7 Reasons your Startup Needs an Explainer Video

In preparing for our attendance to the 3rd annual International Startup Festival in Montreal, we were forced to really evaluate our offering and think about what value Explainer Videos provide for startups; a simple exercise of putting ourselves in your position. Which, in truth, is not difficult because, since we are a young company and familiar with the challenges of startup life.  We are familiar with always being one step away from the next milestone.  We also understand that every expenditure needs to help you achieve that next checkpoint, because spending shortens your runway.

So, after all this thinking from a startup perspective, we came up with what we consider to be the top 7 reasons your startup needs and explainer video.  Perhaps it will help you better evaluate for yourself whether a slick animated, or well produced live action explainer video will help you achieve your next goal; whether it’s getting validation, achieving those first clients, establishing repeat business, securing funding or fuelling hyper growth.

  1. Establish and Build Credibility
  2. Produce a Simplified Message
  3. Provides Context and Control Your Message
  4.  Make your Message Sticky
  5. Awareness/Organic SEO
  6. Shareability 
  7. Conversions (Sign ups, Sales, Revenue, etc.)

1 – Establish and Build Credibility

You have a great idea, product or service and you are ready to take that next step in your business.  However, since you are a startup, you are burdened with the task of establishing and building your company credibility up from zero.  You need to help people believe in what you do, why you are doing it and how it’s being done.  You also need to reassure them that you will be around tomorrow.

Explainer videos help establish and build that credibility since a video provides tangible evidence of you and your company.  It provides evidence of your commitment to the company, the product and the audience.  Also, video legitimizes you as a company.  It elevates you from being categorized as a risky ‘Startup’. Why? Because it shows that you have money to spend on marketing, which leads to assumptions of funding and/or positive revenue.

2 – Produce a Simplified Message

You have spent months, maybe even years working very closely on your product or service.  This has provided you with great knowledge of your products features and benefits.  However, it has also inflicted you with the curse of knowledge.  You are so close to your product that you can’t objectively look at why your audience or target market will be interested.  You can lose sight of being able to clearly articulate the most valid “What’s in it for you?” statement to your target audience. That is where a quality studio adds tremendous value.  A great studio will help you refine your pitch to a simplified message that will get to the core of your value, as it relates to the intended target audience.  A great studio will help you create a message and video that is memorable, resonant and actionable.

3 – Provides Context and Control Your Message

You can’t always control how people perceive your messaging, which can be problematic.

Video allows you to elude the limitations of online selling and engage your visitors on an emotional level. Control the tone, pace and energy when your brand is portrayed and give your visitors the mindset needed to connect with your brand and value your reputation.

Engagement is important because it entices the viewer to focus their brain into that situation. Engagement limits distraction. It’s like asking someone to name white things versus naming white things in their fridge.  The context video provides helps the viewer focus on specific benefits that then are more relatable.

4 – Make your Message Sticky

According to Harvard Business Review,  People remember only 20% of what they hear and only 30% of what they see, but an incredible 70% of what they hear and see. Which is why the use of an explainer video as a communication tool is highly beneficial to getting your message out in an impactful way.  Video allows you to bind your simple message to emotion (humor, hope, trust, fear, shame, etc.) through the use of imagery, motion, music, scene setting, etc.  which makes it really stick with viewers.

5 – Awareness/Organic SEO

Visibility IQ states sites can double their organic search traffic by including a video thumbnail in search rankings.

So, why get lost in the clutter? Just by having an explainer video, you have the potential to be at the forefront of search results on the web, giving you more exposure to those who are looking for what your product or service has to offer.

Also, according to Gigamon, videos are 53 times more likely than text pages to show up on the first page of search results. So, you can maximize your SEO simply by having video as a part of your marketing communications strategy.

6 – Shareability 

Having a video go viral is a level everyone thinks they want to achieve. But, ‘Going Viral’ is not a strategy, it’s a potential result. In order to achieve “viral video” status, you need to maximize the shareability of video, and use that to drive awareness and traffic to your message. According to comScore’s February 2013 US Online Video Rankings, Facebook had generated 558 million video views, and had  61.2 million unique video viewers.

Video is the most consumed media on the web, shared and accessed in near real-time online video holds a higher value over other media. On a daily basis, videos are being shared on social channels like Twitter and Facebook in real-time, allowing people with instant access to social networks, to post and share video content that they find engaging.

It’s also important your video goes viral for the right reason.  

7 – Conversions (Sign ups, Sales, Revenue, etc)

Finally, let’s talk results.

You need to differentiate yourself by conveying your message in a unique way with an explainer video. If your product or service is complex, your explainer video will simplify it, allowing for an easy explanation to your audience about what is in it for them. It also allows them to determine the value of your product or service, by inviting them to immerse themselves into the situation your video is presenting.

By identifying with your message, your audience is likely to take the action, giving you the results you want. For example, 4 in 10 shoppers visited a store online or in-person as a direct result of watching a video according to ReelSEO.  And, according to Hubspot, organic search leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound marketing leads have a 1.7% close rate.

However if you are planning a targeted campaign, video is still the best tool for the job.  The use of video in an email blast increases the likeliness of viewership among recipients.  55% of marketers report increased click-through rates in emails sent with video as compared to emails without video.  – The Relevency Group and LLC Executive Survey and Marketing Sherpa states that video in email DOUBLES click through Rates.


Video harnesses a power that is essential to any startup company. The first step in growth is successful communication about who you are, what you do, and why your audiences should care. Video also permits you to accelerate your progression through the various startup milestones, and reach the next checkpoint in the growth of your company, regardless of which stage you are in.

Source: http://simplestoryvideos.com/2013/10/top-7-reasons-your-startup-needs-an-explainer-video/

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Cuts & Camera Productions
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