One of the many challenges that brands face online today is promoting their products even before people realize their need. Especially when it involves innovative or hard-to-grasp ideas.
Which is why animated explainer videos have made such a splash since entering the marketing scene!
Explainers give brands a great medium to reach out to their target audiences and convey their message in entertaining and compelling ways. Now, more than 80% of business owners have invested in this style and walked away happy with the results. But that’s not the same to say that everybody’s aware of how they work their magic!
Today, we are going to focus precisely on that! Going over this cool marketing tool with a fine-toothed comb, and hopefully, answer any major question you have about the style to improve your own video content strategy.
Fasten your seatbelt and get comfy, we are going for a ride 😉
By this point, most people in the marketing business know about explainer videos. But there are a couple of base-line points we should cover before jumping into what makes them so effective.
In its most basic form, animated explainer videos are marketing pieces designed to describe a business, product, service, or message. By employing storytelling and presenting the information in a fun-yet-educational form, they tackle specific audience pain points before presenting an ideal solution.
Maybe more importantly, they don’t ever try to deliver a sales pitch!
In marketing, there’s a natural tendency to want to boast about a product’s benefits and push a sale, which is ok for many video styles. However, one aspect that helps explainers stand apart from other styles is the format’s subtler narrative approach. Centered around audiences’ needs, and an ideal solution that’s being revealed.
Lastly, explainer videos are highly versatile. Live-action, 2D, 3D, whiteboard, and motion graphics animations are but a few alternatives that fit perfectly with the style.
To begin with, any piece of marketing content relies on viewer engagement to be effective, and that’s what makes explainers such a dependable alternative. Done right, explainer videos excel at connecting a business’ message with the viewers, using meaningful visuals that accentuate a story designed to resonate with the target audience.
On the same note, businesses need to build brand trust to stand out in the digital world. Prospects nowadays want to feel like they know the brands they engage with. Explainers do a great job of establishing a brand as authorities in their niche, and telling customers in no uncertain terms “hey, we get you.”
Lastly – and this one applies specifically to the animated camp – explainers are an ideal playground to exercise creativity, and present your message in novel, entertaining, and appealing ways. Regardless of the complexity of your message, animation allows you to make it understandable and memorable.
Now, with the basics out of the way, it’s time to go into the nitty-gritty of the mechanisms behind explainers’ ability to get your brand’s message across. And while not comprehensive, these are four fundamental pillars of the format that play a huge role in this regard: Brevity, Simplicity, Targeting, and Customization.
Undoubtedly, audiences aren’t as patient as they used to be – If they aren’t quickly entertained, they’ll dismiss your content without a second thought. Given that the average retention rates drop with each passing second, one of the most important reasons behind animated explainer videos’ effectivity is their length – they are short.
Even though there’s some flexibility depending on the company’s needs and their message, explainers rarely go over the two-minute mark (the ideal maximum of most marketing videos.) And while that’ll sound outrageously short for some, the format has evolved to work within that restriction, even if it does call for skilled scriptwriting.
We mentioned this before, but it is such a core feature of the format that it bears further exploration: explainers make the complex, simple.
Many companies, especially those that provide an intangible service or a tech-heavy product have difficulty expressing what it is to less-specialized audiences. To value your offerings, prospects need to understand in no uncertain terms what it is you provide!
The explainer formula has been perfected to convey a clear message with a tight script and clear time limitations. They rely on a straightforward three-act structure that combines the best of the storytelling process with a basic educational approach. Explainers begin with the “what” – what’s your audience’s need? – move on to the “how” – How your product addresses that need – and wraps up with the “why” – why they should choose you over the alternatives.
Take this video we did for Rhombus Network as an example. They provide a software solution for smart contracts, something not everyone is familiar with. But through dynamic visuals and a refined script, anyone can walk away with a solid idea of what they offer.
Have you ever watched a video and thought “Wow, it’s like it’s speaking to me!” Well, that means that the marketing team behind it did their job! The principle here is quite simple: the more targeted-oriented your explainer is, the more it’s going to resonate with the audience.
Well-executed animated explainer videos have the advantage of letting you speak directly to your audience and form a bond with them. To do that successfully, the video company working on your piece needs to learn what makes your audience tick. Yes, what their needs are, but also the “language” they speak, preferences, demographics, etc.
Once you know that, you pour all that info on design choices that improve your video, like character design, voice acting, etc.
This video we made for Law-Whiz illustrates just that. Their audiences are professional lawyers and their potential clients, which is captured in the narrative, visuals, and even the voice-acting choice.
Besides having top-notch visuals and a killer storyline, a great explainer video also has to be tailored to each individual brand! Otherwise, it won’t align with the company’s overall voice and larger marketing strategy, but it will fail to stand out from a sea of generic content.
Audiences are quick to ignore content that lacks personality. With an animated explainer video, you can engage with your audience while reinforcing your brand’s identity. For example, including jingles, color palette, icons, typography, and more.
Moreover, you can time those inclusions to make certain elements of the video pop-up, and stand out at critical moments of the video.
For a marketing push to work, you need to reach your audience and capture their attention long enough to deliver your message effectively. And the fact is that few marketing pieces can accomplish that as well as animated explainer videos can!
However, that doesn’t happen by accident! As you can see, there are a lot of details and building blocks that explainers leverage to generate that effect. And while the digital landscape continues to evolve, there’s one thing that never changes: The competition is fierce!
So, if you are thinking of having an awesome explainer video like these to carry your message forward, but aren’t sure how to proceed, don’t hesitate and get in touch! We’d love to hear about your project needs and help make it happen!