Our last blog entry discussed the short and sweet 60-90 second explainer video and why in some instances, brevity is better. While 60-90 seconds is optimal for maintaining viewer retention, it’s not a one-size-fits-all model. Some of our clients have difficulty distilling their message into a fixed timeframe that’s less than 2 minutes and for good reason! It can be challenging when you’re fully steeped in your business or product to look at it through a fresh lens and from a bird’s eye view. We’re adept at taking broad concepts and telling a succinct story. That said, we can also decipher when there’s more to cover than can be squeezed into the confines of one explainer video. After all, we don’t want to sacrifice your message for the sake of time. The solution? A video series!
A series of explainer videos is ideal for clients with multiple products, services, offerings and key messages or those with long lead product launches or longer than average sales funnels. Videos within a series can range from 15 seconds to 2 minutes with each focussing on a single aspect of your business or the customer journey. A series can help guide your viewer through the sales process and convert them from a prospect into a paying customer. Aside from being used as a sales tool, a video series has proven to work well for training modules, onboarding employees or explaining a new system or software integration to your organization.
From a production standpoint, once your colours, look and feel and tone are established, these elements can be carried through your series, creating a cohesive look and feel. This also cuts down on the time required to determine the style of each video in the series while threading them all together with a consistent look and feel, allowing us more time to focus on the story.
You’ve Captured My Attention, Now What?
Getting – and keeping – the attention of your audience is critical with any kind of content. When you create a series of videos, how do you ensure your audience stays tuned or better yet, doesn’t tune in (or out!) midway through your series?
For public-facing content, it’s not unusual to include a disclaimer at the top of your video or in the accompanying caption (where applicable), indicating that this video is part of a series and to start with the first video. Include links whenever and wherever possible so that viewers can easily navigate to the beginning. Be explicit with your naming conventions, using “Part 1 of 4”, “Chapter 2” or something similar in the title to indicate that your content should be consumed chronologically. Creating a dedicated playlist is another way to group your series together and can easily be externally linked.
For gated content, there are a few ways to disseminate your video series in an orderly (and in order) fashion. An email drip campaign is a great way to dictate the order of your video series distribution and can help generate momentum towards a product launch or sale. Furthermore, you can support the videos with enticing email copy that compels your recipient to “click to learn more”. A compelling CTA also gives you the opportunity to allude to future videos in your series and a tease to what your recipient can expect to see next.
If your video series is intended for training purposes or course modules, there are learning management system (LMS) platforms that allow you to secure content so that it can only be consumed in sequence. This prevents viewers from skipping ahead or losing track of where they are in the series.
Another option is to make use of the “unlisted” status on YouTube which means that only those that are provided a direct URL can access your content; it won’t appear on your channel and is not otherwise searchable. This allows you to control who has access to your video and when.
Whichever method you choose, it’s important to ensure that your viewer is being introduced to your video series at the starting point and not part way through.
Is Serial Your Next Step?
Serialized content has been popularized on the podcast scene and television for years, but it’s no stranger to explainer videos either. Whether it’s for marketing, training or sales purposes, serial videos are carving their space in the content kingdom.
Think about your product or service and how you want to market it. If fitting your “what”, “why”, “how”, “when” and “where” into a few concise statements doesn’t come easily, consider dedicating a video to each component and creating a series. Better yet, get in touch with us to help you determine the most effective way to communicate your message. We’re skilled at storytelling and can advise if serial video best suits your needs.