It’s with good reason they call this the information age. We’re awash in it– consuming ideas, concepts, techniques, stories, and knowledge at an incredible rate.

Combine that with steadily shrinking attention spans and a widespread propensity for visual learning and it quickly becomes obvious why video is such an adaptable and efficient tool.

Video is a difference maker for an expanding number of uses: educating, informing, raising awareness, providing customer service, and driving all manner of conversions (sales, leads, and more abstract goals included).

1. Explainer Videos: Teach Me

Explainer videos are a type of content that untangles a complicated issue with a brief, clear, and visually appealing message. They often employ motion graphic animation, music, voice overs, and other features to help make the issue more understandable and keep the audience engaged in what might otherwise be a daunting topic.

The key to any good explainer video is brevity: 90 seconds is optimal. According to one study: when an explainer video reaches two minutes in duration, average views drop from 77% to 57%. Video’s under 60 seconds have the highest audience retention rate of all.

That’s not a lot of time to express a complicated thought, let alone impart it in a way that others will retain. Consequently, explainer videos need to be incredibly focused. They are an opportunity to dive into precisely one issue, affecting one target audience. It’s not a hard limit (more complex topics require more time to cover), but is a good general guide.

The benefit for those that disseminate explainer videos is a healthy dose of increased brand awareness. But, they also generate goodwill from the audiences taking advantage of helpful solutions or commentary. Viewers come to associate those brands with smart ideas, moving concerns, and uplifting experiences. Plus, thanks to social media, all those videos are easily shareable, driving traffic, and serving an important content marketing and SEO function as well.

Example: HubSpot – What is Artificial Intelligence (or Machine Learning)?

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJeNghZXtMo&w=1300&h=600&rel=0 ]

2. Demonstration Videos: Seeing is Believing

Explainer videos are often confused with demonstration videos, short pieces of content showing a product, service, or other concept in action. In a marketing context, explainer videos are ‘top of funnel’ material and demo videos are lower down (i.e. explainers are for an audience just starting the buyer’s journey or conversion process, demos are useful once they are further along the path).

There is some overlap between the two (most demos offer a bit of explanation as well), but standard explainers are best suited for people who haven’t yet wrapped their heads around the issue or product. Demos are for those who understand the idea and are ready to see it actually working. Even before the video age, a great demo has always been a powerful closer, but now they can travel further than ever before and be viewed, shared, and appreciated by a truly global following.

65% of people are visual learners according to the Social Science Research Network

Just like testimonials and case studies that provide social proof, lubricating a lead’s path down a conversion funnel, demonstration videos provide visual proof. Fears can be allayed, concerns addressed, and viewers are given the freedom to inspect the evidence with their own eyes. It’s the perfect tool for an era when transparency and authenticity are so highly prized.

Example: What is a BMW Head-Up Display and how can it support your driving?

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYLZ2ehwy-A&w=1300&h=600&rel=0 ]

3. Internal Videos: Getting Everyone on the Same Page

Even in small companies, it can be a challenge to get everyone on board with a new initiative, or even to enforce consistent action in general. Organizations try everything: memos, workshops, tests, even games.

But, if you really want to them to retain important company information, a video can work wonders. Employees may gloss over the company-wide memo, but watch the 90 second summary video of it. The effort required on their part is minimal, and if the video is well made the impact can be far stronger than dry prose.

In fact, quality is a crucial factor for video content. Invodo’s study of video’s effect on purchase behavior found that videos rated as least four out of five stars had more than twice the average buy rate of lower-rated ones. Replace the word “buy” with “buy-in” and you quickly see how companies putting more effort into their internal content can effectively leverage their investment.

When paired with great visuals, a moving beat, and a clever theme, it can also inject some fun and excitement into what could have been a mundane task.

Example: Lenovo – I FIXED IT: THE NEW I.T. ANTHEM

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jnf4msnVCQ&w=1300&h=600&rel=0 ]

The Takeaway

The opportunities abound: you can help disseminate valuable information, supercharge your conversion funnel, and improve the functioning of your team members. And when you do it with video you express your culture and humanize your brand, making it approachable.

These three examples are really just the tip of the iceberg. Video is being used in countless new applications. It’s helping companies provide better customer service, augmenting user manuals, and spreading powerful messages.

Not only are video content creators earning fans by performing a valuable service, but they are positioning themselves as thought leaders, trusted experts their audiences turn to when faced with questions down the road.

Whether a charitable organization is trying to get a community involved in a cause, a business is working to generate sales, or a gallery is attempting to evoke a reaction in an audience, video can play a part in achieving that goal and so many others. Take a second look at your video strategy today.