Looking for a new way to talk about your products. Explainify's Eric Hinson shares his tips for using storytelling, in the form of explainer videos, to sell more products.
Call them explainers. Call them marketing videos. Call them landing page videos. Whatever you call them, they’re the perfect way to blend online video with music while discussing the importance of your product. For the uninitiated, explainer videos are short - typically 60-90 second - animated or live-action videos that simply and clearly explain a company’s products or services. And they work: Explainer videos have been shown to aid search engine results, boost conversion rates - even increase sales. And here’s why:
They tell a story. In an incredibly short amount of time, using an incredibly simple problem-solution story format, these videos lead viewers through the agony of conflict (the problem) into the satisfaction of a solution (your business), using music and eye-catching visuals to reinforce the message in a way that sticks.
So here are the 5 reasons your explainer videos need to tell a good story:
1) Storytelling engages potential customers emotionallyIf you want to bond with your customers, they’re going to need to feel a connection with your brand and with your message. If you want people to take notice of what you’re doing, you must tap into the power of story. Fast Company has recently published two articles on the importance and science of telling your company’s story. A good storyteller will find common ground with his audience so he can deliver a more relatable message. We’ve seen some of our customers have great success when using explainer videos as the focal point of their social media marketing campaigns. Placing your company’s explainer in a familiar medium like Facebook will make your brand comfortable and relatable to a potential customer.
2) A story is a more exciting alternative to a list of figuresImagine that you are five years old. As darkness falls outside your window, you sit on your bed, knees tucked under your chin as you wait with nervous excitement for . . . STORY TIME! Your mom walks into the room, book clutched under her arm. Taking her seat on the edge of your bed, you see that the book she’s holding has a tractor on its cover. “Holy crap, tractors freakin’ rule!” you think to yourself.
Mom starts to read aloud. “Manufacturer: Ford. Price: $13,070 (US). Engine: 4.2L 4-cylinder diesel. Capacity: 18 gallons,” she reads in her soft, soothing bedtime voice. OH NO! Something is terribly wrong! You didn’t come here for facts and numbers and lists. You came to hear a story. This isn’t a story. This is… boring.
As children, we were thrilled to hear stories. And honestly, not much has changed. Even now, as adults, the power of story is etched into our DNA. The bare facts and figures don’t move us – but stories do. Hearing about characters who overcome conflict to achieve something great touches something within us in a memorable and meaningful way.
3) Your customers have high sensory expectationsWhen your customers pull up one of your new videos, they expect you to engage a variety of their senses. Since viewers won’t be able to touch or smell your product while watching your explainer, make sure you take full advantage of professional voiceovers and music in order to maximize your storytelling potential. Just like with video, music allows for greater sensory linkage between the storyteller and the viewer.
To show you the importance of music in video, imagine a Valentine’s Day-themed commercial for a chocolate brand without a lovely orchestral underscore, or a campaign ad for a presidential candidate without a patriotic tune playing in the background. In those two scenarios, the music is nearly as important as the visual!
Your viewer has watched enough television and seen enough movie previews to appreciate a high-quality recording, so you definitely don’t want to settle for grainy, muffled audio. But tone and texture of voice are just as important. You might want an epic, rumbling voice to narrate the preview for the next Spiderman film, but you probably don’t want the same voice to promote the next sale at Babies ”R” Us. Or vice versa. The point is, the right music, sound effects, and narration will weave together a beautiful, aural background that gives depth to great visuals.
4) A story sticks with youIt’s not just that stories are emotionally powerful – they’re also easier to remember than facts and statistics. Because stories are meaningful, we are able to draw connections between stories and the information contained within them, making it easier for us to recall that information later. Don’t believe me? Do you remember what size engine that tractor had? Didn’t think so! If boosting your company’s conversion rate is a goal you’re shooting far, then give your customers a reason to want to stick around through the entire sales cycle. Let your explainer pulsate with emotional energy. These emotions will remain with your customers even after they’re done watching your videos.
5) Storytelling is a critical business skillSo, having said all of this, it should be no surprise that HubSpot has proclaimed storytelling to be the most important business skill to learn in the next five years. Why? Well, for one reason, a business needs to be able to control the conversation about itself. Why let some outside force control your company’s image? With adept storytelling, your company gets to craft its own public persona.
Storytelling and online video are not just buzzwords. They’re valuable skills and strategies that you need to learn in order to connect with customers in the modern marketplace. So do your customers a favor, and tell them a story that will make them want to stay up past bedtime; a boring list of figures might be just what it takes to put them to sleep.