What are explainer videos and why do they work?

by | Oct 20, 2021 | Content Strategy, Digital Strategy

At the Informed Engagement Network (IEN), we produce content in a variety of media for a wide range of platforms. All of it — in fact, everything we do — is built on a foundation of journalistic integrity and starts with rigorous research that includes audience intelligence, social listening and in-depth interviews.

The data and insights lead to development of fact-based, targeted messaging that engages and persuades audiences to action. Finally, we marry the message to the medium. It’s a creative process whereby we innovate, craft and produce stories that adhere to a defined purpose and budget, and deliver on the client’s desired goals.


A Case in Point

The pandemic changed how we live, work, connect, learn and entertain ourselves. IEN set out to understand how recent communications technologies, such as broadband, can make a significant difference in the quality of life today and tomorrow.

Our audience research established that consumers see broadband (and everything it makes possible) as more important than ever. However, they don’t fully understand how it works, nor do they have information available to help them make an informed decision about what to buy. The challenge for IEN was to explain complex technology and services to consumers confused by too much or too little information.

We wanted a production style that would enable us to transform a ton of details into watchable life experiences that demonstrate simple, actionable solutions that empower the consumer. The explainer video checked all the boxes. Using animation allowed our writers the freedom to leverage powerful tools: conceptual visual metaphors, storyline, demonstrations, technology. Each became a teaching tool in this engaging format.

We also threw science behind our decision.  There is an accepted principle of effective storytelling in the concept of dual coding, as defined by Andrew Angus, founder of Switch Video and author of “60 Seconds: How to Tell Your Company’s Story & the Brain Science that Makes It Stick.” Audio cues help viewers remember 10% of information — but audio plus vivid video help viewers retain up to 68% of the information presented. The combination activates the brain and forms an emotional connection.  To that point, we created our animated stories with a mix of spoken information and bold visuals to enhance the learning experience.

And there’s more science. Explainers get results:

  • Marketers see 66% more qualified leads with the help of the explainer video.
  • Landing pages with explainer videos convert up to 86% more
  • Average conversion rate on a website with a video is 4.8% compared to 2.9% for a site without.
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In summary, we took audience insights and engineered a solution for our client. We created a series of engaging explainers that deliver information in an artful, thumb-stopping, share-worthy package — at a time when audiences are drawn to short, lively content. Fun to watch, fact filled. Thus, viewers are better prepared to navigate the world of broadband entertainment and work-from-home technologies — and to make smart choices.

Here are a few examples of explainer videos (and you just might learn something!):

Anne Cowan is a communications strategist for the Informed Engagement Network. Illustration designed by pch.vector for Freepik.

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