Let’s say you have a new, innovative startup. Now, you want to get people excited about what you can offer. A good brand name and design are a must, but a well-crafted explainer video can take your business to the next level.
The best startup videos focus on making an impression on the audience by breaking established norms and showing off just the right things to keep you interested. In this article, we’ve gathered up what we think are the best startup videos ever made as well as a few tips for how you might make one for your own brand.
Why Would You Need A Startup Video?
You might first be wondering what we mean by “startup video” anyway. While it can be hard to define the term, it basically means any video that works to promote a startup company or brand in a unique or original way.
There are a lot of reasons why you might use a startup video, and all of them are about conversion. Within that, there are four main goals you might have for a startup video which will determine the style of the project. While these tend to overlap, it’s important to understand what these videos are trying to accomplish before creating one yourself.
Acquisition videos are mainly about gaining traffic. These videos present an ideal image of what it’s like to be a customer at your company with the sole purpose of generating leads. While they are usually not as in-depth as other types, they do strive for a powerful flavour by creating strong feelings about what your product or service can do for your customers.
Demo videos answer the question “How does it work?” These kinds of videos are also about conversion because they demonstrate the product or service in a way that makes it desirable. For instance, many software companies will publish demo videos for corporate customers who need to know all the features of a product before making an expensive purchase. In this case, the video targets potential customers who might have already shown interest in your product but need to know a bit more about the technical side of things. Even for non-corporate customers, a demo of the unique features can often be a huge selling point.
New User Onboarding and Retention
If you want to have repeat customers, you will want to both welcome new users and remind them of the continuous value your product provides. This usually means teaching them how to use it most effectively. Especially with more complex products, you will also need to help newcomers with orientation. This category of video might be titled “How to Set up Your New [Brand] Tent” or “Getting Started with Your [Brand] Account.” Not only does a video like this help the customer feel more solid about their recent purchase, but it can also encourage them to buy more from you in the future.
Brand culture videos aim to tell a story about the company itself, creating highly emotional or humorous images of the brand and company culture. Naturally, these culture videos are more geared toward employment and recruiting. However, a video like this can make your brand more trusted for employees and customers alike by highlighting the ethical qualities, lifestyle, benefits, or general philosophy of your organization.
The Best Examples of Startup Videos
There are a lot of videos we could have pulled into this list, but not all of them out there shine quite like these. These stand out for their great design, effective imagery and videography, and their bold treatment of commonplace subjects. Without further ado, here are the 15 best
Opening with a guerilla filmmaking-style intro, this acquisition video for the project management system Monday does a great job of conveying the high-level information the user needs to know with fast-paced and entertaining visuals. Plus, using physical elements helps ground the software interface with a sense of groundedness, helping the viewer to imagine implementing this system in their work life.
This acquisition video feels spunky from the first shot. The mood is slightly informal and friendly, which is what makes it so approachable. By combining live-action, animation, and a bit of screencasting, it shows off the practical features of the product and creates a world of associations with the brand. Note that the imagery and the strong colors of the animation carry mainly emotional messages. Also, the narrator speaking directly to the camera does create a unique style, but it only adds to the way Fugo presents itself.
This conversion demo for Juni is a little more in-depth than your average startup video. Using animation and screencasting together, this video shows off the real look and feel of the product while illustrating what also happens behind the scenes. At its core, it makes the product desirable by showing what it can do for potential users in great detail.
On the other side of conversion demo videos, you have Yova. The service this company presents (getting bulk pricing on regular sized stock orders) may seem too good to be true. To prove to potential customers that the offer is legitimate, Yova created this explainer video to show how their service is possible behind the scenes. While there are no images of the actual interface of the program in this video, note the true point is illustrating the logistics behind the service and the benefit to businesses who use it. Animation simply keeps the idea more universal for businesses with just about any stock needs.
This onboarding and retention video by Notion.So speaks to both potential customers and those who might have already purchased the product. They accomplish this by showing exactly how it works in great detail. Some of it may be obvious to users, but the longer the video plays, you might realize some features and benefits you didn’t know about before. The music and narration in this work with the images of the interface to make using the product seem fun, easy, and creatively engaging.
Different has a brand awareness video that is both hilarious and engaging from the beginning. Again, we see the combination of all 3 types of video here. With the exciting movement and color scheme, the result is a strong feeling about what the brand can offer as a solution to some common problems. Notice that the actors speak directly with the narrator about different objections to the product. The narrator then overcomes these common objections with humor and tact. It even goes a step further by representing the people behind the scenes making the product work to establish trust and familiarity.
Not a lot of people want to think about saving money (or how they don’t do it enough). Digit makes the idea approachable with their explainer/acquisition video. At the beginning, the smooth narration, music, and simple design make you feel right at ease and ready to hear the solution to your saving problem. Then, the satisfying texture of the animation makes you feel like you are saving money already without even trying.
8. Dollar Shave Club
This startup video is so bold that it’s really hard to classify into any one category. Although it’s main purpose was acquisition (and it did raise a lot of money within a very short amount of time), it also demonstrates a brand culture, a general explanation of the service, and lets people know why they should be using it. Notice the complete lack of music until the very end. The live-action narrator and the other strange elements have enough strength in their uniqueness and humor to carry the video until the end. When the music drops in, you are ready to buy in immediately.
We classify this as an onboarding and retention video because it attempts to teach existing podcast creators on Spotify about a service that might benefit them. In other words, it is presented as an extension of the platform they are already using. This one uses animation and screencasting together, but in a simpler way. It both shows the product being used step by step and presents a good feeling about using it. The animation of a broadcast streaming out of the monitor with a nondescript character says that “Whoever you are and whatever you have to say, this product can help you get your message out there.”
Qure’s brand awareness video is sort of subtly brilliant. This piece takes a product that may at first seem creepy or unappealing (a white mask with glowing red features) and makes it into something beautiful and stylish. The unique music is the real strength here, as it works together with the set design to feel like something right out of an art magazine. It’s so well done that they were able to use an older actress to illustrate skin benefits of the product, as if to say that this product is for all people with skin (so, all people).
This video isn’t the most exciting one out there, but it really does a great job at explaining how to use the product. This onboarding video for basecamp 3 uses screencasting to illustrate how a hypothetical team might use the software. By showing real-world examples, the video makes the features practical and valuable to a team that might be using it. Note also the way the screencast zooms in on important moments to create engaging movement and zooms back out to reorient the viewer.
12. Adidas Careers
In this video, Adidas took some of their actual employees and interviewed them about how they felt working at the company. These real people also take part in the action shots to ground the idea of a motivated team in reality. It illustrates both the mission of the company overall (making sportswear) and likens it to an athletic and energizing feeling of working at the company. Everything in this video is totally in sync, and it makes for an inspiring final product.
Sometimes startup videos can benefit from being a little “meta.” Dissolve is a company that sells stock footage, and they decided to present their brand acquisition video as a “generic” one made entirely of stock footage (from their own catalog of course). It treats a lot of the familiar tropes of video advertising with an all-too-accurate and hilarious commentary on stock footage itself. The effect is hard to describe, but surely memorable if you were ever in need of their services.
Combining many of the goals of a startup video, a crowdfunding video requires a special touch. These final two projects were ones we selected for their ability to elicit a response from the viewer in a variety of ways. This first example is from Shebah, a company that helps women and children have a safe ride sharing experience. To promote their next stage of growth, the company combined live action and some screencasting to show both the product in action, and the people who might use it. This company also has a moral mission. The interviews conducted throughout the entire piece show off the team behind the project as well as the moral implications of growing the product through financial support.
Another great example of crowdfunding is this one for Olly, an emotionally intelligent robot created by Emotech. This video functions also with scenarios and interviews, but in 2 distinct parts. First, the product is presented like an acquisition video or explainer. Olly is shown in the ideal settings where it learns its owner and responds to his or her emotional needs through AI learning. In this first part, we see what it would be like for Emotech’s vision to be realized in our homes. In the second part, we unveil the team behind the project and the exciting research being done in the field of robotics and machine learning. The call to raise funds is then associated with real faces and voices for an inspiring effect.
How to Make Your Own Startup Video
Making your own startup video requires a lot more planning and attention to detail than some other video projects. While you can make your own startup video with some good equipment, it’s best to hire a professional. In any case, a project like this is bound to require a large team of people to execute. To create the best video for your target audience, keep your goals for the promotion in mind.
Make an Impression
All of the best startup videos from this list had one thing in common: Great Storytelling. Especially for acquisition and brand culture, storytelling and narrative elements will create a memorable encounter that will stick with your audience. You can accomplish this with some literal narration in voiceover, but most of your storytelling will be visual and auditory. In a short production, you don’t have much time to narrate a three-act plot. Stick to easily-digestible and impactful emotional experiences. The best stories of this kind will be absorbed almost unconsciously.
You might have also noticed that some of these are edgier than your average promotional video. That’s because the best startup videos will make a solid impression on the audience.
Startup videos are usually rewarded for being different. While you don’t want to create an offensive or unattractive piece, you want your video to stand out. The best way to do this is to be bold and unique in how you tackle the subject of the video. Approach difficult topics with humor and creativity. Breaking the norms in this way will also give your audience something interesting to talk about with friends and share on social media.
Nail Your Brand’s Video Style
Startup videos allow for a variety of styles, and you have room to be creative. To start, your audience will expect a pleasing aesthetic and a good-quality production. That said, you will likely be creating your video in live-action or animation.
While live-action can be more expensive and complex to execute, audiences often favor this kind of production for its tangibility. If you have the resources for it, hiring actors and cinematographers can go a long way.
However, animation can explain and illustrate certain complex ideas in ways that live-action productions simply can’t. If you have limited resources, you can also create some intense visuals that don’t cost a lot of money.
If you’re selling software, you should also consider screencasting your onboarding/demo videos for new users. In some demo videos, you can also integrate animation, live-action, and screencasts for a combined effect.
Voiceover narration does well for explainer videos because audiences can take in both an auditory and visual messages simultaneously. You can also have actors speak to the audience directly, however doing this does create a certain deadpan style. Just be sure it fits with the goals of the project.
No matter the variation, it’s best to keep startup videos simple. While it may seem like you’re giving the audience more to chew on, too much auditory or visual information won’t be absorbed. It can also disengage your audience.
Length and Depth
A lot of startup videos are short because they aim to only create interest. However, some topics and goals require more depth and length to get the point across.
For instance, some demos or onboarding videos might be anywhere from 3-5 minutes in length, while some acquisition videos might only be 30 seconds. No matter the subject, it’s best to keep your startup video on the shorter side. Anything over 6 minutes is almost certainly too long.
Now that doesn’t mean shoving a 10 minute presentation into a 6 minute clip. The depth of the content should fit the length of the video. If you have more than one topic you’d like to cover for your product, consider making a short series of videos for each idea.
Your startup video project will also require a lot of planning. Before shooting, it’s best to have a detailed plan for all different aspects of the production. In full scope, you’ll need to lay out a storyboard, a script, a list of specific shots, images and camera movements, lighting diagrams, music tracks, voiceovers, schedules for shooting, editing, and more.
Spend time creating a structure for your project, aligning goals for production and the effect the video will have on sales, retention, brand loyalty, etc. It will require a lot of work, but a solid plan will make the shooting and editing process much smoother. It will also reward you with a better product in the end.
Some video projects don’t require a large budget to execute. While it’s important to invest in good video production regardless of the goal, some projects like training videos can be done well with only a few resources.
A startup video is different. No matter how simple your idea, it’s important that you don’t skimp out on the quality for this one. After all, there’s money to be made from these. Keep in mind that you are competing for attention with a fleet of other high-budget promotional videos all over the internet. Your potential leads won’t hate you for having a low-quality production. They just won’t watch it.
To make a project that rivals the quality of the videos in this article, you’ll need to spend a good amount of money on music, voiceovers, actors, and audio/video equipment. You might even need to hire a creative agency to help you realize your vision and edit the piece to perfection. Count on at least A$1400 for a video made from scratch.
Video projects for your startup are essential to gaining leads and retaining existing customers. Some of the best examples we’ve seen in this article push the boundaries of what we are used to seeing with videos aimed at conversion. In the end, we thank them for it with plenty of shares.
With the right equipment and a great team, you can create a real work of art that is both fun to watch and creates interest for your business. While you might already know the message you want to put across to your audience, you might not know how to put it all together yourself, or you might not have the right team and equipment available.
That’s where we come in. At Vidico, we prioritize the highest quality videos (both live-action and animation) that tell the story of your unique brand. We’ve helped startups like Koala, Uber, AirWallex, Square, and many more create engaging explainer videos with real results.
We’re ready to create a video for your startup, too. See how we can help you tell your story by getting your free script and video concept today.