Explainer video differs from classic video advertising. It has a practical purpose, for example showing how something works. It is this feature that makes it convincing and is effectively used to present the company, as well as to upgrade the basic message. There are different names for this type of video; explainer video, explanatory video, animated explainer… but its basic function is always the same. It’s something like a digital marketing dessert, communicating the message of your brand, product or service briefly and sweetly. You can use it as part of your video marketing strategy on your social media sites or homepage to inform old or attract new customers.
A good explainer video can be very yummy – we cannot resist it and we have to share it with our followers, clients and colleagues. But for the desired effect one needs to keep in mind some criteria.
As every chef knows, a delicious dish is eaten in an instant, but it’s preparation takes a long time and has to be done carefully. It is similar with the explainer video – although it’s usually 30 seconds to 2 minutes long, its preparation requires time and effort.
Here’s one boring but educational graph that shows how much the average user manages to hold attention given the length of the video.
As the graph clearly shows, short videos are best to mantain the attention of the viewer, so our recommendation is to create videos from 60 to 90 seconds. The maximum length rarely exceeds 2 minutes because after that the user’s attention decreases rapidly. Shorter is better, but keep in mind that it all depends on the content, as well as the platform the video is intended for. Namely, what is the point of a short video if it does not contain what is important for your product, brand or service?
A good script is crucial for a good explainer video, and like a recipe for a good cake, we have to write down all of the essential ingredients. Since this topic deserves a special blog post, in this short review, we will highlight two things – WHAT is it you want to say and HOW you want to say it.
WHAT? – This question seems expected and obvious, but that is why it is easy to overlook it. Of course, your product is perfect and it has many benefits. Not only will it solve the problems of your customers, but it will make them a tiramisu cake and after that wash the dishes. And here is the catch – too much information will lose the point. Focus on the essentials and ask yourself, what do you want to say in your explainer video? Let that be one thing. So what is new about what your product or service offers? What do you want users to see, hear and remember?
HOW? – To make your video explainer script short and clear, use short and clear sentences. Let them speak via pictures and be visually strong and striking. Humor is often the reason why some explainer videos catch your eye. But be careful with it! Let’s say, humor is like sugar, if you add to much – you’ll spoil the cake (and your teeth).
There are different styles of explainer videos to choose from. Does your brand need the freshness of a whiteboard? Colorful plate of 2D animation? Juicy fullness of 3D animation? Or do you prefer a raw live action approach? Each approach has its advantages and disadvantages that need to be put on the scale before it is kneaded into a biscuit.
When choosing, take into account the budget at your disposal, some techniques are more expensive than others. Also, keep in mind what the main goal is and what you want to achieve with your video. Think about your target audience and ask yourself what their preferences are, and if they have any specific needs.
Whiteboard animated video
Sometimes, the concepts we want to convey to clients or users are dry and abstract, and require time. Luckily, there is the whiteboard style. A hand, similar to the one from the Addams family, draws images on a white background, and makes any annoying information interesting. This technique is affordable, but… aside from having flooded the internet, at first glance, one whiteboard is not much different from the other. What used to be innovative and new, is losing some of its juiciness.
Still, it is a fun approach often used for educational purposes and it is good for conveying longer and more complex advertising messages.
2D animation and imagination can do anything! The unicorn descends on a colorful slide made of cotton candy into a pool of sticky oatmeal. It is obvious that our unicorn got into a mess, but what is the story behind it? We have no idea. But if you want to communicate something like this in a visually appealing way, 2D is here for you.
2D animation allows storytelling through charmingly drawn characters who have a problem and solve it with the help of your product or service. Of course, the 2D motion graphics option without the characters is also very popular.
In conclusion, 2D animation is great for shorter informative messages. It is particularly suitable for the promotion of intangible products or services, for example it is often used to present a new software or application. Once the visuals are arranged and the narrator’s voice is recorded over them – your explainer video is ready.
Two dimensions are not enough for you? You’d love to keep that crazy unicorn, but want to show the depth of the mess he got into? Look no further.
In comparison to the more popular 2D, 3D animation is more expensive due to the way it is made. But it is more impressive, and shows that your brand is up to date with the latest marketing tools and technologies. This vivid approach is unique and presenting objects and situations in three dimensions that are otherwise not possible. For example, how to show the inside of a sophisticated device – while it’s working!
Live action video
Live action explainer video is a technique most similar to classic advertising. Live actors, film crew behind the camera, 25 frames per second… Suitable for presenting actual products that are better shown live than through animation. Reason? Human factor. Even though we live in a digital world, human faces, movements and gestures are the easiest things to connect with emotionally.
On the other hand, it is a slightly more expensive approach, but even with a modest budget, small miracles can be done.
Which technique to choose?
There are a lot of possibilities. It depends mostly on the message you want to convey, so there is no ultimate solution. The most popular style is certainly 2D animation, because it is fast in execution and finalization. Depending on the illustrations, it can be visually diverse. Here are a few example illustrations of various styles used in 2D animated explainer videos:
Call to action
The famous call to action is the sugar that is best left for last. Namely, the goal of video explainer is to turn viewers into customers, so CTA is an indispensable ingredient of every digital video dessert. What good is the most delicious cake if you don’t take it out of the oven and serve it? If you have mixed the ingredients well, baked at the right temperature, you have the opportunity to invite interested viewers to taste your product or service.
What the CTA will look like depends on the purpose of your video, but what it must contain is a clear, visible, and motivating message that is tailored to your target audience. We hope you find these tips helpful and lead you in the desired direction.
If you want your product, brand or service to get the video explainer it deserves, you know where to find us!