When you have a product or service to promote, you can introduce it through standard communication methods like text on a web page or copy on a printed brochure.

Or you can take it up a notch, increase the likelihood that your offering will resonate with your audience, and drive a higher number of conversions by packaging the information in a short explainer video.

An explainer video is an informative clip that quickly introduces an audience to a product or service.

Because people are wired to respond to visuals more than text and copy, explainer videos are an extremely effective way to share meaningful information. They quickly capture attention and share content that viewers will remember.

Explainer videos are presented in a variety of visual styles.

  • live action
  • animated
  • whiteboard
  • stop motion
  • moving typography
  • animated screencast

But while the style of a great explainer may vary, the essential elements of an explainer video will always be the same.

The following elements are found in every great explainer video, and here are tips to help you incorporate these important elements in your video.

The Right Goals

A great explainer video is created with clear goals. The video is not created to simply fill up space on a web page or in digital signage programming. The video is designed to trigger an intended result.

To define the outcome that you would like your video to create, ask yourself the following question at the beginning of your production process.

  • What do you want the audience to do after watching the video?
  • What might prevent them from taking that action?
  • Is there anything confusing about what you are offering?
  • How does what you are offering help the audience?
  • Who is the audience? How do they explain the problem they are having in their words?

The answers to these questions will help you develop the information for your explainer video formula in the next step.

The Right Formula

Explainer videos that effectively reach an audience have a similar formula. The video flows through the following process.

  1. The Problem — Introduce the problem that the audience is having. Use visuals to show the story of how the audience experiences the problem. Explain it in their language and from their perspective.  
  2. The Solution — Show how the product or service solves the problem.
  3. How the Product/Service Works — Explain how the unique features of the product or service solve the problem. Show how the features directly benefit the audience.
  4. Call to Action — Tell the audience exactly what they need to do next to acquire the product or service and solve their problem.  

The Right Script

The formula creates the outline of the video, and then the script fills in the details. Great videos always have scripts that use the following best practices.

  • Use simple language. Don’t use industry jargon. Talk to you audience in the words and language they use.
  • Only share simple concepts and ideas. Keep the content light, basic, and simple.
  • Deliver information in digestible nuggets. Attention spans are small, so explainer videos should only offer a brief overview. Keep each main point short and concise.
  • Speak in the second person. Speak directly to the audience and use the word “you.”
  • Match the tone of the brand. Explainer videos are usually light and fun, but if your brand is serious, match your tone. Make sure the language is an accurate representation of your organization.

The Right Timing

Here are a few numbers to keep in mind as you create an explainer video.

30 Seconds — The most important information should be in the first 30 seconds of the video. Attention spans substantially drop at this time so make sure to catch the audience during the first 30 seconds.

90 Seconds — While videos range widely in length, the best videos are 90 seconds or less. Many people lose interest after 90 seconds, so it’s best to keep your video short and within the audience’s attention span.

150 words — As you write your script, be mindful of reading time. One minute of video equals 150 written words so convert your word count to time to gauge the length of your video.  

As you can see in this graphic from Kissmetrics and Wistia, attention spans drop at 30 seconds and keep on going down after that.



The Right Voice

The quickest way to ruin a great video is to use low-quality or unprofessional voice-overs in production. Don’t go through all of the other steps then fail to deliver on an important piece of the puzzle.

  • Use voice talent that captures your brand voice.
  • Don’t assign a voice-over work to someone in your organization who has never done it before.
  • Don’t go with the first voice-over you hear. Sample a few and review your options before deciding.
  • Use the right recording software. Don’t talk into your computer microphone and expect professional quality sound.

As you get deeper into the production of your explainer video, it helps to bring in a team of professionals to make sure you create a video that matches the quality of your product or service.  

The Right Visuals

Just as you don’t want to skip on the quality of your voice-over, don’t stop short on visual production. Follow through with your video by producing high-quality visuals.

  • Visuals should support the text. Write the script first, and then come up with visuals to complement the message.
  • Don’t worry about being too fancy with graphics and visuals. The images don’t need to be of feature-film quality.
  • But visuals also shouldn’t be too basic. Don’t ruin your video with cheap clip art that will turn off audiences before they can get into the substance of your video.

When you have a new service or product to promote, you want to get the word out to your audience. But don’t stop with just words.

Use these elements to put together a powerful explainer video that will captivate, educate, and convert your audience.

If you find that creating a great explainer video is out of your organization’s wheelhouse, contact Spectrio today. We have a full team of professional writers, voice over actors, animators, and video producers ready to create the perfect promotion explainer video for your product or service. Contact us today.