How to create an unforgettable explainer video

From a well-crafted script to engaging visual elements, every detail matters. Use these tips to ensure you nail the structure and make it relatable. Oh, and don’t rush to reveal your logo.

Explainer video tips

Explainer videos are versatile enough to fit in most marketing campaigns.

Regardless of your specific goals, well-made videos—ranging anywhere from 30 seconds to 10 minutes—can explain your products or services, delivering consistently superb results.

By balancing entertainment with information delivery, you can engage your audience within seconds, hold their attention and deliver your key marketing message.

For your video to succeed, your brand name and key message must remain with your audience well beyond viewing. After all, the last thing you want after creating stellar content is for your brand to evaporate from viewers’ minds.

How do you implant the brand in their memories? How do you make a piece of video content that can’t be forgotten? Focus on these essentials:

Characters

Resist the temptation to create characters that look like you. Instead, try to make them mirror your target audience.

What do they want? How do they look and sound? How do they behave? Get these right, and your viewers will empathize with the characters and feel that the message is directed to them.

Remember the human touch. Even when using animation—especially thenit’s essential to make those protagonists as human as possible. If they seem robotic or fake, your video will quickly fall into oblivion.

Color

In video, details affect the overall impression. Make sure every detail in your video reflects your brand’s identity, especially the color palette.

Think about the tonalities of your logo, your stories and your website, and implement them throughout your video. Viewers will absorb a cohesive message that they’ll recall whenever they come across your color palette. This is especially important for nascent businesses looking  to make a lasting impression on their target audience.

Several studies determined that color is the visual component people remember most about a brand, followed by shapes and symbols. Research has also found that color increases brand recognition by up to 80% and that 60% of the time people will decide whether they like or dislike a message based on color alone.

Script

The core messages of a compelling video ideally will be established as the script is being developed.

To make your brand memorable, include words that easily resonate in your audience’s minds. Prioritize words and phrases that contain emotional meaning and relate directly to the essence of your brand. Keep the language taut. Use active and relatable verbs. Avoid general and wishy-washy terms that people say or hear all the time, but don’t overcomplicate it, either.

Once you find the correct balance between being original and being relatable, you’ll have it. Before you sign off on the script, read it aloud to ensure that it sounds right.  Almost always, you’ll make significant changes.

Also, create a structure that builds momentum: First introduce the problem your potential customer might have (the what). Then, offer the solution your brand has (the how). In the end, explain why the audience should choose your brand over your competitors (the why).

Following this structure gives you ample opportunity to engage in effective branding to bring your message to the viewers.

Entertainment

A good laugh is always appreciated, even when you are marketing products or services that could be portrayed as “boring” in the wrong hands. (Think of how insurance companies use humor in their ads.)

Used wisely, humor is like a magic spark that makes content striking and memorable. Self-deprecating humor works best. Cute humor also works well, especially on social media. A mascot helps the memory. It’s almost always a good idea to carry over visual elements from print campaigns to reinforce imagery.

If your video is funny and entertaining, your viewers will share the video on their social media channels—and maybe make it go viral. Humor or other entertainment element will make your video likelier to keep circulating on social media and remain in your audience’s minds.

Logos

Think about the most obvious and useful—and often misused—piece of branding you can add to a video: your brand’s logo.

People don’t like to feel pressured or pestered by marketers trying to push an agenda. When working to improve your video’s branding, be careful with your logo’s placement. To maximize its effectiveness, deploy the logo shrewdly.

The structure mentioned before—the what/how/why—segments the video into three acts. The second act (how) is where you show, not just tell, how your product works and solves the problem. That’s the best moment to introduce your brand’s logo.

Why not before? Because the introduction (what) is there to engage your viewers and grab their attention. It often focuses on their pain points.

Once they’re interested, you position your brand as the solution. That’s when your logo appears.

A version of this post first appeared on the Glean.info blog.

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