Should a Startup Invest in an Explainer Video?

For startups, it can be a challenge to get seen and heard. The problem is that a lot of great ideas and business ventures fall through the cracks, and this typically happens when marketing efforts don’t hit the mark.

If you want your startup to grab stakeholders’ attention and rise above the ranks, you’ll have to communicate what you’re offering in an engaging, memorable, and effective way. For that purpose, videos can be ideal.

If you take a look at the most-funded Kickstarter projects, you’ll note that out of the 12 campaigns listed on the first page of the site, 11 have a video that introduces and describes the company along with its offering.

Now, considering that not all Kickstarter projects rise to the occasion (as of December 2019, 62.56% of Kickstarter projects were deemed “unsuccessful”) it would be a smart move to give your startup campaign the best chance at thriving with a well-made video.

Let’s keep in mind that explainer videos aren’t just great for Kickstarter campaigns. They have proved, time and again, to be one of the most valuable marketing tools for helping businesses in their infancy to arrive on the scene early on in their journey.

Here’s an example of a startup that decided to put an explainer at the heart of its marketing efforts and saw remarkable results:

Dropbox is an established name now, but when it made its debut in 2007, the company faced a barrier with its marketing strategy.

Initially, Dropbox tried to use Google AdWords to reach their target audience. This approach, however, proved to be unsuccessful because they were spending $ 300 per customer acquired. This strategy was not ideal or sustainable at the time. Essentially, the company was having trouble trying to solve a problem that people weren’t even aware they had yet.

To combat this, the file-hosting service then chose a two-pronged approach. First, they pushed a referral campaign to attract customers. Users who spread the word about the company’s service through social media and e-mail were rewarded with free space. Consequently, these users became brand advocates.

Second, Dropbox focused on designing a homepage centered around an explainer video featuring a simple stick-figure that showed what the product does. No fancy charts, tables, or graphs. Just a video.

The result:

The revamped strategy worked wonders. In just two and a half years, Dropbox’s valuation rose to $ 4 billion.

Following the example set by Dropbox, and others that came before, plenty of new startups have found success with explainer videos. The reasoning behind this is simple: these types of videos make an impact because they get to the heart of your product or service and can unravel your company’s why in sixty seconds. Consider it a more creative and dynamic version of your elevator pitch.

In my experience, I’ve seen explainer videos help startups in so many ways. Here are a couple that really stick out:

Reason 1: Highly effective in the early stages of your business

An explainer has the potential to leave a great first impression. This is great especially when you’re in the initial stages of developing your businesses and trying to connect with investors, partners, and people from the industry. A short video can help you pitch to busy executives, who probably don’t have the time to go through pages of a descriptive proposal.

Reason 2: Great asset for increasing sales

A video landing page can be much more engaging than one without (think back to Dropbox’s example). And your video’s utility doesn’t just end there. Y+u can use it as part of your sales funnel and explain what your product or service is to prospects.

If you’re in the B2B space and are reaching out to your prospects directly through email or LinkedIn, adding your explainer along with your message can be massively effective, too.

You can also add a link to your explainer video in your proposals before sending them out to potential clients.

Reason 3: You can optimize them to run as powerful ads on social media

We all know that social media is a powerful tool for brands that want to promote themselves. The challenge for marketers is that the attention spans of users on these platforms are very short which means the promotional material needs to be attention-grabbing and engaging in order to be effective.

Typically, a 60 to 90-second explainer may not be the most suitable medium to promote on Facebook or Instagram. However, you can optimize your explainer video into short 15 to 30-second cuts that hook people’s attention and spark their curiosity to learn more and land on your website.


Investing a good sum of money in an explainer video when you’re starting out can be intimidating. However, the fact that it can be used consistently to communicate who you are in an engaging way through different communication channels can turn out to be immensely beneficial in the long-run.

Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community

Author: Osama Khabab

View full profile ›


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.