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Startup group focuses on video explainers

Posted: January 16, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 16, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Many tech startup companies use explainer videos on their website to reel in potential customers and users. But a video isn’t effective just because it exists, says Nick Piscitello, client services director of Completion Web Studios, a Santa Clarita video animation and web design company.

Companies “make it look cool, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t necessarily convert people at your web site,” Piscitello told members of SCV Startup Monday night at the office of Small Dog Creative.

Piscitello was this month’s speaker for SCV Startup, the local tech entrepreneurial group, and he explained how a startup with any budget can create a script, audio and visuals for their own explainer video.

As video streaming online grows in popularity, companies have responded by making their own videos on their websites.

According to comScore, retail site visitors who view a website’s video stay two minutes longer and are 64 percent more likely to purchase something.

People no longer want to read text on websites, Piscitello said, so an explainer video is 60 to 90 seconds long and explains to the potential client what problem the company solves for them, while making it clear how the company stands out among the competition.

While you may hire a firm to make your video for you – which runs anywhere from $2,500 to $15,000 – you still need to be the one that determines what message will resonate with your “one key fan,” the kind of customer that will use your product/service and tell others about it.

“Connecting with the viewers is something you’re an expert at,” Piscitello told the 20 SCV Startup members in the audience – not the firm you hire.

The first step is coming up with a script, which will be about 120-180 words for a 60- to 90-second video. In the script you need to introduce the problem your customer will have, how you solve it, and your credibility in the matter.

If you’re writing your own script, Piscitello advised having other people read it out loud as you write, because some things sound good in writing but don’t translate well into a voiceover script.

When it comes to actually recording the script, Piscitello recommended hiring a professional voice actor. However, if you act as a consultant in your company, and most clients would be working with you, it would be effective to have your own voice on the video.

Still, Piscitello advised people to record the video in a studio because even with expensive equipment at home, it can be difficult to get a solid, professional recording without any background noise.

When it comes to the actual visuals and graphics of the video, Piscitello said companies make the mistake of creating generic-looking videos, or hiring companies that make cookie cutter explainer videos. Take into account your company’s logo, colors, branding and make your visuals follow suit.

“As long as it vibes with what your company already represents,” he said.

When the video is completed, Piscitello told the audience to put the video on autoplay on the website, and to use Vimeo instead of YouTube to host it.

“YouTube just looks a little spammy,” he said. “Vimeo just looks nice.”

Visit to learn about future meetings.



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