Software topics are vague, and they’re usually difficult for outsiders to understand without lots of written text. So, what’s the best way to promote your software platform and teach people how to use it? In this post, we’ll show you through how to get the best results from SaaS explainer videos.
First, let’s recap why SaaS is such a popular business model. Then we’ll showcase some of the software industry’s best business animation, including hand drawn videos and whiteboard videos.
Software as a Service is the very best business model
SaaS platforms are used by a wide range of business sectors. Yet, this business model is especially attractive to software companies.
It’s also the typical operating model chosen by other knowledge industries like IT and telecom, as well as the blockchain landscape. That’s because these are all low-marginal-cost industries where cloud infrastructure and subscription revenue models.
Below are the most important characteristics of these “soft-serve” business models. These are the factors you should consider when thinking about using animated explainer videos.
Whether you want to introduce software apps or cloud-based services or teach people to use them, animation can help. Below we’ll cover the reasons why it works, so you’ll know what to look for in your own videos.
- Subscription model saves time and money
- Easy to use
- More secure
Saves time and money
Unlike traditional sales models, SaaS gives the application to customers as already configured and installed. That gives users plenty of flexibility and lowers the costs. SaaS videos share the same characteristics.
They’re so effective because they offer the easiest way to sell products, and the quickest way to teach people how to use software platforms.
Scaleable & secure
The biggest advantage of cloud-based software platforms is their ease of integration and scalability. Security is generally better, so viewers feel comfortable when they click on videos.
Video marketing does a great job of promoting and demonstrating abstract topics like software as a cloud-based service.
Can SaaS explainer videos help your business
OK, let’s assume that you have the world’s greatest software concept. You’ve gathered together a team of brainy developers.
Everybody’s at the top of their game, and they build a working model powered by SaaS. It looks beautiful, and you already understand how it works.
But when you try to launch the service, it’s hard to gain traction. Almost nobody signs up.
Then you suddenly realize that you’re a software genius, but you’re alone in the room – People don’t understand what your product does, how to use it, or why it would benefit them.
That’s the main issue faced by SaaS companies – As helpful as your product may be, its value is only accessible to people who understand it.
The challenge is to grab viewers’ attention, quickly educate them, and call them into action on your behalf. It works the same way regardless of whether an explainer video aims to sell software or train viewers how to use it.
You can see all the winning characteristics rolled up together in this promotion for Axis Security:
Find the best agency for your SaaS explainer videos
If you’re looking for a video explainer agency that can help achieve your goals, then find one whose portfolio shows clarity and creativity – Those two characteristics give a project the best chance of success.
Software concepts are often “fuzzy,” and people need help to better visualize them. A live-action video would never work for SaaS topics.
The return on investment from business animation is high. Some high-converting videos return hundreds to thousands of percent in profits.
How to use animated explainer videos with software topics
- Marketing promotions and sales presentations
- Produce and service demonstrations
- Business concepts and cases
- Tech tutorials
- Hand drawn videos
- Whiteboard videos
Marketing & sales
A well-made promo can sell products and services faster than a human salesperson, as long as the presentation is kept simple.
You can see all the winning characteristics rolled up together in this promotion for Axis Security:
It’s difficult to explain to outsiders how your software works, but it’s easy to show them visually. A talented creative team can turn any software entrepreneur’s daydream into an animated reality.
Because of high labor costs, it’s more cost-effective to train people by using tutorials instead of “live” instructors or other types of educational content.
Business concepts and use cases
Have you ever tried to sketch out a software concept on coffeehouse napkins?
Your close associates probably understand because they already know how you think, but most people won’t get it. Worst of all, outsiders who matter – such as investors – want to see a professional presentation of ideas for financing.
Animated videos can explain complex ideas, especially for those deep-pocketed decision-makers who have very little time for presentations.
What to look for in high-converting SaaS explainer videos
If you’re looking for clues about what kind of content would work best for your own software, here are some questions to be asked:
- Is it client-facing or for in-house use?
- What is the specific goal to be accomplished? (Marketing, training or public service)
- Which production style of business animation would work best – Animated whiteboard video, hand drawn video, or some other type of explainer video?
You’ve already seen some examples of high-converting promos and tutorials, and skimmed through their basic qualities.
Now let’s review a few super-converting animated videos. You’ll quickly learn what to look for when shopping for a video explainer agency.
The best animated explainer videos cut through the blather
The average attention span is short, and viewers demand value in exchange for their time. A well-made video explainer can pack plenty of value into one or two minutes.
Here’s a good example:
Notice how complex topics such as data de-identification become simple when they’re shown as visual elements on-screen together with narrative voice-over. This is a great example of a high-converting software explainer video.
It promises a good ROI because the ideas presented would take far more time to understand through written text alone. Less time means lower costs for everyone, as well as more productivity.
Animated explainer videos combine audio, text, and graphic elements for better results
Productivity is the main advantage of video marketing – Research consistently shows that people learn more when they receive visual information combined with audio.
Let’s take a brief look at one of the past year’s best software explainers, from the cleverly-named Intelect Solutions, a security solutions provider:
The presentation begins by highlighting the issue of business security and data breaches. By combining a strong, credible voice-over with animated characters and other on-screen graphic elements, this video accomplishes its goals completely.
By the end of the presentation, viewers have been reminded of their most serious issue (data security) and shown an innovative solution.
This volume of information can best – or only – be delivered in the form of SaaS explainer videos.
Tutorials save time and other resources
The highest-converting videos are usually from promotional or marketing projects. That’s because young software companies tend to focus their resources on selling instead of supporting their platforms.
But what happens if end-users don’t understand how to use the platform?
The only way to ensure success with any project is to ensure that all users – both customers on the front end as well as back-office staff – learn how to use it correctly.
That’s when the value of animated tutorials becomes obvious. Here’s a great example of an animated video tutorial for Accelerated Payments, the invoicing company.
It walks the viewer through an otherwise-complex process using animation and screenshots of the platform. The narrator explains elements as they appear onscreen, so viewers comprehend quickly.
Focus on benefits, not on features
Unless you’re a coder, most software development projects are difficult to understand. But most people only need to know how to use a platform as consumers… They don’t need all the technical details upfront.
When they’re presented with a product surrounded by lots of audiovisual clutter, viewers tend to remember only the most important information about it.
Of course, that means viewers recall a product’s benefits better than its features.
So instead of trying to “sell” technical capability, the best way to convince people to buy software is by focusing on its benefits. Animated videos are perfect for this role.
Here’s a clever example from Kyzentree Technologies regarding their process-monitoring platform:
You’ll be impressed at how the narrator and on-screen graphic elements keep a relentless focus on describing the benefits of the platform. Even while animated characters show the underlying process onscreen, benefits are always the focus.
This is business animation at its very best!
Memorable animated characters drive clicks
Animated videos are so successful because they deliver simple messages without raising anyone’s defenses. The characters entertain without threatening viewers.
Here’s a winning clip from Notable System regarding their document-management platform:
Check out the funny-looking characters. Their antics entertain viewers while the narrative voice-over explains how their platform solves problems.
When you’re thinking about using animation, it’s important to keep in mind that characters can show any emotion that will help convince viewers.
Business animation doesn’t need a Hollywood budget to be successful. It only needs memorable characters to serve as “heroes” that match your customer marketing profile.
Tell a good story
The most important characteristic of high-converting videos is their storytelling quality. Successful promotion and sales are all about telling the right story at the right time to the right buyer.
Let’s look at one of the best stories from 2020. This is Application Magic:
The story is told through the eyes of a hero who happens to be a software developer and IT professional frustrated by integration and cost issues, same as the video’s target audience.
Even a bored viewer with a limited attention span can’t help but notice the wide range of emotions shown by this gas hero.
He moves from depression (because of his software problems) to hope (when he learns about a solution) to joy when the problem is finally solved.
That’s the power of good storytelling – You can inform, educate, and convince viewers with only a couple minutes of great stories.
Animated whiteboard explainers or hand drawn videos?
When you’re considering business animation for your own marketing and education projects, it’s important to remember that not every video needs goofy characters.
Sometimes a simple hand drawing on the whiteboard is the best way to present our idea. Here’s a great example of a successful production for Distributel, built with hand drawn graphics and other elements.
Notice how the drawing hand does the storytelling? It holds the viewer’s attention while sketching out the main ideas.
At the same time, the narrator reinforces those same ideas verbally as they’re shown visually. The storytelling doesn’t always need to rely on any central “hero” character to be successful.
Bring your software to life
An old coder once said that software is only hard to explain after the first sentence. It takes many more written words to describe something that can’t be physically touched. If you’re struggling to spread your message about a new software platform, then animation is certainly the right solution.
Want to learn more about the power of animation? Contact us now!