The key to creating an explainer video (that actually converts)

90% of videos fail, simply because they don’t understand this one timeless principle

By Sean Meyer

A few years ago I was scrolling around on Upwork, looking for copywriting jobs…

And even though the usual requests accounted for 90% of my feed, where people were looking for a saving grace that’d turn their business around with a few lines of copy (not going to happen), at the same time…

I couldn’t help but see a “rising” number of job postings that I’d never heard of before, that usually revolved around the title of:

“Scriptwriter needed for explainer video”

Now at first I really didn’t think too much about it, as there’s always new trends that die quick, so I try not to jump on those right away…

But after seeing how these requests continued for the next couple of months, and even started to increase over that time, I realized this might be something I should look into…

So after that, I started “Googling” around, mainly to see what these things even were…

And after doing some research for the next 2 hours, I’m not going to lie, I was pretty impressed.

Say that for a few reasons, but if anything, I was just amazed with the results these videos were creating…

Which made sense, as everybody loves video, and when done correctly…

They always grab an audience’s attention right away, so it all made sense to me, and even though I started doing this research out of curiosity…

After looking into it for a little bit, some “funny” thoughts started popping into my head.

From creating a video that’d sell on autopilot, to becoming a millionaire within the next 30 days, I honestly started to think this new trend was going to be my saving grace…

So naturally, I went out after that, hired a professional to create the video for me…

Then launched my campaign a few weeks later, and after spending hundreds of dollars on ads, without getting any results…

I finally had to admit something I really didn’t want to admit:

The video was a complete failure

Now this was obviously depressing as hell, because by this point in time, I’d spent hundreds of dollars on Facebook Ads…

Along with thousands of dollars on the video, so it was an expensive mistake to say the least, but at the same time…

I was glad I tried it, mainly so I could chalk it off as “another marketing tactic that doesn’t work”.

With that said, really didn’t even think about these videos much after that, until one day…

When I decided to hire a marketing coach.

Not going to get into all the details on our engagement now, as they’re not too important, but let’s just say…

That after telling him what I was looking to do, he outlined a system that’d help me reach that goal, and as I’m sure you can guess…

To start things off, he wanted me to use an explainer video.

At first, I was obviously reluctant to do this, as I “knew” these videos didn’t work…

But after giving him some pushback, and mentioning how I’d been burnt by these videos in the past, he asked to take a look at my previous video…

Mainly so he could see where I’d gone wrong, and 10 minutes later, he told me how I’d made the common mistake that everybody makes:

I didn’t understand the underlying formula that makes these videos (actually) work

Now I’ll obviously be showing you this formula here in a second, so it’ll make more sense then, but for now…

Let’s just say that even though I did a lot of things wrong, my “main” problem was that I made the rookie mistake, of focusing on tactics first…

Without understanding why they work.

In other words, I went into this thinking that conversion was all about quality production and fancy design, but as this new coach quickly pointed out…

Even though that’s important, it’s impossible to get results without understanding the hidden message that drives conversions, and after explaining everything a little more after that…

I started to see what he was saying, so I went ahead with his approach afterwards, and I’m not going to lie…

The results blew my mind.

From getting clicks for less than 50 cents, as it was attracting my ideal audience right away…

To ringing up sales on autopilot, and even getting numerous shares on Facebook, improving my results organically…

It was funny how big of a difference this simple formula made, and that’s the same reason why I wanted to show you this today — starting with:

Step #1 — Research your target market, understand their biggest problem

Alright, I know this first step is going to sound “cheesy” to a lot of people, and if you’re anything like I used to be…

Then you’ll think it’s all fluff, but I can assure you, this is hands down — the most important part of the process.

Also something that’ll make more sense here in a second, but for now, let’s just say…

That if you don’t actually take the time to hone in on your ideal market, and understand the biggest problem they’re facing, then you’ll never be able to connect with them on an emotional level…

And in turn, get the results you’re looking for.

Anyway, this is something that most people have heard about before, as everybody talks about “solving a problem”…

So not going to get into too much detail on it, but the one thing everybody messes up with this, is that they think about problems on a “logical” level — not an “emotional” level.

In other words, if you ask most entrepreneurs what their market’s biggest problem is, they’ll tell you “logical” items…

Such as:

  • Can’t get clients
  • Can’t lose weight
  • Can’t get married
  • Etc…

And even though these are technically problems you should know about, as it’s good “surface copy”, at the same time…

These things never get results, because humans buy with emotion, then justify with logic…

So if you don’t know how to connect on an emotional level, then you’ll never get results.

With that said, I could go on about this for days, but I know more information usually isn’t the answer…

As people learn best from examples, so to give you a quick insight on what I’m saying, let’s assume you have a weight loss program…

And your main target market is:

  • Young dudes (age 25–30)
  • Fairly overweight (25%+ body fat)
  • Work in a professional role (accountant, banker, etc.)

Knowing this, most people would try to write ads that say something along the lines of:

  • “Struggling to lose weight?”
  • “Tired of diets that don’t work?”
  • “Need to get rid of excess body fat?”…

And yes, these type of ads do get “some” sales, as a small portion of the market wants to at least act like they’re trying to improve…

So they’ll likely buy your program, put it on the shelf for “later”, then never touch it again…

But at the same time, this approach also leaves a lot of money on the table as well, because these type of ads really don’t target an emotional problem.

What I mean by that, is sure, these young dudes do want to lose weight…

And they are tired of bad diets, but at the same time, that’s not really their driving force…

Because instead, they want:

  • To get laid more often (not politically correct, but it’s true)
  • To have more confidence in their life (hard to feel good about yourself when you’re overweight)
  • To receive respect from others (most humans view fat people as lazy, again, not politically correct…but we both know it’s true)
  • Etc…

And THOSE are the type of problems they’ll pay a lot of money for.

Anyway, again, could go on about this for days…

And if it’s not something that makes 100% sense yet, don’t worry about it, it will here in a second…

But just something I wanted to mention quick, and now that we have this out of the way, let’s move onto:

Step #2 — Use NLP to connect their problem with your product

Alright, I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the term NLP, but just to make sure we’re on the same page…

It stands for “neuro-linguistic programming”, and even though there’s a lot of crazy stuff that goes into it, for the most part…

It deals with “association”.

In other words, you’re more likely to buy something that makes you “feel good”, as your subconscious mind gravitates towards pleasure…

So the main goal of every marketing campaign, is to associate your product with the feeling of “pleasure”, or at a bare minimum…

Feeling good (i.e. warm, relaxed, success, money, sun, etc.).

Anyway, again, something I could go on about for awhile…

And even though there’s multiple ways you could do this, for the most part, it works best…

When you use the “PAS” formula.

If you’re not familiar with “PAS”, it stands for:

  • Problem
  • Agitation
  • Solution…

And the reason why this works so well, is because it brings their negative emotions to the surface, reminding them how bad their current situation sucks…

Then after that, it shows them how to solve these negative emotions, which is a “pain reliever”…

And in turn, the best feeling there is.

With that said, that’s the gist of it, and to give you an example of this…

I always start off by outlining my approach, as the next step gets easier once you have an outline in place, so with our current example…

This could be a few things, but I’d do something along the lines of:

  • A few years ago Rick was on a “career cloud nine”
  • He’d recently graduated with his MBA, landed a solid job, making good money at an office job
  • On paper, he should’ve been the happiest guy around, but deep down…something didn’t feel right
  • Few reasons for this but on the weekends, he’d go to the bar with his buddies
  • They’d all find girls and hang out with them for the rest of the weekend, he was always the fat friend who was “nice”, but woke up by himself every morning
  • That was bad enough, but then M-F, it seemed like nobody would ever take him serious
  • He was always passed up for promotions, given the “busy work”, as the “good looking” employees had to go do the real work
  • Which was facing clients, and after experiencing this for a while, Rick started to struggle with depression
  • Whether it was the constant lack of energy, or having everybody look at him like he was a lazy slob
  • The problems continued for a long-time, and after drowning his sorrows with beer and pizza every weekend, his weight continued to climb
  • No diets were helping him out, thought he was doomed to a life of failure, until one day
  • When he found the “Young Dudes Cure”
  • Unlike other programs, this one was designed specifically for him, giving him a flexible workout schedule that’d fit his busy schedule
  • While also having a community for support
  • Decided to give it a try, 6 months later, Rick had lost 40 pounds…which was great
  • But the true results happened after that
  • His co-workers started complimenting him on his weight loss, his confidence started to soar, ladies because attracted to his new aura
  • Now Rick is happily married, Vice President of his company, and has more energy that he knows what to do with
  • All because he took the initial step, and joined the Young Dude’s Weight Loss Program
  • Ready to do the same for yourself? If so, click on the link below to start your free trial…

And again, this is something that could be spiced up a bit, as I just wrote that off the top of my head…

But at the same time, it gives you a good insight of what you need to do.

From addressing the problem (he was overweight, not happy)…

To agitating the emotions (not getting laid, depressed, no energy)…

And finally, showing him a solution (Young Dude’s Weight Loss Program, which yes, I just made up)…

That outline covers all the basics, which now takes us to the final part of the process:

Step #3 — Weave everything together with a story

Alright, so if you’ve been in the business game for more than 2 days, I’m sure you’ve heard about the importance of “storytelling” anymore…

Because every random writer seems to have “storyteller” in their profile description, even though they forget about this when they start writing an article, as it’s technical junk that bores you to death…

But that’s all talk for a different time, and in the simplest terms, stories work great…

Because we’re all programmed to enjoy stories at a young age.

Whether it’s the children’s books we read, or the stories our parents tell us around the campfire…

We all love a good story, and that’s why it’s important to leverage this human attribute, and use it as a way of “connecting” with your reader.

Of course, you don’t want to go too overboard either, because if you start telling stories that are way too long…

Or even worse, boring, then it’ll have the opposite effect…

And that’s what happens with most webinars today, but needless to say, even though there’s a lot of ways you can do this…

For the most part, I advise 2 types of stories:

Type #1 — A personal story

As I just mentioned a second ago, really the main reason stories work so well, is because it’s an easy way to connect with your audience…

And in turn, build trust, which is the key to sales…

And the easiest way of doing this, is by sharing a personal story that you’ve had with the problems they’re facing.

Works great for a few reasons, but if anything, people love to learn from somebody who’s already been through their journey…

As they’re the best teachers out there, but the only caveat with this, is that you have to make sure you’re telling the truth as well.

This seems to be another huge problem with the marketing world anymore, where people get so caught up in doing anything for the sale, that they forget how they’ll have to work with the client afterwards…

So once they get them on board, the client will mention how they hired them because of their personal experience, which makes for an awkward engagement afterwards…

As you have to maintain a lie the entire time.

Anyway, just something I wanted to mention, because it’s a growing problem anymore…

But that’s the first type of story, and for the second type:

Type #2 — A client’s story

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed over the years, it seems like experts are created in one of two ways:

  • They discovered a weakness that was holding them back, had to overcome it
  • They found something that came easy to them (capitalizing on a strength)

Now for the most part, if you’re an expert in the first type, overcoming a weakness…

Then you’ll really just want to tell a personal story, because if somebody is hiring you for something, then they’re probably struggling with it…

And since you know exactly what they’re going through, as you’ve been there yourself, then well…

It’s just an easy way to connect.

With that said, on the other hand, if you’re offering a skill that’s always come natural to you…

Then it’s still a good business idea, as you’ll have all the confidence in the world, and know you’ll be able to get the results people are paying for…

But at the same time, it does make it hard to connect with your audience.

This is something I had to learn the hard way in the beginning of my freelance career, when I was starting out as a tax consultant…

And for some godforesaken reason, tax has always been really easy for me.

I’m talking skipping all my accounting classes, only showing up for tests, getting a 4.0 along the way…

Then becoming an IRS Enrolled Agent on the first try, without really studying, which is unheard of…

And I’m not saying this to brag, but I’m saying this because since it’s always been a strength, then I don’t understand how it can be hard for anybody…

Which in turn, has always made it hard for me to communicate with clients on this subject.

With that said, really didn’t know how to get around this for the longest time, so I just started out with the “logical” problems…

And even though it worked, it really didn’t get the results I was looking for, which was why I was so excited…

To learn about the concept of sharing client’s stories, and connecting with your audience that way, as it essentially had the same effect.

Of course, you’ll want to make sure you get permission from this client, and if you don’t…

Then make sure you change their name for animosity, but with that said, if you can successfully tell the story of a client you helped…

Mentioning the struggles they went through, and how you helped them, then the prospect will be able to connect with their story…

And in turn, want to work with you because of that.

Anyway, that’s really the gist of storytelling, and again…

Just mentioning a relevant story that either you, or your client, has gone through…

Is the important part, as everybody loves relevancy, but now that we have this out of the way…

The last thing you really need to do with this, is use your story to weave everything together.

As with everything, there’s a few ways to do this, and I’ll give you an example next…

But the last thing I wanted to mention quick, was that if possible, try to keep this under 300 words.

Important for a few reasons, but if anything, once you put it into video…

It extends out a bit, and you don’t want your initial video to be too long, as people’s attention span isn’t the greatest…

But with that said, that’s really it from a tactical standpoint, and now that we have this covered…

Let’s turn our current example (Young Dude’s Fitness) into a script:

“A few years ago Rick was at the height of his professional career.

He’d recently graduated with this MBA, landed a solid office job, and everything else every young graduate strives for…

But even though he felt amazing for the first month, after this initial euphoria wore off, depression started to creep in.

Few reasons for this, but it all started on the weekends, when he’d go out with his friends…

And even though he was the most successful in his group, at the same time, when all his friends were finding ladies they could go home with…

He was always the fat friend who was “nice”, but couldn’t get any girl to go home with him.

This was bad in itself, and a devasting blow to any young dude, but at the same time…

This also carried into the professional world, where even though his co-workers were nice to him, they also treated him like a nobody…

As he was just the fat lazy kid in the corner, who took care of the books, while the “outgoing” professionals…

Were doing all the fun stuff, like golfing with clients.

Needless to say, this constant lack of respect took a toll on his confidence, and after self-medicating with beer and pizza every night…

Rick eventually reached 280 pounds, and even though he wanted to lose weight, he really didn’t know what to do about it.

He’d already tried all other types of weight loss plans out there, and every single one of them failed…

Which made him think he was destined for a life of obesity, until one day, when he heard about the Young Dude’s Weight Loss Program.

Unlike any other program out there, this one was actually designed for him, where they had a flexible workout schedule that fit his busy lifestyle…

Along with community support from a bunch of members who’ve been in his shoes, so after a little bit of thought, he decided to give it a try…

And 6 months later, his life had changed forever.

Not only were co-workers complimenting him on his new looks, but the ladies were as well, and this confidence ended up parlaying into a much better life…

Where Rick is now happily married to the girl of his dreams, is the VP of his company, and best of all…

Has more energy than he knows what to do with, which has a positive impact on every aspect of his life.

Ready to do the same? If so, click on the link below to start your free trial”

And again, this is something that’d have to go through a deep edit, as I just wrote it off the top of my head…

So it could definitely be shortened up a bit, but at the same time, it gives you a good insight on what an explainer video script should look like…

And after that, you really have the foundation for success.

From there, you’d simply have a professional designer create your video, and if everything is done correctly…

Where you have:

  • The right offer
  • The right message
  • Etc…

Then I can assure you, you’ll never have to worry about sales again.

Anyway, that’s it for step #3, which takes us to:

The recap

As I hope you’re starting to see by now, one of the biggest problems everybody makes with every part of online business, including explainer videos…

Is simply focusing on tactics, without realizing why they work.

The reason for this is because well, it’s all we can see, so you don’t know what you don’t know…

But now that you understand the secret formula of success, with a little bit of research, and a lot of planning…

You have everything you need to create an evergreen asset that generates sales now, and for years to come.

P.S. Interested in having somebody take care of all this for you, from start to finish? If so, then check this out.

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