Video Editing

Best practices to create great explainer videos

Posted February 22, 2022
Written by Brent Zahradnik

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Sometimes it can be hard to explain a product or complex effectively in writing. That’s where explainer videos can help. Whether you’re promoting tech products, pet accessories, or fashion, explainer videos are an essential marketing tool for any business. 

Explainer videos capture the attention of your target audience and shows how your product solves their pain points—all while entertaining them. Think of it as an elevator pitch for your business, product, or service, but in video form. 

Read on to explore the best practices to create memorable and engaging explainer videos for your business.

How to create the best explainer videos

What will make your business's explainer video stand out from your competitors? Let’s take a look at some best practices.

1. Lead with the benefits, not the features

When creating your explainer video, keep in mind that your audience is likely to be interested in hearing what the product or service can do for them. Not all the different features it may have. 

Make sure to address your prospect's pain points, and how they can be solved with your product or service. 

Try to avoid heavily promoting your product or service's key features as the explainer video will become less relatable. Instead, tap into your prospect’s emotions and explain how their life will be improved by making a purchase. If you solve a prospect’s problem, they’re more likely to convert into a paying customer. Once you have sparked interest, then you can sprinkle in a few key features. 

Squarespace has produced an explainer video that leads with their benefits. The video showcases a range of different genres, and how viewers can turn their ideas and business into a successful website. Users can express their personalities, style, anthem, and store exactly how they want. 

Another example of this is Prescribe Wellness’s website. The homepage shares three videos explaining three different focus points. They explore the process ad features, as well as the benefits of becoming a member. Their explainer video represents how the membership will make a customer's life much easier. 

Prescribe Wellness’s website homepage

2. Focus on ‘what’ rather than ‘how’

Your explainer videos should always focus on the ‘what’ rather than the ‘how’. Especially if your products or services are the kind that are difficult to understand straight away, like SaaS products. 

The main purpose of your explainer video is to share what your product or service does, rather than how it does it.

Think about an iPhone for example. Consumers usually aren’t interested in the product specifications. Their main focus usually surrounds camera quality, smooth user experience, and if it fits their lifestyle. The specifications are still announced, just not in the initial explainer video. That’s why Apple’s marketing strategy has been successful for so many years. 

Dropbox Business also shares a great animated explainer video. The video highlights how users can securely access, share, and collaborate on all work files when using Dropbox Business. It’s visually appealing with fun animations, voice-overs, subtitles, and represents a clear demonstration of how Dropbox Business can help viewers. 

Mixam also does this very well with the first video on their homepage.

3. Make your explainer video entertaining

Video lets creators step outside their usual marketing box and surprise your audience with new content. Consumers are more likely to share an entertaining or inspirational video rather than a key features video. The shareability of your explainer video might just be able to make it go viral as well. Always keep in mind how to reach as many people as you can. Aim to hook your target audience in with a strong storyline too. 

Rideshare company, Lyft, has created a highly entertaining explainer video for its service. Their Life is Better When You Share the Ride video has 7.8 million views, and it has gone viral several times. But what makes the video so popular and relatable? It’s entertaining, easy to follow, pleasant to watch, and has a strong storyline. The video also sparks emotion about the human experience. By tugging on people’s heartstrings, they can promote both the spirit of Christmas and their brand. 

The more entertaining your explainer video is, the higher your engagement rates will be. ClickUp’s 2022 Super Bowl commercial is a great example of this. The humorous explainer video shows viewers how to stop working like it’s 1776. All their documents, tasks, goals, and work can now be found all in one place.

4. Make your organization relatable

Videos are one of the most effective ways to make your brand more relatable. When your business is seen in a more relatable light, customers will be more inclined to purchase from you, and conversation rates will soar. 

All you have to do is add an element of human touch to your explainer videos. Showcase your employees, or customer testimonials, hire actors or use royalty-free stock footage. Consumers want to see real humans behind your brand. Recording a simple short video can lead to brand credibility and trust

A great example of a relatable brand is Future Kind. Their homepage video introduces one of their co-founders and instantly puts a face to a name. The video shares the company’s core values, ethics, responsibilities, and environment. 

Patreon understands the importance of an engaging and relatable explainer video. Patreon's CEO and Co-founder gives the audience a sense of trust with human interaction, confidence and helps build a relationship between their brand and viewer. Their real-life examples also show viewers what they too can achieve when using the platform.

5. Be conscious of time

The human attention span is now shorter than that of a goldfish. How are we to hold on to the attention of someone who will be distracted in eight seconds or less? Explainer videos are best consumed when they’re short and sweet. The less information you provide viewers, the more likely they will remember what you’ve shared.

Viewers' engagement has been found to significantly drop after the initial two minutes of a video. So shorter explainer videos of 30 seconds or less can make a greater impact on buying decisions and engagement. Take a look at this Rain or Shine Golf video. It’s only 30 seconds, yet manages to show the product, explain its benefits, demonstrate how it works, and not bore its viewers in the process.

Create successful explainer videos for any business

Educate, stand out, and convince your viewers to purchase with an engaging explainer video. Get started and create memorable explainer videos for any business with Clipchamp

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