Are you looking for an effective way to explain your product or service? An animated explainer video is exactly what you need.
Even statistics confirm this: A Forbes study found that 56% of consumers believe companies should have video content on their websites.
Animated explainer videos are proven to boost engagement, elevate brand reputation, and cost-effectively deliver a message.
This post will tell you all you need to know about animated explainer videos including example videos produced by some of the biggest names in the B2B space.
What is an animated explainer video?
Explainer videos, or animated explainer videos, are videos that describe a product, service, or idea in an engaging and informative manner. They are typically created through the combination of motion graphics, illustrations, music, and voiceover narration.
In most cases, explainer videos are between 30 and 90 seconds long. They can take on many forms and last from a few minutes to half an hour.
Explainer videos will tell a story based on a problem that solves the problem in a fun and captivating way.
The aim of a good explainer video should be to get the viewer to engage and learn about the product or service more enjoyably and succinctly than they otherwise would.
The following is a top-quality animated explainer video example created by Explainer Video Hero for Ibexa, the B2B Digital Experience Platform:
What factors decide the effectiveness of your animated explainer videos?
An animated explainer video can improve user experience, boost conversions, and even help with SEO. Plus, they’re fun to watch.
Before you get too excited about the creative possibilities, be aware that crafting an effective animated explainer video isn’t always easy.
There are several factors to consider--from choosing the right animation style to finding a reliable animated explainer video company to work with.
Let’s look at some of them:
- Define audience & message: Know who you are trying to reach to be able to determine the style, length, message, and structure of your video. Make animation and script complement each other and highlight the problem that your product or service solves.
- Make your message compelling: Start by identifying the goal you’re trying to achieve and create a narrative around it. Think about the key information you need to include and construct a storyboard that outlines the main points.
- Let your narrative flow: Your audience may not be familiar with what you offer, so ensure it is explained engagingly. Ensure that your video has a clear beginning, middle, and end. Include relevant visuals and music, as well as provide the viewer with a sense of closure in the end.
The following animated explainer video example is created by Explainer Video Hero for NASTEL, a global leader in Integration Infrastructure Management, with an ideal narrative flow that makes good use of its 90 seconds runtime:
- Pick an animation style to fit the overall style and tone: Each style can be effective in different ways, so consider what the purpose of your video is, the tone and message you want to convey, and which style would work best for your audience.
- Pay attention to video duration: Animation has the potential to be more eye-catching than live-action footage. Longer videos can be effective, but they should be concise and organized, building up to a strong climax or call to action.
- Consider hiring an external video production agency: The explainer videos service you hire should have relevant experience in creating explainer videos. They should also provide you with high-quality animation, sound, and voiceover services.
- Pick the right platform and promote well: Once your video is complete, you’ll want to share it on social media, your website, and other platforms. You can also use SEO and other marketing strategies to ensure that your video reaches the right audience.
How to define the target audience for your Explainer Video?
Explainer videos serve the unique purpose of introducing customers to your products or services and building brand recognition. Understanding the people who are most likely to be interested in watching your explainer video can help you create an engaging experience for them.
The following is an animated explainer video example on how to define your target audience:
- Consider the age of your target audience: Bright, lively colors, bold design elements, and a catchy soundtrack will attract young viewers.
- However, older viewers may prefer explainer videos that take a more classic approach with muted colors and relaxing music. You may also want to tailor your audience based on the type of product or service featured in your explainer video.
- Consider the purpose of your explainer video. Creating content that resonates with your audience requires understanding the purpose of your explainer video. Are you using it to introduce a new product, increase brand awareness, or educate potential customers?
- Finally, consider the length of your explainer video. Most videos should be concise, typically no longer than 90 seconds. This will help keep the viewer’s attention and effectively convey your message.
How to select the right style for your animated explainer videos?
When it comes to selecting the right style for your animated explainer video, there are a few key considerations to bear in mind:
- Firstly, think of the message you wish to convey. Your target audience will respond differently to different styles of animation, so decide what type of response you desire.
- Traditional 2D animation, live-action, 30 second explainer videos and motion graphics are some popular styles.
- Finally, consider the cost associated with each type of animation. You should obtain quotes from an explainer video company before starting the project.
Animated explainer videos come in many shapes and sizes. While they all have the same overarching purpose of informing the viewer, there are different types of explainer videos that a video production company can create.
Here is a Content Beta study that breaks down the video styles used by SaaS and software companies:
Depending on the purpose of the video, the production company will be able to recommend the best type for you. Let’s look at the main types:
- Classic explainer video: Features a narrator that outlines the history, mission, or product of a company. Text, animation, and voiceover are used to provide examples and to explain the ideas concisely and clearly. This type of explainer video is great for giving an overview of a company and its products or services.
- 2D/3D animation video: Focuses mainly on cartoon-like characters and graphics, which makes it a good choice for a company looking to position itself as fun and approachable.
- Whiteboard animation video: This type of explainer video is becoming increasingly popular because of its unique style and approach. It features a hand-drawn animation, which helps create a more personal connection with the viewer and allows the company to get its message across in an entertaining and informative way.
- Motion graphics video: A great choice for a company looking to explain complex concepts in an engaging and visually stimulating way. They are highly customizable and can be tailored to fit any company’s branding and identity, while still engaging the viewer.
How to create a compelling storyline for your animated explainer videos?
Creating an animated explainer video is no easy task, and it’s important to have a clear vision and understanding of the story and message you want to communicate to your audience.
Choosing a compelling and engaging storyline is essential if you want to capture your viewers’ attention and keep them interested.
- Make sure each element of the video is relevant and contributes to the overall story because animated explainer videos are typically short and to the point.
- Start by identifying the problem you’d like to solve and the goal you’d like to achieve.
- Next, create a storyboard that outlines the plotline and visual elements of your video.
- Write an effective script to accompany the storyboard for viewers to understand the video's message.
- Make the narrative flow from one scene to the next to keep your viewers engaged.
- Think about the overall sentiment you’d like to convey with your video--whether it’s humorous, inspirational, or educational.
- Consider adding music and sound effects to your video to create the right atmosphere.
- Finally, include a strong call-to-action at the end of your video to drive viewers to take the desired action.
How to incorporate your brand identity with animated explainer videos?
Incorporating your brand identity into an animated explainer video can be both a fun and challenging task. It’s important to ensure that the visual elements, including style, characters, and messaging, all express your brand’s values and personality.
Here are a few tips to consider when designing your animated explainer video, which will help ensure it’s reflective of your brand’s identity:
- Start with your brand “personality”: Before designing your explainer video, consider the overall tone and personality of your brand. Are you playful and upbeat? Fun and sarcastic? Serious and professional?
- Choose the right style: Based on the tone of your brand, decide on the overall style of the explainer video. Do you want a realistic look or something more cartoonish? Flat or 3D animation?
- Incorporate your brand elements: Include your logo and other brand elements, such as colors, fonts, and imagery. This will help ensure that the video is a true reflection of your brand and will make it easier for viewers to recognize your company.
- Keep it simple: It’s important to make sure your explainer video doesn’t contain too much information or visual elements. Focus on conveying the most important points.
The following is an animated explainer video example from UPS, created for improving brand awareness:
What should be the ideal length of your animated explainer videos?
Businesses that need to communicate a message quickly and effectively are increasingly using animated explainer videos as they provide entertaining and informative content. A few minutes is all it takes them to turn complex messages into engaging stories.
Explainer videos can be as short as a few seconds or longer, depending on the message you want to deliver. Generally, these videos include a combination of visuals, audio, and text. However, regardless of which style you choose, all explainer videos should have one thing in common: they should be to the point.
- Focus on the main message and the key points that need to be communicated.
- Decide on the length depending on the platform you intend to use. Remember, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok are promoting shorter videos heavily.
Here is the Content Beta study on the subject of average video duration:
What should you focus on: Benefits or features?
This debate is as old as the hills. A good majority are in favor of concentrating on benefits but there is a small but vociferous group that roots for the latter.
The first group believes that products are designed to solve problems and make people's lives easier. Consequently, you should emphasize the benefits of your service instead of the features to your customers. A product's benefits are what will make people want to buy yours instead of a competitor's.
However, for a technical audience concentrating on product features may be a better approach because they can figure out what the benefits are. Moreover, they might even get annoyed for treating them like commoners!
Here is an animated explainer video example that informs viewers about the benefits of using myCOI, a solution to automate insurance certificate requests, collection, and compliance resolution in 1 minute:
How to use humor wisely in animated explainer videos?
Humor has the power to captivate, engage and retain the attention of your audience. If used correctly, it can be a great asset. Humor also helps inject personality into your video and lightens the mood as you explain complicated concepts.
When incorporating humor into your explainer video, be aware of the following points:
- Different types of humor have different effects on viewers. For example, self-deprecating humor can be endearing, while sarcasm can be off-putting and isolating. It’s also important to know your audience and tailor the humor accordingly.
- It should serve a purpose in your story. Your video should be funny but also relevant to your message and not just thrown in for the sake of entertainment.
- Last but not least, stereotyping based on ethnicity, religion, gender, and sexual orientation is a strict no-no. No cuss words or violence too.
Watch this funny example from BlackGold ERP:
How much does an animated explainer video cost?
Animation explainer video pricing varies from company to company, depending on its length, complexity, and animation style.
Explainer video cost charged by the best animated explainer video companies like Explainer Video Hero (EVH) works out to USD 2,000 for a one-minute video. EVH offers explainer video services through remote video production.
5 examples of animated explainer videos done right
Animated explainer videos are a powerful marketing tool that can help you explain complex ideas or services in an engaging, visual way. To give you an idea of what an excellent animated explainer video can look like, we present five excellent examples:
1. In-App Chat
This animated explainer video created by Explainer Video Hero uses smooth motion graphics and a flowing narrative to explain a concept in easily understandable language. This video is a good example of the ideal narrative flow we discussed earlier.
The PayPal animated explainer video quickly and effectively explains the various benefits of using their payment system. With smooth animations and peppy background music, the video casually shows how transactions are carried out quickly and safely--using just your mobile phone.
3. Cisco Systems
In this animated explainer video, Cisco Systems explains how hotels can simplify their work. The animations are smooth and engaging and the voice-over is professional and informative.
This video from MailChimp does a great job of explaining integrating it with Shopify. The visuals are simple but effective, and the voice-over is upbeat and reassuring.
This animated explainer video wastes no time in presenting the challenges customers face when they call a company.
Having grabbed your attention in the first 10 seconds, which are crucial in deciding whether the viewers are going to stay back, the explainer video proceeds to present the solution as well as how the product can scale up effortlessly.
How to promote animated explainer videos on social media channels and video-sharing platforms?
In today's digital age, by including animated explainer videos in a company's marketing strategy businesses can engage customers and increase their online presence and create a memorable and captivating experience for their target market.
However, creating the video is only the first step. To get the most out of an explainer video, businesses need to promote the video on various social media channels and video-sharing platforms.
In this section, we will discuss the best practices for promoting animated explainer videos on social media channels and video-sharing platforms.
1. Share on social media channels
Before you start promoting your animated explainer video, the first step is to make sure you’ve shared it on all the relevant social media channels.
That includes not only the major social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter but also any smaller networks and forums that might be relevant to your target audience. This will help you get the most coverage and reach the widest range of people.
Additionally, you should also be sure to post the video on any video-sharing platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo. These platforms not only give you an additional outlet for your content, but also provide platforms for conversations, comments, and reviews.
Watch this video from Google that explains how to promote and share your videos:
2. Create appealing captions and thumbnails
Captions and hashtags are crucial for effectively promoting animated explainer videos on social media channels and video-sharing platforms.
- Captions should succinctly describe the video and explain its purpose clearly, while also capturing the attention of viewers.
- Use the right keywords and phrases that match your brand’s mission and values.
- Thumbnails are the first point of contact for viewers, so spare no effort to make them click on them.
Watch this video on how to create attractive video thumbnails:
3. Optimize video titles, descriptions, and tags
To maximize the visibility of your animated explainer video, it’s important to optimize the title, description, and tags.
- The title should be catchy and descriptive and should include the main keyword or phrase that viewers might use to search for your video.
- The description should provide viewers with an overview of what the video is about, and should include additional keywords or phrases that will help with visibility.
- Lastly, include relevant tags in the video settings to help ensure that your video will be seen by the right audience.
Watch this video on how to add tags to your YouTube videos.
4. Cross promote on various platforms
You can use a combination of platforms such as YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to reach a wider audience.
- The cross promotion also allows you to tailor your content to the various platforms and target different types of audiences.
- It will help create a greater sense of community around your video as viewers on one platform can be informed about your video on another platform as this infographic will tell you:
5. Utilize paid advertising options
Paid advertising enables you to target specific audiences who may be interested in your content and drive direct traffic to your videos.
Use paid social media campaigns, YouTube advertising, Google Ads, and other platforms and be sure to utilize effective targeting strategies and set a realistic budget so that you can maximize your reach and ensure you’re getting the most out of your investment.
Watch this video from Google that talks about different video formats:
What are the best practices for effective animated explainer videos?
There are a few tips and best practices to help you create an effective animated explainer video.
- Keep it short and simple: You want your explainer video to be memorable, so a length of no more than two minutes is best. This will help keep the viewer’s attention, as they won’t lose interest after a long video.
- Compelling and well-structured script: A good script is the foundation of a successful explainer video. It should clearly explain the problem your product or service solves, as well as highlight its unique features.
- Simple visuals: Yet they should be eye-catching. Engaging colors that match the theme of your video will also keep your viewers' attention.
- Commanding voiceover: The voiceover should be clear and easy to understand and should be able to explain the concept concisely and engagingly. This Explainer Video Hero statistics tells you about viewers’ preferences:
What are the benefits of animated explainer videos?
Animated explainer videos are becoming increasingly popular as an effective method of conveying information to a large audience and offer multiple benefits:
- They increase engagement: They use animation, storytelling, and narration to simplify complex information into easily understandable chunks.
- They elevate brand reputation: They help build a strong brand identity, capture viewers’ attention and make them understand what your brand is offering and why it’s the best choice.
- They are cost-effective: They are much cheaper to produce than traditional forms of marketing. Companies can save money by avoiding the need to create an in-house video production crew.
- They offer a greater reach: They can be easily shared across multiple platforms and reach a wider audience. They can be watched from home, at work, or even on the go, making it easier to reach a large demographic, no matter where they may be located.
Animated explainer videos have gained immense popularity in recent years as a powerful means of understanding a brand's message and easily conveying it to a broad audience, and eventually, more sales.
We saw how they are an effective storytelling tool that has the power to engage, inform, and persuade viewers and help create an effective, memorable, and fun way of connecting with viewers.
Now that you have been brought up to speed on the power of animated explainer videos, your business should actively consider adding them to your marketing toolkit.