Why You Need an Explainer Video (and How to Make One)

Why You Need an Explainer Video (and How to Make One)

In our visual-centric world the average attention span is eight seconds long, and video has taken center stage. Video greatly improves ROI and conversion rates, and is expected to account for 80 percent of online traffic by 2019. Explainer videos are easy to produce and a great way to show people exactly who you are and what you do.

Has your company ever faced the challenge of marketing a product to solve a problem that your customers don’t even know they have? Dropbox did, but when they limited their website to a single explainer video, the video received more than 750,000 views in the first month, a 10 percent increase in conversion rates, and several thousand extra sign ups per day.

After analytics service Crazy Egg added an explainer video to its website, the company made an additional $21,000 in monthly income. And social performance management company Rypple saw conversion rates increase by 20 percent after adding an explainer video to its website, which was viewed by approximately 30 percent of site visitors. Still not convinced?

Why you need an explainer video:

  • Businesses using video grow company revenue 49 percent faster than organizations without video.
  • Social video generates 1,200% more shares than text and images combined.
  • Seventy percent of marketers say video produces more conversions than any other type of content.
  • Companies using video enjoy 41 percent more web traffic from search than non-users.
  • The 18-24 year-old demographic consumes 90 percent of web video content.
  • Facebook gives video content priority in the News Feed.
  • Only 28 percent of website content is read on average.
  • Fifty-nine percent of C-suite execs prefer watching video to reading text on a page.
  • C-commerce customers are 50 percent more confident with their purchase after watching a product video, and cart sizes can increase up 174 percent.
  • Forty percent of consumers say that video increases the chance they’ll purchase a product from their mobile device, and the list goes on.

Indeed, a simple explainer video is one of the best ways to present your value proposition in a digestible and engaging way. You are forced to compress your message and lose extraneous words and information. The visual and verbal cues contained in an explainer video facilitate all learning types, and up to 50 percent more retention.

Maybe you are interested in explainer video but, like many companies, put off or forego your video production efforts because you think it’s too expensive. But creating an explainer video is easier and more cost effective than you think. Explainer videos serve many purposes and can be produced in-house.

Types of explainer video

Explainer videos can cost from zero, for a testimonial or live action video, to up to $50,000 for stop motion videos.

  • Animated screencast $-$$
  • 2D animation $-$$
  • Video Infographic $-$$
  • High and 2D animation $$$
  • iPhone/iPad apps $$$
  • Whiteboard $$$
  • Music only $-$$$
  • 3D animation $$$$
  • Moving Typography $$$$
  • Live action $-$$$$
  • Stop Motion $$$$

How to Create an Explainer Video

A well-made explainer video should capture attention every 20 words, or eight seconds. Think about how to best demonstrate your product or service when choosing a style. Airbnb simply used an actor talking interspersed with shots of their accommodations.

The most important part of your explainer video is the script. Some tips include:

  • Find the right tone
  • Set the tone to music
  • Tell a story
  • Speaking directly to your audience
  • Pace yourself and read aloud
  • Establish the key message in the first 30 seconds
  • Define the problem you solve, and the solution
  • Demonstrate benefits, not features
  • Make a call to action
  • Use social proof like customer testimonials
  • Keep it short and simple
  • Storyboard your ideas
  • Have fun!

You can use an explainer video on your Homepage, embed it in a blog post or share it on forums or Q-and-A sites. And the popularity of webinars offers many opportunities to nurture leads and increase subscribers with explainer video.

Explainer videos can be used within a webinar, or as the main event. Why wouldn’t you harness the power of a webinar to explain to customers what makes your product or service unique with a live demonstration? Like webinars, explainer videos are also great tools for repackaging content like white papers and case studies.

Explainer Video and Webinar Resources

Animation is exciting and interactive, and it and helps you clarify your ideas and make them more easily understood. If you don’t have VFX software or editing skills, RendrFX provides

customized automated video templates. Showbox offers animations and the ability to use any digital camera to shoot videos — choose from templates, texts, fonts and music. Also check out:

  • Animatron, which uses cutting-edge HTML5 technology and enjoys universal playback;
  • Adobe After Effects Editing Program, which is used for video composition, animatio and motion graphics;
  • Camtasia Screen Recording Software, whic lets you make simple video without even a camera;
  • GoAnimate, a business video maker hat helps create videos with animation;
  • MakeWebVideo, an Explainer Video Maker; and 
  • PowToon, an animated video and presentations maker.

As webinars have become more popular, most self-service platforms are free for a limited time only. For additional support, services like ClickMeeting will help you plan your presentation and even attract a targeted audience.

So what’s holding you back from making you own explainer video today?

Smartphone video Photo via Shutterstock 6 Comments ▼

Itai Elizur Itai Elizur is the COO at InboundJunction, a content marketing agency specializing in helping B2B and SaaS companies to increase their online visibility. Itai has worked with some of the biggest tech companies in Israel, helping them develop and optimize large-scale user acquisition strategies through content, brand messaging and marketing automation.

6 Reactions
  1. Terrific post Itai!

    I just wanted to add that even for easy-to-understand businesses like selling insurance, restaurants, salon, you can still benefit the most from explainer video.

    What’s gonna be in there?
    For example, if you had a restaurant business, your #1 asset for explainer video is your story of how it leads you to open your restaurant.

    Everyone loves to hear story and your story will differentiate you from other life-less and boring restaurants.

    What do you need?
    * Old Photos of your restaurants before it was opened, during openning, etc
    * Video footage
    * Letters, notes
    * Quotes from your loved ones, friends who support you.

    Have fun creating your first explainer video!

    You are gonna love it.

  2. Hi Itai,

    Like your post mentions, many people, me included, think video is likely to dominate traffic in the next years. The SERPs display every time more videos. That’s why I prepared just in case by studying cinematography in school some years back, although nowadays some good courses on the matter can be found online.

    I think that’s because I like to create my own videos than paying up to 50,000 for a stop motion video. So I bookmarked RendrFX since it could make it easier for me to create some very professional videos and saved all the types of explainer videos that you listed.

    People with no video creation experience on a low budget can use a plain video sales letter instead. They are also effective but less catchy.

    Great out-of-the-box ideas for using an explainer video.

    All the best,
    Ivan Miller

  3. I think creating one is easier now. There are lots of softwares you can use. Plus, there are also some really amazing service providers.

  4. Hi Michael and Aira, happy you enjoyed it.

    I think the big takeaway here is “just do it” – If Facebook Live has taught us is that people connect to first person video content – even if it’s with a handheld smartphone and completely unscripted.

    Just give it a try – Try and explain to yourself what is it exactly that you do and what you think makes you different.

    Have a good one!

  5. Great article. This is why I do youtube religiously every week and now am starting facebook live video show. Very eye opening article. Relaly puts it into perspective.

    I can’t believe that people are reading so little on average. I love video but still…

    Anyways, great article. Appreciate the insight.

  6. Hi Itai,

    Thanks for mentioning Animatron! We’re happy to share the article across our social channels 🙂

    Great insight on the content marketing trends. With all free tools users now can literally run their own video production companies at their home office. Video has low production costs and high ROI which I think makes it one of the greatest marketing tools today (if not the best).