6 Essential Explainer Video Ingredients That Boost Conversions

A great explainer video can thoughtfully and quickly explain your message, increase engagement, and — of course — boost conversions for more customers and revenue. Yet what are the steps necessary to craft an awesome video that captures attention spans that are 8 seconds long and shorter than a goldfish?

We have you covered. Follow our 6-step guide to the must-have ingredients to an explainer video: we’ll show you what works, offer great examples, and give you the edge on optimizing your website and effectively promoting your brand.

#1 Grab Their Attention

In one of my favorite episodes of The Simpsons, someone tells Marge: “That’s the problem with first impressions: you only get one.”

Same with explainer videos. Don’t assume your viewer will stick around. Don’t assume they’ll watch a poor explainer video for the heck of it. Don’t assume that they know everything about your product.

Get straight to the point. Lead with the Who, the What, and the Why.

Groupon wastes no time:

#2 Great Visuals and Graphics

While you don’t need to spend tens and thousands of dollars on your explainer video, you need to show quality and professionalism that’s congruent with your company and what you offer. In other words, avoid shaky iPhone videos (unless that’s your desired effect), avoid awful lighting, and avoid bare bone graphics like an old-fashioned slideshow.

Beyond being a poor representation of your brand, people will also flee if your explainer video has bad quality: it’s visually distracting, it takes away from your message, and it never grabs attention.

Pocket does a fantastic job with their crisp, eye-catching video and great graphics:

#3 Focus On Them, Not You

Poor explainer videos often sound like this:

Me, me, me… me, me… me.

Avoid that trap. Focus on your audience’s needs, wants, desires, fears, hopes, and aspirations. Get inside their heads. What do they really want? Do they want all the bells and whistles of your technology product or do they just want to save time by having your software solve their pain?

In this video from Fizzle, they lead by explaining common problems that you face. Within seconds, viewers will be shaking their heads “Yes!” because it resonates so deeply:

#4 “Simplify, Simplify.”

Avoid the tendency to want to tell the visitor everything about your product. Give them what they want, explain how you can solve their problem, and get them to act. If you want to offer more details, make it available in a separate page or further down the landing page, but don’t inundate the watcher with too much information.

Research from Wistia found that the average 30-second video was watched 85% of the way through while the average 2-minute video was watched 50% of the way through. What about a longer video? Interestingly enough, the research shows that the viewership stays consistent as the video gets longer (perhaps because they’re interested since they’ve already invested over two minutes to watching your video and want to learn more).

Remember: attention spans are short. If you want a brief video, make it short, crisp, and packed with benefits. If you want a significantly longer video, start fast and then save the extras after the first wave of drop-offs.

Liquidshop addresses their consumer’s problem, offers a great solution, and tells people where to go in under 60-seconds:

#5 A Great Voiceover

With a video, you lose a lot of subtitles that happen during face-to-face conversations: eye contact, facial expressions, hand gestures, pepper spray, etc. Thus, it heightens the importance of your video and, just as importantly, your voice. Does it sound comforting or soothing? Does it sound fun and entertaining? Does it vary the pitch and tone to emphasize the major points and hold your attention?

A great voiceover can instantly take a B-minus video to an A-plus. Search our database of voice actors for explainer videos and voice actors for videos to turn a boring video into a major lead generator.

CrazyEgg’s explainer video’s voiceover has a great blend of fun, vocal variety, pace, and excitement that matches the video and their company:

#6 An Irresistible Call-To-Action (CTA)

You’ve grabbed your audience’s attention, captivated them, got them nodding their heads nonstop, and have them ready to take the next step — don’t flub the interaction with a poor call-to-action. It’s like answering a goodnight kiss on the first date with a fist bump. You’ll shortchange your own results.

The truth is a bad call-to-action is like having no call-to-action. Instead, offer one — and only one — thing the viewer should do at the conclusion of the video. Also, make sure that CTA is what you really want. Do you want to drive them to email signups or do you want them to buy at that second?

Remember: make it an easy choice for them. End on a peak. Create annotations. Reveal a button. Use a highly optimized landing. Get creative.

The Dollar Shave Club video ends with the American flag, a grizzly bear, a dance song, and money flying everywhere. (That’s how you end on a high note.)

Explainer Video: Conclusion

Add these ingredients to the recipe and you’ll create a killer converting clip. Capture their attention, hold their attention with great visuals, get in their heads, use a great voiceover to talk to them, finish strong, and keep everything simple and effective. For the nuts and bolts of your explainer video — what you should actually write for your script, how you should pick a voiceover, etc. — check out our definitive guide to creating an explainer video.