Stop Creating Explainer Videos, You’re Doing It All Wrong!

Have you ever wanted to make an explainer video? You know, one of those animated videos that explains what your product or service does and why people ought to buy it? You see them everywhere… and companies are using them to explain what their product or service is in hopes that it will boost their conversion rate.

We use the video above on the Crazy Egg homepage, and it works so well that the video drives an extra $21,000 a month in new income.

So, why not to create one of these explainer videos for you site? If it works for Crazy Egg, Dropbox, and even hosting companies, it must work for you, right?

The reality is most explainer videos won’t boost your conversion rate or make you more money.  It isn’t because the idea sucks, but it’s because you are likely to take the wrong approach to making the video.

Here’s how you can create an explainer video that’ll convert:

Step #1: It’s all about the script, not the video

The most important part of a video is the script and not the actual video quality. Whether you have a high quality video or a mediocre one, if the script isn’t good, it won’t convert well.

Important: you don’t want the company who is creating the video to write the script. The video company doesn’t know your business like you do. They don’t know what pain points your customers are experiencing. They don’t know how to write to boost conversions.

The goal of the video is to answer all of your potential customers’ questions and concerns. If you can do that in a short video, you’ll see an increase in your conversions. If you can’t, you won’t see your sales increase.

Step #2: Here’s what you need before you can write a script

Before you start writing your script, you need to survey your readers. You can use services like Qualaroo to ask your potential customers questions such as:

  • What else would you like to see on this page?
  • What’s the number 1 reason that is stopping you from buying?
  • What’s your biggest concern about this product or service?
  • Is there anything that is confusing on this page?
  • What can we help you solve?

By getting the answers to the above questions as well as other questions you may have, you’ll get a better understanding of what’s stopping people from purchasing. It could be that they don’t understand what you do or how easy your product is to use. Knowing what all their concerns are will help you create a better script.

Step #3: How to write a script

Now that you have all of your potential customers’ objections, you can start writing your script. When you are writing it, you need to answer all of those objections, or at least the important ones. You don’t want to create a script that is longer than 2-3 minutes. If it becomes too long, you’ll start to lose people.

To explain how to write a script, I’m going to show you the order we used to create the Crazy Egg script.

  1. Introduction slide should state what your company does – the explanation of what your company does should be short and sweet. For Crazy Egg it was “The heatmap tool shows you why your visitors aren’t converting”.
  2. Explain the problem – you have to carefully articulate the problem your potential customers are experiencing. For Crazy Egg, we explained that it is hard to understand why visitors are leaving your website. We then went on to show that Google Analytics doesn’t do this because in our survey, a lot of potential customers thought Google Analytics does the same thing as Crazy Egg.
  3. Create a transition – use common phrasing that your potential customers gave you during the survey to talk about specific problems they are experiencing. Then go into why you created your product or service.
  4. Show off your features – videos are visual for a reason. Show off your product or service. When showing it off, make sure you explain how specific features solve specific problems your potential customers are experiencing. With Crazy Egg we showed that features like the heatmap gives you a visual representation of where people are clicking. We did it because our potential customers were looking for a solution like that.
  5. Tell people to sign up or buy – after you explain what your product or service does, you have to tell people to sign up or buy it. During this process, you need to answer any customer objections or concerns they have about signing up or buying. For example, with Crazy Egg, people thought it was a bit pricy. Plus, they didn’t know how easy it was to use. In the video, we told people that we offer a free trial and that they can get set up in less than 30 seconds.
  6. Answer any last objections – this is where you answer any last concerns a potential customer may have. For us, people wondered if Crazy Egg would slow down their site, if they could track secure pages or if it worked with flash sites. We answered all of the questions here. If you are not sure what questions to answer, ask your support team what your frequently asked questions are.
  7. Use proof elements to seal the deal – after you answer any last objections, make sure you tell people to sign up or buy from you, while visually showing proof elements. With Crazy Egg, we told people to sign up for our free trial, and we showed logos of the companies who use us to help build trust.

Your script won’t be perfect at first, and it will take a few revisions before you get it just right. When you are writing it, keep in mind that 120-150 words roughly translate into a minute of video. Ideally, you want to keep your video to less than 2 minutes.

Step #4: Find someone to create your voice-over

A voice-over (an audio narration of your video) for a 2-minute script shouldn’t cost you more than a few hundred dollars. When I need voice overs I hire voice over professionals such as Mike O’Brian. His rate is only a few hundred bucks.

You can use him or anyone else you like. Or if you really want to save money, you can find someone on Craig’s List to do it for free or under $50.

Step #5: Find someone to create your video

Again, you can go through a professional video company to get your explainer video created, or you can go through freelancers. Big companies typically charge $5,000 to $25,000 for a video, and they can take up to a few months to complete it.

A freelancer can typically do it within a few weeks and will charge anywhere from $500 to $2,000. I’ve found that Sean Duran is an affordable freelancer and can typically get a video done in a few weeks.

For my explainer videos, I hire companies that specialize in it such as Animation Explainer Videos.

Step #6: A/B test your video

The reason I explained how you can get your video created cheaply and efficiently is because you’ll have to A/B test it to maximize your conversions. This means that you’ll continually have to spend money to tweak your video (both the audio and video files), and the last thing you want to do is go through a big company as they can easily charge you a few grand to $20,000 to continually modify it.

When you are doing A/B tests, make sure you are also tracking your video plays. Through software solutions like Wistia, you can see video engagement stats, which will help you figure out how you need to modify your video to maximize conversions.

Plus, as your product changes, you’ll need to get your video modified, and, of course, you’ll have to A/B test it again.

Conclusion

If you want to create an explainer video, you have to take the time and do all of the steps I mentioned above. If you don’t have the time, don’t waste your money creating videos then. Or if you are willing to spend a bit more to get things done, hire someone like Conversion Rate Experts, which is what we did with Crazy Egg. They didn’t create the video, but they did get to know our product, surveyed our visitors and then created our script.

When I first started creating explainer videos, I took the easy route by hiring a big company to create our video and script… I wasted tens of thousands of dollars on videos that didn’t convert well.

Remember, the most important part of an explainer video isn’t the video… it’s the script.