Creating explainer videos has become an increasingly popular way to clearly communicate ideas, educate viewers and promote products.
If you’re looking to grow your business and make a lasting impression on your customer, consider learning how to make explainer videos.
Marketers: Embrace Explainer Videos!
These days, consumers have shorter attention spans than ever before.
You need to constantly be figuring out ways to capture their attention and distill a lot of information into one small piece of content.
If you can stand out from the crowd while meeting your target audience’s needs, you can engage with the people who will contribute to the increase of your income.
Explainer videos are the perfect format that allows you to create bite sized pieces of information that deliver concepts to your target audience in a concise manner.
You can demonstrate your products or educate your viewers.
Explainer videos can be used on the home page of your website, a landing page, or even a social media platform where it can be shared with thousands of others who are interested in the same topic.
Grow Your Business with Explainer Videos
Instead of having boring text and bullet points to convey the benefits of your products and services, explainer videos can deliver the information in a format that many consumers are turning to now.
In addition to helping you convert visitors into buyers of your products and services, it can also help you build your list of subscribers.
Whenever someone comes to your landing page and is hesitant to exchange their name and email information, the explainer video can go the extra mile to put their mind at ease.
It’s also a great way to increase the branding and messaging of your company online.
It’s harder to have the same impact with text when you’re trying to get your target audience to build an emotional bond with you.
Explainer videos are a great way to weave storytelling and proof into your online messages.
You can look at how other businesses have used explainer videos to help them with branding and sales.
Companies like GoPro, Dollar Shave Club, HubSpot, Poopouri, and even Wix have used explainer videos to their benefit.
How to Create Captivating Explainer Videos
When you’re an online entrepreneur, you are competing with thousands, if not millions of other individuals who are trying to attract the attention of the same audience.
You have to stay one step ahead with ideas that set you apart and help brand yourself as one of the go to, leading expert in your niche.
There are many other strategies you will learn to use, from tapping into search engine optimization (SEO) to collaborating with influencers.
But one thing that is gaining traction in the marketplace as a way to engage your audience and generate traffic to your offers is the use of explainer videos.
Video is a media format that is extremely popular with a wide variety of individuals.
But “short form videos” and the use of explainer scripts are now the effective way to provide product demos, share a story about your brand, and let the audience see your expertise unfold on screen.
If you are looking for ways to deliver a concise message that increases engagement and sharing, explainer videos might be the best option for you.
They’re easily digestible and fun to create – and there are a number of tools I go over below that can do the job for you!
Choosing the Right Style Explainer Video
Now that you can see the power of using explainer videos for your business, you’ll want to begin the process of developing some for your own branding and reach.
To start with, you want to think about what style of explainer video is right for your brand.
Of course, you can test out different styles to see what your target audience responds best to… But keep in mind that each one will showcase your products and messaging in a different light.
You may also be limited buy a budget that doesn’t allow you to have a full blown production for your explainer videos… But that doesn’t mean your videos won’t be just as effective when you use a different style.
Explaining Your Brand with the Right Style
Explainer videos started out using the popular whiteboard animation method.
You have probably seen many of these in the industry before, where a whiteboard is shown and a hand drawn animation story unfolds on the screen.
Typically, it looks like an actual hand is holding a marker and drawing the message that you want to create.
These have always been wonderful, simple concepts that allow you to tap into the use of short form video – but they’re not nearly as creative as the explainer videos that are being distributed to online audiences today.
Another popular way to make explainer videos is to use screen capture recordings.
This lets you show something happening on your computer screen, such as a demonstration of a tool or plug-in, and gives the viewer the feeling that they are watching over your shoulder.
Some marketers like to use what is known as “live action explainer videos”. If you have the ability to set up some sort of studio with a green screen and lighting, you may want to employ the use of this strategy for your branding efforts.
You can also outsource you are explainer video to professionals who will do the recordings for you.
You can hire people on Fiverr and elsewhere who will stand in as your live action expert and recite a script for you as your representative.
Exploring Various Explainer Video Options
There are also 2D and 3D animation styles that you can use for your explainer videos.
These are either flat graphics or those with more dimension that typically deliver a fun and humorous approach to your messaging.
When choosing what style of explainer video you want to use, you need to consider several different things.
First of all, who is your audience?
A younger audience or an audience that is tuning into a lighthearted topic might appreciate the animated style for the delivery.
If you are trying to deliver a more serious approach, then you may want to have a live action shot that has a human connection helping you lower the barriers of hesitation and create a better bond.
If your purpose is to get sales of a product, then you may want to use the over the shoulder approach of screen capture recording so that viewers can gain confidence that your product is going to do what you claim.
You may even want to split test these explainer videos using different styles if you have the resources and time to create them.
That way, you can see which method has a more powerful end result for you, in terms of the engagement that it gets with comments and shares as well as the profits, traffic and signups that it generates.
It will benefit you to conduct this testing early on in the process so that if and when you decide to use explainer videos in your paid advertisements, you’ll know exactly which style will give you the best return on your investment.
Creating Explainer Videos That Are Effective
Now that you know the importance and effectiveness of explainer videos in general, it’s time for you to learn best practices and tips that can help you perform well with this strategy.
The first thing you have to keep in mind is that the length of your explainer video matters. They should be kept very short, no more than 90 seconds total.
This means your audience will be getting a specific bit of information in a small format.
You don’t want to try to pack everything about your business in one 90-second commercial. You want to choose the right style that will fit your audience.
For example, you might use animation or a person on screen, or even a whiteboard if that suits your business and brand better.
You can use visual aids like graphs or charts in your explainer video, but the most important part is to have some sort of call to action at the end that gives your viewers direction on what to do next.
Uncovering the Secrets of Video Storytelling
Storytelling is one of the most important skills you can have in creating a bond with your target audience in a way that helps them trust your advice and view you as a leading expert.
But it’s hard to connect with people using just text-based content.
Explainer videos can become easily digestible snippets of information that can have a big impact on whether or not people get to know your brand.
Instead of having to sit through a 10 minute video from someone they don’t know and don’t trust, an explainer video packs a punch in a far more effective manner.
Not only can you use it to showcase what your brand is all about, but you can also use them for product demonstrations, promotion opportunities to drive traffic to your offers, and more.
An explainer video is technically going to be anywhere from 30 to 90 seconds, maximum.
They can be filmed in different formats, from having a person on screen delivering live action to a screenshot showing a product in use or even one of the most popular formats, which is the use of animation to deliver a story or concept.
The Secret Behind Brand Success
Many top brands use explainer videos as a way to get their message shared in a viral manner.
They often employ the use of humor to do this, but you can also tug at the heartstrings of your target audience and deliver something that has more of an emotional impact.
When you are considering the use of explainer videos in your own branding online, you have to understand not just how powerful this format can be, but also what makes them so effective in the minds of the consumer or viewer.
Because they are absorbing the information with their eyes and ears, it’s imperative that you use visuals that are stimulating and that keep the viewer engaged at all times.
Filming an explainer video in a dimly lit corner of a room that is messy is not an effective use of this strategy.
Another thing that consumers are drawn to when it comes to explainer videos is the messaging itself.
You have to be able to trim down an otherwise lengthy explanation into short bites of content. It also has to have some sort of emotional aspect to it.
Whether you are entertaining them or warning them, showing them how your product is going to change their life for the better – you have to have the concept of storytelling that can immerse your viewer into whatever is being shown on screen.
They have to know that you understand what their goals are and what their pain points are, so that they can feel comfortable taking the next step in following your advice.
The explainer video must have a strong call to action that ends the content with clear guidance.
Transform Your Ideas Through Storyboarding
Scripting your explainer video, and coming up with the appropriate storyboard will help you get your message across more clearly.
You don’t want to be flying by the seat of your pants when you are creating these marketing materials.
Make sure you have a goal in mind about what you want your audience to take away from your video message… Think about any visuals that you can tie in to illustrate your message better.
Remember to use the one problem, one solution approach so that you are not complicating your message and making it difficult for viewers to follow along.
After you have your basic script, you can put it into a storyboard, which will show how each scene unfolds in your video.
When you are creating your video, make sure it is unfolding in a logical manner where it begins with a problem and ends with a call to action.
In the middle, you will have a focus on the benefits that your viewers will gain from following your advice or purchasing your product.
A Guide to Crafting a Memorable Narrative
Before you begin the recording and optimization phase, you have to sit down and figure out what your narrative is going to be and then create a script and storyboard for your explainer video.
Whether you are using an over the shoulder approach, a live action, animation, or whiteboard, you need to have a script prepared so that the recording does not end up scattered or going on for too long.
By preparing these elements ahead of time, you’ll be able to execute your vision with ease, and this will help you cut costs, too. Start by considering who you want to consume the explainer video.
Create a customer avatar in your mind so that your messaging is on point, whether you are talking to mostly men or women, senior citizens or college students, people on a budget or those who are you still luxury, etc.
Ideally, your script will be brief, yet engaging. You want to have a story arc for your messaging.
The first thing you’ll do is introduce the problem to the audience in a way that grabs their attention.
Next, you might go into a little bit more detail and talk about the sense of urgency or desire to find a solution to this problem or pain point.
Finally, you want to deliver the resolution that you feel will work best for them, either by demonstrating your product or simply telling them about how you can help.
Seeing is Believing
If you think it will help, and you have time to include it, you can also add some social proof where you are either delivering quotes from other customers or images that show someone using your product.
At the end of your storyboard, you always need to have a call to action that tells the viewer exactly what they need to do next.
That might be clicking on a link to buy a product, it might be downloading a free gift and signing up for your list, or even just commenting on the video to help increase engagement.
The next thing you want to do is piece together visuals that will accompany each step of your script.
This task of storyboarding will allow you to visualize exactly what your viewers are going to be seeing as they hear the message unfold.
Shortly, we’ll be talking about tools that you can use to help with these images.
But you can also use stock images and tools like Canva that can help you create storyboard slides that you can use if you are on a budget.
Hold Your Viewers Interest
When you create your script and storyboard, you want to make sure that when you look back over it, you are thinking about what the viewer is going to be feeling as the video plays.
If your message lacks any kind of emotional interest for them, you need to go back to the drawing board and include that.
Be willing to cut out any part of your script and story that does not keep the reader engaged. There’s always time at a later date to expand on information.
Don’t try to cram too much into an explainer video, because this should serve as a bite sized delivery of important information.
Make sure that the wording you are using is simple for viewers… You don’t want to be using difficult words or technical terms that your viewers may not even know.
The last thing you want them to have to do is pause the video and go look up what you mean.
You may discover, when you are creating your storyboard and looking at the overview of it, that you need to rearrange part of your story so that it flows in a more logical manner.
Having the overview allows you to piece the explainer video together in a way that maximizes the impact with your audience.
Boost Engagement with Multimedia Effects
Explainer videos are actually more than just the video themselves. You want to tie in multimedia to your creations so that your viewer is stimulated and able to absorb information on a higher level.
For example, you may be using voice overs to narrate your video and explain the concept… If you do this, you want to use someone who has a professional voice, and you can usually find those on sites like Fiverr if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself.
You can also use other audio elements in your explainer videos… These may include copyright free music or even sound effects… Make sure they are not too loud or distracting from the overall message.
You may also be using some sort of animation to entertain your audience. If it’s not a drawing of a person taking action, it may be a whiteboard where you have a visual of a hand that is writing content.
And of course, you can also have text overlay that appears in the explainer video to emphasize certain points and guide your audience through the message.
You don’t want your video to be distracting because it has too many elements, so only use them for enhancements.
Boost Results with Advanced Optimization
Once you have created the video concept, you want to make sure you are optimizing it so that it performs well for you.
Make sure you have included branding elements within your video… That includes your URL that you want people to visit, along with any other branding that you have such as a logo or a specific color palette.
You don’t want your branding to distract from the overall message. You can have a small URL at the bottom of the screen, and you can introduce it in the very beginning or at the end of your video as an intro or outro.
Because you will be sharing this online, and hopefully getting it indexed by search bots, you want to employ the use of keywords and phrases that will effectively inform the target audience about what your video is about.
Advanced SEO Techniques
You want to use keywords in the title of your explainer video as well as in the description that you provide when you upload it on YouTube or elsewhere.
You also want to make sure you have appropriate tags. Many marketers like to include a transcript of their explainer video.
Not only does this help you with search engine optimization, but it allows people who have a preference for text to read along with your visual and audio message.
When your video is produced, make sure that it is optimized for mobile viewers. That means you have to use players on your blog and elsewhere that will automatically adjust to the size of the screen, whether they are watching it on a smartphone or a tablet.
Another thing you want to do to optimize your video is include closed captioning.
Many people are watching videos with the sound off, and there are also people who need this option because of disabilities, so it can improve your search engine optimization efforts to make sure it is easily indexed for ALL audiences.
Explainer Video Mistakes You Want to Avoid
As you learn to leverage explainer videos in your marketing campaigns, make sure you are avoiding some of the “most common mistakes”.
We’ve already talked about having too much information or videos that are too lengthy.
One critical mistake many marketers make is in trying to pack too much information into one explainer video.
People do not want to see a lot of information in these videos… You can create multiple explainer videos, where each one focuses on a different concept.
Another mistake you might make is in using visuals that distract the viewer from your actual message.
Sometimes, animation videos can be cute and endearing, but if you overcomplicate it, the viewer will be paying attention to what is happening on the screen, but not listening to your message and call to action.
You want your visuals simplified, yet effective and engaging for your audience.
Having plenty of white space on the screen so that they can focus on one type of action is a great way to have your video crafted.
Take your Video Content to the Next Level
If you are using live video action, you want to make sure that you’re setting is polished to perfection.
That means you need proper lighting, backgrounds, and even a professional appearance by yourself or whoever is on camera.
When you are recording, you have to have good quality audio. That includes everything from the actual sound production to the way you speak.
If you are nervous and rushing through your messaging too fast, viewers will click away.
Another mistake you might run into is that you forgot to deliver a call to action.
People can watch your branding and messaging videos all day long, but unless you tell them specifically to click on a link or download something, chances are, they are simply going to exit and go about their day.
You also can’t just expect it to be shared… If you are unable or unwilling to promote your explainer video on social media, your blog, in emails, and elsewhere, chances are it won’t perform well for you.
You really want to drive traffic to it so that it can be shared by others.
Platforms and Tools for Video Creation
One good thing about using explainer videos as an online entrepreneur is that there are a number of platforms and tools available to help you create polished productions.
You can conduct a search and find video editing software.
You can also find movie maker tools and animation tools that can help you create videos that wow your audience.
Different tools have different pricing plans, features, and special effects.
You’ll find some that have libraries of thousands of templates available for your storyboarding and scripts, as well as libraries that include music and images that you can include in your explainer videos.
This is a strategy that will be utilized for years to come.
Make sure you are analyzing the results whenever you use explainer videos, and split test them to see which ones perform better whenever you tweak a single element within the video itself.
Tools to Consider for Outstanding Explainer Videos
As I mentioned, there are dozens upon dozens of tools that can help you create amazing explainer videos.
Plus, if you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, you can always outsource the entire task to a freelance service provider.
But if you do want to invest in a tool so that you can bring your vision to life on your own, here are some examples of tools that may come in handy.
The first one is called Vyond (which used to be GoAnimate).
This platform lets you use their templates to create different styles of explainer videos.
These include the traditional whiteboard animation, 2D and 3D videos, etc.
You can customize your videos and bring it together with a user friendly, drag-and-drop system… They have a neat feature called the Continue Scene function.
This is perfect for animated videos and allows your character to enter and exit the screen so that the movement is fluid and it brings the character to life with motion.
They have a free trial that you can sign up for so that you can test drive this tool and see how it works for you.
Then, you can sign up for a monthly or annual plan that ranges from a basic essential plan all the way to a premium, professional, or enterprise plan.
Animaker is another cloud based tool that you can use to create different styles of explainer videos.
They also have a library of assets available to you that you can then customize before adding your own voiceovers to the finished product.
They have more than 100 video templates that you can use that will help you promote your product or educate your audience.
You can also start from scratch if you prefer, and customize the video to your needs.
They have over 30,000 royalty free music tracks and sound effects in their library and once you have completed your video, you can simply download it and share it on social media.
They do have a free version that you can use, but it does include an Animaker watermark.
Their pricing for the removal of that, along with other features such as longer video links, better quality, more custom characters, and other assets ranges from $10 a month to $49 per month, depending on your business needs.
Renderforest is an explainer video tool that you can use to not only create the videos, but animate your logo and slideshows.
You can customize your videos and add music to them, sound effects, and your traditional voiceover script.
They have thousands of templates that you can search through with different typography, different character scenes, and you unique slideshows.
You can pay monthly or yearly, and they have a free version, lite option, pro version and business option that are all very affordable.
With VideoScribe, you can leverage their templates and add your own custom graphics to create engaging explainer videos.
This is a whiteboard animation software, so it doesn’t have as much versatility as some of the other tools.
Raw Shorts is a cloud based explainer video tool that has a drag and drop interface with plenty of customization features and premade assets that are available for you to use when creating your finished product.
This tool uses artificial intelligence to transform your text based script into an animated video. They also have a free, no credit card required trial version for one week.
After the trial, you can choose between a monthly or annual payment plan that ranges from $20 to $30 per month.
Biteable is a web-based explainer video platform.
It has footage and animations that you can use from their library and over 1,700 templates available at your disposal.
You can test drive it for a week with no credit card required.
Then choose between a monthly or annual fee ranging from $49 for individuals to $99 for up to three team members.
It also has analytics built into the tool so that you can see what kind of reach you’re getting with views, completed views, and locations.
And lastly, PROMO is a tool that has many of the same types of features, and it also includes a whole library of licensed music and images you can use along with built in social marketing tools.
These include things like templates to help you make explainer videos for an Instagram story, for YouTube, and more.
If you haven’t tried creating an explainer video to date, give one of the options above a shot at helping you gain confidence and make a splash in the online marketplace for your message!
Conclusion: Unleash The Magic
Explainer videos can be a great tool to help communicate your ideas, products, and services.
They are also an engaging way to draw attention to your business and capture the interest of potential customers.
By creating an explainer video you can increase conversions, grow leads, and create a more effective marketing strategy.
What’s more, creating an explainer video doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. So why not give it a try?