Explainer videos are a great way to push your content and brand to your target audience, but creating one might seem intimidating. How will you make a video that is informative, engaging, and easy to follow for your audience?
Fortunately, this article has simple tips and excellent examples to help you get started.
What is an explainer video?
An explainer video is a short video that communicates how something works in a simple way to its target audience. Explainer videos are often used in marketing to show the benefits of a product or service and how they work.
Explainer videos are often uploaded to platforms like YouTube and social media, but they can also be placed on your website's homepage or product page.
Types of Explainer Videos
The three most common explainer videos are:
Live-action explainer videos are non-animated promotional videos, and they are best for business selling physical products or people-focused services.
Animated explainer videos are made with animation and are great for explaining less-tangible services or products such as software.
Whiteboard explainer videos are in the same family as animated ones, but they specifically involve animation that hand drawn (or appears to be) and erased on a whiteboard.
Screencast videos are a great option if you want to keep your production costs low. A screencast video comprises screen recordings of users implementing a product or service online.
Explainer Video Tips
Here are some best practices to keep in mind when creating an explainer video:
- Keep your video short. Ideally, you'll want your video to be 30 to 90 seconds long. If your video is longer, you'll definitely need to be creative to keep your audience's attention.
- Get straight to the point. Make your message and intentions clear within the first 30 seconds of your video.
- Use simple language and avoid jargon. Too much technical language can bore your viewers, encouraging them to click away from your video.
- Speak in the second-person by using words like "you" and "your."
- Use a casual, conversational tone in your videos.
How to Make an Explainer Video
There are several ways to create an explainer video, and your method will depend on the type of explainer you want to make. However, most explainer videos require the following steps.
1. Write your video script. The best script will give a quick overview of what your product or service does. You should also introduce a problem and then explain how your product or service solves it.
Toward the end of your video, include a call-to-action telling viewers to call now, book an appointment, sign up, etc.
2. Record a voiceover. Make sure your audio is clear and high quality.
3. Determine your production. Are you going to hire a freelancer to animate or voice your video? Will you invest in a production team or company to create your video? Or are you going to DIY it with an iPhone?
Crowdsourcing is also an option if you're looking to lower costs.
4. Add music and sound effects. You're going to want to keep your audience engaged, and one of the best ways to do that is with a catchy soundtrack and excellent sound effects.
Several platforms, such as YouTube, Audacity, Free Sound, and MusOpen, provide music and soundYouTube, Audacity, Free Sound, and MusOpen. Just make sure to read the terms and conditions of these platforms to confirm that the music is licensed for use.
Once your video is done, upload it to your platform of choice and track its performance to determine how to improve your next video.
10 of the Best Explainer Videos We've Ever Seen
- Walmart - YMS
- Inventory Ahead
To get a good feel for crafting your explainer video, start by gathering inspiration from brands doing it right.
This YouTube Short by Grammarly explains three features from its business version that users can use to improve their writing and productivity.
What We Like: The spokesperson immediately explains the purpose of the explainer at the very beginning. She also uses a conversational tone and explains each feature in plain language.
Synthesia is a virtual video production studio and its explainer video explains the platform's features and uses.
Synthesia takes a storytelling approach in the video by introducing a relatable character named Alan, who needs help making a video quickly. The story is simple and followers Alan from beginning to end in his video-making process
What We Like: The chronological storytelling effectively points out Synthesia's various tools and how to apply them.
This animated explainer video is for a company called Feels. The video explains how users can add meaning to the gifts they give others by linking them to charitable causes.
What We Like: The animation is colorful and fun to watch, making it engaging for viewers.
Furthermore, the narrator has a friendly yet heartfelt way of speaking that sounds more like a conversation with a friend and less like a marketing video.
4. Walmart - YMS
This whiteboard explainer video is for a Walmart Yard Management System (YMS) and explains how the system works and why it is needed.
What We Like: Though the video is longer, its whiteboard style allows the animation to follow along and illustrate everything the narrator is saying as she speaks.
This creates a cohesive, well-paced, easy-to-follow video that keeps viewers engaged for 2 minutes and 25 seconds.
5. Inventory Ahead
This explainer video for Inventory Ahead is an example of a screencast explainer. The video gives a first-person point of view showing how users can navigate the platform to track inventory.
What We Like: Viewers can easily see how the company's website and tools work thanks to the use of screen recording.
Purina's explainer video showcases the brand's prupose, which is to provide healthy and nutritious pet food to its consumer's fur babies.
What We Like: The video is super short at just 30 seconds and gets straight to the point using fun and colorful animation.
Freighty's explainer video uses a second-person style of speaking and features and illustrations that highlight the narrator's script.
What We Like: The explainer empathizes with its target audience by first listing common goals shared by e-commerce companies.
It then presents consumers' typical problems and shows how Freighty is the solution.
Fiverr's explainer details the "Fiverr Journey" by following four entrepreneurs, each benefiting from the platform's services.
What We Like: The explainer includes an upbeat soundtrack, interesting storylines, and a narrator speaking in a laid back tone.
UberEats explains how people can make money on their own time by delivering for the company.
What We Like: The explainer video gives step-by-step instructions on how to get started and make delivery. The video follows a delivery person making his rounds to help viewers better visualize what delivering would be like.
Spotify has a new HiFi (high fidelity) feature that is expected to launch sometime soon, though a specific date hasn't been confirmed. To explain HiFi, the brand sat down with singer Billie Eilish and her brother/collaborator Finneas.
What We Like: Spotify took a non-traditional approach to its explainer video by having two well-known musicians explain why HiFi is so important in creating and enjoying their music.
Finneas explains that without HiFi, listeners could miss out on sounds and nuances in Billie's music.
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