How Explainer Videos Engage Your Prospects & Increase Sales

Explainer videos are short, animated videos that organizations use to introduce themselves and their offerings, and to demonstrate how their offerings can solve problems for their customers.

They’ve become increasingly popular over the last several years because of their huge potential to increase conversions. An article on points out two examples of well-known sites that have profited from explainer videos: Dropbox, which increased conversion rates by more than 10% (with several thousand extra sign- ups per day) and which increased conversion rates by 20%.1

Why are explainer videos so effective?

Good explainer videos usually tell a story. They often start with a problem that needs to be solved. The solution is then simply illustrated through story and with live actors or animation.

Explainer videos work because they take a story and tell it in a short, easy to understand manner.

Why is this important?

Research from Jakob Neilson, web usability expert, shows that most people read web pages in an F pattern, as is evidenced by the following eye tracking images.

Eye tracking images for web usability

“F Pattern” Eye tracking images

In general, we scan and re-scan pages as we restlessly search for signals that tell us whether or not we are on a page that has a solution for us.2

Further, research from eye tracking studies shows that, on average, only 28% of the words on your webpage will be read.

How explainer videos help solve lazy reader problem.

Video simply sustains attention longer than text. With explainer videos, a story or problem can often be effectively illustrated in less than 60 seconds.

Dropbox is an excellent example of a company that had a great story that not enough people could absorb from the text and images on their webpage.

They started with a great product, but they weren’t attracting enough new customers.

Then they introduced an explainer video, acquired massive funding and took off. They started doing so well that even Steve jobs showed interest in acquiring the company.3

Take a look at Dropbox’s website right now. Interestingly there’s no explanatory text
on their site. The site consists largely of a sign-up form, a download button and, yes, a prominently positioned explainer video.

Dropbox explainer video example

The case of Dropbox and are not unique. Recent research from Invodo (2013), which summarized data from a number of sources including Forbes, Mediapost and Internet Retailer clearly shows that video helps to increase conversions by increasing visitor engagement, increasing the duration of visits and increasing consumer confidence.4

Video has been proven to increase sales

  • The Step2 Company found that shoppers who view video are 174% more likely to purchase than viewers who did not.
  • Consumers are willing to watch videos 60% of the time they are found.
  • 95% of B2B tech buyers watch online video, and 82% post, forward, and share content.
  • 32% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions.

The Growing Mobile Market & Implications

Average screen size is shrinking. For better or worse, the percentage of your site visitors accessing your site from a mobile device is getting larger by the day.

Comscore Device Essentials reported that more than 1 in 8 US total Internet page views were accessed through a mobile phone or tablet in August 2012, and this is double the rate reported a year earlier.5

If the average visitor to your site doesn’t have the time to read your full story, imagine how this might be for your mobile visitors?

The smaller screens in combination with the on-the-go factor will mean that you will have an even harder time reaching mobile visitors with text and images. And this segment of your visitors is increasing by the day.

But, offer your visitors the chance to watch an explainer video, and you will likely take
back a big chunk of that lost engagement. Numbers from the Invodo study clearly support this: they found that mobile and tablet shoppers are 3 times as likely to view a video as laptop or desktop users and that nearly 40% of consumers report that videos increase their likelihood of making a purchase on a mobile device.6

The benefit of video explanations goes beyond engagement

Recent research shows that people will flock to video content over and above text- based content. This means that consumers are more likely to click on a link to your page from Google results, if they think they will have an opportunity to watch a video about the product they were searching for.

MediaMind conducted a study in September 2012 for which they analyzed over 3 billion ad impressions globally and concluded that “the click-through rate (CTR) for online video is 27.4 times that of standard banners and almost 12 times that of rich media ads.”7

This tells us is that if your entry shows up in a search engine results page (SERP) with the promise of a video, you have a better chance of getting a click.

Google knows this and that’s why, more and more we are seeing video rich snippets (VRSs) show up in organic search engine results, often at the top.

A VRS is an entry which displays a thumbnail of your video either on its own or next to your text entry.

Here is an example of a VRS that came up from a Google search using the keywords,
“how to groom your dog”.

video rich snippets (VRSs) show up in search engine results

For more information on how to get VRS entries in Google’s search results see my article, ‘How to make your explainer video get more traffic from Google.’

1. Angus, A. (n.d.). Why Explainer Videos Increase Conversion Rates by 20%. Retrieved April 18, 2013, from

2. Unbounce (September 8, 2010). The F-Shaped Reading Pattern. Retrieved May 7, 2013, from

3. Hinson, E. (November 27, 2012). Five Benefits of Telling Your Story With Explainer Videos. Retrieved May 7, 2013 from

4,5,6. Invodo (2013). Video Statistics: The Marketer’s Summary. Retrieved April 18, 2013, from

7. Martin, A. (September 12, 2012). Consumers 27 Times More Likely to Click-Through Online Video Ads than Standard Banners. Retrieved May 7, 2013 from


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