Creating a Killer Homepage Explainer Video: Best Practices in 2021 and Beyond
Creating a killer homepage explainer video is the quickest way to convey your brand message while keeping visitors engaged, learn how.
Explainer videos are more than just an alternative way of presenting your services to potential clients. A powerful marketing tool, explainer videos can help you deliver your unique value proposition in the blink of an eye. Moreover, they’re one of the best ways to keep your web visitors engaged and invested in your message.
And that’s not all. These multimedia assets hold the potential of significantly boosting your conversion rates, thus helping you drive your business forward.
But what goes into the process of creating a killer homepage explainer video? And can you rely on age-old practices? Or do you have to be a bit more innovative to grab attention in 2021?
Here’s everything you need to know about the process.
Know What You Want
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when creating explainer videos is to not have a solid idea of what you’re after. So, if you want your investment to pay off, you will first have to do some strategizing.
What is it that you want? Do you want customers to call you, download your app, sign up for your services, visit your physical location?
Once you’ve decided what it is you’re after, it’s time to gather your team.
Yes, you can do a bit of DIY, but rest assured that you’ll get much better results if you hire professionals.
To make an explainer video, you’ll need to hire a scriptwriter, filmmaker, visual artist, video editor, voiceover actor, and musician. While this does necessitate a more-than-minimal budget, it is the best way to ensure exceptional results.
Of course, you can make savings if you decide to work with freelancers. Still, prepare for the fact that choosing candidates will take quite a significant amount of time.
Speak to Your Target Audience
The second thing you’ve got to do if you want your explainer video to yield outstanding results is to nail the tone and style. And that means customizing them to fit your target audience.
Who are you speaking to? Do you use a formal or casual tone when communicating with potential clients? What type of terminology can you use? Some brands can get away with highly-technical language. But, others will have to make their products sound more beginner-friendly.
Finally, what’s the visual style that works with your brand’s voice? You can create whiteboard stories, 3D, or animation. Or you can do something similar to GetSafe. This company chose to film a live-action explainer as the format allows versatility, lends itself to storytelling, and provides an opportunity to show off the products it advertises.
Use a Killer Hook
When planning an explainer for your homepage, approach it in the same way you would if you were writing an article or putting together a landing page. What does that mean? It’s simple. It means grabbing your viewer’s attention within the first 7 seconds.
In addition to an attractive look, that also means getting straight to the point with your hook. Simply put, the best way to make your explainer videos work is to make them attention-grabbing.
One effective way to do so is to ask a question. For example, in ShowMojo’s explainer video, the first sentence starts with: “How many hours a day do you or your agents spend answering the phone?”
Alternatively, call attention to an existing problem/desire. The Nest Aware explainer video invites viewers to “Keep an eye on [their] home,” playing to their need to invest in security.
Of course, you can do something completely unique as well. Just make sure that it’s intriguing enough to get people to watch the whole video.
Offer a Solution
One common marketing mistake brands tend to make is that they focus on product/service features instead of benefits.
But, if you want an explainer video to speak to your potential customers, you have to get them to see how your services affect them. With this rule in mind, make sure that your explainer videos list and explain what people get by investing.
An excellent example comes from Ring. The brand’s explainer video shows different ways users can benefit from investing in the brand’s security systems. And, seeing as it’s narrated in a friendly, entertaining voice, it makes the concept of smart home technology approachable to all potential users – even those who have never considered buying a smart doorbell before.
Don’t Forget the CTAs
There’s one crucial thing you’ll need to do if you want your homepage explainer videos to work. You must include a CTA.
Just like any other asset in your arsenal, homepage explainer videos serve a specific purpose. And your website visitors have to be presented with the next logical step in their buying journey if you want to ensure they stay with you instead of going to your competition.
For inspiration, you can take a look at eM Client’s homepage video. It instructs potential app users to “Boost [their] email,” then provides an easy-to-remember download address they can visit to sign up for the service. Yes, it’s a bit cheesy and quite simplified. But, what matters is that it works!
Keep It Short
You probably already know that the amount of information you present directly relates to the attention you will receive from website visitors. For some formats (such as text), longer seems to perform better. But, with video, the situation is the exact opposite.
A case study by Breadnbeyond found that the best explainer videos tend to be just under 60s long. For anything above 2-minutes long, the study found that retention rates dropped below 50%, which means potentially losing more than half of your prospects.
With this in mind, approach the production process carefully. Choose your words in a way that’ll allow you to convey information quickly. Focus on the highlighted benefits and give clear instructions. Everything else, you can put in the Features section of your website.
Don’t Be Afraid to Get Personal
In 2021, consumers want to buy from brands that have a unique and genuine voice. And, sometimes, the best way to show off that voice is going to be by letting your team speak for you.
So, when creating a homepage explainer video, consider doing something similar to Zapier’s How It Works page. For one, it’s personal. Secondly, it shows that the brand genuinely believes in (and is proud of) its products. And finally, it gives the whole brand a relatable personality – something that would be impossible to achieve with just animation techniques.
Of course, you can also let your satisfied clients do the talking. This way, you’ll be investing in a homepage explainer video that’s even more interesting, all the while enjoying the benefits of trustworthy social proof.
Don’t Underestimate Placement
So, you’ve got a killer homepage explainer video: you’ve nailed the look, the tone, the CTA. All that’s left is to put it on your website.
But what location should you choose?
Do you go with an above-the-fold placement, using it as your primary media asset? Or do you add it to the bottom of your page, letting your website copy, images, and CTAs do the talking?
Well, it depends. If you think that your explainer covers everything that you would with a hero section visual and copy, then definitely give it a prime spot on your homepage. However, if it requires a bit more context to drive the message home, placing it lower on your homepage works best.
Of course, don’t forget that you don’t necessarily have to place explainer videos on your homepage (or your website, for that matter). They can be equally effective when used on social media, your company’s YouTube channel, campaign-specific landing pages, or any other distribution platform.
Explainer videos are a great asset to have in your arsenal. And, when done right, they can do wonders to your conversions.
However, to ensure you’re getting the absolute most out of your investment, don’t forget to follow the rules listed above. And, of course, measure your performance.
Regularly check how the addition of video to your homepage is affecting your conversions. When you have the results, make any necessary changes – whether to placement, content, or aesthetic direction. That way, you’ll know you’re doing everything in your power to ensure the success of your business.