How to Research Your Audience Before Making an Explainer Video

By Victor Blasco
January 10, 2018

One of the best ways to promote a product or service is through videos, and before you start, it’s important to know and research your target audience.

We’re visual beings, and videos help us better understand information, especially if that information is complex. This is why you may be familiar with explainer videos, a way to promote your product or service.

Explainer videos are an audiovisual marketing tool that help you explain a specific solution to a certain problem or pain point that your audience may have. They’re designed to give your audience an initial description of how to solve a problem they are experiencing, usually in less than 90 seconds.

This type of video delivers the perfect pitch to your prospects; they’re concise, showcase the problem and its solution, and they’re approachable for marketers and adaptable to your brand’s personality.

This video by Yum Yum Videos will help you understand the most popular animated explainer video styles and how each of them can help a business.

Types of Explainer Videos

The types of explainer videos are:

  • Screencast video: A simple, low-budget video that showcases how your product or service works.
  • Cartoon-style video: An entertaining, sometimes funny video that tells a story.
  • Whiteboard animation: A video where the content is created in front of the viewer’s eyes and explains complex information in a straightforward way.
  • Motion graphics video: Animated videos that are engaging for more serious businesses.

Just like any other marketing effort, it’s essential to know and research your target audience and use certain tools to perform in-depth research before you create an explainer video.

Use Social Media Listening Tools

It’s essential to listen to your audience in order to know why people are talking about your brand online, improve customer service, and monitor competition.

Social listening involves monitoring terms, products, and concepts related to your brand or any other topic that’s important to your brand and can give you insight into your audience’s needs and interests. This is done on different social platforms, blogs, forums, and news sources.

By monitoring what your audience is saying, you’ll gain insight into your industry and your customers. You’ll also get the chance to not only be involved in the conversation but also to plan and enrich your content and marketing plan for the future.

Some of the social media listening tools available are:

  • HootSuite and Tweetdeck are for managing your social media accounts (Tweetdeck works only with Twitter), but you can add search columns that scan social platforms in real time. You can use these columns to scan general topics related to your company or even your company’s name to know what people are saying about it in social media.
  • Google Alerts can help you monitor any keyword you want and receive alerts whenever those keywords are used on any website.

    Google Alerts

    Google Alerts doesn’t work with social media, but you can customize the amount of results you want to receive (e.g., the first 50 results) and the frequency you’ll receive the report.

  • Social Mention is a free tool that doesn’t require registration and collects data about mentions of your brand across many platforms.
  • Followerwonk shows you detailed information about your Twitter followers and their activity.

Use these different tools to scan across different platforms, and make a habit out of listening.

Conduct Surveys

Using both client surveys and surveys of a general audience can help you gather information to learn more about what people want from your brand.

Listen to Clients

If your goal is to research your audience, it’s important to start with the clients you already have. With client surveys, you’ll be able to collect valuable data from people you already have a relationship with and who you know are invested in your industry.

Client surveys have an important advantage: There is a certain level of trust with clients, so they are likely to give honest and involved answers. But in order to gather useful information from your research, your survey must be planned very carefully. Let’s take a look at some tips:

  • Keep it short: Your questions should be clear and concise, and the overall survey length should be short to avoid high bounce rates.
  • Ask key questions: Every part of your survey must serve an important purpose; avoid unnecessary questions.
  • Find a balance between different types of questions: For some questions, it may be better to stick to a “Yes/No” answer frame. But the ones that will give you the best insights are open-ended questions.

    Google Forms Survey Question

    In order to get valuable information and avoid tiring your audience, you should find a balance between the two types of questions.

  • Offer a bonus: Offering an incentive to your clients for completing the survey will increase survey response rates by 5 to 20%. An example would be creating a raffle or offering discounts.

Create General Surveys

General surveys work a lot like client surveys but with a broader approach. As they’re aimed at a very general audience, the questions that you ask should stay basic, easy, and quick-to-answer.

Because your survey will be aimed at a general audience, you should expect them to have a short attention span. This is why answering this survey must be a quick task for them.

Your survey should be:

  • Short, so your audience can answer it quickly.
  • Planned very well. Think about the most essential, strategic information you might need for your explainer video research, and ask the right questions.
  • Paired with an incentive. A little incentive, like a small discount, will increase survey responses, just like with the client surveys.

Measure Metrics on Google Analytics

With Google Analytics, you’re just a click away from essential information without the need of any third parties. It’s a simple setup that gives you access to detailed reports of your audience and their behavior on your website.

There are many metrics to track, and it’s important to choose the ones that align with your marketing goals. These are some of the metrics that could provide you with useful information:

  • Demographics and interests: These metrics provide information about the age and gender of your users and the interests they express through their online activities.
  • Geographical data: This provides geographical information of your visitors, derived from their IP address.
  • Device overview: This metric segments traffic into three device categories: mobile phones, tablets, and desktop. With the device overview, you can compare traffic, engagement, and conversion performance by device. This can prove very helpful to know how your explainer videos will be viewed by your audience.

You can find a quick beginner’s tutorial about the audience reports in Google Analytics in this video.

Google Analytics for Beginners

This video will allow you to better understand the characteristics of your website’s users and apply this valuable data to your explainer video.

Offer Sweepstakes

Sweepstakes work as a great way to research your audience. Most of these types of promotions use an online entry form to collect valuable information in exchange for a chance to win.

With sweepstakes, you can grow your email database, increase your website traffic, and collect valuable data about your audience. In order to do this effectively, you must keep it simple and ask for relevant information – If you ask for too many unnecessary questions or make it difficult to participate, your audience may lose interest.

Sweepstakes must be planned very carefully, and your giveaway prize must offer some value for your audience.

If your brand is, for instance, giving away a beach house in the Bahamas, you could ask for entrants':

  • Full name and contact information; you will use them to add to your database and to contact them in case they win.
  • Zip code, if you determine that they should be in a specific region to win.
  • Date of birth; they should be 18 or older to purchase a house.
  • Gender; it might be useful for future marketing purposes.

Also include a few key questions, like “Are you considering a real estate purchase during the next few months?” or “Would you like to be contacted by our team?”

Research Your Audience to Produce the Most Relevant Explainer Videos

Explainer videos are a great way to explain your product or service to potential customers. But in order to get the best reviews, it’s important to do extensive research of your target audience.

There is no tool or platform that delivers all of the essential information. Instead, you will perform your audience research using different platforms for different goals. You can use Google Analytics for monitoring your audience behavior when visiting your website (or using your app), and combine this with the information you get from social media listening platforms, like Hootsuite or Social Mention.

You can also get answers to your questions directly from your audience by using surveys and sweepstakes.

Look at this data to fully understand your audience, and deliver the explainer video that meets their needs and answers their questions: an explainer video that is made specifically for your audience.

About the Author

Headshot of Victor Blasco

Víctor Blasco is the founder and CEO of the explainer video company Yum Yum Videos. He is also an audiovisual designer and video marketing expert.

Aside from running the business, he loves studying Chinese philosophy and is a real geek for science fiction films and comics! The force is strong with this one.