Explainer Videos 101

by Guest Author on March 24, 2014

1. What is an explainer video?

Explainer Videos. Ok, by now you’ve probably heard this term a million times.

Especially since, as an entrepreneur, you’ve worked hard mastering ways in which to get the word out on your company’s product or service. You may even have your own video on your homepage that shares with the world what you do. If so, great work!

But maybe you’ve heard about them, but are still wondering what all the buzz is about.

Don’t worry. It’s not too late (the rest of this post is for you).

So, what is an explainer video you ask?

An explainer video is a short video that quickly catches your visitor’s attention and demonstrates what your business, product, or service has to offer through the use of engaging animation, stop motion, or live action. These little videos are a great bang for your buck. An explainer video, done right, will get people excited about your company and ultimately drive them to act (call for more info, download, purchase..)

We’ve known that people have short attention spans for a while now. Our grandfathers were perfecting their elevator pitch long before we came along, knowing that they only had a short amount of time to captivate their audience and make the sell. Well, unfortunately for us our audience has an even shorter attention span than a ride up 4 floors. According to The Associated Press, the average person has an attention span of just 8 seconds. Now that is a ridiculously short amount of time to share what you’re all about and keep your audience wanting more.

Enter explainer videos. Think of explainer videos as today’s elevator pitch, but better. People actually want to hear them, and better yet, they remember them. Whether it’s animation, stop motion, live action, or other – your visitors will have a captivating video that not only tells—but shows them—why they’ve found just what they’re looking for with your company. Plus since just a having a video on your website keeps visitors around for 5.33 times longer than if you only had text (5 minutes and 50 seconds vs. only 48 seconds according to YouOnGroup) – you’ll not only be delighting them with your video, but leaving them wanting more.

Still not sure what I’m talking about? Here’s an example of an explainer video that we created to pitch our company.

Build Handcrafted Explainer Videos EXPLAIN YOUR COMPANY IN 60 SECONDS

2. Why do I need one?

Boost your SEO

Having a video on your company’s website helps you rank higher in search results. Forrester Research found that web pages with video were 53 times more likely to receive an organic first-page ranking in Google than non-video web pages.  Furthermore, if you utilize YouTube, the world’s second largest search engine, and post your video there, you’ll not only be reaching out to a massive audience of video lovers, but also setting yourself up for some high-powered links back to your site.

Grow your sales

Online video is the future of marketing for many reasons. But maybe the most important reason for you is because of the great success that they’ve had sending sales numbers up and to the right. As reported by Rico Andrade of TechCrunch, explainer videos can improve a website’s conversion rates by 15%-75%. Don’t believe me? Take Crazy Egg for example.  Their explainer video helped them generate an extra $21,000 a month in revenue! Plus, according to James McQuivey of Forrester Research, 1 minute of video is worth 1.8 million words, which is 3,600 typical web pages. So, although you may be afraid of the cost up front, an explainer video may be much more cost effective than you think.

Explain your product or service

Your business (or idea) is awesome, but may not be the easiest to understand. And if people don’t understand what you do, then there’s no way they’re going to volunteer to put their money behind it. The primary purpose of an explainer video is to explain what your product or service does. With these videos, you have complete control over how you demonstrate what you have to offer.

Also, the best explainer videos always end with some sort of call to action. Whether your goal is to have them purchase your product, download your app, or contact a representative, your call to action should be crystal clear and easy to follow.

Maybe you just want to entice your viewer to seek out more information. According to Diode Digital, your visitors will stay on your website for an average of 2 minutes after watching a video. This gets you and your website more interaction time with potential customers as they seek to learn even more about your company.

Even more, studies show that our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text, meaning your videos can convey more content about your company, and at a faster rate than text alone.

3. How do I go about creating one?

There are several options when it comes to making an explainer video. Although you can produce a video with just about any size budget, figuring out exactly what you have to work with will be very important for determining which direction to take. And since many production companies vary by price, style, turnaround time and more, you’ll want to set a budget and establish your goals and resources before you start the process.

The first option you have is to go the DIY route. You may just have the creative eye and artistic direction it takes to produce an explainer video on your own. Hey, one of the most successful explainer videos known to man was an in-house production whose viral video brought in 12,000 new members in its first 48 hours.

If this is the path that you’re thinking about. Be sure to check out this advice from Kissmetrics for making a video on a super tight budget.

But, if the “do it yourself” mantra isn’t your thing,  or you just like working with the experts, there are many different explainer video companies that are ready to get right to work on creating an awesome video for you.

One of the most difficult decisions when creating a video can be choosing which production company to work with. With so many options, most of them great, you may not even know where to begin. Thankfully, there are plenty of resources that can aid in this process.

50grove is a great place to start. This site, provided by the fine people at Wistia, helps you find producers for your video projects. Browse through at least 50 different styles and budgets and find one that fits your needs.

There are also marketplace services like Video Brewery and Wooshii. With these services,  you can post your project and desired budget, receive pitches directly from creatives, then select your favorite proposal and work together with that artist for the rest of the process. These are great alternatives for those who don’t want to make the video themselves, but also don’t have the budget for some of the more premium video production companies.

And then of course there are many small and large companies specializing in explainer video production, like Epipheo, Switch Video, Thinkmojo and more. At Demo Duck, we build hand-crafted, data-driven explainer videos with custom assets for each new project. You’ll get a dedicated project manager to take you through the entire process, and we invite you to participate in the production as our partner in the whole thing.


If 60% of business people will watch videos over reading text on webpages, and 52% of consumers state that viewing a product video makes them more confident in their online purchasing decisions, there’s really no reason not to have an explainer video of your own —well, unless you don’t much like getting more business.

Still not convinced? If you’re yearning for some more reasons why you should get serious about explainer videos, check out these additional resources:

About the Author

Lindsay Johnson is the marketing manager at Demo Duck where she builds handcrafted explainer videos. You can find more video tips and tricks on her blog or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+.


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