What is an animated explainer video?
The animated explainer video explains concepts, products, or services in an entertaining way. Typically, they are created using illustrations and animation combined with music, narration, and sound effects.
The purpose of these types of videos is to give the audience an easy-to-understand explanation of whatever it is trying to promote.
- Animated explainer videos typically last around one to two minutes and are used by businesses as part of their marketing strategy. 30 seconds explainer videos are also trending currently.
- They can be used on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to reach new audiences and help educate them about a product or service in an interesting way.
- A Marketing Charts study found that people watch online videos for an average of 100 minutes every day.
- Animated explainer videos enable B2B brands to use the sales and marketing power of explainer videos. These videos are an excellent way to generate leads, increase conversion rate, and drive sales.
How is this blog post about Best Animated Explainer Videos structured?
This blog post is divided into two sections:
The first section talks about some great work done by both start-ups as well as established explainer video companies and how well they have adapted to the audience bias for visual content. Consequently, these companies are reaping rich dividends!
As for our video selection, we picked them based on how well they have made use of the building blocks of animated explainer videos and their overall effectiveness in their ability to engage with their target audience.
The second part discusses how to build the best animated explainer videos, follow best practices and look at some of the tools of the trade.
PART I: 5 examples of the best animated explainer videos
Monday.com is a popular all-in-one work management platform. What strikes you most about their animated explainer video is the narrator, who is kinda in-your-face with the job at hand.
The makers of the video realized that it isn’t the right time to be coy about the product. And the voiceover stands up and delivers.
He showcases, challenges, and explains the various components of the platform and is ably supported by great use of motion graphics, transitions, and funky background music. The overall impact is spectacular.
Xactly provides on-demand content to help RevOps, Finance, Compensation, and Sales Leaders plan for go-to-market strategies, set incentive compensation, and manage pipelines.
This Content Beta-created animated explainer video is about their Commission Expense Accounting Solution. The viewers can instantly identify with the problem statement presented upfront because the explainer video gets into great detail about how to ensure organizational compliance with ASC 606 / IFRS 15 standards.
The explainer video is a great example of how to use a voiceover and under what circumstances. The measured tones of the narrator lend a much-needed human touch to the action on screen, amplifying the effectiveness of the video.
The graphics and transitions are just right and at no point do they go overboard. The overall effect is sure to make viewers want to click on the orange ‘Request a Demo’ button so thoughtfully provided at the end of the video.
Visa as a company needs no introduction but even they have taken recourse to animated explainer videos to talk about their VISA Ready ready-to-go, contactless payment solutions that can serve multiple users in multiple places.
As far as this explainer video goes, it uses a pleasant and reassuring voiceover to complement the top-notch graphics and transitions.
Having watched these examples, you might think that even great animations need voiceovers to explain things that only humans can. And you’d be right too.
Additionally, after seeing how powerful explainer videos are and what they are capable of, you might wonder how companies delivered their content before explainer videos became popular.
Dropbox never misses a chance to help individuals and businesses work smarter by utilizing its cloud storage and collaboration tools.
They have previously highlighted features such as shared folders, real-time notifications, integrated documents, task management, and remote access. With this explainer video they are telling users that when it comes to digital security, no one loves surprises.
Being one of the pioneers of the genre, they have perfected the art which has helped them promote brand loyalty while furthering its mission to make teams more productive.
This animated explainer video example is no exception; it is simple but effective.
Snorkel is a data-centric artificial intelligence (AI) platform with powerful methods for programmatic data labeling and weak supervision.
This video is long at over 6 minutes but you can see that even longer videos if made as well as this one can hold viewers’ attention.
Having one comprehensive video, even if it is a long one, will allow prospects to gain a complete understanding of the platform's capabilities since each subtopic builds upon the previous one.
Of course, smooth animations and flowing narration play their role well making this explainer video a template and endorsement for longer explainer videos.
PART II: How to make your own animated explainer video?
Creating an animated explainer video can be a daunting process for businesses and organizations. With so many elements to consider, such as concept development, script writing, and animation, the task can seem overwhelming. However, with the right guidance, the process of creating the best animated explainer videos can be a rewarding and successful experience.
This section provides viewers with the necessary steps, from concept to completion, to create the best animated explainer videos that are informative, creative, and engaging.
1. Developing a script
The first step in creating an animated explainer video is developing a script. This involves creating an outline of the video’s key messages and nailing down the flow of the narrative.
A good script should be brief, clear, and engaging. It should also be written in a conversational style and use language that will resonate with the target audience.
This is a crucial starting point for any explainer video, as it sets the tone for the entire production. Additionally, the script should be reviewed by a professional copywriter to ensure accuracy and clarity.
Here are some useful guidelines on script writing:
Storyboarding is the process of mapping out each scene and shot of the video. Think of it as a blueprint for visualizing the story you want to tell.
It involves sketching or drawing out each scene of the video, along with notes about what is happening in each scene. It is a great way to get everyone on the same page about the video concept and to plan for a successful final product.
It is important to remember that storyboarding does not have to be perfect; it is simply a means to an end.
Keep the following factors in mind when you develop a storyboard:
3. Animating the video
Animating is the most labor-intensive part and can take from a few days to several weeks to finish depending on the complexity of the video.
You’ll need to create all the images and models that will be used in the video, and then animate them together. This requires knowledge of animation software, and even some basic coding if you’re creating a 3D animation.
Once the animation is finished, you’ll be ready to assemble the video and add sound and music.
Here is an animated explainer video example created for In-App Chat, the instant messaging app, with flowing animation:
4. Adding voiceover
Adding a voiceover will help to bring the story to life. This can be done in two ways: hiring a voiceover artist or recording your voice.
For the best results, it’s important to choose the right voice to capture the right tone and emotion. The voiceover should be engaging and easy to understand and should match the style and feel of the video.
When recording your voice, ensure that the audio quality is good and that the sound is balanced. If you’re hiring an artist, make sure you provide them with clear instructions and a script so that the voiceover flows with the animation.
Here is an animated explainer video example with a voiceover for Intercom, the customizable chatbot:
5. Finalizing the video with music and effects
The last step in the process of creating an animated explainer video is finalizing the video with music, effects, and transitions.
- Adding music can help to emphasize the message of the video and to create a positive atmosphere. It can also be used to cover up any gaps or pauses in the video.
- Effects can be added to make the video more interesting and engaging.
- Transitions can be used to move the video from one scene to the next, providing viewers with a smooth transition that helps the video flow.
- Finally, make sure to proofread the video and make any necessary adjustments before publishing.
Watch this animated explainer video example created for Wanderly, a place for healthcare professionals to compare travel healthcare jobs from leading agencies, complete with music and effects:
What are the different styles of animated explainer videos?
Animation has been one of the most popular ways to bring stories to life, as it can be used to create vivid imagery with movement and sound. Different animation styles such as 2D, 3D, and motion graphics explainer videos allow for a wide range of creative possibilities.
- 2D Animation: It is often characterized by its use of hand-drawn illustrations which are then placed on top of backgrounds or settings that have also been drawn by hand.
- 3D Animation: By creating characters, backgrounds, and settings, 3D animation gives filmmakers the ability to create incredibly detailed worlds and environments that are almost lifelike.
- Live-action videos: They can be used to help people understand complex concepts and engage viewers with more emotion than animation alone can provide.
- Motion graphics videos: They can be used as powerful marketing tools that allow you to deliver your message clearly in a creative way without a lot of words.
What tools do we need to create the best animated explainer videos?
Let’s briefly touch upon some video creation tools you can use to create the best explainer videos:
- The first tool you’ll need is video editing software to create, edit, and export your explainer videos in a variety of formats. Popular video editing software options include Adobe After Effects, Apple Final Cut Pro, and Sony Vegas Pro.
- To create actual visuals, you’ll need graphics and animation software. You can use Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Animate.
- Finally, you’ll need audio recording and editing software to add sound to your videos such as Adobe Audition and Pro Tools. With audio recording and editing software, you’ll be able to add music, voiceovers, and sound effects to your videos.
We saw how animated explainer videos can engage customers and drive conversions by explaining complex topics in an entertaining way using animation, visuals, and narration.
We also saw how to make explainer videos that can respond to viewers’ questions directly, which allows them to get their answers quickly and make an informed decision about their product or service.
All of these factors make animated explainer videos a great way to reach potential customers and drive conversions. So if you're ready to create the best animated explainer videos of your own – it's time to get creative!