Explainer Videos, Explained: How to Create Engaging Videos for Your Brand

March 1, 2021

Topic tags

Lisa Marinelli

Creative


What type of video sits on the front page of your website and explains what you do and how you do it? You guessed it! Explainer videos.

Whether you want to call it a homepage video, conversion video, or an overview video, this is one of the first introductions a visitor or potential customer will have with your brand. That’s why making a great first impression is super important. Explainer videos can help simplify complex details about your product or service and humanize your brand.

Why should you invest in creating an explainer video? And, how do you make one for your business? Well, we’ll explain everything in this post. From creating a great script and best practices to drawing inspiration from others, learn how you can create a solid foundation for your business’s own explainer video and put your brand’s best foot forward.

The benefits of explainer videos

First, let’s look at why explainer videos are one of the best marketing videos to create for your business if you’re just starting out with a video marketing strategy.

Increase conversion rates

According to Wyzowl’s Video Marketing Statistics 2020 report:

  • 96% of their sample of online consumers said they have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service.
  • 84% of people said they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.
  • 74% of people said they’ve been convinced to buy or download a piece of software or app by watching a video.

Additionally, 66% of people said they’d prefer to watch a short video to learn about a product or service, compared to 18% who’d rather read a text-based article or website, 4% who prefer an infographic, 3% who’d rather download an ebook, 3% who’d rather attend a webinar or pitch, and 2% who’d like a sales call or demo.

“66% of people said they’d prefer to watch a short video to learn about a product or service.”

These statistics speak for themselves — people want to watch videos, and explainer videos can be an effective tool to increase the performance of landing pages.

On the flip side, marketers’ responses to their survey found that 83% of marketers said video has helped them generate leads. Plus, 80% said video has directly helped increase sales. It sure seems like video marketing is the way to go!

Keeps folks engaged with your website

In the same Wyzowl report, 87% of video marketers said video has increased traffic to their website, and 81% said video has helped increase the average time visitors spend on a page.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to capture the attention of potential customers with an explainer video. They’ll walk away knowing more about your product or service as well as your brand.

Explainer videos are shareable

Another benefit of creating an explainer video is that you can easily repurpose it to share on social media. They typically run under two minutes or less, which makes them easy for folks to consume.

Wyzowl also found that people are twice as likely to share video content with their friends than any other type of content. With that being said, an explainer video is an evergreen piece of content that’s a valuable marketing asset to have in the long run.

How to create a high-quality explainer video

Now, let’s move onto how you can start creating an awesome explainer video.

The foundation of any explainer video is writing a script that shares your message with clarity and brevity. Most explainer videos follow a standard framework, but that doesn’t mean your video needs to follow the exact same flow. However, you’ll want to hit on a few things at one point or another during your video. Here’s a quick guide to help you get started with writing your next successful explainer video script.

“The foundation of any explainer video is writing a script that shares your message with clarity and brevity.”

Getting started

Before you put pen to paper, you should identify the main objective for your video, who your target audience is, the tone of voice you’ll be using, the problem your customers face, and a call to action. Filling in these blanks will serve as the backbone of your script and help guide your creative decisions for developing a concept.

Take your time, put on your creative thinking caps, and have some fun coming up with some unique yet effective ways to share your message.

Writing your script

When you’re ready to start scripting, these are common points you should try to hit in your outline.

  1. Introduce your company, product, or service — summarize your solution in one succinct sentence, but don’t be afraid to add some brand flair.
  2. Present the problem or pain point — the goal is to paint a picture of the problem your customers face in a way they can relate.
  3. Talk about the benefits of your product or service — here’s where you’ll establish your product or service as the answer to potential customers’ problems. Help folks envision how your product or service will help them by focusing on the benefits.
  4. Include your call to action — when you’re wrapping things up, give potential customers a next step, whether that’s signing up for a free trial, entering their email to get in touch, or whatever else makes sense in your customer journey.

Pro tips

Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind while you’re writing.

  • The shorter, the better — try to keep things under two minutes or less. For reference, 150 words equals about one minute of video.
  • Don’t overthink it — when you sit down to write, try to get any words on paper, and worry about finetuning things later. Many times, you’ll find you’re 80% of the way there on your first pass.
  • Write conversationally — if it helps, read it out loud as you go along. Having too much jargon will do more harm than good, so don’t be afraid to keep it casual.
  • Avoid a lengthy list of features — try to stick to the top two or three benefits of using your product or service.
  • Make sure your script has a natural flow — smoothly transition from one section to the next.
  • Write with visuals in mind — try to use words and phrases that lend themselves well to specific visuals.
  • It helps to write with at least two columns, one for narration and one for visual ideas — see an example below!

Finalize the script

Once you have a completed draft ready, it’s time to put on the finishing touches. This is where your script can go from good to great.

  • Share it with others — Share your script with one or two people from your team, someone involved with the project, as well as an “outsider” to give you a fresh perspective. Ask yourself, does it make sense? Is it clear and concise?
  • Do a table read — After you have some initial feedback, make any edits and schedule a table read. This is a chance to read your script out loud with your core team and get live feedback from others in the room.
  • Spice it up — Many scripts come out of the gate a little dry and lackluster. Now’s the time to spice things up by adding in some extra personality with a few well-placed adjectives and colorful language.
  • Final edits — With everyone’s input, make your final edits and polish up the finished product. Just remember that sometimes you can edit too much, so be aware of when to call it quits.

Creative approaches to explainer videos

If you’re seeking creative inspiration, look no further! We have some examples of types of explainer videos to share with you from other brands. Plus, we’ll take a closer look at the elements that make them successful.

Voice-over

MarketScale, a marketing firm and publisher based in Dallas, Texas, made a great explainer video using voice-over to showcase how they help B2B companies with marketing.

Right off the bat, the speaker poses the problem about how it’s harder than ever for B2B marketers to reach prospects during the pandemic. Then, the narrator explains how MarketScale can help B2B companies grow their audience. The voice-over clearly describes how MarketScale helps build media channels for brands, while those media channels with audio and video content are shown in the video.

Take a look:

When your product or service isn’t tangible, using a voice-over can help you articulate the benefits of your product while showcasing the experience on-screen.

Animation

Another route to take is using animation for your entire explainer video. HubSpot uses animation and a voice-over to explain how their HubSpot Academy can help folks take full advantage of their inbound marketing platform. The animation style is bright, and the visuals help showcase how HubSpot Academy will teach folks how to use an inbound strategy, tactics, and their platform’s tools. Viewers walk away at the end of the video understanding they can take HubSpot Academy courses at their own pace and from virtually any location.

Watch their animated explainer video:

If your business is in the SaaS space, animated videos can easily highlight the experience people will have while using your product. You can work with freelance animators to create motion graphics, 3D animation, and more that’ll help you get your point across.

Live action

Last but not least, your explainer video can be live-action with actors or even non-actors from your company. We loved BambooHR’s approach, where folks from their company give an overview of the main features of the BambooHR platform and why it stands out in an ocean of HR tech. They even introduce their Project Manager, Anna, their Graphic Designer, Lahvjal, and a handful of others, which humanizes their brand on another level and feels aligned with their core product.

Putting people in your explainer videos can help potential customers feel connected to your brand and see themselves using your product or service.

You’ve got some explaining to do

We hope we’ve helped you understand why explainer videos are valuable to have in your business’s video marketing strategy. Whether you want to use a voice-over, animation, live action, or mix and match different styles, an explainer video is an invaluable investment that can be used across multiple marketing channels and campaigns. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time for you to make an explainer video!

March 1, 2021

Topic tags

Lisa Marinelli

Creative

Mailing list sign-up form

Sign up to get Wistia’s best
and freshest content.

More of a social being? We’re also on Instagram and Twitter.