A Data Driven Guide to How Explainer Videos Drive Conversions

Quite a number of startup businesses especially within the SaaS (Software as a Service) space seem to invest in developing one or more to help explain their product. What your business needs to weigh up is whether you really need to invest in developing one for your product or service. Today well uncover some of the numbers and case studies which should make the decision process a lot easier.

Videos are an answer to the ever shortening attention spans:
The National Centre for Biotechnology information reports that the attention span of a human being today is about 8 seconds.

After studying over 50,000 pageviews, the researchers concluded that 17% of pageviews last only for 4 seconds. What about all those long blog posts that youve invested several hours trying to perfect? Sure there might be the odd few which read word for word but the reality is, time is scarce so at best a reader will skim read through your article.

Coincidentally, the same report also states that the average length watched of internet videos spans to about 2.7 minutes.

Videos seem to engage the viewer:

A video is much easier to digest than studying a drone of alphabets spread across a white-screen. Animated videos can present a dull idea/product in a new light and should be given some serious thought.

Videos bring in the halo effect:

According to Wikipedia, The halo effect is a cognitive bias in which an observers overall impression of a person, company, brand, or product influences the observers feelings and thoughts about that entity character or properties.

An explainer video gives the viewer a deeper understanding of the product, the presentation makes it more appealing, and when done right, leaves a positive impression on the mind.

So much so, that this Invodo report says that video boosts confidence among at least 50% of shoppers.

Videos can bring in more sales/conversions:
Neil Patel, co-founder of CrazyEgg, swears by explainer videos. According to him, the below video which was previously on the CrazyEgg homepage was responsible for $21000 in additional revenues each month.

Case Study: Vidyard
Vidyard witnessed a 100% improvement in conversions when they used a video on their landing page.

Below are the results from using a video in their coming soon landing page.

Without video: 6.5% average conversion rate
With video embedded in page:  11% average conversion rate (69% conversion lift)
With video in lightbox modal popup: 13% average conversion rate (100% conversion lift)

Yes Video sure did work when it came to converting customers!

Videos can make your product memorable:
To understand the above point we need to recap how we remember things. It consists of four different processes:

  • Attention
  • Encoding
  • Storage
  • Retrieval

We have already seen that videos can have a significant impact when it comes to grabbing a users attention.  Since most explainer videos tell a story  they introduce a villain in the form of a problem and a solution as the protagonist, it becomes encoded and stored in the memory.

But the most important piece in this puzzle is retrieval. Faced with the very problem that your product solves, it’s this storytelling that intertwines the problem and the solution.

Without this association gained from storytelling, the product is a difficult sell. And that’s the very reason why high quality product videos increase cart sizes by 174%.

I should also mention that most buyers (99%) don’t make a purchase on their first visit.

They leave with the intent to buy and the strength of the story telling drives them back.

Psychologists attribute this to the how the brain is structured. The human brain is designed to learn best in multi-sensory environments.

Videos simulate real-life experiences, along with sounds which are triggers to remembering information.

Now that we have a good idea in terms of numbers and results of using explainer videos, lets explore the different types of videos your business can create.

The Types of Explainer videos

1. Non-Animated Videos

A non-animated promotional video explaining what the product does includes real people using the product. They could either be actors or in our example below, the founder himself.

SEE ALSO: The Power of Real World Context: Going Beyond Screenshots

Let’s look at the video by Dollar Shave Club that has the founder juggling past machetes and tearing apart paper screens all with a precious blade  the Dollar Shave Club blade.

Why should you buy them Because theyre f***ing awesome!

Another good example is from Airbnb. Here the scenes change consistently but the woman remains the same, always seated in comfortable cosy structures.

2. Animated Explainer Videos

These are becoming more and more popular and part of the reason is because in comparison to real life style videos where actors, production crew, venue need to be hired, an animated version doesn’t require these (hence the lower price tag).

Check this one out for our client, BRONTE PRICE  Celebrants Melbourne, who have successfully employed this animated video to explain how a bride to be can plan their own wedding.

Does video length affect watch time and conversions?

The Short answer is yes.

But you aren’t here for short answers right?

Surveys conducted by Ooyala Global Video Index indicate that people watching videos on tablets watch up to 10 minutes or more of video.

However, when it comes to mobile phones the viewing time is much lower, only 50% of the viewing time they spend on tablets.

On average, it seems people can watch videos up to 6 minutes long without dropping off.

The share of time spent watching video on mobile phones and tablets continues to grow quickly. The overall share of mobile video plays jumped 36% last quarter, while tablet video’s share of time watched increased by 72%. Together, the overall share of time spent watching video on mobile devices and tablets increased 64% in Q2 2012.

This implies that the player you use and the website where you host your video should be optimised for mobile and tablet users.

There’s something else that you should know.

Engagement metrics vary by a significant margin when it comes to engaged viewers:

Research by Forrester found the following characteristics relating to engaged online video viewers:

* They watch more than one hour of video per week

* They devote around 7 minutes or more for a video

* They pay more attention to online video.

But how do you make the video engaging?
In the words of Neil Patel Its not about the script, not the video

But for the script to have the potency to engage your target audience, it should address real concerns.

Now, how do you do that.

Let’s look at what Groove did.

They used Kissmetrics to determine who their most engaged customers were and then they picked up the phone and started asking them what they could do to make Groove better.

The 4 key questions they asked were:

What problems were you hoping Groove would solve when you signed up?

What has your experience been like so far?

What was getting started with Groove like?

What was your aha moment the moment you knew you loved Groove?

After collating this feedback, they designed a landing page with one large frame explainer video that addressed all these concerns.

Crisp, clean and succinct (barely a minute in length). This change along with a few other tweaks saw them double their conversions!


If you want to consider producing an explainer video for your website or another specific purpose, take the time to understand what are some of the pain points your product or service addresses. Understand the problem, develop a script, ensure the voice over (or talent) matches the industry and script, then lastly bring it all together.

As I said before, the value of the script shouldnt be understated no point telling a poorly written story using fancy animations or actors when your audience wont resonate with the message.

Have you used explainer videos before? Share your experience with us in the comments section below.

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