Explainer videos are popular, and there’s no wonder as to why. These short, visual nuggets allow you to quickly and memorably showcase your product or service to prospects and clients. If you are looking to find out more about this type of marketing video, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn all about explainer videos.

The what, why and how of explainer videos

The first step to creating an explainer video is understanding what it is! Let’s dive into the what, why and how.

What: An explainer video is a visual and entertaining way to explain your organization’s product or service. This video is short, usually 90 seconds or less, and can be used on the company website, shared across social, as sales support, in emails and presentations, and more.  

Why: Using video as a way to demonstrate your product or service has many great benefits:

  • It’s easier to explain in a conversational format vs. a written one. How many times have you just picked up the phone or done a Zoom call or Slack huddle because it’s easier than trying to write it out over email, text or chat? 
  • Visuals are more memorable. According to Insivia, people remember 95% of content from a video, whereas they only remember about 10% when read in text.
  • Marketing videos are popular and effective. A quick search on the internet leads to thousands (or more) of video results. Wyzowl’s State of Video Marketing 2023 survey found:
    • 70% of marketers created explainer videos last year
    • 95% of respondents say video marketing has helped them increase brand awareness
    • 87% say video marketing has helped them increase sales
    • 79% of people say watching a video has convinced them to buy software or an app
    • 51% of people are more likely to share videos with their friends than any other type of content

How: Creating an explainer video follows the same six-step process as other marketing videos: assembling a team; holding a kick-off call; writing a script; storyboarding; video production; approval and use.

Explainer video best practices and trends

With any creative endeavor comes some guidelines to yield an optimal end product.  When creating an explainer video, use these tried and true best practices:

  • Keep it short  — As mentioned above, explainer videos are generally no longer than 90 seconds. 
  • Get straight to the point — You have a limited amount of time, so don’t spend it trying to build a storyline.
  • Avoid jargon — Your script should be easy to understand by your audience, don’t assume they know the tech jargon or acronyms.
  • Address pain points, and provide a solution — Your job is to show your audience that you understand their situation and how you can help. 
  • Use visuals — This is your chance to showcase your product or service. Creative and captivating visuals make your video more engaging and memorable. This is also a great opportunity to include product demos where appropriate.

Trend alert! If you are looking to be edgier with your video, try infusing augmented reality (AR) or liquid animation (the use of fluid, continuous motion for graphical elements)

Different types of explainer videos

Explainer videos come in all shapes and sizes, and deciding which type is best for your organization depends on the goal, budget and timeline. This is your opportunity to be creative, so don’t hold back!

A few popular types of explainer videos include:

Animated videos: The use of graphics, stock video and product shots are used in conjunction with a voiceover of the script. Animated videos are most popular in the software and tech space where there is no physical product to show. These are also more budget and timeline friendly and are easier to edit both during the initial creation and for future updates.

Live action: These videos use actors, on-location shoots, and a larger production crew. Live-action videos often have a longer production time, especially when talent and location scouting need to take place. 

Product demos: Sometimes the best way to explain your product is to actually show it in action. Product demos include video footage (often done through screen recording) of your product interface and show what it actually does. Oftentimes, product demos also include a combination of animation, voice-over and background music to add more interest and entertainment.

Whiteboard explainer videos: Basically, it is what it sounds like – an animated or physical hand is drawing and erasing on a whiteboard in conjunction with a voiceover reading the script. The production cost is fairly low and these can be effective depending on your product or your audience.

Don’t hesitate to jump on the bandwagon

Now that you have a better grasp of an explainer video, there is no time like the present to get to work creating this marketing piece for your organization.

However, knowing where to start and what type of explainer video to create can be confusing. For inspiration, check out some of our favorite explainer videos.