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How to Make a Great Explainer Video

Every business exists to solve a problem. Your business can solve a problem every time your product or service is bought by a consumer or other business. But before you can close the sale and solve their problem, you first must first show them how you can and gain their trust. The better you can illustrate your solution, the easier your sale. This is the beauty of explainer video marketing. 

What is an explainer video?

Explainer videos are short, engaging, and persuasive. As the name suggests, they explain your business or product. Typically under 2 minutes, these videos employ an engaging actor as the face of the video or use a captivating voice with attractive visual effects to illustrate a set of points. 

Why make an explainer video?

You want your product or service, with all its complexities, summed up in a way anyone can quickly understand. The better you can package your business up in this way, the more people will understand what you do. The more they understand, the more they will buy. All you have to do is prove that your business is the solution by answering the following questions. 

  • What is the problem? 
  • How do you solve it?  
  • Why are you the best at solving this problem? 
Why Make an Explainer Video?

An explainer video is the perfect way to answer these questions and persuade new customers. Consider the following statistics. 

Let’s review the many ways you can design your explainer video. There’s an explainer video for every industry and every business personality. How should you design yours? 

Types of explainer videos

Be creative when designing your explainer video. Let your business’ personality shine through. You can make yours fun and quirky or deep and educational. An explainer video can be similar to a commercial but is often more engaging and descriptive. 

Animated: Many explainer videos use animation to illustrate their solution. This method is perfect for service-based industries or businesses who sell intangible products. Animation allows you to enter spaces you can’t see in real life. For example, a tech company can use an animated explainer video to go inside of a computer and demonstrate how their software operates.  

Live-Action: Another popular format is the live-action video. This method employs an engaging actor who speaks directly to the viewer. Many live-action explainer videos are quirky and fascinating, making it hard for the viewer to turn away. This gives you the opportunity to persuade them to purchase. 

Whiteboard: Similar to our first example, the whiteboard explainer video employs animation. Imagine sitting over the shoulder of someone writing on a whiteboard as they explain something to you. They draw a picture to illustrate their explanation, erase it and draw again as they move on to their next point. This is a simple and straightforward way to design an explainer video. 

Livestream: You can also structure an explainer video in a livestream format. Go live on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, or another platform. There are opportunities for more mistakes with this method. However, livestreams are a fantastic way to build trust with viewers, as the footage is raw and real. Most platforms allow you to publish the livestream for viewing after the livestream ends. 

For a broader dive on explainer video types check out this quick and catchy review of 17 explainer video types.  

4 great explainer video examples across industries

Explainer videos can be used in any industry. Whether you have a product, process, or service to promote, you can use an explainer video to introduce yourself and seal the deal. Take a look at the following examples of great explainer videos across industries. 

1. Tech: Many tech companies have an intangible product, like software to promote. Animated explainer videos used by companies like Panoply help viewers visualize how this business can help them. 

2. Marketing: Stack that Money uses a whiteboard format to explain how someone can go from their struggle with affiliate marketing to becoming successful through the use of their services. 

3. Health: With a catchy poem, colorful animation, and to-the-point solution, Zocdoc explains their services clearly and cleverly in less than a minute. 
4. Packaged Goods Disruptor: While you can use any video type for any industry, live-action video formats are common for retail companies who have a physical product they can demonstrate or display. This breakout explainer from Dollar Shave Club employs a live-action video format with the founder as the speaker who whisks the viewer through their company’s solution for an affordable and clean shave. 

How to make a great explainer video in 5 steps

An explainer video has a lot of moving pieces but can be well worth the effort. Once you’re ready to build yours, where do you begin? We’re going to go through the creation process from start to finish. Follow the five steps below to develop your unique and successful explainer video. 

How to Make a Great Explainer Video in 5 Steps

Step One: Create a clear strategy and message 

Before you hire an actor, write your script, or shoot your video, you should first develop your strategy. This will take time. Organize a brainstorming session with your team. Answer the following questions. 

  • What is our goal for this project? 
  • What message do we want to communicate? 
  • What are 3 points about our business or service that make us unique? 
  • Which video format best illustrates what we want to say? 
  • How long do we want our video to be? 
  • What is the simplest way to describe our business? 
  • What illustrations could best help someone to visualize our business? 

As you answer these questions, your strategy will become clearer. You should have a better picture of your finished product. You are ready to write the script. 

Step Two: Write the script 

The beauty of a great explainer video is its ability to package a lot of information in a short amount of time and in a way that keeps the viewer simultaneously intrigued and informed. In other words: every word counts. Your script must be powerful, clear, and compact. 

Spend time with your script. Write, review, and revise it. Keep it tight and make it engaging. You want your script nearly perfect before moving to the next steps. 

Step Three: Find your narrator or actor representation 

Your next task is to find the right narrator for your animated video or actor for your live-action video. This is also an important task, not to be taken lightly. The actor you choose will be the face, or voice, of your company for these few minutes. Make sure the person or voice you choose represents who you want others to see and hear when they think of your business. You can use a talent agency for bigger brands or Upwork for smaller brands and projects. As you shortlist your talent by listening to their samples, make sure you don’t select the same voice as one of your competitors. 

Is your business quirky and fun? Is it professional and composed? Hire the right person for the job. Remember to calculate this cost into your budget, which can be per word or per minute and ranges from $50 to $1000 per project. Truly famous voices, like Morgan Freeman, Ellen DeGeneres, Jeremy Irons, Oprah Winfrey, or Ray Romano will obviously cost a lot more.  

Step Four: Develop your animation and record the audio, or shoot your live-action video 

You have the strategy. Your script is written and revised. The actor or narrator is chosen. You are now ready to develop the visual animations and record the audio for your animated video or shoot your live-action film.  

Develop your animation and record the audio, or shoot your live-action video

How do you do this? While some things could be accomplished in-house, it is also a good idea to consider hiring a professional to produce your content. Choosing a freelancer or company who specializes in this service will help you develop quality content faster than you could on your own. Paying for this service will add to your overall expenses, but the time and energy saved should be well worth the money invested. 

Step Five: Choose accompanying music and put it all together 

Most explainer videos have music in the background. Refer to your strategy, design, and script when choosing this music. You want the track to fit the tone of your video. It should help lead the emotions and action, blending seamlessly with the visuals as the viewer watches.  

Remember, this is background music. It should not distract from your video. In fact, the best music for an explainer video is music that no one remembers is there. Music has the power to subconsciously lead and reinforce the script and visuals within your video. 

Use explainer videos to increase your sales in 2022

Identify a problem, demonstrate the solution, and invite others to try it too. This is what explainer video marketing accomplishes in just a few minutes. An explainer video is part of an omnichannel marketing program and can improve conversions, educate consumers, and build trust for your solution. Create yours today to increase your sales in 2022 and beyond. 

Milestone increases acquisition by enhancing digital experience and increasing content visibility. Contact us at [email protected] or call us at 408-200-2211

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