By Andrew Angus on August 6, 2014

A bad explainer video might just be better than no video at all. At least that’s what I thought when I created my first “video” – using PowerPoint and a simple voice over. Boy, was I wrong! From my first video to Switch Video, I have helped tell the stories of hundreds of clients through explainer videos. With this experience, I have learned some key things about how explainer videos work and what sets a great video apart.

Interested to know more about what I learned? Keep reading to find out what I share in my book, 60 Seconds: How to tell your company’s story and the brain science that makes it stick:

Keep it Simple

Switch writes scripts with the working memory in mind. There’s no sense in creating a video with too much information for the average brain to comprehend. Information needs to flow in a way where the long-term memory is stimulated, but the working memory isn’t overwhelmed.

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Miller’s Magic number 7 was a theory created by psychologist George Miller in 1956. Miller found most adults can keep between 5 and 9 “items” in their working memories. We keep Miller’s theory in mind when creating our videos.  You don’t want your viewers to focus on a bumble bee when you’re trying to explain to them your products or services.

Find a Way to Tell Your Story Quickly

The shorter your video is, the more likely viewers are to watch it through to the end, which is exactly what you want if you’re trying to introduce yourself to a new market. We’ll tell you in the book why we suggest telling your stories in 60 seconds – no more or less. If you have an exceedingly complicated product, don’t worry – there are strategies you can use to accelerate your message. We use our most valuable asset – the use of metaphor. When introducing something new, comparing it to something familiar allows people to connect with the idea quicker.

Make it Emotional

People don’t just watch movies to be entertained – they watch them to be moved. Creating emotion in explainer videos can make them more engaging and when you relate to a customer’s problem or everyday situation, you’re understanding their needs, providing them with a solution right in front of their eyes. An emotional connection can trigger the final response that tells consumers to buy your product.

To learn more about how explainer videos work and how Switch approaches the production process, take a look at 60 Seconds: How to tell your company’s story and the brain science that makes it stick.

 

 

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