We have known since the dawn of television animation that animated videos are incredibly attention grabbing, for some reason. We know that bright colors, snappy or witty remarks, and fast moving transitions from one scene to the next can hold the attention of even a child – and children have the shortest attention spans of all of us. But do we know exactly why that is the case? Why do those darn viral cartoon videos or promo videos work so well? What is it about explainer videos that can make us want to take a deeper look, when plain text just seems like too much work?
Obviously, there is the fact that these videos are almost always fun and or humorous. Researchers are also beginning to understand that deep within the brain, buried in the way our brain normally works, are patterns and receptors that respond uniquely to this type of video.
Think of the last time you did an internet search for something and the first result you clicked was not what you wanted. How long did it take you before you hit the back button to find another site? You only have between 8 and 10 seconds to capture the attention of your visitors who click into your website. If your main page or splash page is not immediately interesting and attention grabbing, you are no competition for other internet marketers and are likely to see very little revenue or attention.
It also gives a sense of professionalism. Some website fronts are set up to simply mine for visitor information, or end up being scams. With a video, your visitors feel more comfortable finding out more simply because they know you have put time and effort into creating your site.
Video is also easier for the human mind to retain in memory. Research has shown that most visitors retain as little as ten percent of text based information they were shown after only 3 days. However, sites with a video can enjoy a much higher percentage – nearly seventy percent – as a combination of sensory input allows memory to store pieces more effectively. Research has also proven that there are three simple factors that should always be followed when creating promo or explainer videos:
1. Simplicity is key.
Our brain’s working memory has a limited capacity. Non-essential information can take up that space and distract us from learning. This is why we need to keep videos simple, without alot of filler or junk that serves only to lengthen the video without imparting actual relevant information. Though using attention grabbing images and sounds is important, a lot of useless information will only serve to bore your visitors.
2. Know your market well
The human brain tends to process information more easily when it can relate what it is seeing to something previously experienced. This is the same concept that many people use to remember last names – such as relating a “Mr. Baker” with baking bread, or perhaps relating a “Mr. Green” with trees or grass. When the human mind is able to bridge a connection such as this, it already has a link to that information and can easily call it up when it is needed. This is also why analogies, as long as they are clear, are a great component of an explainer video.
3. Use a combination of sensory input for better retention
In 1971, a researcher from Ontario University named Allan Paivo discovered and formulated what is called Dual Coding Theory. Dual Coding Theory states that the formation of mental images almost always aids in learning. Furthermore, as our attention spans get shorter, you have less and less time to captivate your audience and explain what you do. One does need to take care, however, not to “barrage” the visitor with harsh and unpleasant combinations (such as strobe light effects).
In the end, knowledge of who you are marketing to and what will grab their attention is the best way to start your process. Much as any other type of startup or project, market research is a vital component of the process, but it is only one part of making a vibrant, exciting and attention grabbing video.