By Brandon Houston on June 28, 2016

Explainer videos are a huge asset to companies, particularly if they are web-based. But how can you tell if an explainer video is any good? Here is a breakdown of what separates OK explainer videos from great ones.

What’s Your Point?

Explainer videos average about 90 seconds for a reason: A consumer decides whether or not to stick with an explainer video in the first eight seconds. The best explainer videos make the most of that time by grabbing the viewer’s attention quickly and getting to the point. Even if the viewer doesn’t know exactly what the product does yet, they will at least have an idea of what they’re watching after the first ten seconds.

Here’s a simple breakdown: The best explainer videos get to the point, and fast.

Pleasing to the Eye

For a long time, the instinct with designing a website was to go big or go home; lots of text, lots of images, and lots and lots of flashy visuals. Now though, many companies take a “less is more” approach with web content. Explainer videos are ideal web content because they are short and easy to share, and a good way to drive traffic to a site.

In addition to being short, the best explainer videos are easy to follow. The easiest way to make a video easy to follow is to keep the visuals from overwhelming the overall point the video is trying to make.

Good animation is important in an explainer video, but an explainer video is not supposed to showcase how good the animator is at creating the microscopic hairs on the lead character’s arms. Be wary of the “fancy” explainer video; it’s not “Finding Nemo.” It’s supposed to demonstrate how something works without distracting the person watching. Keeping the animation simple is important because it ensures that the viewer will pay attention to the video’s overall message.

Can you Hear Me Now?

An explanatory video is, well, explanatory, so the other important aspect is the audio. The narrator’s voice should be clear and easy to understand, not gimmicky, and they shouldn’t speak too quickly. Yes, there is a time crunch, but as important as it is to get to the point with an explanatory video, it’s more important to understand what the person is actually saying.

Another important part of the narration is the text of the narration itself. It’s always enticing to exhibit the expository ability of the wordsmith in command, but comprehension is essential.

Did you get any of that? Exactly.

While it is tempting to break out the SAT vocabulary after all these years, the point of the narration in an explanatory video is to break down what a product does simply and naturally, not to demonstrate an immense vocabulary. Narration should be straightforward, not fancy.

In other words: The best narrators talk like a person, not a green lizard or a caveman.

Break It Down for Me

The majority of content shared online is video. According to statistics from YouTube, the number of hours people spend watching video online has risen 50 percent year over year for the last three years, so creating something shareable is more and more important.

Be sure that viewers can understand what you're trying to sayExplainer videos should be easy to explain. 

The best way to get a viewer to share an explainer video is to be sure that it makes sense. The point of an explainer video is that it not only explains the product, it sells the product. The explainer video should demonstrate effectively what the product is and how it works so that the viewer can then make the critical decision: to buy, or not to buy?

After a viewer watches the explainer video, can they then turn around and explain what they just saw? If the answer is yes, then the video is a success, they will use the product and most importantly they can encourage other people they know to do the same.

If, however, a viewer does not understand an explainer video after one viewing, then there is a problem. Rest assured, the viewer is not going to watch it again and again to try and figure out what exactly they just saw. They are going to go on Facebook and post an update, and then go check out Twitter, and look at page after page before completely forgetting about the video that first peaked their interest.

The goal of an explainer video is to break down the basics of what exactly the product is. So after watching the video, the viewer should be able to break down the product, too. Even if the product is the world’s most advanced microchip, the goal is to have the consumer know what it is and how it works so they can tell other consumers what it is and how it works.

So go create, be great, change the world, and let us break down the logistics for you.

 

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