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How an explainer video made the grade.

Show of hands…who likes bad marketing? On TV, I thank the tech-gods every day for DVR’s! There are just some ads that I cannot bear to watch.

And with that certain end-of-season football game coming up, there will be tons of discussion about the ads that come on during the game.

Funny thing is, many of us (unless it’s just me) might remember a commercial being funny, but forget what the product or company was in the first place. So are they good ads? Let’s assume that you can’t afford to drop 5 Mil on a 0:30 ad during that game, either. So what should we do?

First of all, WHERE you promote your ad (TV, blog post, FB, YouTube etc.) is very important. It sounds overly simple. But be sure to promote it where you customers hang out. Don’t advertise your latest line of hunting gear on the PETA site.

To design an explainer video or ad, there are 8 steps you need to consider when creating the copy as well as the order of that copy.

To show an example, I found a video from Crazy Egg that uses these 8 steps. I have even noted the timeframes that each step takes place so you can see it in action.



Step 1

Get Their Attention (:00-:05)
Do something in the first few seconds (or sentences if in written form) to get attention. Will it involve color, images, surprise, shock or be inspiring? Crazy Egg uses a statement to get your attention. This is effective because it is targeting people that they want as customers. If you are looking for a great pair of skinny jeans, this ad is not for you!

Step 2

Pinpoint the problem (:08-:32)
Be obvious about what problem your customers have that you are solving. Get them to start nodding…”yep, that’s what’s wrong”. If they buy into the problem, buying into the solution will be easier. It’s much harder to have to explain a problem that people aren’t aware that they have.

Step 3

Poke the bear (:33-:45)
Ok, they agree they have a problem…now emphasize it. Don’t make stuff up. But be sure to explain how everything about this problem is getting in the way of their desired results.

Step 4

Identify the solution (:49-1:03)
The first half of this video is talking about the problem. Now is the time to offer a solution. Notice this is not pushing your product, just yet. Having a customer see that a solution exists and how it will help them, will start the Alka-Seltzer feeling. (Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is!)

Get them to start nodding…”Yep, that’s what’s wrong”. If they buy into the problem, buying into the solution will be easier.

Step 5

Present your product (1:04-1:54)
NOW you can hit them with your product or service. Tell them straight up what you are offering. Don’t use fancy industry jargon or $20 words. Just let them know what you have that will fix the problems you covered already.

Step 6

Results, benefits and features (1:04-1:54)
Once you’ve made your product known, let customers know what results, benefits and features they can expect. In addition to positive results, what bullets might they dodge by using your services?

As an added tool to writing your copy, ask yourself “why?” after each feature or benefit. The answer will help you distill down the benefits your customers will experience.

In the Crazy Egg video, they introduce one part of their product and its’ benefits…then another service and its’ benefits. For their product, it seems to make sense to intermingle them as opposed to listing all the products and then all the benefits.

Step 7

Call to action (1:55-2:06)
Customers agree they have a problem. Check. They see your product has the answer and great benefits. Check. Now, what? They need a CTA to guide them to the next step. Tell them exactly what you want them to do next. Make it as simple and easy as possible so they will act.

Step 8

Social proof (2:24-2:34)
Adding social proof at the end will give your potential customers reassurance that your product works. Again, don’t lie, but dropping names, testimonials or other customer results will add to the legitimacy of your offering.

That’s it! It doesn’t have to be long, boring or technical. A good ad needs to address your potential customers far more than it talks about you, though. Follow these 8 steps for a framework that is sure to get you a solid ad with a purpose.

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About Brian Richardson

Entrepreneur, father, grandfather, Christian, start-up fanatic