What Makes a Good How it Works Video

React Mobile - How it Works

5 Main Attributes of Every Good Explanation Video

So you have a product or service that you want people to see, but youre having a little trouble explaining it to them. When a consumer browses a site they want to know exactly what it is your product or service does and how it works as quickly as they possibly can. They may stumble upon the solution to their problem, but if theyre too intimated by that daunting wall of text you have on your site, or they simply just dont feel like reading it, theyll leave your site as quick as they arrived.

Making improvements to your product, while very important, will not solve this issue. The real problem is that consumers are inundated with 100s of messages every day and have come impatient and unwilling to stick around to read yours. If this wasnt bad enough the internet has created an uber-competitive marketplace in which your customers can most likely get a similar service with a click of the button. Therefore, many businesses have come to the understanding that you need to grab your customers attention, engage with them, and get them to take some sort of action very quickly.  The best way to all of this is with a How it Works Video.

How it works videos are short, typically animated videos that explain what a product or service is, and why the customer needs it. These videos should be entertaining, convenient, and informative, so that viewers walk away from it with a positive impression of your brand and what you do. The trick is finding the right balance between all the elements. Missing out on one, or over doing another, could completely wreck the message youre trying to send.  Here are some of our guidelines for creating a well-balanced and effective how it works video.

  1. Perfect Length
  2. The length is like the backbone of the video: It creates structure, manages the flow of your message, and serves as a great guideline when youre thinking of the art and copy. These videos will typically run 1:30 to 2:00 minutes long, with a few exceptions running a little longer or shorter when necessary. If the video is too short, you run the risk of sending a very rushed message that may not clearly answer the consumers problem. Alternatively, if the video is too long, it begins to revert back to the wall of text and the viewer could become uninterested or intimidated by your lengthy video. You must find the right balance between the problem and solution while cutting out any filler in-between.

  3. Get to the Point
  4. Your video may be a desirable length, but if the content is dry and inflated the viewer will have trouble focusing. The beginning of the video should tell the viewer that you understand their issue completely. If they cannot relate to the problem youre presenting, why would they care about or even finish your video? Once the problem has been defined, the video should smoothly and effortlessly shift into your solution. This is the point, and its what the viewer has been looking for. You already have the viewers attention, the only thing you need to do here is explain exactly what your product or service does and how it will help them. Thats it. If your video continues on and on about your product, your company, random facts, testimonials, examples, etc., you run the risk of losing the viewers clear understanding of your product. They can, and probably will, look up that information on their own; your video just needs to tell them how you can solve their problem.

  5. Quality Voice Over
  6. Voice is the key in any how it works video. Even the best art and animation in the world can be ruined by shoddy voice work. People are typically a little more understanding in terms of animation limitations, but the voice should fit perfectly with the video. The reality is, the voice the viewer hears is replacing the voice they hear in their head when they read anything, and if doesnt stack up the viewer can become uncomfortable and disgusted with this replacement voice.  Things to keep in mind when choosing a voice actor are..

    • Choose a Professional: Its a good rule of thumb to hire someone outside the office to do your voice work.
    • Match the voice with the product/service: If the product is used by women, purchased by women, and created by women, it might be a good idea to use a womans voice.
    • Make sure the voice is appropriate: similar to the previous and will be expanded on later, but the voice needs to be respectful of the audience.


  7. Targets Your Audience
  8. You have to remember that youre making a video for other people to watch, so what good is it if your video does not positively resonate with them? Your video needs to bring the viewer on your side and put them on the path to becoming a believer in your product. When dealing with your target audience, you have to understand what the lines are, and see the difference between edgy and offensive. If your video incorporates a lot of humor while your product and audience are quite serious, it may seem unprofessional. Also, stay away from racial or cultural stereotypes. Theres a difference between representing a culture, and exaggerating it. Show the audience that you know what they want, and do it respectfully. There are times for humorous fun, and there are times for serious straightforwardness. Understand who your audience is.

  9. Fits Your Brand
  10. Ultimately the video should be your brand in a nutshell. If your brand prides itself on being laid-back and fun, throw some humor in there. However, if your brand runs a tighter ship, maybe dial back the laughs and keep it strictly professional. The last thing you want is your video saying your brand is one thing, when in reality its a completely different.  Whether its intentional or not, acting like something you’re not will confuse your customers at a point in which you’re trying to explain something. They want your product because its what they need, and if your brand is not accurately reflected in that product and vice versa, customers might move on to your competitors.

Each and every one of these points are equally important when creating a how it works video because the absence of any of them can completely ruin an otherwise great video. Find the right balance between structure and time, understand your audience, identify the problem youre solving, stay on brand and be creative. The quality of your product or service will take it from there.

What are some other things that make a good How it Works video?

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