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5 Ways to Make the Perfect Explainer Video for a Southeast Asian Audience

Keep it short, sweet, and crystal clear

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BY Ezra Ferraz - 08 Jun 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

While the vision an entrepreneur wants to achieve may be crystal clear to him, others may not be able to see it right away. This is where the explainer video can come in handy, which distills a start-up’s value proposition and business model in a short one to two minutes.

Though explainer videos are a crucial communications tool, brands may have trouble in getting them just right. Indonesia-based Breadnbeyond, which has produced more than 500 explainer videos for start-ups across the world, is an expert at this craft.

Apart from basic pointers, such as limiting explainer videos to 60 to 90 seconds, and making the video as visually attractive as possible, Andre Oentoro, founder and CEO of Breadnbeyond, has specific, actionable advice for brands in Southeast Asia.

1. Include a call to action

Brands too often still don’t ask the people who watch their video to do anything. Oentoro gave a convincing analogy for how useless it is to create an explainer video without a call to action.

“Let’s put it this way: you send out a party invitation to everyone on your contact list, but you don’t include the venue and time,” he says, “Nobody will show up.”

2. Stay involved in the process

With a firm like Breadnbeyond, some clients may assume that it’s sufficient to brief them on what you want and then sit back and let them work their magic. This, of course, is less than ideal.

Oentoro says they try to engage with clients throughout the process as much as possible. He says, “We do this because we realize that nobody knows a company better than themselves. We might know some information about what they sell and where they’re from, but we can’t know for sure who your target market is,” he says. “In other words, if you’re a start-up and about to make an explainer video, be sure to stay involved with the process.”

And don’t be afraid to pitch your ideas.

“For start-ups with wild ideas: don’t be afraid to pitch any wild ideas to whichever studio you pick to make your explainer video,” he adds.

3. Measure the explainer video’s performance

Oentoro recommends A/B testing between how a page performs with and without an explainer video. “No design changes, just the addition of explainer video,” he says.

While he says that traffic and views are an important concern, much more relevant is exposure to your target audience, particularly with regard to how often they are converting to your specific call to action.

“Remember that being known by a few people that are relevant is more important than being known by thousands of irrelevant people. Do not stress over small number of views. As long as you ensure that those viewers are within your target market, you’ll be fine,” he says.

4. Consider localization

Since companies in Southeast Asia may operate in several different markets, he suggests that founders consider the extent to which they will need to localize the explainer video. But there is no hard rule.

“As an example, there is a commercial explainer video in Bahasa made by Go-Jek, an Indonesian unicorn start-up. Their target market is Indonesian-speakingpeople. In that case, it doesn’t need captions in other languages,” Oentoro says.

In contrast, Breadnbeyond made an explainer video for DesignCrowd, which they wanted to spread across different countries. As a result, they went beyond including just localized captions and went straight ahead into producing localized scripts.

“We translated the script to six different languages and several English dialects (Australian English, British English, US English, Indian English, etc.). This one obviously needs to have some degree of captioning, in English and/or other languages,” he says.

5. Promote, promote, and promote

Oentoro says the ideal place to put your explainer video on your website is where it can be most easily seen. “That means at the top (vertically) and center (horizontally) of your homepage or landing page,” he says.

Still, start-ups shouldn’t just place the video there and pray it converts—founders have to actively promote the page. Breadnbeyond, for example, experimented with Facebook Ads.

“I had conducted some experiments with our own video, and we can get our cost per engagement as low as $0.01, which is great,” he says, but notes that it’s not so much the specific actions that matter but your orientation. “What really matters is you track the results and analyze it, and do something to improve them.”