Video is an effective tool for communicating a wide range of messages. Your site visitors are far more likely to watch a video than to read through paragraphs of text to find the answers they need.

Explainer videos, including those devoted to “how to,” demos and FAQ topics, are among the most popular and the most successful. The company Dropbox was able to increase their conversions by 10% simply by adding an explainer video. This translated into 10 million additional users for the file hosting service.

For public sector websites, explainer videos can be used to take someone through the steps of what to do if they receive a jury summons, explain the student registration process at a school, or demonstrate how to read a water meter.

What are the essential elements of these videos? We think these are the most important:

1. Brevity

Videos don’t have to be long to make a point. In fact, in most cases the shorter the video, the more likely a viewer will be to watch it all. Here’s one we did for a client that got their message across in about a minute.



2. Animation

As in the example above, 2D animation combines the multimedia power of video with the simplicity and fun of animation. Plus, it eliminates the need to hire actors (or recruit employees that think they know how to act), and hire a team to handle cameras, lighting, sound, locations, etc.

3. Quality

A low-quality product video can interfere with your message. While there are ways to minimize costs, cutting corners that affect quality is typically worse than no video at all. If you’re using animation make the designs clear. Record your voiceover so it is clear and free from background noise. If you are using music modulate the volume so it doesn’t obscure the narration.

4. Show – And Tell

When using video the old maxim used to be “show – don’t tell.” That means use the visual capabilities a video affords to illustrate your point, instead of making the script do all the work. However,  research has shown that many people watch videos with the sound muted, so it’s also important to make sure your point will be conveyed if that happens. Check out this video on our site – it uses color and motion to be visually appealing, yet the benefits described also appear on screen, so the message gets sent even without sound. With an animated or live-action video that does not contain on-screen messages, subtitles can serve the same purpose.

The question is not whether explainer videos work for many organizational objectives, but rather how to implement them and how organizations can make them affordable.

Need some help? Find out more about our video services, and when you’re ready contact us to discuss your project.

Ron Zayas

CEO & Chief Strategist

Ron brings decades of expertise in marketing, advertising and e-commerce strategies to 360Civic. There is not one aspect of any client project that is not enhanced through his experience, insight, and... Read more

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