How to Use a Software Explainer Video to Get Results (Plus 3 Examples)

By January 9, 2019 No Comments
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We’ve seen tons of software explainer videos throughout the years. But we were totally inspired recently when we saw a client of ours lift their conversions by 23% (check out our PerkinElmer case study) after launching an explainer video. However, most of the people we talk to don’t have a concrete strategy in place for turning their explainer video into a business asset that actually drives results. That’s mostly because using a software explainer video to achieve real, concrete goals that result in business growth requires a more deliberate strategy than just putting it on YouTube and holding your breath.

Video isn’t just an add-on to your content strategy—it’s a valuable part of your content toolkit. Knowing what to do with your newly minted software explainer video enables you to grow brand awareness, promote your product, and facilitate sales. In this post, we share best practices for creating the best software explainer videos your company can muster. But first, let’s talk about strategy.

Do First: Set Specific, Defined Goals for Your Explainer Video’s Performance

Smart marketers let specific, defined goals drive every campaign they run and every tactic they use—putting a software explainer video to work is no exception. That’s why your first step should be to set a direction for the video.

The best SaaS explainer video companies design every aspect of your video around those specified goals, so it’s wise to tackle this step before you commission your software explainer video. That way, you’re working with an asset that’s specifically tailored to achieve those goals.

There are three important steps involved in setting your video strategy.

1. Decide What You’d Like Your Video to Accomplish

Start by asking what you want your software explainer video to do. It could be something like…

  • Building brand awareness to get leads in the door
  • Educating customers and prospects on your software product
  • Increasing the quality of leads that enter your funnel
  • Converting more leads

Beginning with an overarching goal ensures you’re setting your software explainer up for success from the outset. Plus, it gives the video production company a guiding philosophy to follow all the way through.

  1. Analyze Your Funnel to See Where Video Makes Sense

The next step is to take a look at your marketing funnel and figure out where a video would fit best. The best software explainer videos are very good at two major things: capturing attention and distilling complex topics into digestible tidbits that are easily understandable. The most effective way to use a software explainer video is in all the places where you can leverage those strengths.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • Where in your marketing strategy can video accomplish more than other types of content (like a picture or a blog post)?
  • When in the customer’s journey can you implement the video to work toward the goals you’ve outlined?

Your answers will assist you in identifying explicit places in your marketing funnel that can benefit from a software explainer video.

3. Define Metrics to Measure Your Video’s Success

Once you have a handle on what you want your SaaS explainer video to achieve, it’s time to define specific and measurable metrics that will help you to quantify success.

How exactly will you know if your video was effective? Deciding what your key performance indicators are is going to be paramount. Knowing what each metric means to you, helps you to set your company up for success. It also means that you will be able to conclusively gauge the success of the video.

This information becomes invaluable as you ramp up your marketing efforts.

Here are a few example goals to get your wheels turning:

  • Boost conversion on your marketing emails by 3%
  • Increase email signups from your landing page by 20%
  • Reduce a particular type of support query by 8%

Building a cohesive strategy and goal-setting will inform how you implement the best software explainer video that you can.

How to Use a Software Explainer Video

Now, on to the fun stuff: putting your shiny new explainer video to work for your business. As we said, the best way to implement your software explainer depends heavily on your content strategy and goals for the video.

That being said, here are some common Software Explainer Video best practices that will help your company to reach its goals, and create the best explainer videos possible.

  • DO use a mix of organic and paid distribution: Current best practices for content marketing say you should use a mixture of organic and paid promotion to get eyes on your content.
  • DO drive people somewhere at the end of the video: Your video has a purpose—don’t leave viewers wondering what it is. When the video ends, call them to action.
  • DO track video performance metrics: Like any strategy, there’s an element of trial and error with content promotion. That’s why it’s vital to track your video’s performance so you can adjust and optimize your strategy to get the best possible results from your video.
  • DON’T bury your video on a rarely visited subpage: Your software explainer video is awesome, so you need to let it see the light of day by including it on a frequently visited page of your website.
  • DON’T make your video thumbnail small or nonexistent: If you want people to watch your explainer video, they have to know it’s there first.

Now, let’s dive in with implementation tips for brand, product, and sales explainer videos.

How to Use a Software Brand Explainer Video

Brand explainer videos show people what your business is all about—your mission, who you serve, and what products or services you offer. They’re built for the top of your marketing or sales funnel, when new leads are just learning about your company.

That means they’re designed to help leads get up to speed on what you have to offer and where you’re situated in the market. What sets you apart from competitors? Why should they choose your brand, not just your product?

Skybox features their brand explainer right on the homepage, where people brand new to the company can easily find it.

Here are 4 ways to use a software brand explainer video:

  • Add the video to your Home and/or About pages
  • “Pin” a tweet with the video to the top of your Twitter profile
  • Ask your team to share the video across their favorite social channels
  • Add your video to your team members’ email signature

How to Use a Software Product Explainer Video

Product explainer videos give specific instructions and details on how your product works so that customers can envision the product and, ultimately, use it. These explainers are designed for two places: the middle of your funnel (when leads want to see how the product works) and post-purchase (when customers want to learn how to use it).

While you could use the same product video to both of these ends, they’re very different ways of using an explainer video. They’ll work toward different goals—conversion versus customer support—meaning it might be best to consider using separate videos designed for each particular goal.

Zoom uses product explainers in post-purchase nurture emails to ensure new customers get everything they can out of the product so the value is clear.

Zoom uses product explainers in post-purchase nurture emails to ensure new customers get everything they can out of the product so the value is clear.

Here’s where to use a software product explainer video:

  • Add it to the landing page for that product
  • If it’s a new product, send the video to former and existing customers
  • Use the video in paid social media ads—bonus points if you use retargeting to tailor the ads to qualified, mid-funnel leads

How to Use a Software Sales Explainer Video

A sales explainer video often draws on brand and product information, but it’s designed more for more direct conversion. Its purpose is to target leads in the bottom of your sales funnel and it’s typically used by the sales team.

The key to a successful software sales explainer video is to consider your audience. When they get to the bottom of the funnel, what are their common objections? What’s standing between them and conversion? Your sales explainer should be designed to answer those questions and satisfy those concerns.

That’s why specificity is so important—it equips your sales team with the tool best tailored to convert based on the lead’s remaining objections. Often, that means having a few sales explainers to draw on based on the unique selling situation.

 Xero uses their explainer on retargeted social media ads to target mid- and bottom funnel leads who’ve searched for a product like theirs or visited a competitor’s website.

Here are a couple ways to use your software sales explainer:

  • Send the video as part of a re-engagement email campaign to warm up leads and drive them to the next conversion point
  • Give your sales team an email template that includes the video to share with their current leads
  • Include the explainer video on relevant landing pages
  • If you use proactive live chat for sales, link to the explainer video from your welcome message

Make Your Software Explainer Video Work For You

Explainer videos are immensely versatile, which means you have a lot of options about where, when, and how to put them to work.

Whether you’re using a brand explainer to help connect with customers at the top of the funnel or a sales explainer to close the deal, the key is to let your overall content strategy and goals drive your video implementation plan.

That’s how you get results with a software explainer video.