On Animation
September 22, 2015

How to make your company’s explainer video stand out

So you’ve gone and got a shiny new explainer video for your company. The production company was great to work with, and the animation looks sleek and professional. The business message comes across perfectly, and once people see this they’ll be clambering for your company’s products and services.

So… what now? While developing an effective video is a large part of the battle, getting that video in front of eyeballs (and the right eyeballs at that) can be a daunting and confusing task all its own. Today we’re talking through how to make your explainer video stand out across three different online platforms: your company website, your Youtube channel and your social media network.

1. use it as a welcome video on your website

The most effective place you can put your video to convert potential customers is on the front page of your company website. I’ve said it on previous blogs and I’ll say it again: retail site visitors who view video are 64% more likely to purchase than other site visitors. That’s over 1.5 times as many converted customers, just from putting video on your site.

To see the power explainer videos have on company websites, just look at case studies of other successful companies who have employed similar strategies.

Dropbox is a prime example of a great business concept with a potentially tricky explanation. But by downsizing the front page of their website to include nothing but a short explainer video and a download button, Dropbox created a strong call-to-action that basically said ‘Watch this video! Now you understand what it does, download the program!’ That’s it. The power of that 2-minute explainer brought Dropbox an extra 10 million customers, eventually carrying them over the 100 million customer mark within 5 years.

Another company benefiting from the front page use of their explainer video is Crazy Egg, a ‘heat map’ tool to help website owners understand what their visitors are responding to. The results of having an explainer front and centre on their website included an extra $21,000 a month in income and a 64% conversion rate. The explainer method works particularly well for companies like Crazy Egg, where a visual explanation more succinctly describes how the product works than words.

2. make the right moves on youtube

Youtube is a fickle and bizarre beast at the best of times. Many people will rightly tell you there’s no magic formula to making a video go viral, or even to getting a moderately decent view count. There are, however, some best practices to keep in mind to give your video its greatest chance of success.

The first is to always keep in mind how Youtube allows users to find videos, and to use that system to your advantage. When someone types a word or phrase into the Youtube search bar, Youtube searches for videos whose title, tags and description matches that of the search terms. The current hierarchy of information importance on Youtube is: title, description, tags. Yes, that’s right. All those search terms you put into the ‘tag’ section to help people find your video from similar search topics is not top the list of what will really help them click on your video. Because though tags are used in categorising your post they are not visible on first impression, and hence are not what will ultimately cause people to decide to click on your video: your title and thumbnail image are.

Make your title as descriptive as possible within 70 characters (to keep Youtube from truncating it in search results). Keep in mind too, that the first few words in your title and description are counted as the most important in the Youtube search algorithm, so make sure your keywords are up front. If you’ve got a video promoting your company who specialise in selling Spanish language classes online, rather than titling your company video something like ‘Big Bob’s Spanish Emporium: We Teach You Spanish on the Internet, Si?’ you might want to start your company video title with ‘Learn Spanish Online’ followed by more specific information like your company name. This way your video is more likely to pop up when people search for ‘learn Spanish’ or ‘Online Spanish Lessons’. Because, strangely, very few people are going to know to search for the phrase ‘Big Bob’ when they decide they want to learn Spanish.

Another important factor in making a good first impression on Youtube is having a clear and eye-catching thumbnail preview image. This is the little snapshot of your video that sits beside your title and description in the search results. It’s much less likely that any given user would click on a blurry, blank or indistinct preview image simply to find out what this mystery video is about, rather than on a clear, brightly coloured image that gives some indication of your video content and catches their eye amongst a slew of other video previews.

If the three preview thumbnails that Youtube selects for your from your video aren’t particularly eye-catching, you can instead create a custom thumbnail image. Note: you need to verify your Youtube account to make this option available.

3. actively post to your social media network

‘Actively’ is the key word here. If you’re looking to post your shiny new company video to your social media pages after a two years of social media absence, you’re likely not going to net the attention you’re after.

Feed-based social networks like Facebook and Tumblr often work on a basis of exponential popularity: well-liked posts get more exposure on subscriber feeds, and in turn, get even more well-liked.

So how do you become one of the popular kids? By building a community around your brand presence. Post regularly. Show you’re human. Show you’re alive, active, and able to be interacted with.

Foster a sense of community not only between your followers and your brand, but between followers and their fellow followers. Promote discussion and encourage interaction. Create a feedback loop by linking to your other social media sites from each individual one, and reward ‘mega fans’ of your brand who follow you across multiple platforms with unique content.

Once you’ve developed an online community for your brand, and established your company as a real, interactive and rewarding social media presence, you can post your new video content with the assurance that your community will help you promote it across their own networks in ways you never could on your own.


Getting potential customers to watch your company video can at times feel like a hit-and-miss activity. However, using best practices across all your major online outlets can help give you the greatest chance of success. Above all, like any business activity it’s important to know your market inside and out. Do your research, find out your target market’s online habits, post at the right time. Be an active presence in your customers’ lives and allow them to build a community around your brand.

Written by
Maree Railton

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