Statistically, by the time you read to the end of this sentence, you’ve probably already clicked away. Well, 17% of us anyway. Why? Because the lowly four-second mark - the average time that we, as marketing specialists, have to grab our prospect’s attention - has already been and gone.
You’ve probably read about it, and dare we say that you’ve probably even noticed it as a feature of your own behaviour: the average attention span is falling sharply.
Sure enough, the marketing world has responded. We’ve seen narrative and story-based marketing (as well as keeping your videos short - very short) becoming a huge trend in recent times. Story is an incredible tool with which to hook your prospect. In fact, prospecting via storytelling (e.g. placing a narrative-based video on a landing page for your website) is known to boost client engagement and conversions up to 80%.
80%! That’s no fluke now, is it? But when most people have less than four seconds to be hooked, how the heck are we meant to ensure their engagement?
Two words: explainer videos.
A short video - complete with beautiful graphics, subtitles, music, an animation style, and a script that compliment and enrich your brand - can do this all, and more, in just seconds. Why? Because unlike text, explainer videos combine all of these brand-building elements into a single, powerful piece of media. A short video has the power and pull to hook your prospects and get them to better envision your value proposition. It’s that simple.
In an interview given to Forbes magazine, marketing expert, Rohan Kale of rkhale.com covers off the five main types of explainer video he recommends to his clients:
Benefits videos - offer information about your product/service (great for landing pages)
“How to” videos - explain specific topics, in detail
Testimonial videos - appeal to prospect’s emotions (great for building trust)
Demo videos - explain the finer details of a product or service
FAQ videos - have the purpose of saving on admin time, and answering common questions
Let’s look at five awesome examples, and why they take the cake:
Why it’s great: This falls into the broad explainer video category of ‘testimonial video’. It’s emotional (listen to that music, and look at those happy faces), it’s clean (simple graphics and beautiful, natural lighting) and it’s relatable (hey, I have those problems too!).
2. MuleSoft: What is an API?
Why it’s great: What is an API? Who actually knows? Why would we want to know? Well, there’s one thing for sure: this video makes us want to know. For starters, it involves animation, a beautiful, engaging, heart-warming approach to eliciting your storytelling. It also uses a voiceover that’s warm, friendly, and lighthearted. Finally, it involves a healthy dose of humour (0:57-1:05) and real-life, relatable examples drawn from prospects’ likely everyday experiences (3:02-3:14). A big win.
3. Dollar Shave Club
Why it’s great: We’ve mentioned this one before. Why revisit it then? Well, this is one flaming hot example of a ‘benefits video’. It’s humorous, has a great script, and moves at a pace that’s fast enough to keep our waning attention spans happy and well-fed. It’s also completely share-able. Who wouldn’t want to send this on to friends and colleagues, or plaster it all over social media? Genius.
Why it’s great: Okay. We’ve reached a bit of a tear-jerker. An acoustic cover of a Coldplay song by none other than Willie Nelson? A beautiful, emotional animation style reminiscent of Nick Park’s claymation work on Wallace and Gromit? This is emotional marketing at its best. The takeaway from this sweet, little video is that everyone else is doing the opposite to what Chipotle does. We get an overwhelming sense of Chipotle’s top-shelf ethics, authenticity and quality.
5. Doctor Anywhere
Why it’s great: SUBTITLES. It’s great for a few reasons, but not least because it has subtitles. Subtitles mean it can be watched on public transport, at work, in the bathroom… and without those pesky headphones that your prospect (much to their annoyance) left at home! Never underestimate the power of subtitles. Further, it does a great job of drawing the viewer in by appealing to our emotions. Waiting at the doctor, wasting time, having lots of tasks on the to-do list… they’re things we all hate, right? Right.
You got us, doctor.