By Andrew Angus on January 24, 2013

Explainer videos have become something of a tech trend, and there’s a reason why lots of companies are turning to them—they’ve been proven to be one of the best way to help customers understand products or services online.

Not only have they proven to be popular with startups, but companies like IBM and Google have also jumped onto the wagon.

Here’s what some people using explainer videos have to say about them:

“We did an A / B test of our homepage, with video and without.The home page with video converted 20% more visitors to sign up for Rypple.”
Dan Debow, VP, Salesforce.com, www.rypple.com

“…[W]e are now able to explain what our company does in a few minutes with a fun, yet highly informative video. Since the video was posted on our website, we have seen a 20% increase in online leads.”
Jodi Torras, Inbenta

“I’m seeing people re-posting the video to their own blogs/sites as well and we’re getting an overwhelmingly positive response.”
Matt Crowe, www.ahhha.com

As you can see, explainer videos increase conversion rates, they explain what companies do in a fun yet informative way, and people re-post them online generating more awareness and exposure for a brand.

So what makes them so effective?

The secrets behind the effectiveness of explainer videos

To be honest, explainer videos aren’t rocket science. There are simple answers about why they’re so effective. Such as…

The brain science behind explainer videos: To say it simply, people remember information better by watching videos. Studies have shown that people retain 68% more information by watching a video than by just reading. This is due to the fact that most people are visual learners, and that video stimulates both visual and auditory senses.
Videos are worth 1.8 million words: According to a 2009 study by Forrester Research, a single minute of video is worth approximately 1.8 million words, which makes sense if a picture is worth one thousand. There’s no way to prove this exactly, but one thing’s for sure—you can explain a lot more about your product or service in a 120-second explainer video than through text alone.
Videos increase conversion rates: Product videos have been shown to add two more minutes of time spent on websites and increased the likelihood to buy 64% or more. And according to one study, 90% of customers said that video helped them make better buying decisions. Those are all great numbers for companies looking to sell more products or services.

Now that you know what makes them so effective, let’s look at a case study of a company that’s experienced success with explainer videos.

Case study: Rypple.com

The problem: Rypple (now Work.com and owned by SalesForce) is a social performance management tool available to large and small businesses. They offer an alternative to the standard annual performance review by integrating feedback and goal setting into the culture of an organization. In 2010, Rypple was looking for a way to explain what they do to customers and to increase online conversion rates.

The solution: Rypple approached Switch Video to create a custom, whiteboard-style video that focuses on Rypple’s aspirational goal—to help organizations of all sizes to provide real-time feedback to their employees. The video demonstrated that Rypple understood their clients’ pain points and that Rypple has a solution.

The test: Rypple conducted a split test to evaluate the effectiveness of the video. One page consisted of only an image and text, another page included a live-action testimonial video from Facebook, and the third page included the whiteboard-style video from Switch.

The results: The page with the whiteboard-style video converted more customers than both the page with just an image and text and the page with the live-action testimonial video. The increased conversion rate lowered customer acquisition cost and inspired viewers to explore and engage with Rypple. It also generated leads that were more ready to engage with the product.

In case you’re interested, here is the full Rypple video

Tips on creating a successful explainer video

So now that you know explainer videos are effective and have seen how one has been implemented successfully, here are some tips on creating an effective video:

The purpose of an explainer video is, well, to explain something. You don’t want your video to confuse your audience more than what they were in the first place. Make sure to have a clear and concise message, and don’t be afraid to include as much information as you need.
Use lingo everyone can understand. Many industries have slang terms to describe certain things, but those words or explanations are only known to people within that industry, so make sure you make the message as universal as possible. The language needs to be easily understandable by the people who matter the most—your customers.
Maximize both words and pictures. The idea of a 120-second video can be intimidating. How can you explain everything you do in 120 seconds? Don’t worry, you can do it because you have audio and visual tools working in your favor. Don’t forget to use them! If you can’t convey something in words, find a way to do it with pictures or visa versa.
Making a video quickly and cheaply involves cutting corners which never ends well. Get it done properly the first time around so that your video stands the test of time, and make sure to create a video that your company is proud to put on their homepage. This is the kind of explainer video that will convert traffic into leads and sales.
Make sure your video loads quickly. Users start abandoning videos after two seconds if they don’t load right away. You don’t want to give people a reason to not watch the video you’ve invested money into. It’s important to make sure it’s as easy for them to watch as possible. The faster your video loads, the more likely people are to watch it.

So are they worth it?

Yes, they absolutely are.

Explainer videos are a trend that will stand the test of time. The brain science behind them proves that they’ll be effective and that companies will experience the benefits for years to come. Why? Because people’s brains and the way they synthesize information aren’t likely to change anytime in the near future.

Not only so, but the ROI on explainer videos is extremely high. Dropbox, for example, paid less than $50,000 for a video that generated approximately 10 million additional customers and $48,000,000 in annual revenue. That’s an excellent return on investment.

If you’re thinking about making an explainer video or getting one made, it’s highly recommended. They’re great at explaining what it is that you do, and great at converting traffic into leads and sales. As many startups and Fortune 500 companies have found, there’s no better way to explain your product or service online. Go ahead, get started on making your own video today!

Sources:

Explainer Videos Boosting Conversions, VideoRascal.com

 

 

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