What is explainer video (and how your business can benefit from it)
Explainer videos, are short movies which explain complicated issues in an easy way. Typically they deliver information about companies, products and services. They’re used by thousands of companies all over the world.
How explainer video can help your business
When a decade ago Twitter was launched a lot of people thought it’s just a Facebook’s clone. Company’s managers decided that they need to clarify the main idea behind their website. They ordered 2,5 minutes long explainer video which reached over 10 million people. When journalists, businessmen and common people understood how Twitter can help them, the social platform’s popularity has grown.
The success of their explainer video was influenced by several factors. Among them was simple graphics, clear narration, distinct CTA messages and an explanation of how to use the portal step by step. These features characterize an explainer video.
Explainer videos function well not only in the case of young, innovative companies. The potential of explainer videos is used by the Fortune Global 500 companies (some of them, as a matter of fact, are our loyal customers :)).
Explainer videos present business strategies, prototypes or even more common things such as operating manuals. What is important, a good explainer video immediately attracts and holds the attention of the viewer. Therefore, 2-3 minutes are enough to achieve the designated goal.
How is it done?
Explainer and traditional video content
First of all, an explainer video uses – as the name suggests – video technology. Every month, a billion unique viewers use the website YouTube to watch over 6 billion hours of movies. Consumers really appreciate videos because these videos affect many senses. This fact explains why video is usually much more engaging than text.
Right now video is being promoted by all social media heavyweights including: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s VP explains why:
“The best way to tell stories in this world — where so much information is coming at us — actually is video. It commands so much information in a much quicker period so actually the trend helps us digest more of the information in a quicker way.” 
Therefore, many companies use the popularity of video content in their marketing activities. However, not every kind of movie has the same purpose.
Advertising spots are usually displayed to the customer that didn’t ask for them. That’s why people hate popup videos and commercials. As a consequence portals are struggling to convince you to turn off the AdBlock. Also creative agencies are struggling to make commercials that are worth watching.
Explainer videos on the other hand are addressed to people initially interested in our product. Video, in this case, may be used as a form of subtle advertisement. Explainer video does not make a viewer feel like they are watching a typical spot.
A message is not strictly persuasive – it consists only in explaining or telling a story. This enables a viewer to approach the material they watch in a less skeptical way. As a consequence, the user watches the movie for a longer period of time.
One of the oldest explainers – a video explaining Twitter functions:
An explainer video as a way to keep your audience focused
Explainer videos are efficient and prove themselves, especially in a situation when we need to attract the attention of recipients in a quick manner.
We have 15 seconds to do that. Exactly that amount of time is needed for the Internet user to decide about staying or leaving a particular website.  A method to convince users to stay on the website may involve using videos. Not only in B2C.
According to a survey conducted by Forbes and Google of over 300 members from top management of the largest American companies, 59% of decision-making people prefer to watch a video instead of reading text on websites 
The research was conducted in 2010, during a time when videos were far less popular than today. The indicator is most likely even higher currently.
An approachable and attractive explainer video message also helps to increase conversions and influence the purchase decisions of customers. According to survey conducted by Invodo, 52% of consumers think that watching a video presenting a product convinced them to buy it. 
Why are explainer videos so popular?
Images help us to understand the world. No matter the fact that it is a well-told story, a clear scheme or project – all of these features help us catch on complex ideas. Therefore, images remove the weight from our shoulders. We don’t need to read, think and translate to a ‘human language’ increasingly complex reality.
Watching a video helps us to reduce “informational stress” that occurs when we are not able to process all of the received information. Watching, for people, is also a very natural method of perceiving the world – sight prevails over hearing, smell or touch for a human being.
Of course, not all of the images are clear to us.
A city crowded with billboards brings visual chaos, which may irritate us. An example of good visual practice would be, on the other hand, a perfectly trimmed Japanese garden, which helps our eyes to relax.
A translation of a Japanese garden to a movie is an explainer video. The purpose of an explainer video is transferring knowledge in a way that helps the recipient to relax. This happens on an aesthetic level as well as – most of all – on a content-related level. The script is prepared in such way that understanding complex subjects requires practically no effort from the viewer.
An explainer video presented, among others, such complex issues as Panama Papers.
Explainer video helps increase profits
The efficiency of explainer videos translates into higher sales. The effects of these activities are easy to be measured. Not only by following the video views, but most of all, by measuring the rate of conversion and ROI factor.
To confirm the marketing potential of explainer videos, we might use the example of the “Crazy Egg” case study. After posting the video on the Internet website, the producer of the application earned $21,000 of additional profit per month and acquired the conversion rate at a level of 64%. 
Where did those excellent results come from?
The way Crazy Egg works is difficult to explain. A few seconds are more than enough for a bored Internet user to close the boring website. The perfect method of presenting a tool that analyzes the behavior of users on Internet websites was through using an explainer video. An explainer video has recouped itself already in the first month it was shown.
Video explaining how Crazy Egg works
An explainer video presents the product in a better way. Not only to clients.
There are also other advantages of explainer videos. Descriptions and graphics leave room for customer interpretation. An explainer video is characterized by a clear and distinct message.
When creating explainer videos, we are forced to include the most important information in a way that is easily received by the viewers. The strength of a good explainer video is gathering the knowledge, filtering and solidifying the short message in a way that it is understood.
But potential customers are not the only ones to benefit from these videos. Company’s employees also find the movie helpful. Screenplay preparation process allows one to create a story, according to which the specific product or service is described.
Discussions in teams, gathering the best practices or an outside perspective of production studio help to shed new light on issues that were obvious before. And this provides an inspiration for further action.
Besides, explainer makes all of the employees describe the activity of the company in the same way. And a company that is characterized by coherent communication not only on the outside, but also on the inside, is an invaluable asset.
Explainer videos in communication
We live in an era of mobile phones and video content. This potential may be used in many different ways. One of them is adding explainer videos as a company’s communication tool. Due to the broad possibilities of usage and cost efficiency, in many cases, it may become a tool that is permanently included in budget of the HR, sales or marketing department.
Do you want to make such a film for the needs of your business? Write to us at the following address: [email protected]
If you would like to learn more take a look at our articles:
What is whiteboard animation (and how your business can benefit from it) – We answer the question “What is whiteboard animation” (one of the forms of the explainer videos) and we present a research that shows how this form of communication affects memory. If you like our videos, you should read this text.
Whiteboard animation: Best business cases – We describe business cases from the marketing, sales and HR departments. If you are considering using whiteboard in your organization, this article will be very helpful to you.
The most experienced producer of whiteboard animation videos in Poland, it regularly works with the biggest brands in the world, NGOs, SMEs and start-ups. ExplainVisually services are provided to such organizations as: Carlsberg, UniCredit, Orange, Ceneo.pl, Credit Agricole, Remondis, Winiary, ING, PARP, Przewozy Regionalne, Tesco and Poczta Polska (Polish Post).
About the author:
Maciej Budkowski – a psychologist and marketer in ExplainVisually, responsible for marketing and sales. During his studies at the University of Warsaw, he studied the influence of large amount on information on the level of processing. Then, he managed communications in IS-Wireless, a high-tech telecom company. He gave a lecture entitled “The use of visual thinking in building customer experience” at the Marketing Summit 2016. You can find some of his psychology-related articles on imprific.com.