What is an Explainer Video?

You have a fresh idea, a new product waiting to be unleashed, but how will it stand out from a sea of fresh, new and bright content that floods the internet every minute?

In the past few years, explainer video has become a popular marketing tool used by start-up companies and big corporations alike.  So what is an Explainer Video?

As the name suggests, explainer videos is usually a 1 to 2 minute video that aims to explain or inform in a simplest way possible a new product or a company.  These videos are often, funny, engaging and entertaining, marketed towards a specific audience.  With the use of visuals and witty script, it creates a more casual and fun marketing pitch.  Explainer videos should be able to introduce the product or idea and explain the WIIFMs (What’s in it for me?) and the benefits in a way that will pique the viewer’s interest.


Why is it important?

Supported by several researches, use of explainer videos gives several benefits:

  • Improves SEO of the company. Explainer videos have more chances of being found on search engine thus improving online visibility.
  • Improve Conversion rates. Explainer videos placed on the home page can turn more visitors to customers up to 65%.
  • Decrease Bounce rate. The average time spent by a visitor on a website increases from the initial average of 8 seconds to 2 minutes if the site has an embedded explainer video
  • Increase in the Click-through rate. Marketing emails with video content are more likely to be opened.
  • Increase in ROI. Marketing professionals attest to an increase ROI when marketing videos are used as online content.


Explainer Video Styles

There are different explainer video styles used depending on the product, services, brand and target audience.  The more popular styles are:

  • Live action. Live action uses real camera and actors to make a short film for marketing purposes.  This style is best used by companies who are looking into creating a personal relationship with their viewers.  It can be very engaging and creates a connection with the viewer, however it can be limited with no animation or special effects.


  • Screencast video. Screencast video is a simple capture of a computer screen or a smartphone which allows the viewers to see how the product or services works.  This style is usually used for software, technological products, educational or try-before-you-buy campaigns.  Screencast is simple and straightforward, highlighting the features of the product or services.  As it can be inexpensive compared to other styles, this is commonly used by low budget companies.


  • Whiteboard animation. Whiteboard animation features an artist drawing on a whiteboard while being recorded by a camera.  There are applications or tools that can recreate this technique and add 2D animation and special effects. This can be more effective with a use of a voiceover to help explain more complex information easily and make the video more engaging.


  • Character animated video. Animation is the most popular explainer video style. Script and storytelling play a major role when using this style apart from the animation, music and sound effects.  A well written script and engaging voice can make the video fun and can capture the audience. Custom-designed animated characters can help in the recall and bring personality to the brand.


One reason why explainer videos are a popular and effective marketing tool is there are no limits to the creative possibilities.  But no matter what style you use, you have to stay true to your brand and make it memorable to your audience.


Emma Jamieson

Emma is a voice over and marketing fanatic. A skilled writer and commentator covering the online voice over industry. Previously worked in marketing agencies and now as a voice talent assistant. When she's not talking to the top voice talent and agents, she's putting her thoughts down digitally and disseminating the information globally.