The Brain Science of Videos: How Explainer Videos Increase Conversions and Why You Need One

July 16, 2012

5:00 pm

With hot explainer videos from companies like Vooza and Google circulating the Internet, all eyes are on the power of online video. Startups want to know how explainer videos can help them acquire new customers and build reputation. It seems as though everyone is covering the benefits of explainer videos, but missing the big picture: brain science. Brain science is what gives explainer videos their punch. You see, psychology has a lot to do with why video is now seen as such an effective marketing tool.

1. Increase Conversions

Today, it is more evident that video increases conversions. Just ask the team at Rypple, who increased conversions by 20 percent by adding an explainer video to their homepage. Or track down someone from Dropbox and ask about their explainer video, which increased conversions by over 10 percent. Not convinced? Maybe Inbenta’s 20 percent increase in conversions will change your mind. The real question is not if, but why explainer videos increase conversions.

Simplify Your Message. Startups move a mile a minute. There are emails to be answered, products to be launched, marketing strategies to be implemented, partnerships to be made, interviews to be given – the list is literally endless. The result is a complicated mess.

An explainer video takes that mess and simplifies it into a succinct message, making it easy for the audience to understand what exactly it is that you do. Since most explainer videos are about a minute long, your message is reduced to 140-160 words, which doesn’t leave room for anything that’s not extremely important to the visitor.

There’s no reading through pages and pages of text to find the important information, like key benefits. Instead, the video delivers the information in 60 seconds flat. After reading some “About Us” pages, visitors are still left wondering what’s in it for them. Video breaks down the benefits so there are no questions to be asked.

Make Your Message Pop. 169.3 million people will watch online video this year. Incredible, right? There’s no denying that people love video. Videos tell a story, so it’s easy to see yourself in the characters. There’s a famous quote by Seth Godin that explains it nicely:

“Apple tried to use evidence to persuade IT execs and big companies to adopt the Mac during the 80s. They tried ads and studies that proved the Mac was easier and cheaper to support. They failed. It was only the gentle persistence of storytelling and the elevation of evangelists that turned the tide.”

A great story evokes empathy, humor, happiness, inspiration – whatever. When you get people emotionally involved in your brand and product, you get advocates and evangelists. A great explainer video has that hook startups need.

As if increased conversions weren’t enough of a reason to make explainer videos, here are 3 others.

2. Reach More People

Not only are television ads more expensive than creating an online video, but they generally reach a smaller audience as well. That is why the most innovative brands are distributing ads via online video channels. For example, VW and Perrier. But why does video reach such a large audience? Thank the psychology of sharing. If your explainer video creates entertainment, inspiration, or wonder, it’ll be shared via social media. People online are hardwired to share great content.

3. Be Remembered

The average audience remembers 68 percent more from watching a video than from reading plain text. This ties back to the fact that approximately 65 percent of the population learns visually. So when auditory and visual senses are stimulated at the same time, people are more engaged. They’re more likely to retain your brand and product information, which means you’ll be in the back of their minds for months.

4. Reduce Unsatisfied Customers

By simplifying your message and conveying it in an engaging way, you’re eliminating barriers to purchase. In an online survey, 55 percent reported buying a product offline instead because they wanted to see it first. Another 16 percent reported needing to speak with a salesperson about the product before purchasing.

Whether you’re trying to encourage user registrations or sell a product or service, a lack of product information and clarity is a huge barrier. Explainer videos describe brands and products better than plain text, giving potential customers a closer look at both. With more informed purchases come reduced returns and account deletions.

As David Eun of AOL Studios once said, “Video is the future of content on the web.” If you’re not looking into having an explainer video professionally produced or creating your own, you’re going to miss out on conversions. If brain science is any indication, now is the time to hop on the video bandwagon.

Guest author Andrew Angus is the founder and CEO of Switch Video, a North American company that produces simple explanatory videos that help clients clearly explain what they do and engage with their prospects. Angus, a well respected leader in the explainer video industry, spearheads the movement to integrate brain science and web metrics into the production of animated explainer videos and has recently launched the course How to Tell Your Company’s Story & The Brain Science to Make It Stick.

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