What Kind of Explainer Videos Work Best?

According to one recent analysis by socialbakers.com, YouTube videos under 2 minutes in length get almost 50% of all views. This is an ideal duration for short Explainer Videos.

A recent study, “Types of Brand Videos Consumers Want to Watch” (Source Levels Beyond August 2014) found that viewers were primarily looking for the following kinds of videos online:

How-to, instructional or tutorial videos 67%
Comedy or spoof videos 42%
Product/information videos 34%
Micro-documentaries telling the story of a person or event 33%
Animations/infographic videos 30%

From the point of view of Explainer Videos it is interesting how many viewers are interested in animation/infographics, product/information videos, How-to and micro-documentaries. All of which allow ample scope to create interesting videos with business objectives in mind, especially product, branding, support videos.

The reason we don’t emphasize comedy, or spoof videos, is that it is easy to offend people with comedy, and it takes either a naturally funny presenter, or team to pull them off effectively.

However, younger viewers do prefer humour, and, if you have the imagination and resources then this can work very well to show your brand in a light-hearted and different way than the fact-heavy manner of a the usual how-to video, or product showcase video.

So, keeping in mind the above insights, small to medium businesses should be able to effectively use low budget, short, Explainer Videos to help boost marketing with the following*:

Promotional: Showcases your products and services
Testimonial: Highlights your talents by showing clients raving about work you’ve done
Thought Leadership: Presents new or useful information relevant to your industry
How-To: Informs prospects on how they can use your product or service
Product Information: Explains new features, benefits, solutions, troubleshooting
Entertainment: Shows your brand’s human side; leverage viral videos, contests

The first five of these video types would be standard items that any business should be able to make use of to help promote their business, products, or services. They fit into the ‘normal’ range of things that good businesses do in their usual marketing efforts, but transformed into a new medium that allows more creativity, expression, engagement and dynamism in their communication.

A recent STRATA survey* found that viewers are more inclined to watch online video ads if they’re entertaining (43%), targeted to their interests (31%) and educational or informative (30%). Younger viewers (18 – 29 year olds) prefer humour, whereas older viewers find the informative side of an ad more appealing. *[Source: marketing Charts, STRATA]

Further evidence for the use of Explainer type videos comes from Advance Auto Parts, a car parts retailer, which tried placing how-to and instructional videos on its website and Facebook pages. They found that ‘visitors who watch video stay on the site twice as long and visit twice as many pages versus those who don’t see video. Sharing their videos on Facebook further enhanced their online reach.


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