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The following is a guest post by Chris Campbell, a seasoned entrepreneur who is passionate about startups, traveling, Startup Weekend, and his current company, Review Trackers.

One of the most valuable things a startup can invest in is an explainer video. You know, a video that explains your service or product as concisely as possible. This is all easier said than done. Or it’s easier watched than done.

But do it right and you’ll find that a killer explainer video can do wonderful things. It can be the fulcrum of a successful Kickstarter campaign. It can drive your search traffic, your conversion rates, your viral reach. It can liven up your pitch and make your service or product much more attractive to your audience.

explainer video

So it really is very crucial to do this video right. Before you get started with the creation of your startup’s explainer video, check out these 6 awesome tips:

Explain in 100 seconds (or less). Think of the explainer video as an elevator pitch on video: say what you need to say in as little time as possible. The average sustained attention span of a human being is short, and for a human being watching a video on the Internet, it’s even shorter (an average of about 60 seconds). The max duration of your explainer should be 2 to 3 minutes; beyond that, viewers will press “Skip” like your explainer’s an annoying YouTube ad.

Get the script right. The script is easily the most important part of your explainer video. It’s not about the fancy graphics or the sweeping panoramas. You have to make sure that your key message — your actual explanation — is conveyed with maximum clarity, understanding, and impact to your target audience. And it starts with your script. Here’s a pro tip: when writing, ask yourself which two or three ideas (about your product or service) you’d like to share with the viewer. These ideas should be covered by your script.

explainer video

Focus on selling points — not features. An explainer talking about nothing but product features is, essentially, an ad. You’re not making an ad, so avoid the heavy sales talk. What you ought to showcase instead are the selling points, the benefits, that would solve your customers’ problems.

Avoid jargon. Just speak in plain language. Even if you’re a tech startup, it’s probably a better idea to avoid industry terms and acronyms that only fellow developers or engineers would know about, and which would likely convolute the meaning of what you’re trying to say. You know the KISS rule: Keep It Short and Simple.

Showcase your personality. Every startup has a competitor. That’s why you’ve also got to approach your explainer video as if it’s a unique branding opportunity (which it is!): show people what makes you different from the rest. It’s important that your potential customers can attach a personality to your startup that they can connect with. Authenticity wins. And if you can entertain as well as explain, go for it. People get bored easily these days; if you can somehow engage them to take a closer look at what you’re offering than at what your competitors are offering, then your explainer is doing its job.

Give people a call to action. What do you want people to do next after watching the video? The call to action could be anything from asking them to click the link to your demo page or pushing them to be one of the backers of your project. Whatever it is you’re asking, be clear about it. (And don’t forget to measure the hits and conversions driven by your video.

What is the best ‘explainer’ video you have seen? 

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