How to improve engagement with customers by using explainer videos

23rd July 2021

In a content-hungry world, how do you make an explainer video that actually drives engagement? How do you make your audience stop the infinite scroll of recommended content when they see your brand appear?

The answer is engagement, and it’s the holy grail of explainer videos. Without it, your video will remain a dusty digital asset that is unloved and quickly forgotten. With it, your video will push people from consideration towards action. In this article, we’re going to explain explainer videos and show how to get more of that good stuff for your own videos.

Engagement remains something of an ambiguous term in some areas, but within the realm of video marketing, it has a very specific role to play. Before we explore that, and what it means for your explainer videos, let’s look at the nuts and bolts of what an explainer video is and what it’s there to do.


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How to spot an explainer video when you see one

An explainer video is there to show how your complex product or service will meet the needs of the viewer. A tin of beans shouldn’t need an explainer video (open, heat, eat) but your product or service might very well do.

By its nature, an explainer video is a great video type to drive engagement. It takes an often complicated subject or product and breaks it down into an easy to understand graphical format.

There are many types of explainer videos, but they are often animated. Whiteboard and screen share videos are also common, as are app demos. Your objective here is to bring the product or service to life in a format that broadens your viewers’ understanding and in a way they will connect with.

Keeping your explainer short (two minutes more or less) and getting the core message in early, are sure ways to make an explainer video deliver value.

How to make an engaging explainer video

Engagement is both a state of mind and a specific set of actions. It starts with the title and thumbnail of the video and ends with a call to action. An engaged viewer will watch the video pretty much to the end. They will devour the video content and take the message on board. Consequently, they are more likely to share the video and to follow any call to action.

Imagine an interested potential customer reaches your product or service pages and finds a wall of complex text. Engagement is likely to be somewhat less than amazing (there are exceptions, naturally, like scientific audiences). Now imagine that same person comes across a bright, exciting, easy to understand explainer video.

The vast majority of people will engage better with the video than the wall of text. It’s not the writer’s fault (well, it might be a bit), it’s just the way our brains are programmed to function.

Once the ‘play’ button is clicked, a well-crafted explainer video should immediately deliver some insight to the viewer. The style will vary depending on the audience it’s aimed at, but it needs to keep their attention. Slow-paced or drab animation is a no-no. Keep things popping and moving forward at a good speed.

This style of delivery is why engagement is so good with an explainer video. The viewer wants to know more about your product or service and you’re delivering exactly that. And in a video format to boot.

How to create a positive engagement cycle

Once your explainer video is ready to view you’re going to need to encourage engagement. In short. you’re going to have to put it out there and shout about it.

It’s worth noting here that an explainer video will likely be part of your ‘hub’ video content. That’s the evergreen video content that you release on a regular basis, which your potential and actual customers look for when dealing with your brand. This means you may achieve some engagement just by placing it on your own channels. The channels you already own, like your website and social media, are good places to start the process of engagement. They are easy to manage and, if managed correctly, will boost search visibility and drive organic traffic to your video.

However, we also need to look at a wider video activation strategy to really get some good engagement numbers for your explainer. That means considering other avenues of paid, earned, and influenced activation.

Remember that a share is a type of engagement (as well as a potential KPI of its own) and every share is a potential new engaged viewer.

In short, get eyeballs on your explainer if you want to drive engagement. It sounds obvious, but people do forget this step.

Better engagement also drives the algorithms of YouTube and others. Like (and dislikes), subscriptions, polls, and comments form the backbone of this. Getting under the skin of the algorithm will generate more views, offering more engagement, which will drive more views. This cycle is something that every Youtuber craves.

So, a video is already an engaging content type, and the explainer is an even more engaging variation of this. If the message is on target, the production done well, and the activation well planned, engagement will follow.


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Hurricane Media can create your next explainer video and plan its success. Talk to us about your ideas and let’s see if we can help.

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