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7 Reasons Why Some Explainer Videos Fail

Written by Miguel Capelas on 15, January 2018

1. They're not simple
Explainer Videos Simplification

A good explainer video is the one that arises from a proper simplification of concepts.
Obviously, everyone would love to be able to tell everything and an inch more about its company, how it started, how it evolved, what the future projects are, the good results that were reached, the renovation of products, the positive feedback or the team’s excellence. But the spectator’s reaction would be a really predictable one, right? After a while he would give up on this “odyssey” which, to be fair, would only be interesting for the company’s CEO.
Thus, it’s important to carry out this exercise in which you objectively set the business’s strong points, presenting them in a clear and succinct manner, sometimes saying more in less time.
Also, a crucial factor is our main message’s placement, which should be transmitted in the first 30 seconds of the video, immediately transmitting the message to our target in a way that they’re able to keep themselves focused on the video, because it’s interesting to them.

2. Script
Explainer Videos Script

Just like with other video formats, everything revolves around the script. We can have a phenomenal illustration and animation, but if the story happens to fall short when it comes to being captivating to the spectator, the message is not carried and it results in a wasted opportunity.
A properly written script is half the battle to achieve success, because it’s the foundation that holds together all the pieces that’ll be developed subsequently. By being properly written, it’s sorted out by keeping in mind the target audience to which it is addressed, showing to the prospect that the video’s content benefits him, making him to seriously consider this option.
Thus, an animated video is not merely a joint of funny and cute characters or amusing scenarios. In order to have everything properly working, there’s a laborious creation process supporting it, which should always address the three premises: what, how and why.


3. Length
Explainer Videos Duration

The longer the video is, the fewer the number of people watching the content until its end will be.
Statistics show that only 50% of the spectators watch a 2-minute video until the end, and the numbers soar to 85% when we compare it to a 30-second video.
It’s a really reasonable number if half of the spectators happen to watch the full video, however, if we go over the 2-minute length, we can already predict what will happen.
The secret is in the script (talking about the previous point), because by writing it we’re already defining the length of our explainer.
But how? We give you a small hint: for a video narrated in English, 160 words will approximately correspond to a 1-minute video.
So we’re still left with a significant margin to create enough content that is able to explain and promote our product without making the target audience to lose its interest in it.
It’s also important to acknowledge that digital visitors have less and less time to spend in front of the screen and their usage of smartphones to access content is increasing, thus the last thing that they want is lengthy content which makes them lose precious minutes stuck in the same place.


4. No focus on the target audience
Explainer Videos Target Audience

Solving a current problem, making life easier or adding something new to a business. These are ideas that one should take into account when creating a video.
Our audience should always come in first place.
We shouldn’t impose anything, instead we should demonstrate that we really want to be helpful, that’s the only way we can get your trust in our brand there will be a positive decision in order to purchase the product.
Thus, it’s important to acknowledge that in a video in which its creators are always bragging about their pros, qualities and skills, while letting the customer’s issues fall into oblivion, it’s very likely that a huge amount of conversion opportunities will be lost. It’s pointless to say things that the audience already knows, because they expect much more than that.


5. Music quality and voice-over
Explainer Videos Music Voice-Over

In this topic, talking about the importance of the quality of the illustration and animation is almost taking sand to the beach, as this is blatantly obvious.
A video in which the illustrations lack the eye-catching factor, or look amateurish, discredit the brand and the company that they represent.
On the other hand, if the animation doesn’t match a good illustration, the problem remains.
There’s this feeling that we’re watching a static video, one that’s lifeless and lacks the dynamism needed to appeal the spectator’s attention during the view.
However, the two items mentioned in the title are constantly overshadowed and their significance for the end result’s success is a high one.
If not, let’s consider how impressive are the things that a single song can achieve, because, just like the video, it can get us to feel all kinds of emotions, having the ability to set the tone and the rhythm of our explainer.
We look for that, maybe most of the times, for the song, after the video is already in an advanced stage, which will define the tune that suits our creation. In other occasions, we have already in mind the perfect song for that video.
But nothing can be as disastrous as a weak voice-over.
Whether we’re talking about the recording’s quality or the type of voice (really high-pitched, low-pitched, ‘irritating’, with defects, …), nothing can be left to chance. There has to be an enormous sensibility when choosing the type of voice, so that it fits the produced content and its context.
However, above anything else, it has to be professional. The viewer must feel informed and captivated in a clear, objective and enthusiastic way.

6. Not telling a story

Explainer Videos Storytelling
Some explainers convert, others don’t.
Overall that’s this article’s main subject, in which we couldn’t forget the very essence of it: the story.
In other words, the explainer will be the brand’s ambassador, so, unlike simple texts or images, it has this detail of having to carry our story, speaking a global language.
And, when watching this video, the spectator is part of this story.
Even if he doesn’t actually convert himself into a lead, somehow the experience of having seen the video will make him think about our work, about our message and benefits that he could take advantage of.
It’s not that it increases the likelihood of him becoming a customer, but it’s an assumption, because it’s like as if we had a messenger of our company right next to the prospect.
It’s crucial as well to underline the most abstract ideas that only the power of a top-notch narrative can touch, such as the relationship with the customers, the brand’s identity or the corporative culture.
Nothing can replace the words, each element should fall into its right place.


7. They're not fun
Explainer Videos Mezzolab

Yes, we do love this topic. And why? Because it’s true.
In our point of view, a bit of humor is crucial in storytelling, whether this is a narrative or an animation, thus conveying the message in a funnier way.
We all know that there’s not a single person who doesn’t enjoy being entertained and have a good moment.
And if that happens to amuse us as well, it will be great!

Topics: Explainers, Video Marketing

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