Research shows that we retain only 10% of what we read and 20% of what we hear. We remember 80% of what we see.

As a business leader with something to say, there’s a chance you’ve spent a lot of time and money creating text-based content that you think is compelling. Maybe it’s a lengthy how-to guide or a series of informative blog posts. Then, you sit back and wait for the traffic to roll in and your sales quotas to improve, only to come up shorthanded.

While those elements have their place in marketing, sometimes you don’t need to write it out. You need to act it out. Think about it: Would you rather watch your favorite celebrity chef stir up a new recipe in the kitchen? Or, do you want to read the recipe online, void of any visuals?

That’s the beauty of explainer videos. They allow you to simplify a complex concept by showing viewers firsthand how to do something. Wondering how to make an explainer video that people actually watch? Read on.

Today, we’re sharing our top tips on creating dynamic, feature-rich videos that draw an audience, build sales and convert prospects. Ready to learn more? Let’s dive in.

1. Determine the Kind of Explainer Video You Need

Not every explainer video is created equal. What works for one company could totally backfire for yours, and there’s a reason behind this. The type of video you create should be directly linked to the message you’re trying to convey.

For instance, say your technology company is rolling out a new consumer gadget that makes time management simpler. You could deploy a whiteboard explainer video, wherein you write all about the product and its uses. Or, you could stand in front of the camera and actually hold the product while you demonstrate it. This is known as a live-action video.

Choosing the correct method for your video marketing approach is an important first step. Let’s review a few of your options.

Animated Video

If you choose to go this route, you can choose between 2D and 3D animation design. Both are simplistic in nature, with 2D being the more cost-effective option of the two. Though they don’t showcase live people, animated videos can be an ideal way to convey emotion and break down a complicated concept.

If storytelling is at the heart of your campaign, the characters you can create through animation are virtually limitless. You can use this platform to construct entire environments, narratives and more that center on your product.

Especially if you’re showcasing a product that’s still in its infancy or development phases, a 3D animation is a great way to bring attention to detail. You can rotate the object, zoom in on certain features and move it around to convey action.

Keep in mind, however, that unless you’re a skilled animation expert, this kind of video can be difficult to create on your own. That’s when it pays to work directly with a marketing agency that has professionals on staff who can take the reins.

Live Action

This type of explainer video utilizes real people to talk about a product or service. It’s best when you’re seeking to connect with your audience and showcase your brand’s authenticity. It’s also a wise bet if your offerings are people-oriented in nature.

Industry studies show that an emotionally connected customer is twice as valuable to your company as a highly-satisfied one. Finding ways to boost this emotional appeal through marketing is a smart tactic.

Live action videos don’t have to feature highly-paid models and actors to be successful. In fact, the more authentic they are, the better.

Not convinced? Consider the recent success of Dollar Shave Club. The $1 billion company didn’t get its start with flashy gimmicks or an insanely high advertising budget. Rather, a viral YouTube video started the craze. Remember: Live action works best when your message is to-the-point and easily digestible, without the need for any extra components.


While watching one might put you back in that college classroom for a moment, hear screencasts out. With these videos, you simply share your screen with the audience, allowing them to watch as you navigate around. This makes them a great way to demonstrate how to use new software.

Most screencast platforms also allow you to record your voice, allowing you to explain the step-by-step motions in your own words.


Have you ever watched one of those videos where someone draws out a concept piece by piece with incredible penmanship and top-notch artistry? These are whiteboard animation videos and they’re as eye-catching as they are memorable.

Another solid option for companies on a budget, whiteboard videos work best when the accompanying script is well-prepared and conversational in tone. You’ll need someone to actually complete the drawings in real time, though the finished product will deploy time-lapse technology to speed things along.

2. Prepare Your Script

Once you know what kind of explainer video you need, you can just gather your materials, plug in your camera and start filming, right?

Not so fast.

Before you begin, you’ll need to create a script that’s rich with actionable and informative content. Regardless of whether you shoot a product explainer video via 2D animation, a live-action video or any other option in between, this step can’t be skipped.

You don’t have to create a thesis, but you’ll need to lay out the basic flow of the video and the words you want to be spoken at each step.

Consider the takeaways you want viewers to leave with. Are you trying to highlight key features of a new product or service? Are you creating a troubleshooting video to help address common issues and how to fix them? Do you want to focus on what sets your company apart from the rest?

Think of the video from every angle, and make sure you address all the points in your script. Most explainer videos open with a problem, and then the rest of the time is spent explaining how the company can help solve it.

In many cases, it helps to have an outside party craft your script for you. This person can look at your company from the outside and offer a fresh perspective, finding details and data to highlight that you may have otherwise missed.

3. Practice It Aloud

Nope, it’s not time to film quite yet. Next, try reading your script out loud. How long does it take? What looks like a tome on paper might only take you 30 seconds to read, leaving you with empty time to fill. Or, you may find that you go way over your time limit and need to cut information somewhere.

It’s best to find these issues out as soon in the video development process as possible. The scriptwriting phase is the smartest and least expensive place to edit. Most often, you’ll want to err on the side of brevity when it comes to your script.

Science shows that humans now have an attention span of eight seconds. That’s shorter than a goldfish. Get to the point and stick to it, leaving out extraneous details that could muddle your message.

4. Focus on Benefits

It’s natural to want to wax poetic about a new product or an especially interesting service offering. This is especially true if you had a hand in its development.

Yet, remember that while features are important, it’s the benefits that matter the most. These are the elements of the solution that will directly benefit your viewership. Therefore, while your video can mention the shutter speed, storage capacity and shooting modes of a fancy new camera, that information should be kept to a minimum.

Instead, you can talk about how the camera allows users to take more professional photos, shoot in a greater variety of settings and edit images in seconds.

At the end of the day, consumers want to know the technical details, but they’re more interested in how a product or service affects their lives. We’re already inundated enough by the proliferation of Big Data. More information isn’t always welcomed, but case-building points are.

5. Invest in Quality Audio

Even the slickest explainer video can fall short if it’s created with poor-quality audio.

This might mean the equipment used to capture and deliver the audio isn’t effective. Or, it could be that the speaker’s voice isn’t up to par. Either way, nothing ruins an expensive and otherwise successful video campaign like audio that listeners have to strain to hear clearly.

If you’re going to invest in a video in the first place, it’s worth it to partner with a team that can deliver robust audio resources, from gear to speakers.

6. Inject Personality

Even the most technical subject can have personality. No one wants to sit for a few minutes and listen to a speaker drone on about software while half-heartedly moving a pointer around on a screen.

To convert on-the-fence prospects and build customer loyalty, create explainer video solutions that are reflective of your brand voice. You don’t need to be silly or venture off-subject, but have a little fun with the videos to build audience engagement.

You’re using video over text for a reason, and that’s to better connect with your customers in a more personal way. Where you can, add an element of humor or surprise to get them smiling and keep your business top of mind.

7. Don’t Forget Music

Think background music is secondary? It can make or break your explainer video, especially if you’re using animation or a whiteboard approach.

While live action and screencast videos will require the speaker’s voice to take prominence, other formats might be entirely devoid of language, relying on the graphics and illustrations themselves to deliver the message.

In this case, you’ll need to include background music to keep your viewers’ interest and attention. It’s a scientific fact that music affects our brain and our emotions. Therefore, choose your selection wisely.

Most of the time, beat-centric music with little to no vocals is ideal to ensure it doesn’t overshadow your message, though this isn’t always the case. It often helps to create the video first, then research which sounds work best with the existing format.

8. Plan the Perfect Launch

You did it. You’ve created the perfect explainer video. While that’s a great accomplishment, it doesn’t do your company any good sitting on your office hard drive.

Next, you’ll need to plan for its launch. You want as many people to see it, share it, talk about it and give you feedback as possible. Thus, you can’t do this on the fly. You’ll need to take some time to research how to maximize its exposure and reach.

A professional marketing company will be able to steer you in the right direction. From the video hosting platform you use to other logistics including website and social media integration, there are plenty of aspects to consider.

You’ll also need to be prepared with a corresponding marketing plan to ensure that you’re sharing your video across as many avenues as possible. From your email list to your blog and trade show events, there are myriad places to distribute it, and planning this approach out beforehand can ensure a seamless and timely approach.

Learn More about How to Make an Explainer Video

Are you ready to launch your next video marketing campaign? An explainer video is an ideal way to get eyes on your company, pique viewer interest and give a voice to your brand.

Yet, knowing how to make an explainer video isn’t a skill that’s learned overnight. It requires thoughtful planning, experienced know-how and technical competency. If you’re a busy business owner, you’re likely stretched thin enough as it is.

That’s where we come in.

We’re a full-service marketing agency devoted to helping your company stand out and get noticed. We’ll walk with you every step of the way, from video concept to full launch, to make sure your campaign is successful.

Contact us today to learn more and let’s get growing.


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