The Ultimate Guide to Explainer Videos
When looking for a solution to one of your many Google searches, you find two website results that both sound promising.
You open both side by side and see that one has a large block of text, and the other has a video that promises to explain your solution by the end of its duration.
Which are you picking?
People on the internet have a very short attention span, so you should be trying to get your message across in a way that requires the least time and effort from your audience.
Explainer videos are a great way to accomplish this goal and are a great way to quickly and efficiently engage your target audience.
What is an Explainer Video?
Well, it’s kinda in the name! An explainer video is essentially a video that explains a product, service, or company in a simple, captivating, and compelling way, using clear and concise language.
An explainer video describes what your company offers, how your company helps customers solve their problem, and why your company’s product or service is the customer’s best option.
An explainer video can address any questions or concerns a customer may have about your product or service, using engaging animations or live action and graphics to hold your customer’s attention.
According to Cisco, internet access among consumers continues to grow, and it is projected that over 80% of consumer internet traffic will come from video-media in the coming years.
Clearly, explainer videos are becoming a necessary part of any business’ digital presence. In this article, we will go over explainer video basics, as well as tips, tricks, and a summary of the best services available to kickstart your business’ first explainer video!
How Explainer Videos are Involved In Modern Business
Explainer videos are an excellent way for a business to quickly showcase their brand, culture, and personality without boring customers with their mission statements.
How do businesses use explainer videos as a marketing tool?
It’s hard to convey emotions or personalities through text alone. Many businesses find it more effective to show who they are and what they do, in less than 3 minutes, by incorporating visually stimulating and entertaining animated motion graphics and live action scenes.
Remember, when you create a video, you can make the tone whatever you want it to be and whatever you want your customer to hear. When you present information in text, the customer could read your words in an entirely different tone than intended.
Basically, video gives you the ability to control your message, and present it to the consumer more efficiently and effectively.
Statistics show that a perfectly-made explainer video can increase conversion rates by 15 to 50%! If 1,000 people are visiting your site every day, that’s an additional 150 to 500 sales.
There’s money in these little videos… a LOT of money.
- Modern-day businesses are using explainer videos to create compelling elevator pitches.
- Explainer videos can compel users to stay on and interact with your website for longer.
- Viewers staying on your website longer can/will help to raise your Google search ranking.
The Google algorithm ranks pages based on SEO strength, which includes the time people spend on your site. When people watch explainer videos, they stay longer, providing a positive lift to rankings.
Google’s algorithm takes video into account, so not only are you making the customer journey more manageable, you’re giving your SEO rankings in the process!
Forrester Research found that videos are 53 times more likely than traditional websites to achieve organic front page positioning!
Explainer video content also improves your website’s search ranking by giving the search engine a better idea of the page’s subject based on its title, description, and keywords with which it is tagged.
Research shows that video marketing has a lot to offer, including growing sales and generating leads.
A video with text, music, and photos is an ideal medium for conveying persuasive content and is also a great way to increase your email subscriptions and social media outreach.
Why Your Business Needs an Explainer Video
Over the past few years, the use of video among companies and brands has increased dramatically. Nowadays, almost every business is using videos to attract an audience. 88% of enterprises have at least one video.
So what makes video explanations special? And why are they so popular among companies and brands?
The power of explainer videos
If you want to communicate with your audience, be it clients or colleagues, an explainer video is your go-to solution. A video reduces the clutter and attracts consumers to your business. Explainer videos contain all forms of communication: visual, audio, and textual. Therefore, video is the most effective content format your business can use.
They make your brand, product, or service clear and straightforward
Explainer videos help your audience retain information
An explainer video engages the audience using visual and audio information, making long-term memory retention more likely.
They are proven to increase conversions and sales
According to a recent survey, 85% of people are more likely to buy a product if they see an accompanying video.
The video can help identify a problem that the target audience is facing. It then evokes empathy and connects the individual to this problem before it suggests a solution.
By building this trust and understanding from the start, the potential customer knows that you understand their needs and that your product can help them.
Types of Explainer Videos and Examples
Explainer videos can come in all shapes and sizes, from animated to live-action and beyond
2D Animation Explainer Video
The characters and backgrounds for this type of video are created in a flat two-dimensional space.
Pros of 2D Animated Explainer Video
- Relatively easy to produce and cost-effective.
- Can be used to create exciting characters, and compelling storyline, without the additional cost of a 3D or live action production.
- They’re faster to produce, giving more time for marketing and promotion.
- Clean, minimal design makes the message clear and easy to understand.
Cons of 2D Animated Explainer Video
- Less dynamic.
- Not as engaging as 3D-animation
3D Animated Explainer Video
The 3D animation video is often the preferred choice due to its high level of detail and ability to create realistic product models.
Pros of 3D Animated Explainer Video
- Easy to display hard-to-describe products or physical parts (e.g., a mechanical product) and view them from all angles.
- 3D animation is more appealing to the eye.
- More versatile than 2D.
CONS of 3D Animated Explainer Video
- Higher cost.
- Longer production.
- Lack of flexibility with revisions or changes.
Motion Graphics Explainer Video
Often accompanying complex technological, commercial, or academic ideas, these videos depict hands drawing pictures in black or color on a white background.
Whiteboard animation is an exciting strategy for an intuitive presentation of complex ideas.
Pros of Whiteboard Animation Explainer Video
- Whiteboard animation makes complex and complicated messages simple, especially when backed up with a well-written script.
- Cost-effective and can be edited at any time.
- They are quickly produced, as many companies use software and templates to create these videos.
- Whiteboard animation videos are hyper-specific and guide the viewer’s eyes to the key messages.
Cons of Whiteboard Animation Explainer Video
- Very simple, sometimes hard to compete with the flash of 3D.
- Less personality.
Live-Action Explainer Video
Live-action explainer videos feature real people and real products and look more like a TV commercial or short film.
This concept is perfect for companies that want to build a personal relationship with their potential customers by displaying human characters.
A live-action video is best suited when it is vital to show the real environment like a tourist destination.
Pros of Live Action Explainer Video
- Creates a human connection.
- It allows you to present a product to a customer personally.
- Gives the customer real-life examples of product uses.
Cons of Live Action Explainer Video
- Very difficult to edit.
- High cost.
Screencast Explainer Video
A screencast explainer video is a digital recording of a computer or phone screen accompanied by a voiceover explaining the process.
Screencasts are commonly used to show how a website, software, or mobile app works and allows customers to quickly learn how to get the most out of their new product.
Pros of Screencast Explainer Video
- Cost-effective and straightforward.
- An effective way to explain a mobile app or software’s sophisticated features as a service (SaaS) to customers.
- Act as customer service when recorded in real-time.
Cons of Screencast Explainer Video
- Very simple, sometimes hard to compete with the complexity of other videos.
- Lacks personality.
- People can get lost while trying to follow.
Kinetic Typography Explainer Video
Kinetic typography means ‘moving text’ and is an animation technique that combines text and movement to convey ideas to the viewer.
Pros of Kinetic Typography Video
- Works well for mobile viewing.
- No sound needed.
- Kinetic typography videos can make content more vivid and engaging for the viewer.
- Lowest cost.
Cons of Kinetic Typography Video
- The video is essentially live text, so it can defeat the purpose of watching a video for some customers.
How To Make Your Own Explainer Video
Now that you know the benefits of explainer videos and the different types available to use within your business, it’s time to build your first video!
Here are the best practices to create a good explainer video that converts:
Step 1: Define your goals for the video
It is impossible to know what type of video is right for you unless you have first defined success by describing what you want to achieve.
A simple example would be to increase your sales, increase conversion rate, or launch a campaign to generate a target amount of leads.
Research your audience:
- Who is your target audience?
- What specific problem are you solving?
- How does your product or service work?
- What tone fits with your audience?
- Why are you better than your competitors, and how do you measure that value?
Step 2: Create the video script
The video script is the foundation of the video. A video can be visually stunning, professional-looking, and have excellent sound design, but people will tune out without a good script.
Take an active role in writing your video script even if you’re hiring a third party to create the video. Nobody understands your brand or your customers better than you do.
Best practices for a good explainer video script
- Keep it short and straight to the point: Your audience should be engaged within the first 10 seconds of the video; if you don’t get their attention within this period, you’ll lose them.
- Identify the problem: Identify your customers’ pain points and explain the problem they are having.
- Introduce the brand: Present your product or service as the best solution, ideally within the first 30 seconds.
- Say how it works: Briefly describe how your product or service can help them out. Highlight the benefits and not just the features.
- Provide the next steps: Give the viewers a call to action. This may be to go to a URL to learn more, download an app, or sign up for something.
Do not use technical language that the audience will find it hard to understand; instead, use a conversational tone that your audience can relate to.
Try reading it out loud and ask yourself, “Is this how people TALK or how people WRITE?” Ideally, it should sound like someone speaking and not reading a script. Make use of ‘you’ and ‘your’ so that the audience knows you are directly talking to them.
Step 3: Record the voiceover for the video
It is worth investing in a professional voice talent because poorly narrated audio can turn potential customers away. Professional voiceover artists are trained in a conversational tone, and the technical quality of the recording will make a huge difference.
Here are a few professional voice options to consider:
Voices.com: a great place to start. They have a pool of fantastic voiceover artists who can quickly turn around on professional voice work.
Fiverr.com: Fiverr is a great way to find cheaper talent. You may have to search a little harder, but you can find professionals.
Craigslist is a little less reliable, but a lot of talent can be found on Craigslist if you search hard enough.
Step 4: Produce the explainer video
For your explainer video production, you can use a professional video company, a freelancer, or even do it yourself.
Professional video production companies can help you create high-quality promotional videos and give you access to video experts that will help you. Additionally, some agencies can handle all of the conceptual work, scripting, and storyboarding for the video.
If you have the time and a bit of technical experience, you could produce the explainer video by using Powtoon, Vyond, or other available animation software.
However, well-done explainer videos may LOOK simple but, in some cases, have had 100+ combined hours of work within a creative team.
We advise that you hire professionals for your video. This option will likely convert better and save you the stress of having to learn new software, write a script, and conceptualize a visual narrative.
Step 5: Add music and audio effects
It’s incredible what music can do. Like the video, music can evoke all kinds of emotions and determine your explanation’s tone and rhythm.
Step 6: Launch the explainer video
Many people get so excited about their explainer video that they forget to plan for its release.
Here are the best practices to launch an explainer video successfully:
Choose a video host: There are many options for video hosting. We recommend YouTube, Vimeo Pro, Vidyard, or Wistia.
Have a marketing plan – Use your blog, newsletter, social media channels, email signatures, and events to share your video.
Embed the video on your website: Most companies like to place videos on their homepages. Wherever you put it, it should integrate seamlessly with your brand and content.
Measure and track the success of your explainer video using YouTube Insight or Google Analytics.
Do-it-Yourself Explainer Video Software
There are many animation software options on the internet. Here are our top five animation software for use in your explainer video:
Powtoon is a presentation and animation software that can be used to create more interactive and engaging content. The software gives a variety of animation styles, including infographics, cartoons, and whiteboards. The program is web-based to access your projects from any computer with an internet connection and flash.
Pros of PowToon
- Powtoon is simple, interactive, and provides all the necessary functions for using graphic animations as a presentation.
- The interface is super simple and easy to use.
- You have access to lots of tools and templates to enter your information and create a decent explainer video quickly.
Cons of PowToon
- Requires subscription to the premium plan.
- A lot of pay-walled features.
|$0||$89/ month or|
$19/month billed annually
|$197/ month or |
$59/month billed annually
|$99/month billed annually|
|Includes Powtoon branding in videos||5 exports||Unlimited exports||Unlimited exports, |
|2 GB Storage||10 GB Storage||100 GB of storage|
Animaker is a cloud-based do-it-yourself video animation program. The software allows users to create animated videos with predefined templates and characters. Animaker offers numerous functions such as recording, multimove, curve, camera input, and camera output to professionally add animation to your video.
Pros of Animaker
- Has a reasonable number of characters and free material.
- The subscriptions offered are cheaper than competing software.
- Good variety of media and fast email response team.
Cons of Animaker
- The website is not very user friendly
- No autosave features.
|$0||$19/month or |
$12 billed annually
|$35/month or |
$19 billed annually
|$59/month or |
$39 billed annually
|5 exports per month up to 2 minutes||20 exports per month up to 5 minutes||40 exports per month up to 15 minutes.||100 exports per month up to 30 minutes.|
|Has Animaker branding||HD/SD quality||Custom fonts and commercial rights|
From animation to easy access, Rawshorts offers users everything you need to create a great explainer video. Browse and select the appropriate model, customize it by adding text, media, transitions, and more to improve, and finally export and share the video.
Pros of Rawshorts
- The online application allows you to create a video anywhere.
- It has a wide range of industrial templates that simplify video creation.
- You can upload, crop, and position videos to your satisfaction.
- Uses a drag and drop user interface to add media, text, and transitions as you create.
Cons of Rawshorts
- A limit of 200 words to process AI scripts.
- The editor takes a long time to load.
- Robotic monotone voiceover.
|$0||$49/month or |
$39 billed annually
|$89/month or |
$59 billed annually
|Standard format (16:9), watermarked||Social format (1:1 and vertical)||Social format (1:1 and vertical)|
|5 non-premium exports total||25 premium exports monthly||50 premium exports monthly|
Wideo is a popular video creation software designed specifically for companies and businesses. It allows users to easily create promotions, presentations, internal communications, and explainer videos.
You don’t have to be a professional designer to use the Wideo platform – you can simply choose the perfect template for you, and your video is online in a few minutes.
Pros of Wideo
- Its image and icon collection is versed.
- Their interface is easy to use with a sleek modern design.
Cons of Wideo
- The basic plan has no depth and only offers a minimal template gallery and sound.
- The video length is limited to a minute
|$59/month or |
$19/month billed annually
|$99/month or |
$39/month billed annually
|$199/month or |
$79/month billed annually
|10 downloads per month||Unlimited downloads||Two accounts|
|1-minute videos||10-minute videos||Premium support|
|20 video templates||Full template gallery||Unlimited video length|
Renderforest is an all-in-one platform for your business, offering plenty of custom website builders and demo videos. You do not need high-level experience to create an awesome explainer video on this platform.
It contains thousands of predefined templates for everyone in all categories of video creation (whiteboard animation, 2D animation, 3D animation, and animated presentations).
Pros of Renderforest
- It has useful templates that are entertaining and fun to use.
- Renderforest offers reasonable prices.
- Premium subscribers can use their voice over the software to record and edit.
Cons of Renderforest
- Inadequate options for characters and symbols.
- It is not possible to create something from scratch without using their pre-made scenes.
|All videos feature Renderforest’s watermark||(360p quality) $9.99|
|Amateur $59/month |
How much should an explainer video cost?
The cost of an explainer video depends on several variables. To get a good idea, you should try answering the following questions:
- What’s your budget?
- What information do you want to pass?
- What is the ideal duration of the explainer video?
- What type of visual style do you need?
- What are you using the explainer video for, or where are you uploading it (i.e., boardroom presentation, social media, landing page, etc.)?
- When do you need the explainer video?
- Do you need a marketing strategy?
If you can provide truthful answers to those questions, you’ll get a much more accurate quote for your explainer video.
How much do video creation companies charge?
Based on this comprehensive survey, a 60-second explainer video costs between $1,000 and $72,000. On average, most video production firms charge $7,000 – $8,000. Note that firms that charge less than $7,000 might include several charges in the production course.
This price can give many businesses a sense of sticker shock, but the production companies will:
- Use a project manager to work closely with you, ensuring the vision is right.
- Hire copywriters.
- Source professional voice artists.
- Have skilled technicians use expensive editing and visual effects software.
- Source royalty-free music, sound effects, and more.
When searching online, you may find some cheaper options, but you need to consider why they are so cheap – the answer is usually mass production.
If you choose to work with the cheaper companies offering videos for $200-$300, you will be getting a cookie-cutter video that many other brands have gotten before.
Time to Produce an Explainer Video
Turnaround time for a video depends on the length, style, and features.
A 60-second explainer video will likely take more than five weeks to complete. Some agencies offer a fast turnaround fee which can be added to the total cost.
The shortest turnaround time for a 60-second video is typically two weeks. Generally, an explainer video can take as long as 12 weeks.
Why and How to Choose the Right Video Creation Company
No matter what situation your brand is in, there are times when you may need to outsource your job to a video production company.
Entrusting the next brand strategy, video training, or marketing campaign to a qualified video production company can be intimidating, but it will pay off.
Video production companies are equipped to make sure your story is fully captured, but you must submit a project brief to get the ball rolling.
A project brief outlines everything you want to accomplish with your video and gives you a chance to set expectations before even interviewing a prospect. Important information to include in the brief are:
- Overview of the company.
- Your company’s target audience.
- Your objective of the explainer video.
- Your budget.
Compare your Project Brief to the Company’s Past Productions
When researching video production companies, reputable companies should have a portfolio and be willing to share that portfolio with you.
Make sure you are taking a look at all of their past work to ensure they are capable of providing what you are looking for in the video.
Compare your project brief to the videos the company has produced.
Ask Vital Questions to Know How Your Project Will be Handled
Now is the time to interview the companies you know can deliver what is contained in your project brief. Some critical questions you should ask include:
- Is there a professional copywriter to create a compelling story around the video?
- How do they hire the cast for the video?
- What equipment is available? And what is their function?
- How will the editing be done?
- Ask for proposals, not just quotes.
- Make a choice.
When creating an explainer video, it is clear that you want to be as involved as possible to ensure that your brand message gets across the way you intend.
Working with Great Big Digital is the best way to get the most out of video production while still having a say in the content and voice. We would love to translate your text into a powerful, functional, effective branding video.
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