GRAB ATTENTION! Why animated explanatory videos build traction (CLIPATIZE Whitepaper)


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In 1922 the great inventor and visionary Thomas Edison prophesied: “I believe that the motion picture is destined to revolutionize our educational system and that in a few years it will supplant largely, if not entirely, the use of textbooks."

This is a detailed yet comprehensive memo on the benfits of video as a marketing tool. People don't read what you write on your website, because on average visitors spend 10 seconds viewing it - it's up to you to get their attention! How? Make it quick, make them empathize with your story and also, be clear about your message.

We make explainer videos, so we work with the art of explanation every day, we hope you enjoy this white paper written by Jakub (Kuba) Lebuda - Co-founder and CEO at Clipatize.

Looking forward to your comments!

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GRAB ATTENTION! Why animated explanatory videos build traction (CLIPATIZE Whitepaper)

  1. 1. Why animated explanatory videos build traction Why animated explanatory videos build traction white paper by , Grab attention! Grab attention!
  2. 2. Attention, attention... [1] Is Google Making Us Stupid?, google-making-us-stupid/6868/ Express your ideas in a way that people stop, listen and remember! Be smart about this, your success depends on it. We live in the age of information overload. Broadband Internet, tablets, smart-phones and free data plans have changed content consumption patterns. Studies show that - as Nicholas Carr writes - we “zip along the surface like a guy in a Jet Ski rather than dive into the sea of words”.[1] Sifting, browsing, googling, and surfing - all that means that there is less attention you can expect from potential customers. Attention has become the truly scarce resource in the digital era... Why? Sifting comes from the urge to keep oneself up-to-date, within the time limits we must live with. So clients will be put off if you explain in the traditional way: huge manuals or extensive demonstrations just do not fit the bill! It is a challenge to grab some attention in the first place, but then an even bigger one to make a full use of it, before your customer chooses to leave your website... 22
  3. 3. How much is too much? the website increasing the average time spend by 9%.[2] According to eMarketer, consumers tend to prefer video (and SEM) to other digital advertising formats. Furthermore, the Forbes Insight (2010) found that 59% of senior executives prefer video over text, and this figure has risen by 80% just between 2009 and 2010.[3] [2] Internet Retailer, aises-conversions-video-demos [3] Video in the C-Suite: Executives Embrace the non text web, Forbes Insight, _in_the_CSuite.pdf On average, you can expect some 10 seconds of your customer attention while he visits your website. This is when the visitors decide whether to stay or leave. And this is when you HAVE to put your value proposition on the table or engage him/her into further exploration. Jakob Nielsen, the usability guru, claims that the longer one stays on the web page, the more engaged and committed one will be. The visitors will usually read a quarter of the text they see, so as Nielsen says “unless your writing is extraordinarily clear and focused, little of what you say on your website will get through to customers”. From that stand point, a clear and consistent story is a must! The visitor will either leave quickly or stay for long (this is often called negative aging in Weibull distribution). So if you manage to put your message across, the visitors will gain confidence that staying there is worth it! But how to attract attention? Videos are generally considered more attractive than text. They have a general positive influence on the time spent on 3
  4. 4. Video over text? Explanation builds trust. Video is now the right choice when you seek to explain complex, highly innovative or technology-intensive products. A survey by Forbes from 2010 shows that 51% of consumers who watch videos believe that watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions, and these people would often refer to the video clip more than once ! The Website Magazine confirms the assumption that a product video drives consumer purchase confidence and as a result, 52% of them would be less likely to return the products they bought.[4] Dell has credited video for reducing help desk service volume by 5% [5] - so video is a natural self-service tool that cuts down the costs of customer support. Another study of Internet Retailer run in March 2011 reports that customers that view product videos are 144% more likely to finally buy the products they watch.[6] These figures show that once customers become familiar with the offer and understand it, they are more willing to [4] Website Magazine, ve/2012/04/01/product-videos-lead-to-consumer-confidence .aspx [5] The Australian, December 2010. [6] Internet Retailer, raise-purchase-likelihood-stacks-and-stacks 4
  5. 5. make a purchase decision and what is more, avoid a post-purchase dissonance! Another symptom of the power of video was noticed in a general perception of this medium. According to Experian 2012 Digital Marketer: Benchmark and Trend Report, the word ‘video’ in the email subject line encourages people to read the email (specifically, mass mailing emails): the open rates increased by 7-13%.[7] Furthermore, videos in mass mailing increase the CTR by over 96% (other sources show an increase of even 200% or 300% depending on the data base quality and market segment addressed).[8] [7] Experian, 2012 [8] Implix 2010 Email Marketing Trends Survey. 5
  6. 6. Higher conversions. Performance measured. Examples show that a product video actually boosts sales, so its an investment worth making. According to, the online sales conversions rose by 44% by using videos to showcase products. Frank Malsbenden, VP and GM of Vision Retailing Inc., the parent company of confirms: “With such positive results on our existing videos, the goal right now is to add video to as many of our products as possible”. Similarily Zappos reported a 6% to 30% sales increase for products that featured videos apart from regular text information.[9] This is confirmed by an IAB Report prepared with Nielsen, Yahoo and Microsoft Advertising in 2012 which shows that visual product viewing options were considered more effective than any other site medium.[10] Additionally, product videos both provoke and allow for a strong ROPO effect (Research Online, Purchase Offline). Google Blog reports that 79% of smart-phone owners use their devices to aid in shopping, and 74% of smart-phone shoppers make a purchase finally. Explanatory videos can be well delivered and watched over a mobile device and contribute to the purchase decision.[11] [9] ReelSEO, [10] A Comprehensive Picture of Digital Video and TV Advertising, ising-Viewing-Budget-Share-Shift-and-Effectiveness.pdf [11] Google Mobile Ads Blog, ser-study-shows-mobile.html 6
  7. 7. SEM/SEO arguments. Marketingweek claims (2011) that an average of 70 out of 100 search listings would contain video. That means that search engine optimization can be achieved by including an explanatory clip on your website. This is confirmed by Bruce Clay Inc., one of the top SEO/SEM firms in the world. The Bruce Clay himself discusses video as a so called ‘engagement objects’ that are of crucial importance when it comes to organic and universal search.[12] It is these objects that cause visitors to engage and interact. Clay says: "…In the case of video, we believe that as one of the more important engagement objects, Google has actually started to build it into the algorithm. To us, that means if your website has engagement objects on it, video or mp3… it is going to be received by the algorithm better and your site will actually have an opportunity to rank better. I think, that a year from now, we are going to be sitting here saying – 'if you don't have video, if you don't have engagement objects on your website, you are just not going to rank.”[13] This seems to be confirmed by the Forrester Research that found that “videos are 53 times more likely traditional web pages to receive an organic first-page ranking”.[14] This needs no further comment, does it? [12] ReelSEO, Without Video, Your Website Will NOT Rank In The Future, [13] ReelSEO, Without Video, Your Website Will NOT Rank In The Future, [14] The Easiest Way to a First-page Ranking on Google,, 7
  8. 8. Video stirs emotions and imagination. All that you have read so far is not only consistent with intuition, confirmed by earlier quoted market data but also proven by a bulk of scientific evidence coming from brain/mind research. The idea that the use of motion picture in communication or learning enhances cognitive abilities is not new at all. In 1922 a great inventor and visionary Thomas Edison prophesied: “I believe that the motion picture is destined to revolutionize our educational system and that in a few years it will supplant largely, if not entirely, the use of textbooks.”[15] Although Edison’s vision has not yet been fulfilled, it can be argued that in his day neither the technology nor mindset were there... It seems that nowadays both are here more than ever. Movement is the most efficient attention grabber. We are genetically programmed to pay attention and react to moving objects, instantly and sum-consciously, as this has been the matter of survival for our ancestors (imagine that something crawls into your field of view just as you read these words, you would end up on your feet (if not on your desk!) well before you start questioning yourself about what is going on!). Dale postulated that it is the rich full-body ‘hands-on’ experience that is “the bed-rock of all education”, arguing that learning becomes more and more difficult if we rely on more abstract objects like verbal symbols (text), which ended up right in the very vortex of his Cone of Experience. [16] Coming down the Dale’s cone abstract verbal symbols are followed by visual symbols, voice recordings, still pictures, then motion pictures followed by all types of interaction with real objects, from simple display of exhibits to real hands-on experiences involving purposive actions. It looks as if motion picture is the closest we have to real life interaction. [15] See, e.g.: Oppenheirmer, T. (1997), The computer delusion, The Atlantic Monthly, no. 1(280), pp: 45-62. [16] Dale, E. (1996), Audiovisual methods in teaching, ERIC. 8
  9. 9. Furthermore, neurocognitive scientists and contemporary philosophers of mind insist (pls refer to Thomas Metzinger, Daniel Dennett, or Antonio Damasio [17]) that brain/mind is the ideal reality simulator. The human mind has a unique and absolutely fabulous capacity to build models of reality that are sometimes indistinguishable from real experience (btw, what is real is not an obvious thing for these thinkers, but this is out of scope here), such as lucid dreams, out-off-body experiences or hallucinations. These models of both external reality and our own bodies are used by our brains as tools for managing everyday mind/body activity: movement, learning, decision taking, etc. This is also the case when we are involved in mental simulations such as imagining or daydreaming. Video clips are the best tools for inspiring sensually rich mental simulation allowing the spectator to spread the wings of one’s imagination. Engaging the viewer in the simulation of reality is the closest we can get, within the limits of today’s communication technology, to the ideal of getting him involved in a real-life situation. Building and portraying [17] Metzinger, T. (2009), The Ego Tunnel: The Science of Mind and the Myth of the Self, New York: Basic Books.; Dennett, D.C. (1993), Consciousness explained, Penguin Books.; Damasio, A. (2010), Self comes to mind: Constructing the conscious brain, Pantheon. 9 a story which the viewer can plunge in an empathize with will trigger one’s brain to build a simulation of real-life situation and place oneself within it.
  10. 10. This may allow us to guide our viewer throughout the story in a way that is convincing, engaging, meaningful and attractive. Last but not least, the contemporary affective neuroscience provides robust evidence, which confirms classic theoretical predictions (starting with Darwin’s account of emotion) that emotions are the foundations for basic cognitive processes such as language acquisition, abstract thinking, social interaction and decision-making.[18] Affect and emotion, being the currency of meaning, modulate critical cognitive and social capacities: we speak and reason, engage in social interaction, engage in action (mind motivation!), and make choices (including consumer choices!) due to and dependently on our emotional states. It is an old known fact that emotions are predominantly communicated with visual signs: bodily, mostly facial, expressions.[19] Auditory channel can also strongly influence emotion, for which reason film directors attach huge importance to movie soundtracks. Multi-modal communication means such as video is the best available medium for communicating emotional content and affecting recipient closest to the real face-to-face interaction. [18] Damasio, A. (1994), Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain, Penguin.; Panksepp J., Affective neuroscience: the foundations of human and animal emotions, Oxford University Press, New York 1998.; LeDoux J.E.(1996), The emotional brain: the mysterious underpinnings of emotional life, Simon & Schuster.; Greenspan, S.I. and Shanker, S. (2004), The first idea: How symbols, language, and intelligence evolved from our early primate ancestors to modern humans, Da Capo Press.; Lakoff, G., Johnson, M.(1999), Philosophy In The Flesh: the Embodied Mind and its Challenge to Western Thought. Basic Books. [19] Ekman, P., Friesen, W.V., Ellsworth, P. (1982), Emotion in the human face, Pergamon Press. 10
  11. 11. Explanatory product video today and tomorrow. The market of explanatory videos is booming. Invodo research shows that 4Q2011 witnesses an increase of 300% in video views both on retail and brand sites.[20] This is often boosted by the power of social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) that leverage initial reach of campaigns. This video boom is noticed specifically in the mobile traffic where it has a share of 50 to 69% depen- ding on the type of network (influenced presumably by the data plan) and source of information we tracked. In his keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show, the VP of Youtube, Robert Kyncl claims this traffic will soon reach 90% across all Internet traffic.[21] This shift in behavioral patterns will be soon reflected by the online advertising spending: According to Forrester Research within the next years more than one-third of all online adverti- sing spending will be spend on video.[22] 50% of all manu- facturers surveyed in 2001 established their You Tube channels to build online brand presence and gain a more personal contact with their customers (Marketing Today, 2011). [20] Invodo research, January 2012. [21] CES Live: YouTube's Robert Kyncl: Online Video Will Soon Be 90% Of Online Traffic, Forbes, -youtubes-robert-kyncl/ [22] Online Ad Spend to Overtake TV by 2016, -spend-to-overtake-tv/ 11
  12. 12. A well crafted video. So you work on an explanatory video? How long a video should be? A tough one to answer. With TV commercials of 15/30 seconds an explanatory video should not be longer that 90 seconds, best if around 60. The quality of video matters - Comscore proves the advantage of professionally produced videos over user-generated content by some 30% (delivering a 24.7% lift as compared with an 18.7% lift for the UGC video, Comscore, 2012). The study from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Akamai Technologies proves that people tend to lose interest if the video is not loaded after 2 seconds. Almost 40% of Internet users will leave the clip if they will be forced to wait. If, by any means, they choose to stay the possibility of disliking the video increases with 5,8% with every second so keep it short: 30-90 seconds should be just fine.[23] [23] CNN, tudy 12 Furthermore - and it’s the key point here: it is not about visuals and nice animations - IT IS ABOUT EXPLAINING. Keep that in mind when working on your video pitch.
  13. 13. Why we do it… The change transforms today, more and more often in a radical, quick manner. This is visible in the TMT, banking and finance as well as biotech sectors. Schumpeter and later on, Clayton Christensen have well noticed the very nature of the capitalistic world where destruction and creativity go together and where shifts of both business and social paradigms happen constantly. Today this is even more relevant. We are truly inspired by the fact that entrepreneurs are able to reconfigure economic orders and devalue existing practices. We call these entrepreneurs ‘Monsters’! They have the vision, skills and they dare to question the status quo. That is why they finally succeed. They fight and conquer what we call Bambis: non-attractive marketing beauties that become outdated, boring and valueless. About Clipatize. At Clipatize, we believe your client deserves a clear and consistent message. We know how to tell engaging stories that well illustrate the competitive edge of your offering. We have an in-depth understanding of technology, as part of the team has consulting background, and we love story telling and artwork. Let us clipatize YOUR idea! 13
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