The goal with explainer videos is to break something down and deliver information or instructions that are easy to understand. Sounds simple enough, right?
But a killer explainer video is two-fold: it brings value both by informing AND entertaining. But it takes a lot of work to visually summarise what can often be complex or dry information in an entertaining and engaging format, especially if it’s your first time.
That’s why we’ve brought you our top tips on creating a explainer video, along with examples of real explainers from other brands that have nailed it.
Let’s get started!
Plan, and Then Plan Some More
Before you begin video production, you must decide on the scope, format, and style you want to go for. Is the purpose of this video marketing to highlight a specific process or the overall picture of how your product can be used? Do you want to go for a whiteboard explainer, or a screencast?
If you’re a small team working with a tight budget, it may be difficult to outsource freelancers to make a 2D, 3D or animated explainer or go all out with motion graphics and green screen.
But don’t worry, because there’s a lot you can do with live action explainers too, provided you script them to the T! More on that in the next tip.
But until then, check out these video examples from Tilleo and Moved.com which are informative, witty, and super entertaining!
Keep the Script Short and Sweet
Nobody wants to watch a long explainer video. In fact, nobody’s got the time to.
A long explainer video is a bit of an oxymoron in itself. After all, the whole point is to get the big picture delivered quickly to you.
As with all social media content, you must keep it shorter than 2-2.5 minutes to keep viewers engaged.
If you’re delivering instructions on a more complex process, break it down into shorter videos. This will also make it easier for users, as they can jump around to the relevant section based on their needs.
Use AIDA Framework for an engaging Explainer Video
Keep in mind that action explainer videos are also essentially marketing content. So, use them to communicate to your user how easy it is to use your product, as well as how easy their life will become after using it.
In our previous post on crafting killer marketing videos, we mentioned the AIDA framework (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action). Once again, use this to guide your script.
With Attention, you want to get your viewer’s attention right away with a relatable situation in the first few seconds. Hook their interest and let them know them inside out by touching on a pain point specific to them. These first couple of seconds are crucial as they determine whether the user will stick around for the rest of it.
This example by Elliott builds empathy right off the bat, identifying the user’s problem immediately –having lots of reach as a brand but finding it complex to manage their online storefront. It also does this by using ‘we’ (being brands/brand owners) in the voiceover.
Now that you have their attention, here comes the main bit. Your explainer will of course go into the details of the product itself, but it must dive into how your product addresses that pain point to keep them interested.
This explainer video by ZenDesk about their Knowledge Capture app does this quite well. In addition to telling the viewer how the app works, they pinpoint specific benefits, like quicker resolution times and consistent documentation of team knowledge.
Once we’ve laid the groundwork for them to now desire your production, encourage them to act on it now by ending with a strong call to action — like links to your social media/website or a coupon code.
Keep your Explainer Video Lucid and Easy to Follow
Let your viewer know exactly what they are in for through the title, and structure the video into different sections.
In the video below, the title communicates to the viewer that it will be more comprehensive (‘Instagram Marketing 101’) as well as the info they can expect to find, like using hashtags and stories for marketing.
You can divide each using title screens, frames or even lower thirds. ChopChop’s graphics section has a wide selection of elements to use for this.
Or you could check out our media library to add a stock image to use as a divider between different sections.
Another option is to repurpose shorter clips from other marketing content like a Zoom interview or product demo. You can do this easily in ChopChop without uploading the entire asset, and clip directly from it in real time.
Let the Visuals Tell the Story
If your explainer does not require specific screenshots or screen recordings, you can easily use the picture/video and titles format.
Check out this super good explainer video by Vintory, which totally nails this. Using a combination of stock footage, images, and simple titles, they craft a memorable video.
You can easily replicate this kind of format with ChopChop, where we have an extensive collection of charts and tables, so if your explainer uses stats to tell the story, we’ve got you covered.
Avoid the Dreaded Information Overload
This tip goes along with our previous one.
The best product explainer videos do not have information overload — that’s the easiest way to get the viewer to click off. So avoid chunks of words on the screen and instead, add short snippets of text that the viewer can read without having to pause.
Keep reading aloud to make sure your text is succinct, relevant, and easy to understand.
ChopChop makes this super simple to achieve with our talking points feature, which allows you to add sharp titles that play alongside the video clip to reinforce or emphasise the voiceover.
This explainer video by Wix does exactly that to really drive home the talking points in the first couple of seconds before the site screenshots are shown.
Add Voiceover and Captions
A voiceover is integral to an effective explainer video, and also helps you make it more engaging and humanise your brand.
This explainer video by Square features a voiceover that brings the product to life. It’s fun and friendly and adds a touch of whimsy in addition to the creative visuals.
By adding captions, you can help your viewers retain the information better.
ChopChop offers automated captions, so you won’t have to waste extra time transcribing either.
Wrapping Up Your Product Explainer Video
Now that we’ve given you our spiel on making an informative and engaging explainer video ideas, go out there and educate your viewers about your product with ease!
And don’t forget to check out ChopChop for a highly intuitive and fuss-free editing experience. Get started in minutes, even if you’ve never edited videos before. You can sign up for early access here.