What You Can Learn From Explainer Video

June 19, 2015

 

Video is the main course on today's content marketing menu, and for good reason. Easily digestible, it persuades, educates and sells. It simplifies complex ideas, demonstrates products, introduces startups and promotes brands. Explainer videos are shared on social, drive customers to websites, improve SEO, and they're fun to watch. 

 

So how does explainer video work? And why should you care?

 

Explainer video, when done right, accomplishes four basic goals:

1. Capture the viewer's attention

2. Hold that attention

3. Get your message heard AND understood

4. Be remembered (or better, compelled to action)

 

And you should care because if you can do these four things, you too can pursuade, educate, and promote just about anything.

 

How does explainer video do it? With these four critical features:

1. Brevity

2. Metaphor

3. Humor

4. Storytelling

 

An explainer video has all of 5 seconds to grab attention and 60 to 90 seconds to deliver its message. If you are making a speech or presentation, presumably you have a bit more time, but it's not unlimited. Imagine that you only have one minute. What would you say? Now build out from there to a carefully honed message.

 

Metaphor is substituting one thing for another. Why do this? When explaining something complex, it helps to start with something familiar. If I told you that digital technology was redefining educational curriculum not only in its delivery but in its content, your eyes might glaze over. But if I said that education is like driving from point A to point B using GPS, you might understand.

 

Visual metaphor (e.g. hourglass = time; rocket = aspiration) works powerfully because it bypasses language. It is more readily understood and remembered. Of course, visual metaphor requires a presentation deck like PowerPoint.

 

Ok, humor is optional (but highly advisable). 

 

And last, storytelling, your strongest and most important tool. It is through a narrative that your audience becomes emotionally engaged. The most basic story arc (situation, problem, dilemma, solution) will deliver on all four goals: capture attention, hold viewer's interest, deliver the message, and be remembered.

 

What works for a 60-second explainer video will work for your half-hour sales meeting. To see some examples of how to bring the storytelling power of explainer video into live presentation, visit www.pointmadeanimation.com/#!powerpoint-native-animation/c1k7w

 

 

 

 

 

 

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