4 Reasons You Should **NOT** Get an Explainer Video

Not every startup, not every company is a good choice to get a video. Regardless of what you may think, many people are poor choices for this work.  Our videos aren't cheap (and as the saying goes, cheap videos aren't good).  Spending this kind of money is something that has to be done very judiciously. We could just say "yes, the answer is video," to you. However, this is usually disingenuous.  Videos help.  We know that good videos can make a startup work.  We know that certain times we've doubled the sales of a startup.  But it's not a sure bet and other things have to be in place before a video should be bought (or at least in the works.).

There are many reasons why now is not the time.  One of our films can double sales, but it can also be a waste of money when other things aren't in place.  If you have a crappy customer experience-  raising expectations with a video won't do you much good.

If your landing page is terrible, fix that first.

It's easy to fix a bad landing page. Most modern CMS platforms will allow you to make one, and you can get stand alone products like Unbounce.Com or Premise to fix what you need to.  

By "terrible" your landing page should answer two questions:

  • What does the software do?
  • What do you want me to do next?

If there's no path, or if the "action steps" are legacy bolt ons from the Clinton Administration... ...a new video won't be a sales tool.

(This is a fantastic article about making your landing page work).  Places like Headway Themes (a Simplifilm client) have phenomenal templates to make this happen for not a lot of money.

Focus on making a good landing page.  You can get one from someone like Rog Designs or Rowboat Media starting at $1,000.  

Obviously, if this is for use in a trade show, you may get a video that drives quality. If your landing page is bad, make sure that that gets fixed first.

Too Little Bang For Your Buck

Your video should pay for itself within 6 months.

If the business doesn't make sense, make sure you know that it's a trophy and a luxury item, but not yet a business necessity. Trophies are a great reason to buy what we make, but we also like to see our customers do well with a return.

High traffic sites can have results almost instantly.

Low traffic sites take a while.

Price is a wild card.

Low traffic * low price = a long payback period.

High traffic X high price = a quick payback period.

How soon will the video pay for itself?  Do the math in advance to make sure it's viable. For example.

Let's say your widget costs $20.00, and it's a digital download.

Let's say you have 2,000 visitors per month and that you're converting 5% of them. (100 total sales)

This means that you have 100 sales a month * 20.00 = $2,000  (we'll ignore merchant services).

Let's say that the video costs $10,000 and that it increases your sales by a whopping 50%. (That would be on the high end of our results).  Now you're converting 7.5% of the visitors.

7.5 * 2000 = 150 total sales.  = 3,000 in revenue.  The increase is 1,000.  It would take 10 months to pay for itself.

This is probably too long to make it a worthwhile buy.  We generally like to have a 3 month payback period on Simplifilms.  A safe assumption is a 15% increase in conversions - most people see around 25%.

No "What Do I Do Next"

We call the next step a "call to action.

You need one.  You need to not just "raise awareness" but dedicate a part of the script and video with "what next."  If the answer is many things, that's OK.

Often, we do multiple endings on our videos.  You'd want to end with a tagline at a trade show booth, a "request for email" while you were in pre launch mode, and a call to action when you were live. If you're not in a place to desire an action - and you don't know what's next - a video isn't going to help that.

If you don't have an call action in place - it's premature to get a video.

Start with a landing page, get some sort of list intake mechanism and go from there.

No Clear Purpose Or Market Yet

If you don't have a purpose to what you're doing or a market, a video doesn't solve that.

When you're trying to make a video for everyone - it's the exact same thing as making a video for nobody. You have to target as specifically as you can.  No more tan 2 markets, and preferably just one. Obviously you'll include phrases such as "and so much more."

The good news is that we have time to get this stuff right during the process.  It takes us about 10 weeks or so to make a video. That's ample time for a good lean startup to get this together.  We're happy to help with as much of it as we can.

Interested?  Get a quote to see if we're a fit.