It goes without saying that video marketing is the darling of the digital advertising world. Where’s the evidence? A recent HubSpot article highlighted the fact that 58 percent of B2B buyers watched videos during 2014 while researching a purchasing decision. Going further, 95 percent of buyers said they preferred shorter formats for content and 86 percent want to access it on demand. In other words, the majority of buyers want access to well-crafted explainer videos. They’re a type of video marketing that allows companies to effectively speak to specific buyers through compelling visual storytelling. But what does it look like in action? Here are some of the best explainer videos:
An acoustic Coldplay cover by Willie Nelson? Animation pleasantly reminiscent of Wallace and Gromit claymation? The takeaway in this video is what everyone else is doing – industrial farming that contaminates the food supply with antibiotics and growth hormones – is the opposite of what Chipotle does. The end result is an unmistakable sense of authenticity and quality. Emotional storytelling is key here: that they point out what makes them different from their competitors, what makes them better, and why you as the audience should buy from them.
2. Sonic Box
What’s your brand’s voice? This explainer video demonstrates that each company needs to have its own style, its own pacing to truly connect with the right audience. To resonate with the intended buyer, you must speak their language. That’s why the speaker in this Sonic Box explainer video is as important as the animated content. The visuals emphasize the utility of the file-sharing service, specifically in the way that it fits into the 21st century always-connected techno-culture. Users are unrestrained, able to send and access files anywhere and anytime. The video addresses a problem and solves it. It uses humor and visual metaphor to connect with the audience.
With our explainer video, we chose an animated format that uses visual humor to drive home the point that many organizations will give you their word, but there’s not much to back it up. Words are hollow without action to support them. Our video uses a variety of visual metaphors – including a foot race that showcases how our competitors stumble and fall over hurdles – to show that we’ll get the job done on time, communicate continually, and be thorough in getting the work done. We did this through the use of metaphor, having fun with storytelling, and connecting with the audience in pointing out what we will do for them, and in turn what others will not.
With a brand like Coca-Cola, you can expect a great deal of creative effort, even when they’re going in depth to explain their general ethos for developing, curating, and publishing content. Liquid ideas and Coca-Cola? Even the language the brand uses is aligned behind centralized themes that run throughout the video. Using the whiteboard style, this video is informative and yet visually stimulating. It gives you just the right amount of information at the right pace, making sure that you are not overloaded with new information or unnecessary visual stimulus. Instead you have the ability to process and remember what you are being taught.
Well-known for its thought-provoking content, TED’s explainer video uses simple animation to walk the viewer through multiple scenarios that explore the finer parts of the English language, namely the way we compartmentalize things: either composing them into a whole, or partitioning a whole into smaller parts. Animation is a great way to do this because you’re able to see how eggs, and pizza, and even numbers are all made up of units. You accompany the presenter on the journey of discovery, seeing how our perceptions – even of presumably concrete concepts like numbers – can change with effective storytelling.
The video essentially documents how you can use the email app as used by a living, breathing person. It’s technology that frees you of the constraints we normally associate with email overload. You also see how communication can be both spontaneous and structured, efficiently organized and carefree. By swiftly moving through the various features, we get the impression that email doesn’t have to take up so much of our time, especially when a hike along the California coastline awaits. What works in this video is that it combines a how to, feature-rich video and one that tells a story. By showing how easily and quickly the user interacts with the Mailbox app, we understand the narrative of how it frees up her life and allows her to go on a hike.
Walking you through the company’s values and mission is the founder who understands the importance of comic timing, sight gags, and not taking the concept of the business too seriously. It demonstrates confidence in the quality of the product that the founder is willing to ride around on a Radio Flyer wagon, and the fact that he routinely rubs shoulders with an employee from the shipping department shows that he’s thoroughly invested in every aspect of the company. What’s more, the video uses humor and attaches a likable face to the brand, which helps the company connect with customers on a more personal level.
Video marketing that reaches the right audience has a big impact on buyers’ decision-making, which in turn dictates whether your company succeeds. And a key point is making certain that, however brief the video, it addresses the specific needs of the audience that you’re trying to reach while being compelling enough to make them want to keep watching. And it’s highly adaptable to any context as seen in Coca-Cola’s internal branding explainer video or Chipotle’s customer-facing content. What you see in the best videos is a dedication to storytelling that informs, entertains, and engages.
Lots of other explainer videos:
16. What is Data.com
18. West Interactive
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23. uPlej Video
25. Tweet Up Video
31. The Girl Effect
35. C100 Animated
42. Skype ’Moments’
50. Orizzi Video
51. YAP Video
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53. Going West Video
54. Noodle.com Video
58. Mass 2 One Video