Why We Love Explainer Videos (And You Should, Too!)

The internet seems to have gone a bit mad for animated explainer videos recently and we’ve already talked about them on this site a bunch, which should tell you something about just how effective they can be for driving engagement and getting return on investment for your business. If you’re looking for a way to get animation into your marketing strategy (and you should be!) or you think that your business needs to get the recognition it deserves, there is no better way than with one of these.

If you don’t know what we’re on about, have you been living under a rock?! For the uninitiated, animated explainer videos are short videos which are fully animated or executed using motion graphics with the purpose of making a complex idea, company or product, simple and understandable before inspiring action in the viewer. These videos usually arrive in 3 differently shaped packages, all excelling in a slightly different way:

  1. Animated Infographic – factual, sleek and informative
  2. Cartoon style – tell your story, stress the human element like in our product launch explainer for Mycellium
  3. Hybrid – versatile and demonstrative like our explainer for Swiss RE

The explainer video is a real chameleon of a tool. Its simple and flexible form lends itself to absolutely any sector which is why it appears so often in such a broad range of businesses. This week we bring you our Ode to the explainer video – a few points about why we think they’re so great.

They serve so many purposes

  • Product launch – Businesses looking to communicate a new or complicated product or concept will turn to explainers in order to make themselves clear and hold the interest of their prospective customers. For complex products and services, the explainer is basically an advert and then some.
  • Demonstration – Technology and software people, this is your dream come true. Explainers give you the opportunity to put yourself in your viewers’ shoes and really guide them on what could be a complicated journey. Make it seem easy in an explainer video and viewers will be much more likely to follow through with your call to action.
  • Company profile – Explainers can even be used to introduce your company to prospective customers. Do you fill a niche? What’s different about the way you do things? The explainer lets you control a viewer’s first impression and then guide them to favourable further steps.

You can put them anywhere

  • Landing page – Many businesses stick these on their site to give their visitors a positive and interesting first impression.
  • Screened at a conference – Most of us have been caught loitering at the company stand during a less-than-stellar conference with no-one to talk to. Running explainers on a screen here will attract potential customers, create talking points, break the ice and some will even do the talking for you!
  • Social media streams – With posts including video much more likely to be engaged with and shared, these go well on any of your social media streams: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc.
  • Video streaming sites – If your business isn’t already on video sites, you’re behind the curve here. With everyone and their Nan Googling everything they’re curious about, Google-owned YouTube is a great place to host your animated content.
  • Traditional media – Explainers can double up as a conventional advert for television as well. Granted, this is sometimes not the ideal location as the call to action is slightly more difficult to inspire here, but we can ensure your explainer makes a splash no matter where you want it to end up.

We get to tell unique stories

The best explainer videos paint a picture of a problem which can be solved by the product or service which they are featuring – it’s a tried and tested advertising technique and its potency here is definitely intact. Because explainer videos are an audio-visual affair, we really get to be creative with how best to present these stories.

The cartoon style video which we mentioned earlier is an absolute winner for this. I know this sounds cheesier than a French hamper, but you get to bring in the human angle here. Creating relatable characters for the viewer to emotionally bond with can ensure your brand resonates with them, priming them for conversion. If the character’s journey is presented in a believable and interesting way, a mere cartoon can pave the way for a very grown up marketing success.

Everyone loves watching animation

Don’t underestimate the ubiquity of animation in modern society! All we’re getting at here really is that people are used to animated video in the context of entertainment. This predisposes the watcher into paying that extra little bit of attention because (especially in a business context) their brains are thinking “this is refreshing and different and interesting, I’m going to see what the crack is here!” Animation’s strength is that the form alone is deemed worthy of notice.

As we’ve mentioned before: in a recent study, attention span is dropping ever further, goldfish now look upon the lowly human with pity. From 12 seconds in 2000, we now only spend 8.25 seconds paying attention to something. I hope you’re still with me because this is quite alarming! This means that you need to make an impression within these 8.25 seconds and hold it for any of your customers to actually stick around. An animated explainer is a perfect answer to this modern problem because it grabs their initial attention and then proceeds to supply information in a visually pleasing way in order to ensure the viewer doesn’t immediately bounce.

They can make any company sound like a genius

In addition to being massively more effective for information retention, animated explainer videos are great at focusing complex and nebulous concepts. It makes them seem simple and gives the business the kind of authority and trustworthiness which is incredibly difficult to inspire with more traditional marketing tools or communications. It positions your business as the solution to their problem, the answer to their prayers, the thing they didn’t even know they needed and now they need it more than ever!

We love them for this reason because it evens the playing field. After all, we’re not a massive business ourselves but everyone from the world-conquering megacorps to a family-run, garden shed style startup can deliver the same level of quality communication with the right animated explainer video. They are one of the most diverse and effective tools available to companies of all sizes for growing their business and delivering their message.

So there you have it, just a few of the reasons why Fudge fell in love with the humble explainer video! We’ve addressed explainers in general here and it can be hard to imagine your business or product as the focus of one but if you’re bored of your conventional marketing efforts, drop us a line and we’ll definitely have some cracking ideas for you to have a think about. Still on the fence? Check out our 7 Myths about Animated Video post where we take on some of the uninformed misconceptions held by people about animation.