Whether your business relies on traditional brick-and-mortar customers or exists only in the digital realm, you might be surprised to learn that, either way, most people begin their customer experience with brands online.
That’s right–no brand is immune to consumer demands for digital engagement. In fact, studies estimate that anywhere from 63 to 81 percent of all buying journeys begin online, and since 91 percent of modern audiences use visual content as their primary method of researching a product or service, your visual content has the power to be your greatest salesperson–or your worst nightmare.
For brands looking to thrive in today’s visually driven world, creating high-quality visual content is imperative. Of course, delivering well-designed content is just half the battle; to truly engage customers, brands must ensure they are presenting the right visual content at the right time.
Different visual content inspires distinct actions from your audience. Give a potential buyer too little information at a critical touch point and you might lose them for good. Give them too much information and they might seek out easier answers from your competition.
While every business should consider their unique customer needs and buying journeys, there is one type of visual content that, when executed right, is sure to deliver a great customer experience every time–the explainer video.
Let’s face it, when presented with the option of reading a lengthy sales pitch about a product or service or watching a video about it, most people will opt for the video. A 2021 survey from LemonLight suggests that as much as 94 percent of audiences rely on video to make a purchase decision–and why not?
In an age where we are inundated with information from all angles, it makes sense that video–a medium that, when done correctly, makes information extremely easy to digest–would be so appealing.
Explainer Videos Defined
Explainer videos provide audiences with a quick snapshot of your brand, product, or service. They often start by introducing the problem you are solving, followed by a high-level pitch showing how you are addressing it before closing with a call to action to the viewer.
Challenges of Explainer Videos
While it sounds simple enough, creating a great explainer video can be a daunting task for a variety of reasons. Consider the following challenges, including the fact that most audiences won’t even press play on an explainer video over 90 seconds in length. This means you have to provide a compelling narrative and thorough sales pitch in a very short amount of time.
And between smartphones and apps, today’s audiences have all the tools necessary to create great videos on their own. Brands vying for their attention must deliver something better than what the average viewer can produce themselves.
Great explainer videos combine a compelling narrative with bespoke visuals, high-quality production value, and engaging animations. This level of quality takes time and money, which isn’t always the easiest to budget for.
Despite these challenges, thoughtfully designed and executed explainer videos pay off in spades.
Getting Explainer Videos Right
When used as the very first touchpoint in the buying journey, a good explainer video will increase your conversion rates by an average of 80 percent. According to Animoto, explainer videos have also been proven to increase trust in a brand, encourage audiences to purchase more than originally intended, and impart audiences with a positive impression of the brand.
Shorter form videos (30 seconds or less) used on social media usually drive high engagement and are a great way to keep your brand top of mind for customers. In fact, that same Animoto study found that consumers considered video their “number one favorite type of content” from brands on social media. And when brands use explainer videos on social regularly, it has been known to speed up the purchase process.
Of course, video isn’t just great for attracting and educating potential customers, it can also be used to delight existing consumers and further enhance the customer experience. For example, 93 percent of customers prefer video content when seeking post-purchase instructions. It makes sense when you think about it–would you rather deal with a lengthy booklet of directions for a purchased product, or watch a video that simplifies the “how-to” process? One experience might leave you frustrated and unhappy with the brand while the other rewards consumers with considerate and efficient communication.
When used right, video helps to create a frictionless experience in the buying journey. As a tool proven to make a major impact on customer experience, the explainer video can create a great first impression as potential customers get to know your brand, and can keep your consumers coming back for more with a seamless customer experience.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.