Spare a thought for the modern marketer. His job has never been more difficult. He’s never had to master so many tools, and the people he’s marketing to have never been busier, their attention spans shorter than ever before. Technology promised us a simpler, easier life with more time left for the things we love.
But the truth is, we’ve never had so little time to do so much.
In this environment, marketing becomes a minefield. The luxury of enjoying your customer’s undivided attention is long gone. Everything you do needs to get straight to the point and answer a fundamental question: What is this product or service, and why should I care?
Marketers are taught the classic AIDA principle of Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. This describes the process most people go through when they buy a new product or service. Marketers want to attract the attention of a potential customer; get them interested by showing why the product or service is great; create desire by showing how this product or service satisfies a need; and encourage action, make them do something, like buy or subscribe or register.
In the past we’ve relied heavily on text to take people through this journey. A delegate at a conference may, for example, hear something of interest and decide to find out more. He’d typically read through a website, a brochure, a white paper. But these days, we’re all pressed for time and ploughing through reams of text – whether on a brochure or on a website – simply seems like too much hard work.
This is why animated explainer videos are a no-brainer. In a simple 90-second video you can tell a warm, human story that people instantly understand. There’s no huge investment needed from the customer’s side – just the minute-and-a-half it takes them to watch the video. And at the end, your customers know a lot more about your product than any other marketing tool could do in the same amount of time.
An animated explainer video also supports a marketer’s other activities across the attention, interest and desire phases of the buying process. Whether you stick it on your website or serve it as a pre-roll YouTube ad, video grabs the attention. And by showing what the product or service means to people’s lives (i.e. creating interest and desire), you speed up the time it takes to get to that precious action phase, where the sale is made. No other marketing tool can make your customers understand your product or service as quickly and as memorably as an animated explainer video.
Of course, just having an animated explainer video isn’t enough. You need to position it prominently (front and centre on your homepage is a good place to start!) Slap a big “play” button on it and leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that A) it’s a video, and B) they have to watch it. Try to make every page, every word, support what you say in the video. Customers will happily click a button or send an email at the end of the video if your website is built around it.
In short, an animated explainer video isn’t a supporting actor to your marketing campaign. It’s the leading lady, the star of the show, the centre of attention. So let the brochure retire to sunnier climes, tone down that monster of a website, and see what a video can do for you.
Elodie Burls is managing director of Blink Tower.
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