How the BBC are putting Explainer videos to good use

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How the BBC are putting Explainer videos to good use

The term ‘explainer video’ is self-explanatory and not particularly exciting. That is until you become aware that an explainer video transformed the prospects of Dropbox; they went from being unknowns to acquiring all of the funding they needed, 50 million customers, and a four billion dollar valuation.

In this article I am going to share with you some more great reasons for using explainer videos. In particular, I am going to use the BBC as a case study for current best practice.

What is an explainer video?

An explainer video is often an opportunity for a business to introduce themselves to their customers, explain their mission and tell them how they will solve the customers’ problems.

Explainer videos can also be used to explain ideas, concepts, products, services or why the sea looks blue.

Explainer videos are NOT long-winded, in-depth or boring. They are meant to be concise, direct and engaging. By concise, we mean approximately 90 seconds. Anything more than that and you will lose your audience to Facebook and a whole host of other available options for those with short attention spans.

To give you a sense of what we think makes a great explainer video, here is an example from Epipheo:

Here is an example of an explainer video we made for our client, Billroute:

As you can see, this short video makes it clear, quickly, what Billroute have to offer and how they are solving a common problem for businesses.

How the BBC are using explainer videos

In the following video, the BBC clearly explain their approach to creating explainer videos. Their approach is consistent with the approach that we take at MWP when working with clients to create videos that explain business propositions to popular audiences.

BBC Explainers from After the Flood on Vimeo.

BBC Explainers from After the Flood on Vimeo.

After the Flood made this video for the BBC. The purpose of the short explainers that they make for the BBC is to inform the public about “big and often complex subjects…in an interesting and accessible way.”

Their approach combines the following key factors

  • Integrated approach between script writer, animator and director from the beginning
  • Emphasis on one story ‘hook’ that is fundamental, understandable and repeatable
  • A respect for the subject and the audience, which means being selective and clear, BUT not too simplistic

The thing to take note of here is that the BBC, who produce programme length TV content, have seen the value of explainer videos to communicate specific messages and ideas to audiences. They are a way to offer bite size chunks of accessible information.

What are the real benefits of explainer videos for businesses?

One of the most exciting things about explainer videos is that they can produce very tangible results. When you share a good explainer video, and understand what you are being told, it is easy to appreciate the value of a video that creates such a quick understanding of a new topic to an audience. Here are our top 5 benefits of explainer videos:

1 Pitch perfect

With an explainer video you can guarantee that each new visitor to your website is getting the best possible pitch about your business. Not only can this be available on your website, you can also use it as a tool at conferences and meetings. Your colleagues can use it at conferences and meetings that they attend too – giving your communications some consistency wherever they go.

2 Video SEO

With video on your website you are more likely to appear on the first pages of Google search engine results. Video thumbnails (or at least good ones!) are 41% more likely to get a click from a list of results than their text counterparts.

3 Increase conversion rate

There are many reports around from businesses who say that using an explainer video increased their conversion rate. Crazy Egg added one to their homepage and increased their conversion rate by 64%.

4 Shareable content

Video is the most engaging content type available online, and more than 70% of Internet users are watching. It is easy to share – once you have a video you can upload it to YouTube, Vimeo, Wistia and so on and have it available to millions of viewers. You can use tools like OneLoad to have it uploaded automatically to all of the platforms you are active on. Of course, you can share the link via social media, and those who like it can share it further with the click of a button. Finally, video can be embedded into emails, reaching all of those people you have on your mailing list.

5 Return on investment

The usefulness of explainer videos means they have the potential to generate revenue, therefore paying for itself. If you introduce an explainer video to your website, be sure to monitor and evaluate the impact that it has on how users engage with your website, and how that impacts your conversion rate. That way you will fully appreciate the ROI. Google Analytics and YouTube Analytics are free tools that will allow you to monitor engagement with your video. You can also use platforms like Wistia for more colourful and in-depth analytics.

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