Video focus #7: What makes a good explainer video?

What makes a good explainer video?

From launch trailers to the presentation of an aspirational vision, videos have a unique ability to stimulate interest, accelerate understanding and influence decision makers – three key goals for any tech marketer.

Establishing the format for a video is the first step that makes the rest of the process easier to manage by setting expectations about purpose, content and budget. Broadly speaking, there are seven formats which can accommodate most tech marketing objectives. Here’s how the explainer video should work:

The explainer video is one of the more commonly used formats for tech marketing. It’s usually aimed at an audience that has influence or a decision-making role in a business or technical capacity. While not as detailed as a demo video, it can alternate between ‘lite’ explanation of a technology solution (for example) and the translation of features into business benefits and advantages.

THE EXPLAINER VIDEO IN THREE ACTS

With a typical running time of 1.5 to 3.5 minutes, an explainer video works best with a script that has a clear ‘arc’. Just as mainstream movies have a tried and tested formula, the explainer video can move through three ‘acts’.

The first act is the establishment of a ‘current state’. This could be a quick summary of current technology options and their limitations or challenges.

The second act is longer than the first and third and introduces an alternative solution that challenges the norm. The solution is explained in a reasonable amount of detail and usually compared to alternatives.

The third act presents a resolution; explaining how the audience can move from their existing technology with a reiteration of the benefits and advantages to be gained.

Finally, a clear call-to-action is offered. This can take the form of a consultative workshop, a white paper, a market briefing or possibly a customised app that can assist decision making.

Explaining technology can be a challenge when you’re using the highly visual medium of video to articulate intangible solutions. That’s why animated infographics, on-screen text, interviews and moving footage (to show context) offer a video toolkit that can educate an audience while identifying with their world and their needs.

The Rubicon Agency is an experienced advocate of video for technology marketing. We’ve categorised examples of our work into the seven most common formats, covering a range of subjects. What they share in common is the advantage of our tech sector expertise and market insight combined with our creative but pragmatic approach to production. Each of these videos has created measurable impact and return on marketing investment for our clients.

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