Getting your startup explainer video right

| 3 min. (553 words)

If you have a kick ass product (or service) and you want to make sure people know about it, you might want to make an awesome explainer video that delights your audience, and reminds them that they really need what you have to offer.

If done right, an explainer video can have monumental effects. Let’s observe the viral video from Dollar Shave Club for a moment here….

This humorous little gem is only 1.5 minutes long and is at over 16 million views.

At Raygun we chose to have a one minute animated explainer video made by our friends over at Cub Studio in London, and while it’s not at 16 million views – it’s doing amazing things for our website engagement.

The things that made this video successful for us are simple. It’s short and gets to the point quickly.

I have clicked away from so many marketing videos that spend far too long getting to the point, and when they finally do it’s at the end of a 3-4 minute long video that the viewer most likely has not stuck around for. That is not what I want to see in the advertisements at the start of my Youtube videos.

In accordance with my tips about getting to the point, here are my top points for nailing your startup explainer video (and not boring the pants off your viewers).

1. Keep it under two minutes. Preferably less than one minute, even as short as thirty seconds if possible. You have the attention of your audience for a very limited amount of time.

2. Try to state the problem your users are having and how you can solve it in the first 10 – 15 seconds. If your viewers do axe your video – there’s a chance they will catch your startup’s benefit from the opening seconds.

3. Don’t fill your content with facts and technical things about your product. That’s not interesting, and people who want to know the minute details can click through to your site to find out more information. Rather, focus on telling a story of the solution your startup provides, and how it feels for your users once the problem is solved.

4. Try to go professional. I know budget can limit many opportunities, but it is worth it. Cub Studio were the best animators I could find after a very lengthy search – and did a fantastic job. They also kept me in the loop with the story boarding process and made sure I was totally happy the whole way through.

5. On that note, DIY videos CAN WORK, but it’s a risky business. We tried this route back in 2012, and while the results are somewhat humorous, essentially the video just looked low quality and the sound was muffled. Also, because of our admittedly difficult to understand NZ accents, we mostly just got comments from our audience like “I can’t understand a &@$**@^ thing these English blokes are saying”.

So, as you can see there are many things to consider when making an explainer video for your startup. No matter what style you choose, try to stick to my top three suggestions:

The end