What is it?
An Explainer Video shows viewers how a company’s products and services improve their lives by solving specific problems.
Many companies use Explainer Videos to explain their product or service in a memorable way that resonates with the target audience. One of the first Explainer Videos was created in 2007 by Common Craft that showed how to use the then-new social media platform Twitter. The video used plain language and presented clear graphics to illustrate how users interact on Twitter. This Explainer Video soon garnered more than 10 million views and gave Twitter an enormous boost in brand awareness as well as new users.
Done effectively, an Explainer Video gives potential customers a clear understanding of the company’s offer and spurs in them a desire to take the next step.
Traditionally explainer videos are usually made in a clean vector art style.
Here is an example of an effective Explainer Video by Digital Media Collab.
And another from Paypal.
But often Explainer Videos can be made with live production. Here is an example from Dollar Shave Club.
When/Where to use.
Explainer videos are often used at the top of the funnel campaign, when prospective clients and customers are still in the consideration phase of their decision-making process. These videos can also be embedded in an online advertisement, such as within a Facebook posting, if the goal is ultimately to drive traffic to a website. The homepage and sales/landing pages are also common locations for placing an Explainer Video. The video content is positioned near the top of the homepage or sales/landing page where it can command attention.
These short videos are also effective at sales meetings, embedded at the top of an email funnel sequence and when played in a loop at trade shows, conferences and conventions.
Why use it?
Explainer Videos help your potential customers understand what your product or service is all about, and accomplish this in the shortest amount of time possible. The goals are to raise brand awareness and convert viewers into paying customers.
A good Explainer Video typically covers 5 components:
1. A problem facing the customer.
2. The solution offered by your company.
3. Benefits of your solution.
4. How your solution works, which shows customers that it can, indeed, solve the problem.
5. A call to action.
How to use and Analyse/Measure
The Return on Investment (ROI) of an Explainer Video begins with a clear understanding of your own goals and objectives. Clicks on the video link alone are not a measure of success. Instead, you want to measure how long viewers engage with the video, whether they click through to a sales page,or an order form, for example, to take the next step. You want to know whether the click-through results in a conversion where the prospect becomes a paying customer.
Successful marketing with an Explainer Video requires a strategy after the video is on the website. And strategy requires data to analyze and measure the success of your efforts.
You can use Google Analytics to measure visitor time-on-site. Once the Google Analytics code is embedded on your website, you’ll be able to track visitors and their activity in a variety of ways, including how long they stay on each page.
An easy way to determine the success of an Explainer Video in terms of views is to track visitor time on-site before and after the video has been embedded in your website. Conversions can be measured in the same way -- both before and after the Explainer Video is embedded.
Popular video hosting platforms, such as YouTube, Wistia, and Vimeo, offer advanced video analytics to make it easy to understand how videos are performing. If viewers are tuning out before reaching the call to action (CTA), you’ll want to make some adjustments. Moving the CTA further ahead in the video or editing for length are quick solutions.
Attention spans being limited, successful Explainer Videos are almost always 3 minutes or less in length. The sweet spot for an Explainer clip is considered to be about 1.5-2 minutes long. At the two-minute mark, studies show that viewership drops off to 57% from 77%. You don’t want to lose an audience before they reach your call to action. Bear in mind that even in this best-case scenario, most companies are going to lose half their viewership on average before the end of an Explainer Video.
Although engagement tends to drop precipitously after the two-minute mark, there is good news if you require a longer Explainer Video to get your message across: At six to seven minutes, research shows that audience engagement levels out and remains strong until the 12-minute mark, when it begins to drop again. So with captivating content and clean messaging, you can still run longer presentations.
Our job is to make an Explainer Video so compelling viewers will want to watch it twice and then share with their network of friends.
Information throughout the video is explained in clear and easy-to-understand language in a welcoming, conversational tone that conveys a sincere interest in helping viewers solve a specific problem or understand your company’s products and services..
The emphasis is more on explaining benefits first (how your product or service helps the customer solve a problem), followed by features (how the product or service actually works).
The video concludes with a strong call to action that almost always conveys some degree of urgency (limited time offer, limited quantities, temporary sale price) so viewers will take the desired next steps.
Process to create
Creating an Explainer Video involves a collaborative process between the company and the video production firm hired to complete the project. At Digital Media Collab, we sit down with company leadership to listen and understand their goals and brainstorm many ideas, which are then narrowed down to a winner.
Our approach involves a blend of the creative and strategy. Creative tactics capture and hold viewer attention. Strategy involves showing how your company can solve a problem. That means getting viewers to take the next step, to take the desired action such as conversion into a paying customer.
Our approach follows a process that builds from one step to the next. This assures we don’t get far off the path or that expenses to get out of hand.
Companies considering production of an Explainer Video need to have a solid understanding of what they wish to accomplish. Is it raising brand awareness? Explaining a new product or service? Promoting a new product or service so that it leads to a sale? The answers to these questions will guide the production of an Explainer Video that meets -- and perhaps exceeds -- your ambition.
Stages to create
There are 5 distinct stages of Explainer Video production: Discovery, Pre Production, Production, Post Production, and Delivery. Let’s walk through them.
Digital Media Collab can help with all stages, OR we can partner with you in the phases you need help with.
- Discovery – As your video production company we need to understand the project.. We’ll meet to discuss your vision, goals, and your budget and any other consideration you might have for the project. With Discovery, our mission is to understand your needs and propose a solution that fulfills them.
- Pre-Production – During this planning phase, we’ll begin work on the script for your explainer video project unless you have an in-house writer handling that task. Location scouting, hiring acting talent an AV Script and animatic, style frames. are some of the key aspects of pre-production. A/V Scripts outline each shot in the video and how they all fit together. Think of the storyboards as a blueprint or plan for creating your video.
- Production – At this stage we create we are capturing, 3D modeling and designing all the assets for each scene in your project.your project. This includes capturing video (live production), designing storyboards, getting VO (voice overs), choosing music video and audio to be used in the final explainer video.
- Post Production – Editing, Animating, sound mixing, are some of the steps involved in post production as your project approaches completion. There will be opportunities to review the work in progress and make revisions as necessary. Note: this is true for each phase. We generally do 2 rounds of reasonable revisions.
- Delivery – At this final stage, we provide a digital file of the explainer video to you. We will also, at your request, upload the video to popular viewing platforms where the target audience can find and enjoy your explainer video. Additional services can include tracking and reporting on the success of your project, editing long and short versions, adding different logos to the beginning and end, as well as other needs you may require.
Video production work involves concept design with extensive client input and approval to ensure project success. Production can involve animation, live-action or some combination of the two that fulfills the client’s vision. These style choices and the complexity of the project are key factors in determining cost. Productions may range from $12,000 to $20,000 or more on the high end, depending on how elaborate the client wants an Explainer Video to be. If your video production company is handling all 5 stages of the production process, the cost will be greater. At Digital Media Collab, we often work with companies that have in-house designers and writers. If you have these members on your team, you may want to have them prepare your script and storyboards,, which serve as a visual guide to creating your explainer video.
We thrive on executing and getting the videos done. We are excited to collaborate with marketing departments inside companies.
Estimates are often figured as a “price per finished minute,” which is based on many considerations. Cost factors include:
- Complexity of design
- Complexity of animation
- 2D vs 3D
- Number of live production shoots
- Number of locations
- Camera, lighting and equipment requirements
- Hiring professional actors
- Wardrobe and makeup
- Licensing music
- Voice over talent
- Number of versions required
- Number of round of revisions required
Animated Explainer Videos may take less time to produce than live-action videos, which involve more detailed scheduling as well as securing acting talent and locations in addition to actual production time. Conversely, animated videos may be more expensive than live action if they require extensive use of 3D generated imagery. Generally, six weeks is the minimum production time with 12 weeks on the outer range of the timeline for a custom Explainer Video production. If urgency is the overriding factor, creating an Explainer Video from a template may be an option. Any reputable video production company should be able to provide a variety of solutions that suit your company’s unique needs.
Your production company will work with you to develop ideas, a plan for executing on them, preparing a script that’s clear, clean and free of jargon, shooting the video, completing editing and post production, and delivering a polished Explainer Video that’s ready to be posted.
One of the biggest benefits of an Explainer Video is you have an asset that you can use today. Some other forms of marketing (like websites) can be ever changing and partially complete. The great thing about video is you can reach out with a link to warm lead the day you recieve the video. You’d be surprised at the response you can get from that kind of email.
- Communicate the same message with accuracy every time.
- Create lead generation.
- Increase industry credibility.
- Tell your story with clarity and effectiveness.
- Educate, inform, and create awareness in a short period of time.
- Explain a complex subject, simply.
- Establish rapport with a potential client or customer.
- Tell your story with clarity and effectiveness.
Fully one-third of all online activity involves watching videos. An Explainer Video is one of the best possible ways to attract an audience and hold their attention (at least for a few minutes) while you make your pitch. An Explainer Video is the single best way to draw people to a website and keep them there longer than text alone could accomplish. You can appeal to viewers’ logic. You can appeal to their emotions. You can tell a captivating story. People crave stories. Hearing stories is how we learned as children and how we attach to new ideas.
The point is, an effective Explainer Video not only communicates -- it offers the ability to persuade.
You can express your brand identity and company culture in ways much faster to communicate than with text. Videos are easily shared and distributed. Videos also work extremely well across a variety of platforms and devices, unlike text, which requires special formatting and optimization to display clearly across smartphones compared to laptops and tablets.
Sometimes, just being able to communicate effectively is the challenge. That’s where Explainer Videos can deliver real benefits. Many companies find their products and services can be challenging to explain. This is especially true with technology, health care, financial services and many other complex topics. An Explainer Video simplifies these topics by showing as well as telling. Effective Explainer Videos create a sales tool that helps companies connect with more prospects, enjoy greater conversions and increase sales.
Video production technology in recent years has also come down to a level where almost any successful business can afford an Explainer Video. There’s really no excuse not to use it.
And as your products and services evolve, digital video editing technology means you can easily add, subtract and rearrange content in your Explainer Video. No need to reinvent the wheel every time there’s a new product launch or expansion of services.
That brings us to the real beauty of an Explainer Video -- you can work on it until you decide it’s perfect. So when people watch, they receive a perfect experience every time. This is quite different from doing a live sales demo, for instance, where any number of things could go wrong.
Get it right the first time and every time with an expertly produced Explainer Video that presents your company’s value proposition in the most favorable light possible
"One of the best, most creative, most on-point creative groups you can find. On top of that they are on-time & on-budget! With great communication along the way they make the production process enjoyable and exciting!"
~ Everett Bowes, WeTalkSocial
“Reliability and delivery. Best creative service around. Not a lot of companies out there that I trust like I do them.”
~ Mike Crow, Orthofix
"Excellent to work with. Very creative and talented. Easy to work with. Creative solutions. Delivered in a timely manner."
~ Brian Czock, SonLight Productions