5 Essential Tips for Creating a High Converting Explainer Video

Imagine walking into a store for the first time. Everything is new. You may not even be entirely sure what they sell or why you’d want anything there. A salesperson immediately approaches you and asks, “So, you ready to buy?” You’d probably consider leaving. At the very least, you’d be left feeling confused. Definitely not in the mood to buy.

Yet, we often overestimate the level of understanding customers have about our products and services. When we think they’re ready to buy, they may still be looking around wondering what they’re even doing there. Or they may partially understand a product, and they’re missing out on its biggest benefit. Too often the information they’re looking for and the information a company is providing to them doesn’t match up. It doesn’t answer their questions or meet their needs. And when that happens, there’s no sale.

When it comes to educating, informing and persuading, nothing drives sales like video. Research shows 81 percent of people were convinced to purchase a product or service after watching a brand’s video. To help you create your own high converting explainer video, we’ve put together 5 essential tips. Then we’ll look at the tips in action…

1) Uncover Objections

Treat your video like a sales script — use it to handle objections. It’s not necessary for you to write the script yourself, but it’s critical that you uncover the objections to your product or service. Nobody knows your business like you do, so make sure you’ve surveyed, polled and talked to everyone who has and hasn’t bought from you. You should be an expert in your customer’s pain points and triggers. Do you know what makes them giddy? What freaks them out? What do they misunderstand about your product? If you don’t know what makes your customers tick, the best graphics in the world won’t save you.

2) Follow the Funnel

Video has the power to sway people like no other. That’s because video is helping move people through the stages of buying from awareness to purchase more effectively than any other tool. If you haven’t brushed up on your sales funnels lately, here’s a quick refresher:

AIDA sales funnel

There are different ways the funnel is broken down. Some funnels have four steps. Some have five steps. But they all follow the same path from awareness of a general problem to finding a specific solution and purchase.

By looking at the stages buyers go through before making a purchase, we can better understand how to create videos that increase conversions. Here’s how the funnel stages correspond to the stages in a high-converting video:

  • Explain the problem. Use the pain points and problems your customers have in their own words
  • Introduce your offering. People need a clear, factual statement of what you do.
  • Show your benefits in action. Talk about differentiators and competitors.
  • Call them to action, once you’ve prepared them to convert.

3) Don’t Shortcut The Funnel

Respect the funnel. Everyone has to go through stages in order to make a buying decision. People may start out closer to consideration and purchase because they’re already educated about your product, service or industry. Just don’t take it for granted they’re ready to whip out their credit card. The great thing about a business explainer video is that you can take someone from problem to call to action in under two minutes. Even if you’re at a more advanced stage in the funnel, you’re likely not going to get antsy and skip ahead… to save 12 seconds? The fast-paced nature of explainer videos keeps people highly engaged, but you must take your prospects through each stage. No skipping.

4) Talk To People Like Friends

Master salespeople build rapport, they get to know you on a first-name basis. When video is more conversational and feels more like a friend, you can forget you’re being sold to. It’s easy when it’s a friendly voice. The kind of voice you’d like to grab a beer with after the video. Depending on your content and brand, you may not go the informal route. But anything in the friendly and enthusiastic zone is what you want to bring in higher sales and increased conversions. Add some warm, funny details while you’re at it. Remember, businesses sell to people. Friends look out for you. Most people will respond better to a friend who’s looking out for them.

5) Find the Right People to Work With (Don’t Be a Hero)

There are some people who will say that you absolutely have to write your own script because you know your business better than anyone else. True, you do know your business better than anyone else. That just doesn’t mean you know how to write a script or produce a video better than anyone else. Whatever route you go, don’t be a hero. If you have a business to run, then you may not have time to learn how to write a video. In that case, just make sure the company you choose to make your video has all the objections and research you uncovered in Tip #1.

A high converting explainer video understands as much about your customers as much as it does about your business, maybe more. So, let’s look at some of the habits of high converting explainer videos with these examples.

Tommy John

Tommy John’s “Why Should You Wear a Tommy John Undershirt?” video plunges right in with a confident announcement. According to Tommy John, the problem is: Most men hate their undershirts because they “suck” (their word, not ours). Why is that word so important? Because you’d be hesitant to use the word “suck” or “sucks” in a business situation. (Although we’re doing it right now.) But there’s a great reason behind the word choice. It’s the way you’d talk to a friend. That one word just transformed the conversation from someone talking at you to a convo between friends. According to research, brands that connect emotionally are 3x more likely to get word-of-mouth recommendations over brands that don’t connect.

Tommy John doesn’t leave the audience floating around at the problem/awareness stage, they launch right into the many problems of lousy fit, cut that’s too short, and gross sweat stains. The good news is that Tommy John’s patented undershirt is a game changer with innovative fabrics and that better fit. No more bunching, pit stains and riding up… And that doesn’t suck. Check it out for yourself.

Dropbox

Dropbox famously whittled their homepage down to one animated explainer video after a failed AdWords campaign. While this case study makes a popular storyline in Growth Hacking circles, the failure of the campaign wasn’t a failure of AdWords. It was a failure of the funnel. No one knew what “cloud-based storage” was 10 years ago. Let alone to ask for it.

Dropbox succeeded in their explainer video by focusing on what it does, not the technical search term for the product. The result? Conversions soared by 10 percent. If that 10 percent doesn’t grab you, this should: That 10-percent increase led to 10 million new customers and $48 million dollars in new revenue. All with an under two-minute animated explainer that the company reportedly invested less than $50,000 into.

RockTape

The RockTape video example is interesting in the way it relates back to Dropbox. Both products exist on a problem/awareness level. The average customer doesn’t know what to even call their product. It’s a difficult place in the funnel to be in when your customers don’t even know what your product is, and that requires education. Video handily covers large amounts of information in cases where consumers require education. RockTape addresses the place they’re at in the sales funnel in the first frame by asking: “What is that tape on winter athletes?” It’s kinesiology tape, and it has all kinds of benefits. Not just for athletes. See for yourself.

Lemonstand

Lemonstand is a customizable e-commerce platform. But what’s that mean? Their video follows the story of a couple of entrepreneurs who are growing so fast their e-commerce technology can’t keep up with them. The video goes on to show how easy it is to use with a walkthrough of the attractive, cleanly designed platform. Then shows the many benefits and integrations with quick pop-ups and fast-moving graphics. The video ends with one of their most important differentiators: Unlike some e-commerce platforms, they don’t take a cut of your profits.

When Lemonstand added this one minute and 26-second explainer video to their home page, average time on site immediately doubled. That’s in line with our findings that show 80 percent of marketers agree that video increases time on site. If you’re thinking that people spending a longer amount of time on your site will probably lead to good things, then you’d be right. Not only did time on site increase, people spent more time learning about features. When people start researching features, it means they’re comparing you to other solutions and are moving closer to making a decision. As they move closer to a decision, be sure to give them a way to act. Lemonstand is a great example of ending on a strong call to action. The final screens of the video encourage viewers to “Start a free trial.”

After adding this video, conversion rates soared. The number of visitors who became trial users rose 10% instantly. Was this a happy by-product of an engaging video? Sure, but Lemonstand increased their odds of converting by choosing a call to action that only asked people to move one step in the funnel. Remember our steps in the funnel (Awareness, Interest, Consideration, Action)? When moving people through a buying funnel, ideally you’re only asking them to move one step at a time. Notice they didn’t ask people to buy. That would be too far to jump for most people. They asked people to try, knowing that trying leads to buying.

Many companies go straight to asking for the sale, and they’ll make sales. But the conversion rate will typically be far lower than asking them to sign up and get to know the product first.

Crazy Egg

Crazy Egg is a heat mapping tool that shows companies how visitors are moving through their site. Easy enough to understand on the surface, but more complicated to connect to benefits. For Crazy Egg, one of the biggest challenges was being able to quickly communicate what the service does (before people’s eyes glazed over). Because without fully understanding what Crazy Egg does, customers couldn’t understand the benefits for them.

When Crazy Egg chose to go the explainer video route, they created a process for writing their script that expertly moved potential customers through each stage of the buying funnel. It’s worth examining the process, which founder Neil Patel documented in superb detail. Check out the video yourself to see how the customer insights Patel uncovered were used to shape the content.

The first frame of the video opens with a friendly egg man and the biggest benefit, “The heat map tool that shows why your visitors aren’t converting. Then connects the dots. All kinds of analytics tools can tell you you’re losing visitors, but they don’t tell you why. Until you understand why your visitors are leaving, you won’t be able to improve conversion rates. Then Crazy Egg brings the comparison to competitors into focus by boldly criticizing Google Analytics They give super quick steps to a 30-second installation. Who can argue with spending 30 seconds to get more conversions? By the end of the video, all objections have been handled. We have proof that the software works, and we’ve been offered a free trial.

As Patel knew from the start, the key to creating their animated explainer video was getting to the heart of their potential customers’ objections and showing them the light. He treated the video like a sales script. Not just something pretty for people to look at. So, how do you think it worked for Crazy Egg? Conversions zoomed by 64 percent. The result was an extra $21,000 a month in new income for the fledgling startup. Not bad for a two-minute video.

Now that you know some of the essentials for creating high converting videos, take your explainer video game up another notch. Get the Ultimate Guide: How To Create the Perfect Explainer Video.