3 Key Elements of a Successful Explanatory Video

Originally published
Originally published: 10/1/2012

Use the right faces, words, and appearance to make a good connection.

Think about all of the things you’d like to explain to a captive audience: how quickly an investment in new, more efficient equipment will be returned in energy and cost savings; how important indoor-air quality is to family members’ health; how an energy-performance audit can immediately reveal ways to improve comfort and save money.

Any of these — in fact just about any service an HVACR contractor offers — can be effectively conveyed in an explanatory video, and with such widespread access to the Internet these days, explanatory videos are a great way to reach current and prospective customers.

They also improve search-engine optimization online, can be repurposed to be used on sales calls, during home shows and public-speaking events, and for internal training. 

One of the first things to consider when producing an explanatory video is how to capture the right audience. Appealing to your target market can be tricky, but here are three keys that can increase your chances of success.

1. Symmetry: Make your characters or presenters look like your target market. Have you ever noticed how certain groups of friends all sort of look alike? That’s because we tend to be attracted to people who are similar to ourselves. T

his principle should be adopted when you are making a product demo video, for example targeting a demographic such as suburban homeowners, you need to make sure that your characters are not too young, in appropriate clothing, and in an environment or situation that would naturally appeal to this demographic.

2. Subliminal messaging: Use keywords and language that are familiar to your target audience. Word association and affiliation is a great way to work in key subliminal messages and trigger words. For example, if your video is about the benefits of zoning, using buzz words such as “even temperature,” and “energy efficient” will appeal to homeowners.

3. Face value: Colors, sounds and pace all have an impact. If your video is aimed at an ultra-tech savvy audience, then you can probably pick up the pace without explaining every single detail. If it is aimed at the Silver-Surfer crowd, like my grandmother, then you will need to slow down!

As technology, in general, is still a new concept to her (although she can text). Color matters, too. You are appealing to adults, so avoid bubble-gum pink and bright yellow. At the same time, don’t go too dark. Safe colors are those that you’d see at a business meeting or holiday dinner.

How to Promote Your Video

Okay, so you have published a fantastic online video, chosen your targeted demographic and optimized the content. Now you want people to start talking about it and increase its visibility and reach. So, how are you going to make that happen?

Well, here are some of the best tried-and-tested promotional strategies that Revolution Productions has used in the past to really get people talking about your business (and of course your videos!).

Social Media: Share your story with your community through mediums such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Research these sites to see if there are any additional forums that you can openly participate in. The beauty of social media is that your tone can be a lot more personable with your audience, even when it comes to a business environment.

For example, you could post or tweet to your online community about how much it would mean to you if your audience would review, like or re-tweet your work. This will create a nice little buzz within your online social circles as well as increasing the potential reach of your story.

Public Relations (PR): For this to work well, you may have to outsource. Utilizing a good PR agency is worth its weight in gold, especially if the news is big enough to catch the eye of baying news hounds!

A good PR agency has all the relevant contacts and takes all the legwork out of a campaign push, delivering a timely and strategic approach. Big events, such as the launch of a product or service can really add some weight when it comes to getting your name out in the public domain.

Email: This can be a tricky one, users may find this form of communication a real nuisance, and stringent spamming filters could immediately can your great news. So unless you have an established audience who are happy to receive regular personal updates from you or a newsletter facility, be wary of using email to promote your video.

If you think your audience would prefer this promotion strategy, make sure to be very personable, timely and definitely not SPAMMY.

Word of Mouth: This type of strategy still works wonders if done correctly.You would be surprised how fast wordof- mouth can spread news or viral videos (especially when they’re good!). Use your imagination, depending on the content, go crazy! Employ a flash mob, or just walk around showing people your videos. The responses may actually surprise you! 

Anish Patel is founder and head producer of Revolution Productions, an online video production company that specializes in high-impact, creative, high-quality web videos to convey messages, increase traffic to websites, and enhance the image of clients. Fundamental to its approach is getting the maximum ROI for every one of them.

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