Explainer videos are one of the effective ways to introduce a concept or subject in a more succinct way. Whether it’s a quick overview of what your brand is about or talking about product/service, explainer videos are an easy entry point for people who aren’t aware of your brand.
Explainer videos combines two essential factors to explain an idea or a concept in a simple yet understandable way:
An explainer video is an ideal way to break down an idea or a process in an easy way. Instead of providing audio or text, all types of explainer videos use both—which is a proven methodology to increase an individual’s message retention and thus, an effective video marketing strategy too. (Source: National Library of Medicine)
There’s an art to making explainer videos, that isn’t very simple to nail. Just do a quick Google search on different types of explainer videos or perhaps, explainer video examples, and you will have thousands of results showing up but not all of these are great examples. And even if some are, it’s hard to tell if a particular type of explainer video will really work for your marketing needs.
When you plan to make an explainer video, what’s more, important is to find the right style for your brand. A few styles might work perfectly for your brand or the product assets that you have but others might not fit them at all.
We’ve put together a guide to break-down the different types of explainer videos you can create along with some excellent examples to spark some inspiration!
There are different types of Explainer Videos, from animation to live-action, 3D, and more. Interestingly, they come in other genres, too, using drama or comedy, depending on the video’s theme. This also means you can explore the use of a wide range of emotional tactics and design options to convey your brand’s message.
One of the best things about explainer videos is that they leave a substantial impact on the audience. That’s why they are most often placed on a website’s home page, the main product page, or a landing page. Explainer videos have become popular over the years and help increase conversion rates considerably.
There’s no doubt that video is one of the best ways to create brand awareness and share information. But from all other types of brand videos, explainer videos are among the most dominant marketing tools that every business should consider leveraging.
It is also important to note that as the human attention span has shortened (according to BBC), creating a video that could help consumers understand what service or product does, and what makes it so important. And they’d prefer to know this instantly without having to go through 10 or 20 pages on a website.
That’s why explainer videos have become the most effective and essential form of content brands can publish.
No matter what your brand is about, you have various explainer video styles to choose from and when done right, “product explainer videos” help with these factors:
Before we move ahead with different types of explainer videos or styles, there are some important statistics that are worth knowing.
So far, we’ve talked about what explainer videos are, how effective they are, and why you should consider including explainer videos for your brand.
Now it’s time to look at examples of the different types of explainer videos and how you can use them for your business needs. At the end of this blog, we assure, that you will have a better understanding of how to take your marketing efforts to the next level.
Here are some fabulous explainer video styles used across different business industries, publications, and media outlets. These are a great way to drive inspiration from.
Benefits of 2D Motion Graphics:
Here’s an example of a Mailchimp’s 2D animated explainer video that presents the entire platform with not just animation but also with music and professional voice-over.
2D animation (or traditional animation) involves creating storyboards, backgrounds, and characters in a two-dimensional environment.
Though they are less expensive than 3D animation, there might be times when certain explainer videos might need additional detailing, which can be only accomplished with the help of 3D animation. So it depends on what you are creating and what approach you’re using.
Overall, 2D motion graphics are one of the best styles for explainer videos. They are ideal for tech animations, app demos, corporate explainer videos, and financial graphics.
Benefits of 3D Animation:
Here’s an example of a creative 3D animated explainer video from Dropbox.
Whether it is an exploded visual of a product or a 360° fly-around, there’s no doubt that animating it in 3D gives the audience a perspective that makes them different.
In the above 3D video example, you’ll notice that Dropbox has gone an extra mile in delivering what’s pleasing to the modern-era audience. There are a few things that you need to see in 3D just to have that A-ha moment! The tool is clearly explained, frame by frame, allowing users to comprehend what the tool does in less than 2 minutes.
3D animated explainer videos are much more detailed, depicting situations that you can’t in real life, with the help of products that don’t exist.
A 3D Animated explainer video is also life-like when compared to animation forms, helping your viewers visualize the context better and making them understand how your product can help solve their problems. Overall, they are entertaining, engaging, and give a better visual experience.
The illustrations are accompanied by a good narration to help the audience walk through the whole story. The beauty of whiteboard animations is that they are simple and yet engaging.
Benefits of Whiteboard Animations:
Here’s an example of an awesome whiteboard animation video.
In the above whiteboard animation video, you will notice that the creator has smartly made the audience understand what the book “The All-or-Nothing Marriage” is all about. It broke the concept of marriage and love fluently and accurately.
The creator has made the topic more memorable and digestible for viewers and helped increase the attention spans.
Whiteboard animations were originally created to film someone physically drawing on a white surface. Not only was this time-consuming but also required excellent artistic abilities.
As technology advanced, creating whiteboard animations became a lot easier. Unlike live-action videos, you don’t need expensive equipment or experience to make one. In fact, you could create one all by yourself, if you sign-up for a good tool.
Many brands use this type of video style to create video tutorials if they have elaborate services/processes or workflows, as it helps customers not just understand the concept better but also holds better user attention.
The blend of visuals and a voiceover appeal to the senses, keeping the viewers engrossed with the way animations are being drawn and further, increasing the curiosity of what will happen next.
Benefits of live-action videos:
Here’s an example of a good live-action explainer video.
Live-action videos work great when you want to address the audience directly and that’s exactly what the creator has done in the above video. The way the character and the narrator explains the story, it creates a sense as if you’re living that situation, every single day.
The motion graphic overlays are perfectly done and that’s the reason it speaks to the audience and creates an urge to click the CTA once you’re done watching the video.
The production costs for live-action can be costly. Moreover, if you add additional elements like actors, crew, and locations, the cost skyrockets. On average, a 30 to 40-second live-action video costs anywhere from $20,000 to $200,000. If you can find a way to film in a home setup, things will be cost-effective, and it might also make the video more engaging.
Benefits of Screencast Explainer Video:
Here’s an example of Salesforce’s screencast explainer video.
The main purpose of a screencast video is to demo how a particular application works. It is also an effective way of showing people how to interact or use a new feature or an app without having to go through pages of user manual or text.
Screencast videos are less expensive in terms of production costs, but this doesn’t mean you can skimp on quality. Creating a screencast video requires only a computer and the knowledge to upload it on YouTube.
Once you record the screencast and complete the voice-over, it’s done. The amalgamation of these factors results in an attractive yet informative and simple explainer video.
The pictures are linked with each other to make up a video. Then, music and voice are added later on. An illusion of movement is created by making a slight change in every photo. Finally, when you play it in sequence, it appears as if it’s moving, much similar to a flipbook.
Benefits of Stop Motion Explainer Video:
Here’s an example of a stop motion explainer video.
Stop motion is a traditional cinematographic method, which was used for making all films in past years, producing a nostalgic feeling. They are made to look ‘old school.’ For example, using black and white pictures.
Over the years, stop motion has turned out to be more innovative and helps you accomplish much more in modern times like animating ‘inanimate objects’ easily. But the only drawback is that it’s highly expensive and not easy to produce.
Benefits of Typography Explainer Videos:
Here’s an example of a kinetic typography explainer video.
Sometimes brands use this type of video style to save money on their production. This strategy works if you keep the video short and engaging. Let’s say the main character in your video can be cleverly designed along with the text just the way it’s shown in the video above.
When it comes to video marketing strategies, there’s no doubt that explainer videos top the list. In fact, they’re one of the most effective marketing assets because it fetches great ROI (Return on Investment) if done right.
These are the best places to use an explainer video:
An explainer video communicates the value proposition of a product in a memorable and powerful way that encourages potential users to take action.
Here are a few key reasons that explain why explainer videos have always been so effective for marketing:
There are times when you want to talk about how great your product is, but find it difficult to convey the wholesome value of your product in a way that’s quick, easy to understand, and incredibly interesting.
There’s a lot of essential information to share like—features and benefits, practical use, pricing, and more—but at times, all of this bundled together can sound scattered and overly comprehensive.
Packaging all of this information together in an engaging message isn’t always as easy, and that’s exactly where explainer videos are essential. Of all the explainer video styles listed here, 2D Motion Graphics or 2D animated explainer video gives the best value.
However, if you have the budget and would want to approach your audience directly, then live-action videos with supporting 2D motion graphics make an ideal choice. Understand that there’s no one size that fits all.
While a certain type of explainer video might work for a brand, it may not work for another. With some research and dedicated thought about who your audience will help you create and strategically identify what type of explainer video will work for you brand.