We’ve all heard that the average human attention span is less than 20 seconds, and perhaps as short as 8 seconds. (Yes, that is even less than a goldfish’s 9-second attention span.)

For most people, that’s a funny, if embarrassing, number. But for marketing teams, that statistic is the stuff of nightmares.

Competition for your audience’s attention has never been higher. And with people cutting the cord on cable or satellite TV, companies are now fighting for top spots around the digital watercoolers where people spend most of their time.

In other words, social media is the colosseum where companies battle for supremacy. And unless you’re operating with a million-dollar marketing budget, there’s no way to guarantee you’ll become the top brand in your industry.

Small businesses need every advantage they can get these days. Video marketing is a great way to establish your brand on social media, and it’s a flexible strategy to explore. But one of the clearest — and best performing — winners is explainer videos.

To help you make the most of your video marketing, here are 5 reasons why your company (and any small or startup business) needs explainer videos.

Capture Attention Quickly

Very few people want to sit down and read a wall of text. Even if that content is a walkthrough, guide, or tutorial, it’s hard to commit to a 1,000+ word piece when a 3-minute video would be faster, clearer, and more enjoyable. That’s why most of us look for videos first.

Explainer videos meet all of those needs. But perhaps best of all, this style of content has a statistically higher rate of catching — and holding — someone’s attention. The steady flow of information and some ambient music will put the audience into an almost meditative state.

Explain Complex Ideas

If you bombard people with statistics or complicated topics, you’ll lose their interest. That might mean skipping your video, closing the tab, or marking your ad “Not relevant.” And that isn’t just a missed opportunity — that is a lost customer.

A core piece of video marketing is using the time wisely, and whiteboard/explainer videos exist for the sole purpose of helping us do that. The combination of simple animation, calming music, and sound effects create a calm tone that research has proven as an ideal learning environment and a simple way to boost conversions.

And if you are trying to highlight the value of the product or service you are featuring, using an explainer video allows you to tell a story, create an experience, and show off what your company does.

Create Some Engagement

A key piece in creating engagement is choosing the right content. If you are producing videos that are relevant to your audience’s needs and interests, you are meeting their expectations and providing a benefit to them. That’s an important measure of success for any marketing platform.

Different companies prioritize different statistics when it comes to engagement. But explainer videos give you a slight advantage, whether you’re interested in views, subscribers, or reactions.

Once you’ve caught someone’s attention and created a focused environment for that person, you’ve taken the right steps to make sure they’ll get to the end of the video on screen and take the steps you want them to.

Strengthen Evergreen Content

No, your explainer videos probably won’t be evergreen content. But that’s okay. One thing they will do is provide an additional resource that is easily digestible for both customers and leads.

Explainer videos are generally considered closer to the type of content you would share on a blog, Facebook post, eBook, etc. And that means you can create a tutorial, tell a story, or highlight a new feature through the product/service your company provides.

It might not open up new opportunities for you, but this type of video presentation serves to add support to bigger parts of your content strategy. Coordinating video content with topics you’re focusing on in other platforms will provide a boost to your SEO rankings as well. And any extra push you can give to evergreen content you want to draw attention to will be an extra benefit.

Reduce Production Costs

Explainer videos don’t require building a studio or renting $20,000 in video equipment. (In reality, all you need is a graphic designer with some animation know-how.) And when it comes to producing video content, the only cheaper option is using an iPhone or a webcam.

Transitioning into a new channel is always a risk, and that means that production costs play a big factor in determining how to allocate your budget. Video has proven to have some of the biggest upside for marketing teams in any industry, and the benefits of that more than compensate for buying software, licensing music, or learning an animation program.

And as an added benefit, the best explainer videos tend to keep things simple. Your content might not go viral, but any traffic or engagement it creates will point people to your brand and hopefully motivate you to keep developing more videos.

If video marketing isn’t a big part of your strategy — or if it’s not something you can budget for right now — then a short explainer video might be an opportunity to get your feet wet in this sort of channel. The most you’ll need is some royalty free music, sound effects, and animation, all of which you can produce yourself or license for much cheaper than you’d pay for a studio full of videography equipment.

Why Your Company Needs Explainer Videos

Explainer videos are a part of internet culture now. Some companies specialize in that sort of content, creating YouTube channels or Instagram accounts with millions of followers. And while that probably isn’t your goal, it’s a proof of concept that this type of video works well.

Viewers love clever content in small doses. And if you can find a way to leverage that into your marketing strategies, there’s a good chance that your audience will respond to it.

We’ve all watched a handful of explainer videos as work tutorials, educational videos, or random clips on YouTube and social media. The good news is that there’s no such thing as an “expert” in this field — with the right software, anyone can make a successful explainer video.