The challenge of explaining a new concept without losing your audience is a tricky one. Since the early days of advertising, entrepreneurs and businesses have tried every possible way of explaining their products and services, from complicated diagrams to live demonstrations.

Back in 2007, two students founded Dropbox.com, a website that made it easy to store and share files using the online cloud. Faced with the challenge of explaining this new technology without confusing potential users, they created a video that skyrocketed them to success.

In recent years, explainer videos have become one of the cornerstones of successful online marketing. Here are five essential facts to bear in mind when considering the value of video.

1) People spend more time watching videos than reading text

The average internet user will only read an average of 28% of the text they see when they click on a webpage. Reading is an active process that requires concentration, and unfortunately our attention span just isn’t that long. Watching a video is easier on the brain – it’s a less demanding, more autonomic process that doesn’t take as much effort. Explainer videos hold their audience for an average of 2.7 minutes, making them a far more effective way of holding people’s attention.

2) Watching a video can evoke a positive emotional response

Watching an on-screen character doing something you can relate to causes mirror neurons in your brain to fire, deepening your sense of connection and creating feelings of empathy. Our ability to form an emotional bond to both real and animated characters has a big effect on our purchasing decisions, so creating an explainer video is by far the most effective way to sell your idea. Human empathy is a powerful tool. In the words of Community’s Jeff Winger; people can connect to anything.

3) Videos are more memorable than text-based media

The passive nature of video watching and the powerful psychological cues triggered by images work together to create a far more memorable experience. We process images much faster than text, and the human brain is capable of processing an image in just 13 milliseconds.

Videos are also easier to share with friends and colleagues, and we’re more likely to watch a shared video than read an article. Recent research from Twitter shows that 82% of Twitter users watch video content, which boosts the rate of retweets, replies and favorites.

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4) Adding an explainer video can seriously boost your SEO

Explaining your concept using a video doesn’t just make it more memorable and relatable, it also increases your chances of showing up in search engine results. Studies show that companies using video content receive an average of 41% more traffic andgrow almost one and a half times as fast as non-video users. Google search results tend to favor video content, and over 60% of Google searches include a video.

People spend almost 90% more time on websites with videos, and adding video can increase search engine traffic by over 150%. Videos generate three times as many website visits compared to other forms of content, and people spend almost 90% longer on websites with video. This is particularly valuable for startup companies competing in crowded market sectors.

5) Great explainer videos increase conversions, but poor quality harm your image

Commissioning a high quality explainer video and adding it to your website doesn’t just attract new visitors; it also helps convert them to your brand.

This doesn’t mean you can get away with using substandard video; in fact, over 60% of consumers form a negative impression of companies that create and share poor quality video content. Overcomplicated, badly produced videos are more likely to annoy users than engage them, so it’s worth making sure you get it right.

If you’re thinking of creating an explainer video for your company, working with people that know how to get your message across can grow your online presence and help leave a lasting impression. If you’d like to find out more about the benefits of adding an explainer video to your website, why not let us show you how we can help your message stand out?