10 Explainer Video Best Practices From Industry Experts10 min read

explainer video best ideas from leading experts

Video is now the focus of marketing teams with 93% of businesses who use video believe that it has increased user understanding of their product or service. Explainer videos not only help explain to your customer what your products or service is, but it helps tell your story to your customers.  36% of businesses believe that they’ve received fewer customer support queries due to their explainer video. We asked industry experts for their opinion and advice on how to best implement explainer videos in your video marketing strategy

Still, need convincing? Check out these video marketing statistics.

But what exactly are explainer videos?

Top Explainers defines an explainer video to be a brief, animated video content that is published online with the primary objective of marketing products and services, or ideas. Explainer videos are focused on having a triple-pronged impact:

  • Explaining your product and service
  • Capturing attention
  • Telling your brands story

Let’s take a look at a real-life example.

Explainer videos are marketing videos with a general length of 60-90 seconds to showcase the lifestyle advantages of a product and are brilliant at creating a  connection between your customers and your brand.

Related: How long should an explainer video be?

So, how can you benefit from explainer videos?

How can an animated video help your business?  Easy,  52% of customers who watch a product explainer video gain more confidence when making an online purchase, while 66% of them tend to watch video two or even more times.

Top Explainers  gave the following explainer video benefits:

  • They convey your message very quickly (very important with modern attention spans)
  • They increase the conversion rate by 20%.
  • Build your brand identity
  • Can be used across multiple platforms (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, email, etc.)
  • Very easy to share
  • High return on investment
  • They are mobile friendly
  • Explainer videos boost SEO

So let’s hear from our industry experts for their advice on how to create the best and most effective explainer video.

Determining and selecting your target audience


If your explainer videos don’t stack up, then you can be assured that 60% of your site visitors are far much less likely to return. Doug Brunner from Tech Smith said that explainer videos are naturally short, and in case you don’t talk to a particular audience; then the video is prone to failure.

You should focus on the people you are targeting by creating the video. You aim to bring the right and quality people on stage so that you can communicate the correct message to them. Doug further reiterated that you should select a particular subset of your overall consumers since you can never target every person and therefore you need not try it. More so, a comprehensive message is usually a confused one which prompts fewer viewers to respond to your videos call-to-action (CTA).

Shawn Forno said that it is obvious you can never tailor each explainer video to the individual companies; however, you can design the explainer video for your target audience. If you are unable to portray your suitable consumer in the explainer correctly, then it won’t be easy for you to impart in them anything.

Related: How to create a video call-to-action that converts

Start with the end first

Doug Brunner wrote that you should begin by setting a clear end goal. Imagine yourself standing close to your potential client, and you have about 60 to 120 seconds to inform him about your product’s value. Of course, that is not long enough to exclusively pass the information. With that challenge of time, the best approach to framing the context of your message is by taking a backward step and considering why you need to talk about it.

Your goal is to determine the desired course of action; you need the client to take at the end of the conversation. You should ask yourself the following questions;

  • Do you want him to subscribe to your services?
  • Should he sign up for an account?
  • Does he need to visit my webpage for further information?

quotation the journey doesn't start at the beginning, it begins at the end

Writing the script

With a video that generated extra 21,000 dollars per month back in the year 2012, the co-founder of CrazyEgg, Neil Patel, credited
the script for the significant growth.

Megan Marrs from Word Stream said that the script was the essential element in the creation of good explainer videos. She also noted that regardless of whether your explainer had the best graphics and the best voiceover by Morgan Freeman-esque globally, it would be meaningless if it lacked a powerful script behind it.

She advised that you should focus majorly on the script and writing it on your own would be the best way to do it. That is because you know better where it pinches your client most, more than any other person.

According to Lisa Isbell from Hub Spot, the length of explainers is supposed to be 30 to 90 seconds. Therefore, mostly, it would translate into a script of about 200 or fewer words.

Additionally, Martin from Cleverism states that a good explainer comprises of four key elements in its design;

  • Problem in hand,
  • Solution on offer,
  • How the solution works, and
  • CTA (Call-To-Action)

For a more in-depth look as well as some free templates, check out our previous article how to write a killer explainer video script.

Minding your language

Shawn Forno said that you ought to be keen on the choice of your language and words. You should present the video script for executive and legal approval prior to beginning the video production. You should also take your time to create a useful script that is not prone to being a liability or bringing issues.

Although the idea of having a language approval might sound scary, Shawn attributed it to be among the greatest strengths of the use of animated explainer videos for purposes of training or corporate culture videos.

Shawn further suggested that in case there are changes in the features of a product or new policies arise, you just need to do a bit of overdubbing and editing the dialogue then you are good to go with a new explainer video in no time.

Also, for the live action training sessions, there is no need for adding or omitting wordings from trainers or corporate speakers; you simply need to press the play button and you are covered.

teacher writing on a blackboard the phrase mind your language

The shorter, the better

According to Darren Travers, your 8-minute long video on YouTube, 25% is watched, which translates to a watch time of 2 minutes. Moreover, a 2-minute video is 75% watched, which equates to a watch time of 90 seconds. That is in line with the views of Andrew Follet, who understands that you need to tell people more about your business. However, he notes that an explainer is supposed to be an overview or “hook,” which lures the audience into taking the desired action. Andrew further states that the longer your explainer video, the fewer people it will attract.

Trying to constrain yourself from talking about all that pertains to your product can be the most challenging part, but the trick out is cutting the script and being very brief as Andrew Follet said.

Darren Travers suggested that the length of an explainer to you landing page ought to range from 1.5 to 2 minutes. That is backed up by several studies, including the study by Witsia, which showed that it is not until they reach the 2-minute mark when the audiences begin losing attention.

Darren doesn’t recommend the explainers to your landing pages to be 30 or fewer seconds in length since it is almost impossible in general to explain a certain topic adequately within such a period.

Having some fun

Andrew Follet wrote that although is vital to create a video that is relevant to the targeted audience (be it marketers, children, working moms, or CEOS), one thing is certain, that people love entertainment. Therefore, the addition of something a bit different to your explainer video like a surprise or humor tends is likely to stir up positive reactions. That is because apart from putting a smile on people’s faces, it also helps them to connect with your brand in a personal way, something that websites don’t.

Moreover, Matt Vasiliauskas from Studio Binder said that, even if something is sophisticated technically, it doesn’t imply that it should be cold or dull. Another expert by the name Shawn Forno reiterated that the creation of an explainer video is not the ideal time to expound on the product’s technical specification; it is the time to lure people into something coming in their way.

Carolanne Mangles from Smart Insights knows that you handle your business with seriousness; of which everybody does! But that is not to mean that you cannot have some fun with your explainers. And since people love entertainment, if the video doesn’t do that, then your marketing journey is halfway.

She gave several things for you to consider in spicing up your video;

  • Including a joke or punch line
  • Presenting a surprise when least expected
  • Doing something crazy or that differs from your industry

Just look at this great example from Spotify. Bright neon colors and a mixture of real video and animation creates a highly fun and engaging video.

Being empathetic with a positive and light-hearted tone

Martin from Cleverism said that it is essential to tune the video first to be in line with that of the audience if you need them to connect with your thoughts. The tone of your explainer video should empathize with the problems and views of the audience.

More so, it is good to have a positive and light-hearted tone to appeal to the audience emotionally. Another thing to consider is incorporating a sense of humor in case the video’s theme allows you to do so.

Explainer video quality

Statistically, videos of high-quality have the potential of increasing cart sizes by a staggering 174%.

According to Carolanne Mangles from Smart Insights, the best way to have a look at your video is to see it from its investment point of view. And if you do it properly, those videos have the ability to enhance your brand’s visibility, awareness, and trust, alongside generating more leads.

But to enjoy those benefits, you need to factor in the quality aspect of your video that gives you a competitive advantage over your rivals.

Promoting the explainer video

Brian Carter from Social Media Examiner wrote that you need to consider promoting your new explainer to your media listings including Twitter followers, Facebook fans, and email, among others. He suggested that the best approach to getting YouTube views is through the promotion of your videos using its pre-roll adverts.

The cost per view can range from 0.08 to 0.20 dollars. We recommend focusing on two target groups:

  • Topics (a video relating to current popular topics and ideas)
  • Interests (a video that relates to the user’s current interests)

Brian also gave the option of promoting the explainers using Facebook adverts. Whenever you upload a video to your Facebook status, you can consider promoting the post for you to reach much of your target audience.

how to promote an explainer video

Measuring your video’s performance

Megan Marrs from Word Stream wrote that you should measure the engagement of your explainer video and be ready to fine-tune it. You can use YouTube Insight to view some useful data. Besides, provided you are prepared to set up custom event tracking, you can use Google Analytics to dig deeper.

That is backed up by Martin from Cleverism who said that when your explainer video goes online, it is essential for you to keep track of how it performs with regards to the number of accumulated views, demography of popularity, and physical location of view, among others.

Read on for more information about the key metrics for measuring video success.

The bottom line

Video explainers are ideal for communicating complex ideas, attract attention in crowded spaces, and prepare your audience in the real and online worlds for the use of your products.

What you need to do is to ensure that your explainer is best suited for your condition. And if you consider the above video explainer best practices from leading experts, then your pathway to marketing haven is lit.

To speak to an explainer video expert contact Top Explainers today to see how they can help your business!

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