How To Make A Great Explainer Video
There are so many great products coming out today, especially digital services and apps, that it's hard to get your product seen, and even harder to find an easy way for potential customers to understand what you are offering.
This is where a good explainer video comes in. A product demo video, also called an explainer video, does the job of explaining your product in an engaging and easy to understand way, so potential customers don't have to fumble through a FAQ page or contact customer support.
A great explainer video can also be something that is easily sharable on social media, and cross-posted on video sites, so a potential customer doesn't even have to find your site to get an idea of what you offer.
WHAT MAKES A GREAT EXPLAINER VIDEO?
In order to have an effective explainer video, you need to have a few things in place. You need to tell a great story which means, you need a clear, well-written script, you need professional looking visuals that keep the story moving and help call out key points, and you need mood music that fits with your brand and story. In many cases, it's also a plus to have a good voice over. Let's break this down into parts.
We're going to use the example of The Ledgerist explainer video here. The Ledgerist is selling accounting and bookkeeping services to small businesses.
This video was made using the Promotional Opener template from Motion Array. When building your own explainer video, you can animate it from scratch, you can pay a company that specializes in these types of videos, or you can work with a template that does most of the heavy lifting so you can focus on the storytelling.
There are three very important parts to an explainer script. These are the problem, the solution, and the call to action.
It's good to start with the problem. This is the problem that your product is going to solve. Although not necessary, it can be good to start by creating a character that your potential customers can relate to. For the Ledgerist, that is James the entrepreneur. James' problems include "poor bookkeeping" and "inaccurate financial statements". And these problems are clearly called out in the first 15 seconds with bullet points.
This gives the potential customer an opportunity to connect with the character and say "I have these problems too." Once their interest is peaked, it's time to move on to the solution.
Here The Ledgerist introduces the product by name and calls out some of the ways that they solve the problems stated in the beginning. The Ledgerist points out it's "cloud accounting" and "proactive tax consulting" services, both of which would help the customer with their problems. A few more details can be added to help clarify the product features further.
In the Ledgerist video, they add an additional section with customer feedback. Depending on your product, testimonials may be helpful as well. Just be sure to use testimonials that help tell the story and sell the product.
Finally, you need a strong call to action at the end. Do you want someone to download your app? Show them how they can find it in the app store. If you want them to visit your website, show them the URL and ask them to visit. Or as in the Ledgerist's case, share social media, and email info for a wide range of contact options.
If you hit these key points, you'll have a great start to your explainer video. It's a good idea to try and keep your script as short as possible while fitting in the important information. A good explainer video should be between :45 and 1:30. Any longer and you risk having viewers trail off before the call to action.
There are a few key things to strive for with the animation graphics. You want them to be clear and free of clutter. Any text on screen needs to be easy to read and you don't want the viewer to be distracted while text is on screen.
Take the example of The Ledgerist testimonials. Text is large in the center of the screen with complimentary graphics highlighting the human aspect of each.
You also want the animation to feel professional throughout. That means, no abrupt stops and starts, no strange cuts, or awkward transitions that will not only distract your viewer but also may cause them to believe your product isn't professional. Every time you promote your product, you are creating a representation of your product. So each promotional tool needs to be as high quality as the product you offer.
You'll want to find a piece of music that fits the mood of your product. Does your product make people happy? Choose a happy piece. Is your product athletic related? Choose something with a lot of energy and intensity. Think about what feeling you want your product to invoke and find music that helps that along.
Be sure to compare it to the visuals and script as well to make sure it's a match. If you use a lighthearted animation and feel good script, but your music is slow and heavy, that will cause a disconnect with the audience.
Our example with the Ledgerist uses the Hello Sunny royalty-free stock music from Motion Array.
It's also important to note that you can not, by law, use a piece of popular copywritten music for distribution or promotion. So, make sure to purchase stock music created for the purpose of commercial use like this, or create your own original music.
A great explainer video does not have to have voice over. In fact, it's important to tell the entire story on screen in case your viewer doesn't have audio on their device or is hearing impaired.
However, a professional voice over can add to the overall quality of the video and help sell the product further if well executed. You can record your own voice over, but be sure to only do so if you have a good voice for this sort of thing, and if you have the proper equipment for recording. Just like with the graphics, if you add voice over that isn't high quality, it will reflect poorly on your own product.
We did a blog post outlining multiple online resources for voice over work called Affordable Voice Over Resources. Be sure to check it out. And if you are inclined to record your own voice over, check out our article on Recording Your Own Voiceovers.
You know you have a great product or service, you just need to let the world know. A great explainer video can really go a long way to getting you there. See if creating one is a good idea for your business.
Have you already created an explainer video? What tools did you use? Share with us in the comments below.