The Step-by-Step Guide to

Explainer Video PRODUCTION

What Exactly is an Explainer Video?

Hook your audience with an explainer video productionAn explainer video is an extremely popular and very successful online marketing tool; a video on your website, typically between 60-90 seconds long, that showcases your products and services to potential customers.

So why are explainer videos so popular?

With the sheer information overload that consumers are bombarded with each and every day it’s no wonder that attention spans are getting shorter, so a successful explainer video production is the perfect way to connect with and hook your audience, boost conversion rates and turn potential customers into actual customers.

How Does an Explainer Video Benefit Your Business?

Visual communication is a great way to boost sales, but do you know why?

Think about it, the more interesting the delivery of a message is, the more likely it is that the message itself will be remembered.

An explainer video can benefits your business

You’ve probably heard that people remember an average of 80% of visual communication, but only 20% of written communication and 10% of spoken communication.

Well, it turns out that memory statistic is inaccurate due to the many variables involved, but the fact that YouTube ranks as the third most visited website proves that people enjoy watching videos, especially when they find the video interesting.

So apart from making sure people remember your message, what are the other benefits of using visual communication, in the form of explainer videos, to get your message across?

It grabs the prospects attention.

It might sound obvious, but what’s going to draw the eye more; a video or a block of text?

It makes it easier to get the message across.

If you’re trying to relate too much information, your prospect’s brain might just switch off, but visually stimulating information in the form of an explainer video is a great and easy way to share your message.

It makes it quicker to get the message across.

Did you know that it only takes as little as 13 milliseconds for the brain to process visuals? An explainer video zaps that important message into the viewer’s brain at a much faster rate than any other type of more traditional marketing.

It makes it easier to get across any technical information.

If your product or service is highly technical, you might want to offer the relevant technical detail, but if you give them a long list of intricate details and diagrams you run the risk of them switching off. An explainer video lets dumb it down and convey your message in simple terms. You can summarize any complicated points in an easy-to-understand and interesting way.

What About Google Rankings?

Ah, the almighty Google.

It’s likely that you already do what you can in terms of SEO to achieve the highest possible rankings in search engines, but did you know that video can also play a big part in getting to the top?

It’s not just webpages that rank in Google, videos do too.


Videos rank in Google results too

Make sure your explainer video ranks highly by following these steps:

Run it across multiple platforms.

Your explainer video should be on your landing page or a significant page on your website, but sharing it across your social media accounts as well will give it more traction. If your video is popular on YouTube it means you’ll get more shares, and more shares means higher Google ranking, but remember that more hits on YouTube means that they’re getting the benefit of ranking instead of your website.

Use video keywords.

Use keyword analysis as you would in any content for your business, and make sure that you put your chosen keywords in your explainer video title, description and tags.


Use keywords in your explainer video title and description

It goes without saying that spoken keywords in your video won’t be indexed, but if you provide a transcript with your video on YouTube they will be, so make the most of the text you have available to you.

Consider the quality.

However interesting and engaging your explainer video is, it needs to be professional and high-quality if you want to inspire others to share it.

Live Action or Animated Explainer Video?

The choice between a live action explainer video and an animated explainer video will often depend on your business, as one might fit more with your brand than the other.

If you’re still not sure, here are some things to consider:

Does your explainer video include a customer case study?

A live action explainer video will be more successful in getting your audience to emotionally connect to your message, because they can identify with ‘someone like them’ who they can see and hear.

How much time do you have?

Animated explainer videos take longer to produceAn animated explainer video takes longer to produce, whereas a live action video can usually be done in one day. One issue with using live action is if you need any changes to be made afterwards, you’ll need to get the whole cast and crew back to re-shoot. If your explainer video is animated, it’s much easier to change or add to at a later date.

Is your video going to be ‘real world’ or have a fantastical theme or element?

Live action explainer videos are perfect for showing real life products, services and people, but if you think a purple unicorn riding through is essential to your video, using animation would be your best bet!

Will your business be expanding/changing, and do you want your explainer videos to change with it?

You can add to or amend animation marketing videos as much as you like, and as far into the future as you like. If you want to change the focus of your animated explainer video or add new aspects to it, all it takes is extra scenes to be added or changed. With live action, however, you may need to shoot a brand new explainer video every time you want to make a significant change.

A Successful Explainer Video Starts with a Great Script

Your explainer video script is probably the most essential factor in making it a success – you might have the best visuals, soundtrack etc. in the world, but if your message isn’t coming across in the right way, all you’ve got is a pretty video.

If your script is lacking, your message isn’t being delivered and the explainer video is a waste. You might as well just put a video of kittens falling asleep in their food on your landing page.

Your aim is for your audience to understand what you’re offering and how it can benefit them, leading to sales and high conversion rates.

Every explainer video needs a voice over script

You only have a few seconds at the start of the video to catch their attention (remember the average attention span?), so your script needs to be powerful, concise and pack a real punch right at the start of the video.

That might sound tricky, so here are the most important things to consider for your explainer video script:


Around 140 to 150 words can be spoken per minute, so bear that in mind when you’re writing your script. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can add another 50 words in, and get your voiceover artist to speak super-fast to cram it all in; that’s going to sound terrible and your audience is likely to miss some of the important parts of the script. That’s if they haven’t already switched off as soon as they hear what sounds like a chipmunk!

You don’t have to cram every last detail of your business into your explainer video, your aim is to get viewers to take action to find out more. If you find your script is too long for one video but don’t want to cut anything out, consider breaking the script into several focused explainer videos.


Use the marketing acronym AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) when you’re structuring your script.

Capture their attention by immediately bringing up a problem that they might be facing. They’re going to want to find out more about how you can help them find a solution.

You’ve piqued their interest now, so make sure you keep it by demonstrating that you understand their problem and that you do in fact have the solution.

Presenting your solution to their problem leaves them with a desire to find out more; how can they get more information or sign up to your services?

Tell them exactly how they can take advantage of your services by including a powerful call to action as the final part of your explainer video.

Benefits not features.

Your new gizmo might have all the latest technology, but how is that going to help potential customers? Don’t fall into the trap of just listing the features of what you sell or the service you provide, you need to show them how it’s going to benefit them. Will it make their life easier, save them precious time?

Let your audience understand what’s in it for them.

Call to action.

As the essential part of any marketing strategy, your call to action can make or break the success of your explainer video. You don’t just want to ask prospects to do something (such as call to make an appointment, visit your product page to find out more etc.), you want to compel them to do it.

If the content of your explainer video has done its job, they’ll be so impressed with you they will already be thinking about making that call or signing up to your mailing list, and your call to action is what makes them actually do it.

Make it short, concise and compelling.

Tell them what they’re going to get, how they’re going to get it, and why they have to act now.

Explainer Video Voice Overs

Now you have the perfect explainer video script, you need the perfect voice over talent, and there’s more to it than having a voice that sounds nice.

For an explainer video that looks professional, you need to work with a professional voice over artist who can add the following to your production:

The professional touch.
Just reading the script won’t engage your prospects and help them to buy-in emotionally to your message. Professional voice over talent will know how to use their voice to make the script work, with the right inflections, tone, pitch and speed.
An easy process.
You won’t have to go through it again and again with a pro voice over artist, because they’ll be experienced in reading scripts, and will be able to nail it first time. If you need to change a line in the script later, a voice over talent can easily edit in the revision.
Clean audio.
They’ll be using professional audio equipment, so the sound quality of your explainer video will be crystal clear.

Explainer Video Music

PIck the music to match the emotion of your explainer videoYou may not think that music is a major part of your explainer video, but even if it’s just background music it’s a way of evoking emotions in your potential customers, so you want to make sure that you evoke the right emotion

Don’t just choose your favorite piece of music; you may love listening to it, but does it fit in with your audience, storyline and products/services? If your explainer video shows a romantic storyline for services aimed at newlyweds, then having death metal as a soundtrack probably wouldn’t be appropriate for the majority of your audience!

Make sure to keep it subtle as well, so the music complements your explainer video without over-powering it. If your viewers are singing along with the popular power ballad they’re hearing on your video, they’re likely to miss your message.

There’s also licensing issues to consider when dealing with music for videos. So you can’t just use any song you find. You can purchase royalty free music to use in your video at sites like AudioJungle. Just search words that describe the feeling you’re trying to convey with your explainer video (ie. “upbeat corporate”).

How to Avoid the Most Common Explainer Video Mistakes

It’s very easy to get caught up in the excitement of the moment, and want to get your explainer video out there, right now, but proper planning will help you to avoid these common explainer video mistakes:


Avoid these explainer video mishaps

Not knowing what you want to achieve.

Do you have a specific target in mind? No? Then how will you be able to measure the success of your explainer video? You need to think strategically about what you’re hoping to gain from your explainer video, perhaps it’s increased sales or a set number of prospects signing up to your mailing list, and then tailor your video script towards that goal.

Not creating a compelling enough story.

If your video is just a bunch of attractive graphics with some catchy music, what about it is going to make your audience sit up and take notice? You need to get that emotional connection with your audience to make them identify your business with a solution to their problem, and telling a compelling story is how you achieve that.

Not getting professional assistance.

These days it is easy enough to produce video through the various gadgets available to everyone, and you may even have the skills to produce a professional-looking video – but do you have the knowledge and experience of explainer videos that’s crucial for getting it right? There are video production companies that do this every day, so they know exactly what works and what doesn’t work – take advantage of their experience.

Of course, it’s easy to just say hire a professional to create your explainer video. That may not always be possible.

So if your budget really doesn’t stretch to using a professional video production company, don’t panic because there are tools out there that might help . . .

DIY Explainer Video Tools

If you’re planning on going the DIY route to make an explainer video, you have options other than a one-shot live action piece filmed on your smartphone. These tools will take a little time to learn but will help you make a professional-looking video, whether it’s animated or live action.

Camtasia is a powerful screen capture and video editor, and makes it very easy if you’re aiming for a ‘how-to’ explainer video. You can even try Camtasia free for 30 days.

Sony Vegas Movie Studio helps you to edit your video, and you can even add audio and video effects to the final product.

Video Maker FX is an all-in-one video creation tool that enables you to create the full range of video styles; from photo slideshows to whiteboard animation.

Powtoon is an easy and intuitive tool that lets you create animated explainer videos. Monthly subscription fees range from $59 to $127. You can use the site for free to create a video, but the finished item will have a Powtoon watermark unless you have a paid subscription.

Videoscribe is perfect for whiteboard animation explainer videos, with added text and audio that give your finished product a professional look.

You’ve Got Some Explaining To Do

Now you have all the information you need to make your explainer video production perfect for your brand, from writing a powerful script to using the best fitting background music.

From startup businesses to large corporations, an explainer video is the ideal way to communicate your detailed message in a way everyone can understand.

Keep in mind the advice given here, and you’ll be on your way to explainer video success!

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