Marketing a startup business can be tough, especially when you offer an innovative new product or service. Not only are you trying to establish a new brand, but you have the challenge of explaining exactly what you do and how it's different from every other company out there. Oh, and did we mention that most people have short attention spans? They probably aren't going to sit through a long presentation or read a 10-page whitepaper.
So what's a startup to do? The answer is actually rather simple: you need an explainer video.
Short, Sweet, And To The Point
By now, you undoubtedly know what an explainer video is: a short video (one to three minutes) that introduces people to your company or product and explains exactly what you do in an entertaining and compelling manner.
An explainer isn't an advertisement or a sales pitch, although they generally include a call to action. It's an introduction designed to get potential customers interested enough in your company to want to learn more – and maybe eventually convert.
In fact, explainer videos are proven to help increase conversions – in some cases by as much as 80 percent. Video engages customers; according to one survey, more than 90 percent of customers believe that video is helpful to decision-making, and 64 percent of users are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video. Why is this the case? Well, video has a few advantages over other types of marketing.
1. It's Short
We've already established that audiences have short attention spans. That being said, you might be surprised at how much information you can pack into a 60- to 90-second video. More importantly, the short format forces you to focus on the key points. What's your unique selling position? What's your value proposition? What problem(s) can you solve?
2. Videos Reveal Your Culture
As a new company, your audience doesn't have a sense of who you are yet. Through video, and your choice of images, music, characters, and script, you can easily provide a glimpse of your brand and your culture and help your audience get a better sense of who you are.
3. Video Simplifies Complex Topics
Again, explainer videos force you to simplify complex topics to fit the format. If your startup offers something completely new and different, an explainer will distill it down to the key points and focus on what's in it for the customer. When you make an animated explainer, you can provide viewers with an inside look at a complex product that they might not otherwise see, and make it easier for them to understand exactly what it is you have to do.
4. Videos Improve Chances Of Going Viral
If you want to improve your SEO results (and who doesn't?) video is the way to go. YouTube ranks second overall in Google search results, and video overall is shared more often than other forms of content. By sharing your explainer on social media, your blog, YouTube, and other places, you can increase your reach and organic search traffic results – something you need as a new business.
Making a Startup Explainer
When making an explainer to market your startup, many of the same principles as making any other explainer apply. The major difference is that this video is likely to be the very first introduction that most people will have to your company. It's very important that you pay special attention to how it reflects your brand, your company mission, and your company values.
With that in mind, the actual process of making an explainer isn't that difficult, especially since there are plenty of tools like online animation makers or storyboard software to help you. The most difficult – and arguably important – part of the process is the development of the script. When writing the script, keep in mind:
- The explainer needs to be customer-focused. Don't talk about the features, talk about how they benefit the customer. Make sure the video answers the question: “What's in it for me?”
- You need a call to action. What do you want people to do after watching the video? Tell them, and make it easy for them to respond.
- Show what makes your company unique. How are you different from other companies in your industry? What makes you special?
- Keep it simple. Your audience does not need or want to know everything about you at this point. The point of the video is to pique their interest so they respond to your offer or request more information. Hit the highlights, and leave them wanting more.
Once you have a script, the animation itself doesn't have to be complicated. A simple whiteboard video or two-dimensional animation can get the job done. Focus on getting your message across, being entertaining, and giving customers what they need, and your explainer video can help take your startup to a whole new level.