How to Define and Connect with your Audience so your Explainer Video makes an Impact

Posted Sep 24th, 2016 in Process & Development, Client Talk

How to Define and Connect with your Audience so your Explainer Video makes an Impact

Last time, I discussed how setting a goal for your video is the first step in planning a successful explainer video. Now we'll move onto defining your audience - which is the most crucial part of your plan. Everything from the script to design, to voice over hinges on this piece of knowledge.

So, before we dive into production, let’s clarify the process of finding and connecting with your audience

Why Audience Matters

Figuring out your audience can be like planning your outfit for a big event or party. Is the party going to be casual or formal?  After all, choosing just the right outfit is about as important as the choice of gin they offer at the bar. The last thing you want to do is over dress or worse, under dress.  

If a video is not addressed to a specific group of people, it can get awkward. Results range from low view numbers to little engagement to zero sales. 

Your audience will guide every decision you make for this animation. And a clear target audience along with your goals point the way towards a successful outcome. The last thing you want to do is waste time and money figuring this out WHILE you’re in production. It’s essential to define your audience first. Period.


Who is your audience?

Ok, let’s start with the basics: Who are you trying to reach with this explainer video? This is a broad question, but try to get specific. The first questions you may ask are:

  • How old are they?
  • Where do they live?
  • Are they male or female?
  • How educated is your audience?
  • What does your audience do for a living?


These fundamental questions provide a starting point to understand your audience. And the process will encourage more discussion and thought around your tribe. 

AllerGen - Child Study Explainer Video from Sandra Tournemille on Vimeo.


Our video for AllerGen (above) specifically targets Canadian Moms between the ages of 28 and 45. Mom's who have children struggling with asthma or allergies. Everything from the illustrations, voiceover, script, and music were carefully selected or created with this audience in mind.  We asked our client these exact questions about their audience, and more, in order to dig in and understand who we were speaking to.

But hang on! Don't stop here. It’s time to go deeper and understand your audience’s motivation, their dreams and goals. Some questions you may ask at this stage:

What are their values?

Keeping audience values front and center will keep your focus on what is most important to them. In turn your engagement will improve and so will your explainer video

What do they read?

The type of material they read will inform you of their level of education. It can also help you narrow down the type of words and language style you use in the script.

What keeps your tribe Awake at Night?

Every single person in your target audience has some kind of struggle, problem or desire. Researching this piece will drive your main goal for the video, so spend some time here.

Pain points are best uncovered through current customers. What has brought them to your door in the first place? How have you helped them in the most specific ways? Look for patterns to motivate new prospects.

It's important to first understand your audience’s drives and motivations. Then you must articulate these findings in a language the audience understands. Once you have uncovered these 2 findings, your video has a much better chance of connecting.

How will they Consume the video?

When making explainer videos, HOW your audience watches your video is another important detail. Do they watch all media from their iphone or will they be at a laptop? Perhaps it’s both? Will they see the video during a presentation or at a trade show? These questions will guide decisions about duration, style and resolution.

For example, they may prefer to view FB videos on an iphone during a noisy subway commute. In this case, it's crucial to add captions to the final video and exaggerate all animations. Knowing that audio is muted will keep you focused on visual storytelling.

But, if the video is viewed during a presentation, then sound and voiceover will be a priority.  Projected videos need high resolution graphics, contrasting colours and dramatic visuals to wow the audience.

In Conclusion...

Making the effort to understand your audience will be the most important step in shaping a successful message.  So make sure you don’t skip this part.

And, it will benefit other areas of your marketing and sales as well. Not only will you make an impact, you will also connect on a deeper level with your audience.

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