Last time we talked about what explainer videos are, and how you can use them in your business. Today, let’s examine what separates the best explainer videos from the rest.
It pays to invest in exceptional marketing videos – literally.
A great explainer video can become a money-making powerhouse, paying for itself thousands of times over. But what makes a great explainer video?
What do best explainer videos have in common?
For today’s article, we wanted to dig deep and find the key takeaways from the best explainer videos we’ve ever seen. We’re talking some of the most watched, most shared, highest-converting videos out there.
What do they have that simply “good” – or even mediocre – explainer videos don’t?
Well, we’re pleased to say that we have narrowed it down to 4 crucial lessons. If you’d like to create an effective explainer video for your business, you want to learn about all of them.
To illustrate the lessons, we also hunted down some impressive explainer videos from different industries. None of these were made by The Draw Shop, by the way – so you can be sure that we’re not being biased.
And now, let’s dive in!
1. “Paint the dream”
Any smart salesperson knows that when someone wants to buy a drill, what they’re actually after is a hole in the wall.
And a very smart salesperson knows that the hole doesn’t matter. What the buyer really wants is to put something meaningful on that wall. A sturdy shelf. A framed photo of their family. A painting. You name it.
Where are we going with this? Glad you asked!
While it’s important that your explainer video talks about the offer (your product or service), it’s equally important that it shows the desired outcome in all its glory – or at least some of its glory. How much, or how little, time you invest in “painting the dream” largely depends on the magnitude of the outcome you’re promising.
If you sell high-end mattresses, you want to show what a giant difference a good night’s sleep will make to your viewers’ quality of life. And if you sell homes, then you’ll definitely need to describe the beautiful new life your customers will enjoy in detail.
But if you have, say, a free app that helps you order clothing, you don’t have to sell the outcome as hard as you can – just show it off in a subtle way, and focus most of the video explaining how the software works.
Let’s check out a real example…
We love this simple explainer from Grammarly. Notice how it takes a mundane, “vanilla” thing – grammatically correct writing – and ties it into all sorts of desirable outcomes.
Getting your dream job. Impressing a cute guy or gal on a dating website. Writing an important email. Avoiding embarrassing typos in a public Facebook post. All these things connect to something we all care about: being the best version of ourselves in every interaction.
That’s why this short video that’s mostly text and voiceover is pushing 300 million views!
2. Emphasize the USP
Your product or service doesn’t need to be the best on the market to succeed. That’s a bold, subjective claim that’s hard to live up to – and even harder to convey in a short video.
Instead, the best explainer videos focus on demonstrating two things:
- What makes this offer different from all others.
- Why it’s the best fit for the person watching.
To communicate both of these points clearly and effectively, you want to understand your unique selling proposition and build your explainer video around it. Lead with it when you introduce the product or service you’re marketing. Emphasize it with your script and your visuals. Show the viewer how it meets their unique needs and helps them to accomplish their goals.
For example, maybe you’re selling invoicing software developed specifically for freelancers and solopreneurs. Then let your video be about that: describe how your application fits the needs of this market better than any other product they may be considering.
- Maybe your pricing model is tied to their number of clients to remain affordable – make sure to mention that.
- Or you have built-in reminders to help them chase down clients who are slow to send payments – include that in your video as well.
- Perhaps your software has gorgeous templates that lend a sleek, professional look to each invoice your users send – so tell them as much!
Nowadays your customers have unlimited options when it comes to products and services they could be using. That means, differentiation is more important than ever. Zero in on what your USP is, and let it determine the contents of your explainer video.
Mint created one of the best-known explainer videos ever for their personal finance software. It went viral and got shared by hundreds of thousands of people for one simple reason – hammering home Mint’s USP.
At the time, it was the only app that gave its users a bird’s eye view of their entire financial life, automatically. They didn’t need to keep a budget or manually input bank statements. The app did everything for them – integrating with payment services, crunching the numbers, and putting them on a simple real-time dashboard.
This video offers only a basic overview of how Mint works – just enough to convey the USP and urge people to try it for themselves. And that’s all it needed to do.
Brands like Twitter, Uber, Hubspot, and others are already using whiteboard video to attract more customers. Discover exactly how they do it, along with 9 more business-boosting tips – like how to increase your conversion rates by 20%!
3. Speak your target market’s language
We are big proponents of communicating with your customers in plain English. If you can’t communicate something with simplicity and clarity, nine times out of ten it means you’re doing it wrong.
But then there’s that tenth time…
Sometimes your target audience wants you to talk to them fancy. Like when you’re making an explainer video aimed at a certain group of professionals – accountants, for example.
To these customers, your use of professional lingo is a sign that you “get” them. That they should listen to what you have to say, because you, quite literally, speak their language. Of course, if you take this path, then your video might alienate people who aren’t well-versed in professional terminology.
But that’s OK, because they aren’t your customers.
In a similar vein, even when you’re not addressing an audience of professionals, you still want to talk like they do in real life. After all, different categories of people use different words to describe the same things:
- “I feel like a fraud” vs. “I don’t have enough confidence in my abilities”
- “I want to look good naked” vs. “I’d like to get in shape”
- “I’m sick of getting passed up for promotion” vs. “I want to advance my career”
And so on. Your job is to isolate the words and expressions your target market uses to describe their problems, fears, pains, hopes, and dreams… and use them.
Then your message will go not just to their brains – but right to their hearts.
This clip demonstrates that the best explainer videos don’t shy away from professional jargon – when it’s appropriate. If you’re not in that industry, you’ll understand maybe 10% of what it’s trying to convey, and give up within 5 seconds…
But if you are, you’ll get it immediately. And then you’ll spend the entirety of the clip nodding vigorously, rolling your eyes, gesturing at the screen and saying, “I know, right?” – because the message was carefully crafted to resonate with you.
4. Anticipate and address objections
If you could sit down with your ideal customer and make them the perfect offer… chances are, they would immediately counter you with an objection.
- “But what if I want to do X?”
- “I want to buy, but now is not the right time.”
- “Are you sure this is right for me?”
Doubting and second-guessing is human nature. Your prospects can, and will, come up with “buts” and “what ifs” at a moment’s notice. And that’s OK – we all do it when trying to make a good decision.
The best explainer videos don’t ignore objections and concerns. They plan for them, and tackle them head on – sometimes before the viewer even thinks about it!
Think back to the most common questions people ask about your offer, and incorporate them into your video. Usually the best place to do that is right after you cover the main features and benefits of your product or service.
You don’t have to actively acknowledge these as objections – just make sure that your script and your visuals cover them. For example, if customers tend to ask you about minimum payments or long-term contracts, make sure to mention that you don’t require them…
…or vice versa, commit to selling the negative and explain why you do!
Usually addressing an objection will extend the runtime of your video by another 15-30 seconds. But it’s always worth it. Customers will have their doubts and reservations, no matter how hard you sell the offer – so it’s never a bad idea to engage them in a transparent, direct way.
This short video from Tripcase does a really good job at handling objections. Tripcase is a travel app – so its users will have some very specific concerns in mind. Notice how the video raises and addresses potential problems like:
- “Can I track something besides flights?”
- “What if I don’t have a confirmation email to forward to the app?”
- “What if my travel plans change suddenly?”
Each point is relevant to the viewer, and the narrator does a great job addressing those concerns. That’s what makes this video extremely persuasive!
Create the best explainer videos for your brand with our free checklist
The 4 takeaways we covered in today’s article will help you create explainer videos that grab attention, excite, and move your viewers towards action. But they are just the tip of the iceberg.
There are no less than 10 other elements you want to include in your next marketing video to make sure it converts.
So that’s why we put together a free checklist that you can use to fail-proof your video marketing campaigns before they go live. You can grab it for free right here: