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Create explainer videos or animations for the top of the funnel

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1. Define your target audience, including their problems, concerns, and pain points, by using buyer persona research.

Review prospect and customer surveys, interviews, and insights from your customer-facing teams. Turn your target audience’s conflict into the topic of your video, with your product as the solution. For example, Kano, a coding tool for kids, knew that their target audience is parents whose problem is that their kids stare at a computer screen too much, so their explainer video focuses on how their product turns stare at a screen into build a screen.

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2. Choose a type of explainer video that best suits your brand, product or service, budget, and target audience.

Choose the format that fits your topic best:

  • Animated: Best for intangible products, like SaaS, or for better visualization of a product, like the features of the EvaDrop smart shower. Typically, it requires animation and design skills if you’re making it yourself.
  • Live-action: Works well for physical products or humorous brands, like Dollar Shave Club’s video that embraces edgy humor to reach its audience. It ranges in budget depending on if you use a production company and how many resources you use.
  • Whiteboard: A popular style choice that uses drawings on a whiteboard to illustrate the narrative, like Kitchen Sink’s video. It usually requires design and illustrative skills, but can be done with tools like Doodly instead.
  • Screencast: Demonstrate the product through the computer screen with narration or text that provides the story. This is the cheapest option, but it can take some creativity to make the video engaging enough to share.
  • Combination: Using live-action and animation together is best for creating a unique visual style, like Airbnb’s video that shows Airbnb’s benefits by taking the viewer through a scenic tour.

Choose your video type and your storytelling type, like narration, live-action character speaking to the camera, on-screen text, no words, or a combination. Most explainer videos use narration and provide visuals that illustrate their points.

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3. Write a video script that introduces your target audience's problem, explains why your product is the solution, and gives a call to action.

Review your target persona profile to specifically solve their problem with messaging that resonates with them. Include the target audience’s problem or concern, how your product works to solve the problem, why they should choose your solution, and a call to action, like in Mint’s explainer video where the solution to keeping track of your finances is Mint.com’s software. Include a call to action like check out your website, schedule a demo or consultation, or get a free offer. The best explainer scripts are:

  • Not too salesy: Avoid going into too much detail about prices, different packages, or your brand’s history, unless those points are specific to solving your audience’s main pain points.
  • Conversational: Use you or your as the pronoun and avoid jargon.
  • Short: Try to keep it under 2 minutes, and introduce the solution within the first quarter of the video.
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4. Perform pre-production tasks, including choosing a production method and planning the visuals and audio that best fit your budget and goals.

Many companies choose to work with a production company for their explainer video, but this option is more expensive. If you want to create your own video, use helpful tools, like:

  • Freelance sites like Fiverr or Voices, to outsource voice acting, animation, or graphic design tasks.
  • Explainer production tools that automate animated or whiteboard video, like Doodly, Video Scribe, Pow Toon, Animiz, and Renderforest.

Pre-production tasks for video producers:

  • Create a storyboard that shows the flow of the visuals.
  • Hire actors or design characters who fit your target audience’s demographics.
  • Gather equipment like a camera, microphone, or animation editing software.
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5. Create and edit your video using your chosen tools and production method.

Example tasks for the video producers:

  • Shoot the live-action video, or create the animation, motion graphics, or doodle video using video editing software, like Adobe After Effects (motion graphics), Blender (animation), or Filmora Wondershare (live-action). 
  • Add music that matches the tone and flow of the video, like Spotify’s video, with animations that match the beat of the music.
  • Add narration that follows your script.
  • Add on-screen text so that viewers can follow along with the story or for emphasis on important parts of the narration.
  • Include a final shot that shows your company name, logo, and website URL.
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6. Embed your video into your homepage, landing page, or product page using a video host and SEO best practices.

Leave your explainer video ungated if you want the video to be shareable and discoverable by the top of the funnel. Most companies put their explainer video on the homepage, like Poo-Pourri that has a compressed version of their explainer video autoplaying above the fold on their homepage with a link to watch the full video through YouTube.

For SEO, consider putting your explainer video on a specific product page instead, if you have more than one explainer video. Embed your video with a video host, like YouTube, Vimeo, or Wistia. With a video host, your video will be shareable and have metrics on one dashboard. Choose YouTube for a built-in audience and discoverability. Choose a premium host, like Wistia, for a customizable video player, no ads, and more analytics.

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7. Promote your explainer video on social media channels to better reach your target audience.

Post your video to your social media channels, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Optimize for each social channel by adding a call to action or link to your website, discoverable hashtags, and a caption or description for that specific social channel’s audience. Some companies use their explainer videos in paid social media ad campaigns.

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8. Look at your video hosting platform's analytics to see video performance across social platforms and your website.

Some key metrics are:

  • Engagement: Find out how many people viewed and shared your content.
  • Traffic sources: See which social media platform drove the most traffic to your video.
  • Audience retention: Find out if viewers stopped watching after the first 30 seconds or finished your video. Adjust the beginning of your video to be more engaging if there’s low audience retention.
  • Audience demographics: Learn more about your prospects to better reach and nurture them.
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Current Playbook:

Create explainer videos or animations for the top of the funnel

Oct 08, 2021

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