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Seven Tips for Creating Effective Explainer Videos

by Steven Cotroneo  |  
December 13, 2016

The popularity of explainer videos has skyrocketed over the past few years. And no wonder: they are proven to rank better in search engines, they increase your website traffic, and they help your audience retain information 30% more than static text does.

Having created dozens of explainer videos over the past 8+ years, I have gained a lot of insight into avoiding pitfalls and developing effective videos. If you are considering investing in a marketing video in 2017, read these useful tips for creating a video that can help you drive more sales.

1. Keep It Short

Think of your explainer videos as your company's elevator pitch. That concept comes from the studio heydays of Hollywood, when a screenwriter would catch an executive on an elevator ride. The screenwriter would then "pitch" an idea to the decision-maker in 30-60 seconds. And that length is the sweet spot for capturing your audience's attention, we've found. In fact, the shorter the video, the more likely your audience will continue watching it. Moreover, if you don't capture viewers' attention within the first 10 seconds, you'll immediately lose 20% of your audience.

Tip: When writing a video script, keep in mind that 150 words equals roughly a minute of voiceover (VO).

2. The Script

Without a well-written script, you won't have a solid foundation for your video.

In my experience, it's almost always better to hire a scriptwriter. Some companies like to try to write their own scripts, but if you're not familiar with the process you can wind up wasting time and effort. Using a writer allows you to be direct and to the point, and to stay on track.

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Steven Cotroneo is president and creative director of SAC Designs, a Boston-based motion, Web, and print design agency specializing in explainer videos and website design and development.

LinkedIn: Steven Cotroneo

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  • by Ford Kanzler Tue Dec 13, 2016 via web

    Your points are right on.
    Love seeing some positive and negative examples.

  • by Becky H Scheinert Tue Dec 13, 2016 via web

    Great tips! And if your company is looking for a voice brand for the whole company as well as the how to/tip videos, you might want to check out GM Voices who have a wealth of voice talent and great systems to get the recordings you need quickly.

  • by kelley Tue Dec 13, 2016 via web

    Can you post a couple of links that feature Best in Class Explainer Videos? I think examples would help. thanks!

  • by Edwin Tue Dec 13, 2016 via web

    I think it would be great to see some examples of the script, storyboard, and completed videos. Great work though, this is something we'll be working on next year.

  • by Steven cotroneo Sat Dec 31, 2016 via mobile

    Thanks Ford, love hearing the feedback.

  • by Steven cotroneo Sat Dec 31, 2016 via mobile

    Becky, I will be sure to check out GM voices, glad you liked the post.

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