Creating a Explainer video is like having a baby, the moment you declare that you’re going to have one, you’ll be piled with a ton of advice… and a whole lot of it, albeit well meaning, is nothing more than guesswork. Most often people draw conclusions from their own experiences or what they have heard from others without realizing that in this industry, one rule doesn’t apply to all. These speculations have over time become so set-in-stone that we believe them to be actual facts, whereas they are nothing but myths related to Explainer videos.
Myth 1: Don’t Use Humor
Fact: Who doesn’t like to laugh? Just because you are in a serious business is no reason for you to get all serious. It is your message that’s important. If humor helps get your message across, go for it.
Checkout this video titled “Dumb ways to die” brought out by Metro Trains, Australia, for example.
Did you notice the number of views? Speaking of death is a serious business, but they have managed to create humor around it and to draw attention of the people to the cause.
Or take the case of this explainer for Air Safety Video:
See how they turn the most boring part of the journey into the most interesting thing you’ll ever see.
Ah! But I can hear some of you think…this is not applicable to demo videos related to products and services, well think again.
I present to you two exemplary examples for this.
Google Wave was something that only geeks could understand. Rest of the world was wondering what on earth the fuss was all about. Then came this landmark video, and checkout the views.
Need more proof? See this video that even had Ashton Kutcher going gaga:
Myth 2: Use Humor
Fact: Yes, the reverse is also not true. The fact is that there is no hard and fast rule that says that your Explainer video will suck if it has humor or doesn’t have humor. You have to decide on the best way to showcase your message, if humor would make it click, awesome. Else, forget it. If you want to move people with emotion, then humor may not do the trick.
Here’s an inspiring work that doesn’t use humor and still does spectacularly well:
This video became a sort-of visual anthem for entrepreneurs. The message touches sentiments beautifully.
Another example?See how sensitively this video brings out the topic
This video has connected with millions and since it is such a sensitive topic, this is undoubtedly the best possible treatment.
Myth 3: Add A Forceful Call-To-Action
Fact: Gone are the days where cheesy call-to-actions worked. Now the moment you put a call to action, folks get suspicious. Today your audience is well-seasoned and well-informed. The best way to get them to do what you want (sign up, register, donate money etc) is to explain what you are all about. If they feel convinced by the message, they will come flocking to you, you don’t have to get a monster of call-to-action to push them to you. Case-in-point, this Google Play video where you are simply titillated with the possibilities and left with a link.
People have gotten so used to call-to-action that they hardly notice it. If you want to have a call-to-action, that should effectively be a straightforward, simple combination of words that directs them to the place where they can get more info. See this video for example:
It speaks of everything the book is about and ends with a very matter-of-fact call-to-action “Learn how at”. No pressure at all
Myth 4: Include All The FeaturesFact: The video is just a few minutes long. So speak of the most important pain-point that your product/service solves and only that. If you need reference I would like to once again direct you to the Google Wave video. Where the actual explanation of all the feature could have taken hours.
You can also take a look at our Freshdesk video:
Freshdesk has lots of awesome features but not only was it impossible to explain all of it in so little time but it would also have made a tediously boring video. We just whet the appetite of the viewer and we speak of the potential.
Myth 5: Cater Only To Your Target MarketFact: Explainer Videos cannot be put into the same bracket as regular ads. They work in a different manner. Here if a video gets liked by millions, it will be shared by millions and will, through various channels and connections, reach your target market. So should it cater to your target market? Yes. But should it cater only to your target market? The short answer will be, no. Refer to all the videos above and they’ll all tell you the same story. Anybody who sees these will understand the video, regardless of whether they are the target market and so your message will spread, inadvertently touching your target as it spreads.
To conclude, when you create a demo video your focus should be on having a concrete message and finding best ways to showcase the message. The rest will take care of itself.