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Do you really need an explainer video? … Think again.


Siddhu - September 4, 2015 - Leave your thoughts.

I’m not going to insult your intelligence by explaining what explainer videos are. You know what they are, that’s why you are here. But I would like to divert you to another thought regarding explainer videos. I understand that you WANT explainer videos, but do you really NEED explainer videos.
It is a forgone conclusion that explainer videos have become the face of any marketing campaign. Not just startups or big corporate companies go for these videos, anyone who wants to launch a product, introduce an idea also use explainer videos. But how many of you actually NEED explainer videos? That is a whole different story altogether.
I’ll keep this simple. There are 3 things you must answer if you want to know whether you NEED explainer videos. 1. Why an explainer video? If yes, then 2. When to go for an explainer video? 3. Where to put your explainer video?
The answer to the first question is rather simple. What does an explainer video do? It explains. Well-known corporate giants have used explainer videos to their advantage. In fact, companies like Y Combinator and AngelList that provide seed funding to startups advises them to use explainer videos. I’m going to make it simpler for you. Here is the explainer video of the startup giants Groupon.

Groupon Explainer Video

The next two questions are, however, tricky. So let’s try to answer them through a mini-quiz. What you see below are 4 questions, and each answer carries 2 points. Let us start now.
  1. Can you explain your whole product/project in one sentence or in one or two words? YES or NO
  2. Can you explain the purpose of your explainer video? YES or NO
  3. Can you explain the purpose of your explainer video? YES or NO
  4. Can you talk about the goal of your video? YES or NO
Now comes the exciting part - score yourself. If you have 8/8, CONGRATS! Go ahead and make your explainer video, and I'm sure it’ll rock! If you have 2 or 4 points, then don’t worry. Nothing is lost yet. In fact you’re just getting started. Let us now analyze one question at a time in the context of our previously mentioned 3 wh questions.
Question number 1. This has to do with your core message. Every startup like yours should have a core message that you need to adopt. You core message defines your product/project. It is that simple.

Notes :

Neil Patel, the marketing guru in his canonical book, The advanced guide to content marketing, defines the core message as the primary benefit you offer your customers. It might include your story or the one piece of advice you want to share with your customers. This message is the bottom-line reason why you're in business and should be the guiding principle for all content.
For example, the core message of Animaker is “Helping one to create animation videos of studio level quality by oneself”.
So… That’s right. Get your core message in place. Once you’re done with this, then everything will fall into place. But remember this, your core message can never be complete just like how fashion is never complete. But you can decide upon 90% of your core message before jumping into explainer videos.

Notes :

As far as assorting explainer videos in your marketing strategies go, it can be created in two ways. One way is to contact a studio and leave the rest for them to work it out. The second one is to sweat it out by creating a video all by yourself with little or no support from others- we call this DIY (Do It Yourself) explainer videos.If you're wondering how to make explainer videos, then please visit this blog post on our animaker website
It’s almost clear now why explainer videos proved to be a successful strategy for Groupon. They were prime candidates to make an explainer video. Their idea demanded an explainer video. That teaches us an important lesson : The idea should dictate the approach and not the other way round.

When to use explainer videos

That totally depends on the purpose of your video. let us get back to the second question of our quiz- Can you explain the purpose of your explainer video? There are multiple answers to this question viz. marketing, cultivating, tutorial etc. And there are different stages to your project, you can make tutorials only after the completion of the project, whereas you can market at any stage.
Just take a look at this video.
The title of the video is “Everything you need to know about Pinterest". The purpose of the video is fairly straightforward - marketing. The video, however, was released two years after the product launch. Since it is marketing, the release time of the video did not affect the product negatively. Whereas had it been a tutorial, it should have released right after a product or a feature launch.

Where to use explainer videos

Analyze the audience demographics. Your target audience determines where you can out your explainer video. It could be on your website, youtube channel, or you could unveil it during a live event, or while pitching in sales. It is, therefore, necessary to understand your audience as you can suggest a call to action from them.


Now that we have reached the end of a rather short post on why one needs an explainer video, let us once again assist you. What you see is a checklist that will help you determine where you really need an explainer video.
  1. Do you know your core message?
  2. Does your core message demand an explainer video?
  3. Do you know the purpose of your video?
  4. Do you know where to put your video?
  5. Do you know when to use your video?
If you can answer all those questions, then yes, your need for an explainer video is justified. And don’t waste any time, go ahead and make a kick-ass explainer video.


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