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What is an explainer video and why do you need it for your business?

Short, “snackable” videos are growing in popularity these days, especially with the emergence of social media platforms like TikTok that encourage these types of videos. It’s not surprising that businesses are looking into this trend and using bite-sized clips to advertise their brand or products.  

Although there are a variety of things you can do with these 30-second to three-minute-long videos, explainer videos are one of the best formats you can use to educate customers about your small business.  

An explainer video is a detailed, short-form video that provides an answer to a specific question about your business. It has a compelling call-to-action and presents a solution to the viewer that is connected with the business. 

What makes explainer videos effective as a content marketing tool is that it combines audio and visual elements to create an immersive experience for the customer and draw their focus to the subject of the video. This allows them to better retain your message after watching. 

Explainer videos have been proven to be effective for companies, big and small. Even a start-up like ours was able to use explainer videos to discuss topics like chatbots, AI technology, and content atomisation

There are plenty of ways to use an explainer video as part of your business’ video content marketing strategy, such as:  

  • Introducing a new product or service – You can go into detail about a specific topic and discuss the uses, benefits, and functions of your company’s new product or service. This allows customers to get a creative and concise look at what your small business has to offer. 
  • Answering a frequently asked question – This lets you broadcast a solution to a wide range of customers all at once, eliminating the tedious and time-consuming task of answering customers individually through direct message or email. 
  • Increasing product awareness – People who are not yet familiar with your business may benefit from an explainer video that shows off your company personality or lists your products and services. This informative piece of content will lead potential customers to check out your website or social media pages. 
  • Highlighting your latest company achievements – Explainer videos can be used to showcase your company’s achievements and build credibility in the eyes of new customers. 

All of these video ideas can easily be accomplished with rewarding results, for well-established companies, right through to small businesses. 

3 brands that successfully used explainer videos

These three brands are proof that well-executed explainer videos in content marketing can raise product awareness, increase page views and visits, and gain positive results from customers. 

1. Buzzfeed Tasty

The international news and media company Buzzfeed combined the internet’s love of food with “digestible” content to create Tasty. This food-centric channel utilised step-by-step recipe explainer videos to teach online viewers how they can recreate a specific dish at home. 

Each of these videos lasts for just a few minutes and features a set of hands demonstrating the recipe on camera. The above compilation video on ‘Easy Microwave Meals’, for example, allots one to two minutes for each dish and uses one-liner text to show the measurements and cooking time needed to create every meal. It effectively communicates the process in a fun and engaging way.  

Buzzfeed CEO Jonah Peretti said that the success of Tasty comes from understanding the target market and their love for short-form video content. Because of this, they were able to create a channel that not only generated revenue, but also piqued the younger generation’s interest in food and creative videos in a compelling manner.  

“We’re always thinking about not just generating traffic but reaching [our audience] in a real way,” Peretti shared in Adweek. 

As of February 2020, Buzzfeed Tasty has achieved incredible success and has amassed over 97 million Facebook page likes, 17.5 million YouTube subscribers, and 36.3 million followers on Instagram. These figures will only continue to grow as the brand consistently releases more food-related short-form videos. 

2. Amazon Go 

Almost everyone knows Amazon as an online shopping platform that delivers purchases right at your doorstep. When the company debuted Amazon Go in 2016, they released an explainer video to distinguish this service from what customers already know about the brand and introduce a new customer shopping experience.

By using just a voiceover and video clips from the Amazon Go store, the brand carefully took the time to outline the steps that customers needed to follow to use the new service. This resulted in an effective explainer video that got customers to try the contactless grocery shopping service and walk-out payment technology. 

According to Andria Cheng’s report in Forbes, Amazon Go has continually expanded in the United States since its 2017 opening; and now has multiple chains in Seattle, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. 

3. Dumb Ways to Die 

This 2012 explainer video was unique since it was a public service announcement (PSA) from the Melbourne Metro to be careful around trains.  

Using a catchy jingle and colourful animated characters, the train company was able to get its  safety message across to viewers instantly. Smart Insights reported that the video was viewed 2.5 million times just 48 hours after its upload. As of September 2018, it has more than 170 million views on YouTube. 

The success of Dumb Ways to Die stems from its creativity in using storytelling to release a public service announcement. By carefully explaining how people can die in a light and humorous way, they were not only able to get through to commuters but also create a hugely successful campaign that led to a mobile app game, new merchandise, and reduced accidents around trains by 21%.  

How explainer videos can help your small businesses

Short-form videos as part of video content marketing provide small businesses with a great opportunity to get people interested in your products or services and increase brand awareness. This is because explainer videos: 

  • Use audio-visual elements for greater brand retention – Explainer videos combine audio and visual elements to present a message, triggering the viewer’s visual and auditory sensors. When both senses are tapped at once, viewers are able to retain 68% of the video’s message, significantly more than audio (podcasts) or visual (graphics, written) formats alone. This added retention can increase awareness for your brand and entice customers to want to know more about it. 
  • Can become shareable content – Concise, informative, and visually pleasing videos instantly grab the viewer’s attention. When  video content is interesting, people will be happy to pass it along and share it with friends and co-workers. This is how the video is able to cut through static content and engage with more potential customers in an organic yet viral way.   
  • Drives traffic back to your website – With the right setup, videos can improve search engine optimisation (SEO). By using targeted keywords, embedding backlinks to your other videos, and having a call-to-action to your website, you’re able to maximise SEO in your explainer video and entice viewers to visit your website for more information. 
  • Establish your brand personality in the industry – Videos have personality and you can use this to extend the personality of your brand through your presentation. Funny, serious, informative, smart, your business can have a face, a smile and a warm tone. Conveying your business’ message can be tricky when only static mediums are used. An explainer video gives you the opportunity to create a fun, detailed, and concise presentation to introduce your small business and set it apart from its competitors. 

When used correctly, explainer videos can help increase awareness for your business resulting in more leads and a stronger brand recall. This starts with a solid content marketing strategy, high-quality content, and the confidence to follow through to create an effective and insightful explainer video. Looking for strategies and other services for creating quality content? Visit copywriting services.

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