The Techniques on how an Explainer Video Increased Dropbox from 0 to 100 Million Users

DropBox is a cloud application used for sharing and storing important files. It provides easy access to documents in different devices using internet connection. Former MIT students released the storage application, Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi in 2008. The successful story of DropBox in 2012, was terrific using a simple video illustration which increased its fortune to 100 million users.  However, they have grown without investing in an advertisement, and they have increased growth compared to other competitors regardless of the number of similar services competing in the same space.

So, what’s DropBox hidden secret? How did they grow quickly with such a simple design, explainer video and cost-free advertisement? Apart from the successful video explainer, the homepage featured only two major components which include an explainer video and a download button option. Here are some surprising facts about this platform:


Promotional Video referral plan

After receiving a negative response, DropBox started to offer extra storage facilities to its existing users to attracts their friends to the platform via social media. The advertisement has helped the company as early users are keen for more space by sending the invitation links on social media, and soon the users increased to 2 million within a month.


Explainer video creation

The idea of file sharing and backup by DropBox was not known to people until 2009 when the cloud storage was introduced. Many people didn’t understand this concept and realize the potential/benefit of cloud storage. The company spend less than $50,000 on creating an explainer video. It was indeed a remarkable achievement for a start-up entity. Additionally, many studies claimed that videos are more useful for retaining information in human brains.


Web design simplicity

The explainer video for DropBox focuses on providing benefits rather than features and technical specifications. The homepage design pays attention to visitors on the explainer video. And there are no additional messages or links. When you access the homepage, the only thing you have to do is watching the video.

Users are more interest to know how the product adds value to their daily routine.  Also, their website design was simple. The homepage featured two main components, such as the explainer video and download link. This enables the user to watch the compelling video and download the DropBox to their computers.


Return on investment

The explainer video has a great impact; this enables the developers to incorporate their idea to the investors. With the use of video, the whole process was easy and offered an innovative solution. DropBox received a capital fund of US$257.2 million from notable investors such as Sequoia Capital, Y Combinator and Accel Partners.

With less than 4 million users at the start, DropBox was able to increase this figure in 2009. The estimated return on investment for explainer video was around $24 million and $48 million. The video received an estimate of 30,000 views every day and was viewed more than 30 million times. Currently, DropBox has more than 275 million users, and it’s on the increase.


DropBox video highlights

– Short video clips and simple explanation of the idea

– Incorporate a white background with animation and graphics

– Use of logo design enables the users to identify the brand easily

– Interesting video with more information about DropBox


Benefits of explainer video

Engages the customer: When watching a video, users lose interest if it is not exciting or too long. To keep your explainer videos short and informative, hire a professional production team that understands your business concept and offers high-quality video.

Entertain your audience: You can add some animated explainer videos in the form of narration or imaginary story. Animated characters, colors, images, drawing, graphics, and sound effects add great features and entertainment to the video.

Easy to understand: The explainer videos must have a coherent approach with the main point. It must identify a problem and offer a possible solution that attracts the audience. Also, they should build upon previous knowledge or feedback of your target audience; this will help them to understand the video content quickly.

Improve visibility: When you optimize your video for search engines, it has more chances of being ranked on the front page of search engines. It has been proven that customers usually spend more time on websites after watching a video which enables them to explore without hassle. Additionally, the search engines give high preference/ranking to videos compare to text. Due to this, a website with a clear video optimized in the right way will get higher visibility and higher conversion rate.

Easy to share among users: Social media is developed with video-sharing options. Many people love to share videos as they get more information, entertainment and quick understand on a new idea. Also, the video can go viral on the social media platform. If you post it on your website, social media profile or blog, they can be shared easily from any location.

Increase in revenue: For instance, Dropbox was able to increase their conversion rate by 10% with a simple explainer video on their homepage. With 10% increase lead to more than 10 million customers with revenue of $48,000,000 in extra revenue. This was possible with a 120-second explainer video which cost only $50,000.


In conclusion, many start-up companies are struggling to create an optimized SEO content without adding profitable benefits. The best option is to create an explainer video for your company and stop loosing money in hiring content writers. This help enables you to get in touch with your target audience without struggling with text content.

Although the benefits of text cannot be ignored because it offers a detailed explanation, but if you want the customers to read your text, you need to encourage them. Also, the simple navigation option on the homepage, sign up options, referrals and its accessible on different devices improve user’s interaction. DropBox provides the right tool, and their success story today is discussed as a case study in many business schools.