What Are The Different Types of Explainer Video8 min read

type of explainer video

An explainer video is a short video used by businesses, companies , and institutions to inform people about their brands. Explainer videos have many purposes including marketing, spreading awareness and providing a lasting impression.

Information presented in explainer videos is more easily comprehensible, taking advantage of the auditory and visual senses of the audience. When marketers include an explainer video on their website, 81% of those people reported an increase in sales and 53% said customer support calls were reduced.

This means that, for example, if a business incorporates an explainer video on their website, visitors to that site become more interested and are more likely to convert into customers. For more information check out why online video is the future of marketing.

There are many types of explainer videos depending on the desired objective of the explainer video and the target audience. Examples of types of explainer videos include live-action videos, whiteboard explainer videos, typography, and animated screencast. In this article, you will learn more about each of these types of videos, and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Animated Explainer Videos

So, let us kick off the list by looking into animated explainer videos. These types of videos entail the use of animation, which is a method used to make pictures appear to be moving. This type of videos give room for creativity, and therefore, they are usually very exciting to watch. There are many sub-types of animated explainer videos including 2D character animation videos, 2D motion graphics animation videos, 2.5D animation videos, and 3D animation videos.

2D character animation

2D character animation videos are perhaps one of the most commonly used types of explainer video in the market today. As the name suggests, information is presented in two dimensions. Character animation involves making a character to move. Most of the time, these characters are designed to exhibit human-like features. Audiences find these videos to be very appealing and emotion-invoking. These kind of videos are highly recommended for business-to-business (B2B) companies and business-to-consumer (B2C companies).

2D motion graphics

2D motion graphics animation is ideal for companies that endeavor to build trust for their brand or that have a complicated product that they really need to elucidate on. They are also referred to as infographics videos. Unlike 2D character animation, this type of videos do not incorporate human-like characters, but rather, graphics that are moving.

They are usually very eye-catching and they look very dynamic, making them very attractive to the target audience. The motion graphics can be combined with another type of animation to make it even more elegant. Check out this video from software company Ahrefs.

2.5D animation

2.5D animation entails a 2D image moving through a 3D space. This type of animation is suitable for companies that cannot afford 3D animation but would like a video with features that are almost as sophisticated, top-notch and professional as those that are to be found in 3D animation. It is also important to note that 2.5D animation videos are still cost-intensive.

3D animation movies

From the success of 3D animation movies such as Lion King and Despicable Me, we learn that 3D has the capacity to captivate, entertain and inspire even adults. It is for this reason that three-dimension animation explainer videos are a very effective tool. The potential of this type of videos is limitless. Making 3D explainer videos can position your company or brand as technologically advanced and ready to keep up with state-of-the-art developments in the computing world. The downsides of making these videos is that they are expensive, take a long time to be made and require skilled experts or professional who can animate the objects in three dimensions.


Stop motion

The last animation technique that we will consider is stop motion. It involves playing sequentially taken photographs, in such a way that the objects in the photographs appear to be moving. The advantage of this type of video is that watching it can be a very thrilling experience, especially when the video is designed with expertise. The disadvantages of these types of videos is that it is difficult to make changes, and the costs involved are huge.

Other types of explainer videos

Now, let us consider whiteboard explainer videos. These videos feature a type of animation whereby content is handwritten or drawn and erased on a whiteboard. One advantage of this type of explainer video is that it is cheap and easy to make using a wide variety of software. These types of explainer videos are also entertaining, eye-catching and professional-looking. They can also suit a wide range of topics and they can also be used for educational purposes.

If your looking for a  more in-depth comparison then check out animation vs. whiteboard videos: when to use which?

Live action explainer videos involve actual people giving information about a product or service. The whole video is recorded by the use of a camera. Considering that there is no animation but instead there are flesh and blood people presenting the information, viewers can connect with the video emotionally and in several other ways.

These videos also invoke credibility and empathy especially when the person in the video is conversing about real-life issues or challenges that the audience can relate to. Creating a powerful story for your explainer video is one way to invoke emotion with your audienceOne disadvantage of this type of video is that you is stuck in the real world, and there is no room to include awe-inspiring animations.

These types of videos are most suitable for companies that produce people-oriented products or services, for example, hotels. There are some live action videos whereby, for example, a satisfied customer is recorded giving his or her experience regarding interaction with a particular company or brand. This type of video is referred to as a testimonial and it may be considered to be a sub-type of live action explainer videos.

Typography explainer videos convey information by use of text. They are especially useful for large quantities of data that contains a lot of statistical information. If presented with suitable fonts, font sizes for emphasis, distinct font colors , and background music, these videos will keep the viewer engrossed and they will also pass the information with great memorability.

If well designed, these videos can easily grab attention and be taken seriously by the target audience. One advantage of this type of videos is that they are relatively cheap to make provided that a person has the relevant useful apps or software.

Next, live action with track elements type of video. Just like the live action video, this type of video has live video footage but with some added 3D elements or animations that are usually tracked into the video. This makes the video very engaging and the explanation about the product or service is strengthened.

Because of having both the human side and the graphics side, the video is very interactive and immersive. An example of these types of video is some of the most popular Coca-Cola adverts of the last decade which, in addition to actual people promoting the product, included some cutting-edge animated video effects.

If you do not know how to restart your computer and you search it in the internet, you will find a video guiding you that will have what looks like a computer screen recording with someone directing you on how to go about restarting your computer. This is called a screencast explainer video. A screencast is a recording of screen capture, and it may include audio narration.

There are several applications that you can use to record your screen. Making this type of videos is very advantageous because it enables the viewer to acquire all the information they want in great detail. The viewer also has an opportunity to rewind or pause the video, making it more convenient for them to achieve the goal of watching the video. This type of video is suitable for companies who want to inform the public on how to use software and applications.


In conclusion, explainer videos are a great choice for brands and institutions. Some of their advantages include the ability to convey a lot of information within a short period of time and having a big reach or being shareable on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

The videos are also usually more compelling and they can be used to convey the personality of the brand. Having explainer videos on a website also increases the time that visitors spend on the website, and hence they are more likely to engage with the site. It is also important to note that the videos can be viewed on mobile phones, and therefore, they can reach astronomical numbers of people, even when they are on the go.

If you want to know the type of explainer video that would be best for your company or institution, it would be wise to consider the brand personality, marketing goals , and the target audience. Or contact Top Explainers today for a free consultation of what type of explainer video is best for your business.

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