherently. You want to ensure that every single employee understands it perfectly.
At the same time, leveraging an animated video to explain why and how this policy is being implemented will result in better understanding because you (the company’s executive) have shared your point of view on why the new policy is needed.
What do you think of our list? I’m sure explainer videos have a lot more uses out there that I am not aware of.
Explainer video is an all-rounder tool that is extremely handy and useful for companies, especially startups that are still growing. With just one explainer video, you will have a tool for many occasions and purposes if you choose to function it so.
Interested in having one for your company? Shoot us an email here.
If you have any suggestion or inquiry about this list and or our articles, feel free to shoot me an email at jeff(at)breadnbeyond(dot)com.