Whether you’re promoting a complex SaaS solution or a state-of-the-art household appliance, explainer videos are a gamechanger for engaging with audiences and introducing your business’s unique offering.

Long gone are the days when consumers relied solely on print instructions or manuals—nowadays 69% of people prefer watching video content over reading to learn about a product or service.

Explainer videos are also one of the most popular types of content that businesses use for marketing. In fact, video marketers have seen 66% more qualified leads per year than their sans-video counterparts.

So get ready to take notes—we’re sharing 7 insider tips on how to create a stand-out explainer video! This handy guide is useful for those creating their own online video marketing content, as well as those interested in hiring a professional video production company.'

What makes a good explainer video?

Let’s start off with the basics. These are key elements to making any successful explainer video:

  • Attention-grabbing introduction

Time is money, and every second counts. You need an attention-grabbing intro to hook each viewer in and then convey exactly what problem your product or service targets.

  • Easy-to-follow structure

Guide your viewers step-by-step, illustrate a before vs. after scenario, or map out the problem → solution → results, etc...The goal here is to make videos using a pedagogic approach to show how the audience’s issue can be uniquely resolved.

  • Simple explanations

Most explainer videos use voice-over to tell a story. Pair narration with motion graphics, engaging visuals, and text overlays to bring the storytelling experience to life and enhance the clarity of your messaging.

  • Short timeframe

Keep it short and sweet. The longer your video, the more difficult it is for viewers to remember and recall your key messaging. According to Social Media Examiner, 80% of marketers keep their videos at or under the 3 minute mark.

  • Great storytelling

Storytelling makes for powerful communication, especially in video advertising. Create a connection with your audience by identifying and empathizing with their struggles. Use a tone of voice that matches the scene and makes your target viewers actively listen - not just hear - to what you have to say.

Discover right now 7 reasons to invest in video communication !

  • Clear CTA

Nothing is worse than getting viewers interested… only to leave them hanging at the end. Make the most of your marketing efforts and increase conversion rates by adding a clear CTA (call-to-action) in the conclusion of your video.

This ensures your audiences know exactly what their next steps should be, for example: downloading an asset, visiting a website, or contacting your sales team or support channel.

7 tips to creating great explainer videos for your brand

Tip #1: Choose a video style that is best for your brand’s style and goals

  • Live-action: If you want to show your product in action with real people, live-action video production is the way to go. It humanizes your brand and helps audiences visualize what using your product might be like. This format is great for different tones of storytelling, from serious or light-hearted to wildly humorous. If you want to create good branded content, it's important to create a brand book so that everyone is aligned with the guidelines.

💡 PlayPlay Pro Tip

When shooting a live-action explainer video, film as many rushes (raw unedited footage) as you need, shooting multiple takes of the same sequence if needed. This saves time and money by avoiding the need for reshoots in post-production if you’re missing a scene or need alternative shots.

  • Screencast: This format works great for technical explanations because you show viewers what using your actual product interface looks like. Instead of simply describing the product and specific features, you can show and walk them through exactly how it works, step-by-step.

💡 PlayPlay Pro Tip

Need to make a demo video or tutorials for your software? The screencast format works especially well for this type of content.

  • Video Animation: Animated videos are trickier to achieve without technical proficiency and skills in motion design. However, they’re also one of the best formats for capturing audiences’ attention with creative illustration, character animation, and storytelling scenes that aren’t possible with live action and screencast videos.
  • Whiteboard Animation: Also known as video scribing, this type of marketing video tells a story with whiteboard-style drawings. For the production process, you can record a video with a real animator illustrating, or you can use an animation software that creates digital whiteboard drawings.

For all of these explainer video types, you can also consider professional video production services who guarantee quality video on-demand. However, keep in mind that this option will usually incur higher expenses than creating videos on your own.

We recommend applying the following best practices and using a simple-to-use video creation tool like PlayPlay to create your own professional explainer videos in no time!

Tip #2:  Write a good script and storyboard

Starting the content creation process with a strong script and storyboard saves time and improves results. Prioritizing these two elements will help you structure your entire outline from the beginning and reduce the time it takes to make edits in the video later on - you won’t have to start from scratch.

  • The script documents what will be said in your video, which can be performed by actors, employees, or narrated with a voiceover. Check out our step-by-step guide to writing a captivating video script.

  • Storyboards lay out scene-by-scene what will be shown in your video. They map out the structure and order of scenarios to film, including text overlays, images, and screen captures. Try using a PowerPoint or slideshow format to create and present your storyboard!

Tip #3: Add clear branding to promotional videos

This applies to not only explainer videos, but to marketing videos in general. Make sure your logo is in high-resolution and clearly visible in your video to maximize ad recall.

If your logo is consistently shown throughout the video, place it in one of the top or bottom corners of the screen. If you decide to show your logo only at the beginning or end of the promotional video, place the logo front and center.

💡 PlayPlay Pro Trick

Have you also thought about promoting your videos by email? Find out how to embed a video in an email.

Tip #4: Add dynamic transitions to your explainer videos

To create videos that flow naturally, use motion graphics to visually guide audiences between each scene. Storyboarding during pre-production is a crucial step to define where to place transitions within your animation video.

Tip #5: Add text overlays to your key explanations

Great explainer videos should be highly informative, but also easy to understand. Strengthen your messaging and help your audiences focus by adding text overlays to key points in your video.

Tip #6: Use engaging music (but make sure voice-overs are still clearly audible!)

Choosing music is subjective to the type of explainer video you’re creating, your brand voice, and the target audience of your marketing campaign.

For example, B2B corporate videos might use tracks that are more-or-less neutral, compared to B2C explainer videos that aim to captivate viewers with upbeat or even popular trending music.

💡 PlayPlay Pro Tip

Don’t forget to check whether the music you want to use has a royalty fee.

Tip #7: Add captions to your explainer video

A 2019 survey by Verizon Media & Publicis Media found that 92% of U.S. consumers watch videos with the sound muted on mobile devices and 80% are more likely to watch the entire video when captions are available

Whether it’s due to being in a quiet space in public, multitasking, or simply forgetting headphones -numbers show that consumers increasingly prefer to view video content without sound on.

It’s crucial to adapt your video content to evolving consumer habits, to communicate effectively and connect with the most audiences possible.

Ready to get started?

Truth is, you don’t need a full animation studio to make your own explainer video.

Our easy-to-use video maker PlayPlay has so many possibilities and you can try it free for 7 days. It’s never been easier to create videos for business, using our diverse selection of versatile templates and creative customizations.

Want to look into more options? Check out our latest recommendations for the 7 best types of explainer video software. We hope this guide gave you the tools and confidence to get started on your explainer video today.