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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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image of Steven Cotroneo

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