What Is An Explainer Video? Here’s Everything You Need To Know!

Josh Lomax
April 14, 2022

What Is An Explainer Video? Here’s Everything You Need To Know!

This might sound like a rather obvious question because an explainer video is exactly what it says it is. It is a video that companies or brands use to explain their product or service. These videos are incredibly popular and you’ve probably seen more of them in the last year than you can count on both hands.

Despite their popularity, it is not an uncommon question.

What actually is an explainer video?

Well, stick with us and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the ins and outs of explainer videos!

So what actually is an explainer video?

Explainer videos are short-form videos that showcase a company's product, service or business strategy in an engaging way.

They are almost always used for sales and marketing purposes and you can usually find them on the landing page of a company's website. These videos can also be really good when being shared across social media platforms.

More often than not, explainer videos tend to be animated but this doesn’t always have to be the case.

Ultimately, explainer videos tend to be quite simplistic and have a strong focus on being engaging more than anything else.

Why are explainer videos so popular?

There are many advantages to using explainer videos.

For a start, they are much more engaging than block text. Are you more likely to watch a minute long video or read 3 solid paragraphs filled to the brim with words? It’s going to be the video.

Not only is a video more engaging than text, you also have a lot more room to be creative.

If you think about your sales funnel, this will likely be one of the first pieces of content a potential prospect will see from you. You can use this minute or two to not only explain your product/service, but to show the personality of your brand. You can be formal, fun, energetic, punchy - it’s completely up to you. 

Little side note here, just because it’s a video doesn’t mean they’re going to watch the whole thing. The first 0-5 seconds are crucial in retaining your audience's attention.

The other, more obvious, advantage of using an explainer video is that it literally explains what you do. If you execute the video well, you’ll be able to tell a prospect what you do, how you do it and what the advantages to using your product/service are. Not only will this boost your conversions but it’ll no doubt save you countless hours answering customer queries.

Oh and don’t forget the financial advantage either. Dropbox spent $50,000 on an explainer video that raked in over $48,000,000, achieving an ROI of 1000%! Crazy Egg commissioned a company to produce an explainer video for them and it increased their conversion rate by 64% and generated an extra $21,000 a month in income.

What makes a good explainer video?

There’s a lot of options when it comes to creating an explainer video, so what makes a good one?

Well, that depends on your business and your audience. What will work for one company won’t work for another, although there are a few traits that all good videos have.

For starters, they keep it short and concise. Most good explainer videos keep it under 3 minutes long and often manage to squeeze their content into 1-2 minutes. This is to reduce the video dragging and losing audience attention.

In addition to a short run time, they keep the purpose at the forefront of the video. They have a strong call to action and don’t try to fill any time with needless content.

The better videos will also directly address consumer problems to make sure they are adding value. Remember, nobody wants to watch a video that just boasts about how good you are, consumers want to gain something.

Good explainers are almost always branded up and are always very high quality. The company brand/ethos will usually be evident throughout and the actual video quality is always really high. You’ll rarely see a top explainer video pixelated. 

In terms of how they are produced, most good explainer videos do tend to somewhat follow the same script - what, how and why. What is the consumer problem? How will your product or service solve their problem? Why should they choose your solution over others?

Obviously your video doesn’t have to follow these principles but this is what you will likely find when you analyse any top explainer video.

How can I create an explainer video?

Creating an explainer video is no easy feat.

You need to plan out exactly what kind of video you want and what you want to achieve from it.

Don’t be shy here, get really specific with your goals. Do you want more conversions? Increase your brand awareness? Less customer service calls?

Whatever it may be, have this goal in mind before you pursue anything.

Then you need to think about what style of explainer video you’d want to go for. The two main options here are animated or live action. There’s no real right or wrong answer but obviously each option leads down a different path in terms of creation, pricing etc.

We won’t go into the ins and outs of the creation process now, we’ve already written another blog dedicated to that. All we will say here is that you should research both options before you choose one style, don’t go into the process blind.

The best advice once you have all your plans and ideas in order is to approach a production company and set up a meeting. Again, research the production company and make sure they can create the kind of video that you want. You don’t need to commit to anything at this stage, most companies will offer a free consultation to go through a project so you literally have nothing to lose.

Once you’ve had your meeting, you can then decide what steps you want to take next. You can either go ahead or go back to the drawing board.

Can I create an explainer video myself?

This will sound very biased coming from a video production company but I would strongly advise against creating it yourself. 

Unless you have experience in video or know people in your team who do, you will need to seek some professional guidance at least.

Remember your sales funnel again. This will likely be one of the first interactions a potential prospect will have with your business and you want to get off on the right foot. You don’t want to give off the wrong impression with a poor video.

Don’t try to cut corners here, take time to perfect your video and it will do you wonders in return.

Final Thoughts

The key point to take from all this is that an explainer video is often a simple but effective piece of content when it comes to your consumer. It can save you time, build your brand and increase your sales. You just have to take the time to work on a concept and see it through to completion.