Category Archives: Explainify

6 Great (And 1 Terrible) Examples of Brand Storytelling in Video

Your brand has a story, whether you know what it is or not.

Related: [Free Guide] How Your Brand Story Makes You Money

Seriously. People are coming to your site, buying your products, interacting with you on social media. All of that tells a story. If you are intentional about consistently sending the same messages and engaging authentically with how people are reacting—chances are you’re on the right path towards telling a story that matters.

If not, then it is only a matter of time before you end up being a tabloid headline because you’ll leave your employees, brand evangelists, and everyone else guessing at what matters to you. And, trust us, guessing does not work out well.

Don’t feel bad if you’ve never thought about it. There are some big brands that haven’t put too much effort (or the wrong kind of effort) into creating their image – if you’re willing to learn from them you can avoid many of the pitfalls others have fallen into.

It’s this reason that has prompted us to go cruise the great interwebs and pull out 7 examples of (mostly) good storytelling. Shhh. If you promise not to tell, there is one bad example of a mega brand, too.

Let’s take a look

Number One: Weight Watchers

Our first example illustrates a good point. You can do something in a dry, unemotional way and yield minimum results.

A brand can share testimonials, tips and best practices, and even have a celebrity endorsement—and still fall short of a compelling campaign.

Related: 3 Common Brand Storytelling Myths (and 3 Ways to Correct Them)

If you’re a larger organization, there will be more channels to try. However, you may not want to “be everywhere” and instead know where home is for your clients and hang out there to provide incredible value.

Weight Watchers knows their audience and that this group hangs out on Facebook.

The company pours tons of effort into that social channel. Making recipe videos, sharing testimonials, and advertisements to get people off the fence on into the program.

Just take a look at that engagement.

Why It’s Good: Relevance and brevity. Their most popular videos are in the the red hot recipe video niche and around 30 seconds apiece.

Number Two: Tide

If you’ve given a portion of your life to watching YouTube videos like us, you’ve probably heard of the “Tide Pod Challenge”.

You know that it’s supposed to be an amazing detergent, but it’s also twice as expensive as the other name brands. In order to get a young, broke financially unarrived generation to fork over that kind of dough—it’ll take some endorsement. Tide knew who they wanted to influence, and they knew who already was doing it. So they challenged famous YouTubers.

Get a shirt as dirty as you can and use a Tide Pod to clean it. Then upload it to your audience so we can sell them a ton of detergent.

Take a look at this screenshot of Tide’s “Most Popular” uploads. 8 of 12 are of the challenge for over 200 million views—not bad for a single campaign.

Number Three: Samsung

Samsung has had some trouble – recently to put it mildly.

Phones blowing up, executives getting arrested and even impeached! It just hasn’t been a pretty picture. But this isn’t a bad example. Every brand will have something tarnish their reputation—either legitimate or fake.

It’s how they responded. It told a great story.

Related: 3 Ways to Beat Bad PR with Better Brand Storytelling

The new folks in charge took out full page ads for the sole purpose of apologizing. The debacle cost them billions of dollars and countless amounts of brand equity, but they did the right thing in a very public way.

(Insert image of Samsung apology)

Next, after some time they followed it up by giving us the Galaxy S8 that looks stunning.

Why It’s Good: Trying to hide things that really happened doesn’t hide it at all. You show the world that you may not be worthy of their loyalty.

Number Four: Vizio (Hint: This One’s Not So Great)

Unfortunately, Vizio doesn’t do a great job of showing themselves as the tech giant happen to be.

They make great TVs, and even had an ad in the Super Bowl — with Beyonce!

But their social media is lackluster at best, and one of the top 10 most popular videos they have is a troubleshooting guide for a remote. Not kidding.

Why It’s Bad: There is a huge difference between making a video with needed/wanted content and doing it in a way that both reaches and captures the intended audience.

Number Six: Crossfit

No one ever asks, “Do I know anyone in Crossfit?”

You either do or you don’t, because it’s all they talk about. T-shirts from their gym, showing off their new muscles, or just randomly injected the word “burpee” into a conversation—it’ll be obvious.

It may be annoying, but the actual organization does a good job indoctrinating their audience.

Related: Why You’re Not Educating Your Audience Right (and 4 Ways to Start)

They convey the story and benefits of their brand by showing off the results of the insane workout method. Most notably, they’ve put together the Crossfit games and had a documentary detailing the process.

You can watch the 2014 games right from their YT—it’ll make you want to lift a tire, or at least think about lifting a tire.

Careful: You will tell your friends

Why It’s Good: It’s a huge story funnel that draws people in through the media, the events, and the results.

Number Seven: Clash of Clans

You have to respect the massive growth of some game apps, even if you are in the more serious industries of software and SaaS.

With over 10 million active monthly users, there is something to be learned by anyone who sells something coded. Yes, the game is super well done and insanely addictive. That said, the brand is tailored for the immature person in all of us.

And they rock that story.

If their videos get less than a couple million views, or FB posts get less than 30k likes, it’s akin to failure. Plus, if you don’t have anyone around and want to be goofy—their stuff is hilarious.

Take a look at their recent April Fool’s joke.

Why It’s Good: Speak to your audience on their level and don’t be afraid to have a little fun. The most serious brands can inject humor for a better storytelling experience.

 

Click here to sign up for your own exclusive access to our video + storytelling course!

Mobile Video & Users: A Timely Guide for Not Looking Silly on Phones

Half of your traffic is mobile. Let’s say it again: half of your traffic is mobile. Yes, you heard right.

Maybe more than that depending on your industry and clientele. The way you provide video to mobile visitors is vital to keeping your company profitable as more and more web traffic comes via smartphones.

On the positive side, if you aren’t accounting for this traffic—you could dramatically improve revenue and brand image by dedicating some time to this one fact of life.

Fact: Over 90% of mobile video viewers share content with others.

There’s more to it than implementing a responsive design, though.

Having an experience that is tailored for the small screen will need special design, formatting, and making videos that suit both desktop and mobile users.

Sound tough? We thought so, and it’s why we’ve put together this little guide to help you look better for both types of web traffic. Because while it is tempting to move towards mobile design only, don’t forget that 37% (this is a conservative number) of people often begin shopping via mobile and finish purchasing on a desktop. We’ll get deep in the weeds and go geeky to help you better serve your potential clients by looking better on mobile.

Here we go.

Tip #1: From Long Copy to Short(ish) Videos

To buy an online product in years past, it was all about scrolling.

Scrolling through thousands of words of copy, guarantees, those little red lines and arrows. Just continuing to move down a seemingly endless page until you got to the price. And, you guessed it! The price, naturally, had a red line through it to reveal the “recently” lowered price.

Now, people who were genuinely interested in your product enough to click a link will pretend you never existed if it takes more than 4 seconds to load.

Put simply, people are increasingly demanding instant gratification and decreasingly patient when they do not quickly get the experience they desired.

While we can debate the anthropological and societal travesties of this increasing mindset all day long, but we won’t. To get around all the self-absorption that mobile users have—use shorter videos.

Related: 6 Steps to Creating the Perfect Marketing Video (Infographic)

Using a mix of copy and video or a long video will have the mobile crowd leaving your page even if it looks good. No one wants to hold their phone while you walk through point after point saying something that could have been conveyed in a few short remarks. There are kickstands for phones now. And the average YouTube video length (most videos in the world) is just over 4 minutes. Do the math and just let these facts sink in for a second… people don’t even want to hold a phone statically for minutes. This is the world we currently live in.

Bottom Line: If your video is too long, you’ll lose mobile viewers regardless of how well it’s visually displayed.

Tip #2: Discard Everything Else

Say this to yourself, “Video and Call-to-Action (CTA). Nothing else.”

This tip is good for any screen. When you have a video on the page, it should be doing all of the talking for you. Videos can be used for your homepage, but they are much better served on their own landing page.

Related: How to Use an Amazing Landing Page Video the Right Way!

A clear, concise video is practically ruined by a cluttered, confused site page.

We’re not saying your site is as ugly as the one in the screenshot, or that you have to go minimal. But we are saying that on the page with the video, there are two actors. The video should be the star and the CTA is the best-supporting role.

Even having a pop-up could be a disaster. Most pop-up plugins and software aren’t great for mobile.

Users will get frustrated at not being able to see the video as well as not being able to close the intrusive pop-up. Most plugins will have the ability to stop them from occurring on certain pages and a really good one can determine whether or not it’s a mobile device.

If pop-ups are working for you, just be careful and test the look/function on mobile.

Tip #3: The “R Word” (Responsive)

Wait a minute… Aren’t we at the tail end (of what seemed to be a decade) of the warnings about needing our sites to be responsive?

Yes, but but based on the fact that 71% of people are saying they’ve recently bounced from non-mobile responsive sites, we’re going to guess that there is still work to be done. One thing people still need to do is set up their videos fit to suit the new mobile-optimized pages they’re building. Companies that are committed to video have spent thousands of dollars to make sure that their landing pages work right.

Little pesky code elements called “iframes” have caused a lot of trouble the last few years. The point here is to test the video instead of just putting it on a page. You don’t have to custom code a page, but the page should be built around the video—and tested extensively on mobile.

A good (read: responsive) video player (e.g. Wistia, Vimeo, etc.) should take care of most problems, but don’t bank on it. Check on Apple and Android devices, be diligent.

Related: 10 Reasons Why You Should Host Your Videos On Wistia

Bonus Resource: Here’s a great instructional piece on how to get around this common problem. Great details, but will take someone with a basic knowledge of CSS and HTML.

Tip #4: BIG Text and Images

You can have a message that clearly and beautifully conveys your point and would move people into the frame of mind you intended. But if they can’t see what’s going on—you’ll lose them.

A few words on the screen at the right time can really bring home the point. That said, if you use too much text, it’ll be smaller and harder to keep up with. If you’re viewers are struggling to read the screen, they’ll not hear your audio as clearly.

Balance big viewable text and animation with a great script and you’ll keep their attention for the maximum amount of time (hopefully the whole time).

Fact: Nearly 80% of decision makers will spend more time watching mobile videos over the next three years.

Tip #5: Make Sure It’ll Play

Did you know that one little-bitty pause (e.g. buffering) in a video causes the average person’s stress level to increase 15 points?

You really can test a person’s character with a slow internet connection. Don’t test your customers, if you can help it. Make sure that you have a mobile-friendly host for your videos. There are several good ones nowadays, but we have a few favorites.

This tip may sound rudimentary, but it’s the one that could make or break it. The data shows that if a video takes only a couple of seconds to get going 4 of 5 people will move along without ever looking at your video.

That’s 80%! Nothing more will make you look silly than a video that doesn’t play.

How much of your traffic is mobile? Answer: Enough to make them worth catering to.

 

Click here to sign up for your own exclusive access to our video + storytelling course!

Content Roundup – The Scary Side of Marketing

As marketers and businesspeople, we need to be concerned with what is going on around us. But all too often, we get sucked into our day-to-day routines and just fail to take a step back and see where things are going.

Well, today we’re (hopefully) going to give you a small dose of perspective on some trends that, if you’re not careful, can have some haunting effects on your business going into the future. Don’t worry though – if you’re on top of your game you’ll be ready to dominate like Rick Grimes in the Walking Dead.


21 Spooky Two-Sentence Marketing Stories That Will Make You Scream (Envision)

Let’s start off with something fun to get your weekend rolling! Enjoy these tasty little sentences that will make any marketer scream in terror!

Click here to read the full article!


6 Scary Stats About Marketing + 7 Tips For Survival [INFOGRAPHIC] (Square2Marketing)

Speaking of terror, we pulled out of the Halloween vault one of our favorite infographics! Shoppers going 57% of their journey without speaking to a salesperson? Now. That. Is. Scary.

Click here to read the full article!


The Scariest Video Marketing Trends of 2017 (and Beyond) (Explainify)

Video marketing. Ah, that buzzword you’ve been hearing over and over and over and over again. Well, here’s some stats that, if you’re not ready for them can be scary! Be forewarned, side effects of reading this article include nausea and loss of sleep.

Click here to read the full article!

Collective Bias explainer video helps social influencer agency shorten sales cycle and closes more deals


The Future of Email Marketing (Emailmonday)

Reading 100+ articles about predictions on email marketing is intense! Luckily, there’s this one article to rule them all. It puts a nice summary together so you know what the future of email marketing is moving towards in the next 5 years.

Click here to read the full article!


3 Mini Case Studies Show How Location Data Is Moving Marketing (AdAge)

We loved this article! Not only are case studies amazing to read, but think about the implications of this kind of research with some of the above articles. What if you can trigger a video playing outside your store because someone with a phone is walking by? What if your sales team knows that someone has entered a competitor’s store?

Marketing is always evolving and in this crazy technological world, we’re only scratching the surface of the iceberg.

Click here to read the full article!


Excited to see how your company avoids the avoids the marketing apocalypse and prepares for the future!

Watch the video and click here to get free access to how video + storytelling can lead to business domination!

How to Use an Amazing Landing Page Video the Right Way!

No, there isn’t only one way to use video on a website.

Related: 27 Ways to Use Video Marketing You Haven’t Thought Of Yet

Don’t think we’re trying to tell you that if you don’t XYZ, your video using efforts are all for not. Although, it is imperative that you understand there are wrong ways to use media—especially on landing pages.

Think of it like throwing a party.

You can’t just throw down some lawn chairs and put a bag of chips on the table. These are your potential customers and guests. Let’s try to put together a grand event so that those who come will be compelled to stick around.

This post will mainly be spent telling you how to use video on landing pages. But throughout, we’ll give a few tips that will keep you from common pitfalls.

Three key elements comprise the makings of a great video landing page:

  • The Platform (method of hosting): The venue of your party
  • The Landing Page: The decor
  • The Video: The belle of the ball

We’ll be diving into each of these with all the details you need to raise your conversion metrics on the next page you create.

Related: [Case Study] Explainer Video Increases Conversion Rates 23%

Ready? Let’s do it.

Element One: The Platform

This is your venue to the party you hope to put on. If you’re looking to have (or have already) a professional video to put on the landing page, you’ll want something suitable to host it.

Remember the video is going to be the eye catcher. You wouldn’t get decked out for a fish fry the same way you would the Oscars, right?

Bottom Line: Where you put your video is important.

Luckily, you don’t have to drive around town trying to find the perfect place to host all of the people. You really only have two broad choices.

  1. Landing Page Builder: The gold standards here are LeadPages and Unbounce, but there are many more options around today. Here’s a link to a list of the best seven from the folks over at CrazyEgg.
  2. Self-Hosted/DIY: You could choose a theme via WordPress, or custom build your own landing page for your self-hosted site. There are also builders that integrate with WP. One of the best is Thrive. You can choose from dozens of templates or create one from scratch in a drag-and-drop style.

How About a Don’t: Don’t link ads or send traffic to your home site or homepage. The page can be connected to your site, but it needs to standalone There are rare cases (exceptions to the rule) where this is okay, but people don’t want to hear about your company. They want to hear about the thing that solves their problem that you make or do.

Element Two: The Landing Page

If the platform is your venue, the landing page is the decor.

The primary “bullet point” for a successful landing page is integration.

  • Does the page on which your video rests help tell the story that is found there?
  • Does the page offer the way to respond to the call-to-action mentioned?
  • Is there just enough additional information to get the slow responder to take the leap?
  • Is the design overall appealing and up to the standards modern web traffic will expect?

Let’s take a look at an example.

The entire page is very well done and upon watching the video, it was seemingly done specifically for this landing page.

The two are brought together seamlessly.

The video quickly tells visitors why they’re watching, the purpose of the video (an event), and why watchers would want to attend/learn more about the event.

After watching the video, there is a little blurb with some compelling copy and a call-to-action button—all above the fold of most desktops. However, more copy and social proof are just a scroll away.

The page is just enough to prove legitimacy while staying focused on converting attendees.

How About a Don’t: Again, don’t treat this as a page on your website. Don’t have the menu at the top, don’t distract them with social icons. They are there for one solitary purpose—to tell you “yes” or “no”.

Element Three: The Video

It wouldn’t be a video landing page without some form of moving pictures on the screen. The short video you have will definitely be the Belle of the ball.

As you can imagine that this Belle has to dance with the other elements, but it’s definitely what will be the reason people come and – if done right – stay. We’ll spend the most time here.

Let’s make sure we dress it up nice enough to warrant attention with these pointers.

Cohesive

This one doesn’t just speak for the video, but everything that leads up to the visitor watching. The ad that brings them in should look similar to the page and video. The video should have similar coloring (if necessary) and speak about the exact thing foretold via the ad.

If visitors didn’t know it was a video they were coming to, make sure to start off with exactly why they came in the first few seconds.

Make sure they know what you are getting at right off the bat.

Incredibly Focused

Your video should be created to get them to do something. One thing, not a bunch of stuff. The call to action should be layered into elements on the page (more on that later).

Everything in the video should be compelling and push the viewer to understand the key point. Consider their visit to be an elevator pitch opportunity.

Related: Why Viral Videos Are Ruining Your Video Marketing Strategy

Tell them exactly what you’d like them to hear and how to respond in about 60 seconds.

Focus Tip: Messaging should be specific enough to speak to each visitor like a conversation, but also not too sharp as to push away anyone but your “ideal prospects”.

Tell a Story

The founder of McDonald’s (Ray Kroc) said, “We are in the real estate business, not the hamburger business.”

In a similar way, we consider ourselves storytellers before explainer video creators.

Story is the best way to get people to feel emotion and make a decision in a very short amount of time. Think about it, you can read a blog post about landing pages and get some good tips without being brought to a state of euphoric emotion.

Try watching a Pixar short without feeling anything, though.

Bonus Resources: We’ve written on the subject of storytelling a lot. Try here and here.

Practical Help

The video content has to be good and look good, but so does the video and player. There are tons of sites that just embed a video, but if you want to stand out—try these tips.

  • Create or choose a thumbnail: The picture that everyone sees before they hit play. Even if the video autoplays, it helps to start the story you’re about to tell them.
  • Placement and sizing: Make sure that the video is completely seen when the page is loaded. It needs to be above the fold, front and center. Make sure that it’s proportionate and responsive, too.
  • Video Player: Everyone knows YouTube is the biggest site to host videos, but another player (e.g. Wistia) can give you more options and are overall better for business.

How About a Don’t: Don’t just throw a current marketing video on a page and don’t just put together a quick video that looks like you should be tied to a chair and holding today’s paper. Just because you’ve heard that video landing pages are the future of the sales funnel doesn’t mean you can do it half way.

Time to Party

An effective video landing page is one that is treated as a single organism. It’s something that works together and should be thought of as such. To use our party example, you wouldn’t have the dancing in one building with the dinner several miles away.

It all has to start together, not come together.

Getting this right is the difference between hitting your metrics and conversion goals, or showing visitors that you don’t know how to show them a good time.

CaseComplete is just one of many clients we've helped succeed! See how we helped them increase lead conversions by over 20%!

Boring 2017 Video Marketing Statistics AND How to Make Them Awesome

Yeah, we said it. Stats are boring (in and of themselves).

These factoids look great on a slideshare and can be dressed up to make people think you know what you’re talking about, but unless you can harvest the data and gain insights into your business—you’ve got nothing.

Our post is not a (boring) list of dozens of stats that you can regurgitate to your content team.

Everyone does that. We’ve decided to decipher the code.

In reality, stats are like little codes. If you can crack them open, you’ll reap the benefits they speak to. If you can’t translate the data into action, you’ll have a nifty trinket and no treasure.

So, finish your Cracker Jacks and break out your decoder rings.

We’re about to take an adventure that will reveal the secrets that all of those facts and figures are trying to tell you.

Intro “Sample” Stat: In 2017, it’s estimated that video will make up 74% of web traffic.

Related: 3 Reasons Your Customers Demand Video Marketing

Stat Translation: Yes, your story needs to be told with video, but in a way that draws the right traffic in ways that traditional copy no longer does as effectively.

Necessary Standards to Keep You Focused

Before anyone starts out on an adventure to decipher a hidden message you have to be properly motivated.

Think incomplete treasure map or ancient untranslated hieroglyphics.

People have always searched for hidden treasure, even today. And there are still so many texts and pictures that are being researched to understand the past of humanity better.

So, what’s the motivation in using these stats?

Welp, you are trying to translate the trends into insights that help you tell your brand’s story better (e.g. hieroglyphics). Once you do that, you’ll end up with better conversions (e.g. treasure).

See what we did there?

Bottom Line: Understand that every fact, stat, and number should help you better convey the story of your product(s) to your audience—ending up in a higher conversion rate.

Let’s Get to The Stats

Bonus Decoding Tip: While you’re looking through the jungle of endless stats that are bullet-pointed out, it’s important to think about how you advertise. Maybe you’ll find a stat that will help you to that end, or maybe you’ll find new ways to do your marketing.

Stat One: A staggering 85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound.

This one sounds crazy, but makes sense with a little translation.

First, most videos shared on FB are cute, funny, and/or quick. Add the fact that you have to click on the video in order to hear the sound, it adds a level of commitment that most users aren’t going to do as they’re scrolling through their feed.

Don’t take this as a downer though, you have to take the translation and apply it to your marketing. Why not try to:

  • Make a cute or funny video that tells the story you’re trying to get across.
  • Keep your videos short enough and impactful enough to keep them from scrolling by on their feed.
  • Create a version of your video with subtitles specifically for the person who doesn’t want sound.

Stat Two: Almost half of marketers plan on adding a YouTube content strategy this year.

With a billion users worldwide, YouTube marketing isn’t optional for many businesses, it’s mandatory.

If you’re not uploading and advertising via this platform, the stat could be a simple warning to get it in gear.

However, if you are already implementing these things, it’s time to increase your efforts. Your competitors that aren’t on YT are likely thinking about it. How can you reimagine, or bulk up, your efforts to keep ahead of the game?

Competition is good, especially when you see them coming and can translate the stats better. But alas! Just because you host videos on YouTube doesn’t mean that it’s perfect for every instance where you use a video. When implement a landing page video or embedding an email thumbnail, Wistia is pretty rad and is our go-to at Explainify.

Related: 10 Reasons Why You Should Host Your Videos On Wistia

YouTube, on the other hand, is most appropriate when you want to share something that is fun, engaging, or content you want easily shared. Like this:

Stat Three: 80% of consumers feel that demo videos are helpful.

Marketing used to be all about coming up with a great slogan for “men” or “women” or “teens”. Very general, very vague stuff and it worked.

It’s why we had the show Mad Men.

Now, it’s much harder to gauge what a person wants based on simple demographic data. Luckily, it’s also a time when the consumer is telling you exactly what they want to hear (and how).

People who are at a certain stage of your sales funnel just want to know how your gizmo works, and they want a short video that tells them straight up.

Bonus Decoding Tip: When you find stats that have similar data, you can combine them to make an even more informed marketing decision. For instance, shoppers who view demo videos are much more likely (1.81X more) to purchase than those who don’t view those videos. Not only does your audience want a demo vid, but it helps you find your treasure (conversions).

Stat Four: People watch 10 million videos every day on SnapChat.

This stat is to demonstrate (to some of you) the ease of scrolling past gold on some of these lists of numbers.

A lot of execs don’t have an active Snap profile, if they have one at all.

If we give it a second, the excuses for staying off the platform start rolling in. “That’s not for companies, but for teens and close friends.” Similar things were said about Facebook and Instagram and now you can’t stop big companies from spending millions to advertise.

SnapChat can be helpful in a lot of businesses (not all, obviously) in the cause of humanizing your brand.

People want to feel a connection to whom they buy from and it starts with you speaking their language in places where they are talking.

Stats can help you figure both of those things out.

Stat Five: Over half of all online video watchers consume videos thoroughly.

We do short form explainer video content here at Explainify, but that doesn’t mean that we are opposed to the very idea of longish videos.

Even if we were, the facts point to many users seemingly wishing there was more.

Not that this stat has an average length, but with some serious decoding you can decipher a few points that this could be speaking about.

  1. It’s about 55% of video watchers, not all. This means that these could be people who are researching for school/work, interests/hobbies, or products. Not casual watchers, but those who are bought in to a certain degree.
  2. Length isn’t that important to these people, content is. Whether it’s those “Tasty” recipe videos that are only a minute long (but you can’t stop watching and will never make whatever it is) or an hour tutorial video that really shows how your product works. Either way, leave them with everything they need (including a hunger for more).
  3. Quality plays a huge role. For every video these hardcore watchers play, there is at least one that they can’t back out of fast enough. One is a professionally produced video and another is a blurry Windows ‘98 MovieMaker special.

Ready for Adventure?

Stop looking for stat posts only to forward them to your marketing team. Stop reading them and saying, “Hmm. Interesting.” And then forward it to your colleagues.

It’s time to take your brand’s story and your conversion rate to a higher level, and that can only come when you use the intel you have and translate it to best suit your company’s image and customers. CaseComplete is just one of many clients we've helped succeed! See how we helped them increase lead conversions by over 20%!

The Most Important Aspects of a Great Explainer Video

Quality video is important for branding and image, but the most important aspects aren’t in the visuals.

Don’t get us wrong, we love making gorgeous animated videos.

Related: 5 HUGE Benefits of Explainer Videos

That said, we don’t move forward in the production process until we have a sound understanding of:

  • The brand (and brand story) we are representing in said explainer video.
  • The product/service/message we are going to be explaining.
  • The customer/audience in which we will be speaking.
  • The incredibly short script that we derive from all of these things.

After we grasp these things, and only then, do we begin to talk about the visual concepts that will help to tell the story we’ve come to know (and love).

Why?

If you’re in marketing or at an executive level of business, you understand the value of copywriting.

The art of using a headline, a short paragraph, or even a long sales letter to help convince those who are right for your offerings to buy (or take the next step). It’s also an effective way to lose those who won’t be the right fit for your company (saving trouble down the road).

Again, you know this.

What are the most important aspects of good copy? The same things that are important to good explainer videos.

Sure, you may worry about page layout, fonts, and visual elements eventually—but it’s the words that compel. Those crazy arrows and “handwritten” elements didn’t sell tons of downloadable content back in the early 2000’s.

It was the story.

That’s why we are going to dig deep into the two areas of an explainer video that have to be in place before you think about visuals—Script and Story.

Here we go.

Disclaimer: We love, love, love high quality video. It’s all we want to put out. This isn’t a push for having an awesome script with terrible music and crudely drawn stick figures. Rather it’s to point out that many freelancers, DIY tools, and even some production houses push their graphics over their ability to sell the message. We would rather make something a bit more like this:

 

The Broad and the Immediate Message

“I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.”— Blaise Pascal

There are two (broad) questions that must be answered before you can get to the point of writing a script for your explainer:

  1. What do you want your brand to say to the world?
  2. What do you want your explainer video to say to it’s target audience?

If you don’t know the answer to number one, that’s a big problem.

While we are assuming that you know who your customers are, we’ve included a few excellent resources that will help you narrow down or create a brand message.

  • Know Thy Audience: A great read that oozes value. It’s an overview of the basics involved in figuring out who your target audience is in terms of your overall business model.
  • Brand Messaging That Resonates: From the fine people at SalesForce. Insightful, useful, and not too long.
  • Whip Your Brand Message into Shape: You are saying something, but it may need an overhaul. This anecdotal post won’t sting too bad, but should inspire you.

Once you have your ideal and target personas in mind, you can mash that up with the message you want conveyed in your explainer video (i.e. that second question).

The video you want could be to tell that brand story. It could be made for a segment of your audience, leads in a certain stage of the sales funnel, or to generate awareness for an initiative that you have coming down the pipe.

Related: Why You’re Not Educating Your Audience Right (and 4 Ways to Start)

No matter what you want to say, it should resonate with your audience and reflect that brand message.

Example: In the SalesForce post we linked to above, it mentions several key slogans from monster brands. We’ll use Subway’s “Eat Fresh”.

In the video below, they’ve targeted athletes by using famous olympians and other well-known athletic stars.

This message is short, powerful and highly targeted—yet perfectly in line with their core message to “eat fresh”.

It’s vitally important that your brand’s message, at least, doesn’t conflict with any of your marketing. In fact, it should reinforce and give potential and current customers a look at your consistency.

Subway has cookies and soda, but you don’t see them advertising things such as $1 drinks like McDonald’s.

Onto the Copy Script

In the words of this post at Kissmetrics, “A well written script is the key to a successful explainer video. It’s the foundation upon which everything else is built.”

We wholeheartedly agree.

Do you know how many words you get in 60 seconds of video? Anywhere from 130-160 on average. If your video is that long, you’ll keep about 70% of your watchers till the end. Longer than that and those numbers drop off pretty fast.

That means you can’t waste words.

Shorten your message. Write and rewrite to take away everything that isn’t necessary until you arrive at the potent core of compelling, rich content.

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”—Antione de Saint-Exupery

That, again, takes time.

That core message is the perfect blending of the information your audience resonates with and the point you want to get across. Here are our best pointers:

  1. Learn from the Best: Study good copywriting as well as classic story structure. Three act scripts are still around for a reason. Ensure that you or those you work with are well-versed in storytelling and writing compelling copy.
  2. Open Big (with your point): Make sure you don’t drag on at any point of the video, but get that point across in a noticeable way that makes those who you want to talk to stay and those who aren’t interested go.
  3. Entertain Your Guests: They are watching for their benefit, not yours. You want to tell them something, but it has to be created for them. Losing the image of who you’re talking to will, no doubt, cause fewer people to listen.
  4. Clearly Ask Them for Something: There is no point in creating an explainer video that doesn’t make people want to do something. Even if it’s a video to save the environment, you’d want someone to recycle something—right? Make a clear call to action that moves them toward your intended purpose while not violating your brand message.

The Added Benefit of a Good Message and Script

In life, you live to tell stories. Not the other way around.

Now that your story has been brought to life, you have everything you need to come up with the visuals. Then, you can put those visuals to music and narration making the most compelling explainer possible.

Those very visuals will be easier to create with a clear message. The music you choose will seemingly be made for your script.

Figure out your message. Write your script. Use quality imagery, sound and narration.

Do it all in that order and to the best of your ability and your target will be hit every time.

Watch the video and visit here to learn how video + storytelling can transform your business!

 

The Scariest Video Marketing Trends of 2017 (and Beyond)

We love video. We love businesses. That’s why we have to warn you about the trends that aren’t going away in the video marketing world.

Related: 2017 Marketing Predictions

For the last several years, all of those “trends” and “stats” posts have been telling everyone in the marketing world that video was going to be a behemoth. Not only have most of those reports been true, it’s kind of catching many off guard.

There is a great divide forming in the way business is done.

The division is between the old way of impersonal advertising and harsh sales tactics. And the new methods of developing a sales funnel and innovating content that moves leads down stream and skyrockets conversions.Image result for i daresay that the situation has reached a point of

Then there’s most companies somewhere in the middle—where the divide threatens to force you one way or the other.

2017 may be the year that many organizations fully embrace video content, or start a steady decline into the abyss.

Sounds harsh, but video is out of control.

Scariest Trend: People Will Begin to Expect Video

The people have spoken and given us half a decade to equip ourselves, but now three quarters of web traffic goes toward video consumption.

Related: 3 Reasons Your Customers Demand Video Marketing

Got written content?

Only one in four on the internet are even looking at that form of media, which significantly dwindles your potential audience. That’s scary enough, but if you’ve been neglecting the video marketing of your brand—it’s downright terrifying.

Brand Storytelling - Blog Lead Magnet CTA

How should you react?

The bad news always has to come before the good news.

Luckily, the other trends of this monster can help us all gauge the demands of this video crazed society. While they may be scary in their own right, you should use them to move your brand into the future of marketing.

Scary Trend Two: Multiple Platform Viewing (at once)

Yep. We live in a world where the T.V. is on Seinfeld and the phone is playing YouTube videos.

Admit it. You do it sometimes, too.

Imagine the implications of trying to grab the attention of consumers while they are multi-tained in such a way. It means that your videos have to be on par with the visuals bombarding them as well as the content being as entertaining as Kramer.

Keep in mind that this trend isn’t likely to slow down. If it’s common in Millennials, it’ll be worse in Gen Z.

Scary Trend Three: Videos Could Be a Part of the Sales Team

Sure, more automated sales processes save money, but bad videos don’t necessarily lose too much money—yet.

As time progresses this year and into the future, (good) video will sell more products and the personal interaction with salespeople will continue to diminish. People are already doing their own research for most of the sales process; only talking to a rep when absolutely needed in most cases.

But video will become a greater piece of this puzzle and even come to the point of giving the final nudge for many to purchase.

Related: Is Video the Key to an Unforgettable Sales Letter?

This trend calls back into play the Millennial/Gen Z card.

While they love interaction, they don’t feel it necessary to talk with a person before making a buying decision. Really large purchases excluded, they want to feel connected to your brand without talking to you on the phone.

Some are reading this and getting excited for the future, but with almost half of all marketers admitting they need to take video more seriously—it could keep you up at night.

Scary Trend Four: New Formats of Video

Not only are so many businesses just now thinking of increasing their video efforts, the types of videos that are gaining popularity (at breakneck speed) weren’t even invented a few years ago.

Seriously.

There are two new formats of video that we’d like to tell you about. You may have heard of them, but may not be familiar with their popularity or use to your brand. Let’s take a look.

Related: 27 Ways to Use Video Marketing You Haven’t Thought Of Yet

Live Video

As little as a decade ago, live video was something that news and television networks had exclusively at their fingertips.

Now, everyone with a 3g/4g signal can broadcast themselves eating lunch worldwide.

If you mashup the last trend with this one, it could help your sales team stay alive that much longer. Consumers want to feel the human connection with the companies they buy from, but are more comfortable asking questions via a FaceBook live feed.

360 Video

Perhaps the newest trend in the video world, it’s gaining traction fast.

There are cameras that give a full panoramic view the entire time that they record. It’s a neat experience (that may give you a headache at first).

Depending on your business model, this may have no impact on you in the immediate future (next few years). That said, don’t discount it too quickly. To help get your creative juices flowing, we’ve come up with some mock ideas for businesses to utilize 360 videos.

  • Headquarter Tours: Some brands have a great image that make people want to know everything about them. Younger consumers love to know where their [insert product here] was made. Give them the whole show; warehouse, offices, factory—all in 360 degrees.
  • Using Your Product(s): If you sell cars, this one may seem easy. Although, anyone could use it to create a short, fun video. How about a day in the life of a paperclip, or the epic story of a barista?
  • Brand Journalism: Well-known filmmaker Casey Neistat has done tons of branded content for companies using the 360 technique. It can be loosely related as long as it speaks to your target audience.

What to Make of These Frightening Observations

Putting it all together, you should be thinking about your video efforts this year for the long haul.

The key component in all of these trends is the increased humanization of your brand through visual content. Your company on display for the world to see in both a polished way and an unscripted way.

Tell the story of your brand through video both through advertisements and explainers, while adding the personalization of your company via newer and more popular ways.

Have your consumers send in their own videos (everyone has a high-quality camera). If you’re a personality, put yourself out there in FB live or webinars. The point is that your customers now expect you to talk with them.

Are you ready for that kind of relationship?

CaseComplete is just one of many clients we've helped succeed! See how we helped them increase lead conversions by over 20%!

Content Roundup – Conversion Rates, CTAs, and Site Speed

Spring is in the air! And that has nothing to do with what we’re talking about – but we’re excited about it anyways.

You know what else we get excited about? Seeing you accomplish your business goals. The best way for you to do that is by increasing conversion rates on your website. To assist you on your merry way, we’ve pulled together some great resources that you can check against your own website.

What do you do well? What do you do poorly? What do you need to test? Go figure out – and then start converting more people!


How Redesigning HubSpot’s Website Doubled Conversion Rates (HubSpot)

Before we really dive in here, we wanted to give you a real-life example of how testing and iterating your website can produce some crazy good results when it comes to conversion rates. That way you don’t just have to take our word for it – because what do we really know after all?

Click here to read the full article!


10 ways web designers can optimize conversion rates in 2017 (Webflow)

Now that you’ve verified what we’re talking about here, how do you go about actually designing your website to increase conversion rates? Easy – keep it simple, stupid!

Click here to read the full article!


Your Digital Marketing Checklist for Effective Call-to-Actions (Explainify)

Ah, the oh-so-important CTA. Who knew so much thought should go into such a little thing? Everything you do on your website comes down to this – getting them to take action. The color, text, location, and overall look of your CTA each contribute to your conversion rate. Choose wisely.

Click here to read the full article!

Collective Bias explainer video helps social influencer agency shorten sales cycle and closes more deals


How to Increase Your E-Commerce Conversion Rate Using Google Analytics (SEJ)

Before you dig in and start making changes and running tests on your website, you might want to spend some time weeding through all the data you have from your website in Google Analytics. By knowing who is coming to your website, what device they visit on, customer behavior, bounce rate, etc. you can fully understand where your focus needs to be to increase your conversion rate.

Click here to read the full article!


6 Reasons Why Website Speed Matters & How Amazon Would Lose $1.6 Billion If It Slowed Down (Bitcatcha)

This one might be something you’ve never thought about when it comes to conversion rate – site speed. You never forget a first impression, right? Well, your site speed is your first impression. Don’t scare people away right off the bat with a slow landing page. Here are 6 reasons your site speed matters for your conversion rate.

Click here to read the full article!


Can’t wait to see you grab more attention from the great wide interwebs with these tips!

 

Watch the video and click here to get free access to how video + storytelling can lead to business domination!

Content Roundup – Business Is Kind of Like Dating, Isn’t It?

If I asked you who your customers are, what type of answer would you give me? Would you name specific people that you have built a relationship with over the years? Would you go the route of giving statistics and demographics of your typical customer? Or would you shrug?

In order to truly be able to market effectively to your customers, you have to know everything about them. Okay, maybe not everything, but you need to know their personalities in order to take your relationship to the next level.

So you treat it like you are dating your customers. Start asking them questions, spending time with them, even some good old fashioned Facebook stalking – figure out what they like, what other brands they use, what social circles they are in – qualities beyond the surface. I’m talking third date type stuff. Because just like in a relationship, that’s how you know if you are a good fit for each other. And that’s how you can make sure to meet their needs in an effective way.

So after you’ve convinced your customers to go on that third date with you, how do you start putting the information into practice? Well, you create buyer personas. And then you use these buyer personas to tailor your content, ads, messaging, and voice specifically to each segment of your customers. The goal is to give them those butterflies when they think about you!

But don’t just take our word for it – check out these articles that explain more about why you need to create buyer personas, how to go about creating them, and ways to use them to make your marketing more effective.

How Creating Buyer Personas Can Help Your Business (Bright Local)

Not sold that marketing should be so focused? Look, we get it. You want everyone to see your product, because everyone will love it, right? Well, um, maybe. But even if that is the case, in order to market effectively to your customers you need to know them. Like really know them – in a creepy, stalker kind of way. But if you need a little bit more convincing, check out this article on why buyer personas are so important to your marketing strategy.

Click here to read the full article!


3 Ways to Make Marketing Personas Work Better for You (Blue Sky ETO)

Since we’ve established that developing buyer personas is like dating your customers, it’s also important to remember that you have to maintain this new relationship in your life in order to make sure it’s healthy. Don’t just assume you know everything about them, and don’t assume they don’t change. To be most effective with your personas, tailor your content to what they will enjoy, and keep up to date with what they are doing to make sure you stay relevant in their lives.

Click here to read the full article!


How to Target the Right Audience in 5 Simple Steps (Entrepreneur)

So now that you (hopefully) understand why you need to create buyer personas, how are supposed to actually get the information that you need? Well, like we said – it’s like you’re dating them. Ask lots of questions. Seem interested. Smile. Ask for their number. Okay, maybe it’s slightly different. But the bottom line is, spend time getting to know them through polls and surveys, and then analyze all your current data. You’ll learn everything you need to know without even having to buy them dinner!

Click here to read the full article!

Collective Bias explainer video helps social influencer agency shorten sales cycle and closes more deals


5 Ways to Improve Your Social Media Marketing with Psychology (Social Quant)

Sleep through your freshman Psychology class? We were right there with you. But had we known it would be so important to understand as marketers, maybe we would’ve tried a bit harder to stay awake. Don’t worry though – this article breaks down how you can use psychology to improve your marketing. Take your buyer personas and put them to use through social media!

Click here to read the full article!


Why Viral Videos Are Ruining Your Video Marketing Strategy (Explainify)

Talk about a marketer’s #lifegoals – scoring a viral video has to be one, am I right? Yes, yes I am. But hold up for a sec…do viral videos really help your overall marketing strategy? Because at the end of the day, you’re saying that it doesn’t matter who you reach, as long as you reach tons of them. And if we’ve taught you anything today – and please tell us we have, it makes us feel good – then you know it’s all about tailoring your marketing efforts specifically to your buyer personas. So check out this article to see why you might should rethink those #lifegoals.

Click here to read the full article!


Bottom line is, don’t just try to reach anyone and everyone through your marketing. Know who your customers are, learn more about them, and tailor your entire strategy around reaching those people in the most effective way possible. Now get out there and make your customers giddy!

 

Watch the video and click here to get free access to how video + storytelling can lead to business domination!

Your Digital Marketing Checklist for Effective Call-to-Actions

[The following is a guest post by our friends at Aumcore, a digital marketing agency out of New York City.]

Congratulations! It seems that the amazing website you’ve built has been getting a lot of hits and your conversion rates seems good. Are you okay with just “good” though? Don’t you want it to be the absolute best it can be? If so, you have a couple of options. You can go to a marketing agency that’ll cater to your needs, or you can adopt a can-do attitude and start tweaking what you already have to create the most effective call-to-actions (CTAs) possible!

effective call-to-actions are like street signs.What is a Call-to-Action?

Call-to-Actions are like street signs for your website. They usually come in the form of buttons, text links, and images, and invite the user to click on them so that they can carry out a particular task (subscribe to a newsletter, start a free trial etc.).

How Does a Call-to-Action Boost My Conversion Rate?

CTAs are arguably most important for converting your site visitors into customers. However, CTAs aren’t always about selling something; they also help guide your visitor through your website and help them figure out what they want to do next. Nevertheless, effective call-to-actions can capture leads that later turn into a growing customer base. According to AddThis Academy, “customers usually prefer to do their own research before actually speaking to a salesperson. This makes it very important to capture a lead’s details in order to give content-driven marketing and lead nurturing processes the chance to “warm up” a prospect before a salesperson calls.

So how can you make sure your CTAs are effective? Take a look at these 5 tips and see how you can improve your site:

Related: 27 Ways to Use Video Marketing You Haven’t Thought Of Yet

The Effective Call-To-Actions Checklist:

1: Are your CTAs in a good location on your site?

Can your visitor easily locate your buttons, images, or links? If not, then get to it. Make to make sure that your CTAs are visibly located in places that flow logically within your website. We all know that web pages are displayed differently amongst different devices, so you need to make sure that your visitors can always navigate fluidly throughout your site. Another tip to keep in mind is to avoid stacking your CTAs directly above, below, or next to each other, as it distracts the user from whatever task they’re trying to carry out. Instead, figure out which task is of greater importance and then move the other somewhere else on the site.

2: Are your CTAs visually appealing?

An easy way to draw attention to your CTAs is through color and design. When your buttons and links are colored in a way that pops out from the rest of your web page, it’s much more likely that a user will see it and click on it. Details such as a larger font size, a contrasting color, or even the presence of significant white space will undoubtedly capture your visitor’s attention.

Related: 3 Reasons Your Customers Demand Video Marketing

3: Does your CTA include actionable text?

CTAs with action-oriented words such as, “Download” or “Register,” encourage visitors to take a specific action. Even more so, including words such as, “for a limited time,” “now,” or “today,” have an even greater influence on your visitors to take action sooner rather than later. Something you should think about is whether your actionable text is in its most effective form. For example, a “Submit” button isn’t the most exciting call-to-action. Instead, you might want to consider using simpler, more exciting language such as, “I want this item!” If you have a “Buy Now” option on your website, you might want to reconsider its placement as well. Visitors might be turned off if it’s visible too early into their site exploration, as it comes across as too pushy and demanding. Instead, you might want to include a CTA that prompts the user to “Learn More” or “Get Started.”

4: Is your CTA easy to understand?

Your CTA should be clear and straight to the point. Also make sure that your CTA directly matches the action that the user expects. If the user clicks a button to download a pdf file, a download should begin immediately after the button is clicked. Another tip to keep in mind is to keep your CTAs between two and five words ̶ any more, and it probably won’t perform as well.

Related: Why You’re Not Educating Your Audience Right (and 4 Ways to Start)

5: Is your CTA easy to submit?

Too many steps between the first and last click will result in a loss in conversions. People want their information now, and if there are too many steps, they will most definitely lose interest. In the same manner, be sure to keep your forms or surveys brief as well.

Above all, the most important thing to keep in mind is that your website should be mobile friendly. It doesn’t matter how beautiful or eye-catching your call-to-actions are if you’re not optimized for all devices. Honestly, nothing is worse than having to zoom into a screen that isn’t optimized for mobile, and having to constantly swipe back and forth just to see the entire screen. No, thank you! Ultimately you must make sure that your site is responsive or else your business risks getting left behind in the dust.

So, did you cross all the items off the checklist? If not, make sure to take another look at the CTAs on your site. You might be surprised to find that tweaking a few words or colors can change average call-to-actions into amazing, effective call-to-actions that convert your audience.

CaseComplete is just one of many clients we've helped succeed! See how we helped them increase lead conversions by over 20%!

Author bio: Bianca specializes in digital design at the digital marketing agency, Aumcore. With a background in animation, game design, video production, and responsive web design, she loves creating any kind of digital content that will entertain people. Any thoughts represented in this article are the opinion of the author, and do not inherently reflect the views or experiences of Explainify.