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Here’s everything you should know about explainer videos.

What are Explainer videos?
Let’s start at the core. Explainer videos are 1-2 minute videos that explain and/or promote a business, service or idea. The general approach to communicating with potential customers and clients is either through meetings, calls, websites, documents or presentations and most of the time, these are quite lengthy and formal. An explainer video is different in that it’s almost always animated, combines visuals with a narration and is often a little more relaxed. They’re also a lot less time consuming (the ideal time for an explainer is 90 seconds). Below is an average explainer video that uses cartoon characters to help get the point across. Not all explainers use characters and not all are cartoonish either but it’s a proven way to engage and connect with an audience.

What are the benefits?
There are a few numbers that are often given as the average time that a person will remain on a webpage if nothing immediately grabs their attention. The two I see most are 6 seconds and 8 seconds. A video does away with that average almost every time. If people see a video on the page that offers to explain everything in one go and with little to no effort required, people will click play and stick around for a minute or two to hear the full pitch, especially if they’re being entertained while they watch.

Sharing is another huge benefit. People share video on the web all the time as it’s as simple as clicking a Facebook or Twitter icon. If you offer someone something that is useful and fun to watch, they might share it with their friends, family and colleagues.
On average, conversion rates are boosted by anywhere between 15-50%. When dropbox started using an explainer video, they picked up 5 million new customers and made over $24 million in additional revenue. I’m not saying that you’re going to make $24 million if you have an animated video created (though, who knows?) but if you increase your conversions, even by 15-20%, isn’t that worth it? Remember, this wouldn’t be a one time deal, the video will help on an on-going basis.

Using video boosts your google ranking. Keep in mind, google owns YouTube and will almost always try to feature video on the page 1 results. Something else to think about, if you’re uploading your explainer to YouTube, is the fact that YouTube is the world’s #2 ranked search engine, just behind google itself.

Product clarity is another big one. Sometimes web pages and long documents lose people’s interest or don’t explain the concept clearly. A video not only tells a viewer what the product or service is, it shows them. People retain information to a much higher degree watching and listening than if they’re doing just one or the other. And if you’re currently relying on text, get this – people process visuals 60,000 times faster than text.

How much do they cost?
That depends on style and duration. Tell us what you want, and we’ll send you a quote within 24 hours (usually a lot faster than that).

How do I use one?
First thing to do is upload it to YouTube, Vimeo and wherever else you want to host it. Then, make sure you get it seen. Embed it on your website and make sure it’s not hidden. It should be front and center on your home page so make sure visitors don’t have to scroll or click through links and pages to find it. Share it on your social channels. Tweet it, post it, blog it, email it, link to it, your job is to get it in front of as many eyes as possible. Adding a link to it in your email signature is also a great idea.

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In addition, you can use animated explainer videos at presentations, trade shows, meetings, in stores and pretty much anywhere that has the tech to play it. You can even use them at TED talks as seen in the in the image above.

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