What Is An Explainer Video?


This is the situation. You end up on an elevator with somebody who can take your brand to the next level, but you only have four floors to explain what your brand does and what makes it unique. What you say needs to be impactful, but also fast and concise. That’s where we get the term “Elevator Pitch”.

An explainer video is basically the elevator pitch for your brand, product, or service.

Ultimately, an explainer video answers the question, “Who are you and what do you do?”

What Makes A Good Explainer Video?

There are four main things that every good explainer video has in common.

  1. Know their audience – Your explainer video needs to address your audience directly in the tone that’s right for them. For example, you would probably use a different tone and message speaking to stay at home moms than you would speaking to motorcycle riders. And if your audience is specifically stay at home moms that ride motorcycles, that’d be different too.
  2. Length is short – Explainer videos shouldn’t explain every feature of your product. They should focus on the most important message you want to convey and say it quickly. Typically, the ideal length is under two minutes.
  3. Solve a problem – A good explainer video should explain the problem the viewer is facing and then show how their product provides the solution.
  4. Call to action (CTA) – A good explainer video needs to tell the viewer what to do next. Do they need to buy your product? Do they need to sign up for a free trial? If you don’t tell them specifically what to do, they won’t do it.

Typical Explainer Video Structure

With the goal of being short and concise, a standard structure has emerged for explainer videos.

  1. The Problem – You need to explain the problem that your specific audience is facing and use engaging visuals to help your audience feel the frustration.
  2. The Solution – Show how your product or brand provides the solution to the problem you just described.
  3. Call To Action (CTA) – This is the most important part of the video. If you don’t tell them exactly what to do next, your video won’t see the results you’re hoping for. If you want them to buy your product or sign up for a free trial, you need to tell them.

Types of Explainer Videos

There are many types of animated explainer videos, but the most common types include:

1. Animated Explainer Video

These are the most popular type of explainer video for a reason. They are easy to create and don’t require a large production, crew, location, or actors. Also, it is easy to include variations in visuals, characters, and colors.

  • Infographic – These use graphs, charts, and other icons to explain the features of your business, similar to an image infographic you’d see shared on social media.
  • Chalkboard – An overused but popular style of animated explainer video, this style features writing on a chalkboard or whiteboard and is popular because of how easy they are to make.
  • Product Simulation – This style features actual screencast footage of your product in action and is most useful as a high-level overview of a software or digital platform.
  • Character-Driven – This explainer video uses cute cartoon figures that should represent your prospective customer to tell the story of your product or service and how it can solve your customer’s problems.
  • Motion Graphic – Usually 3D-animated, this type of explainer video aims to tell your product or company’s story using representational objects to incite your audience’s imagination with pictures instead of words.

2. Live Action Explainer Video

This type of explainer video uses people and objects to explain your company’s product or service. Harder to pull off, but excellent when done well, the live action explainer video requires a lot of creativity to keep things interesting. These explainer videos usually feature a spokesperson who takes the viewer through a visual journey as he or she explains the company’s product and service. They’re often the founder or CEO of the company and focus on highlighting their mission and purpose.

3. Animation & Live Action Combined

Sometimes it helps to use live action footage to connect to the viewer and then animation to visualize the product.

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