Join the Storytelling Masterclass October 12, 10am Pacific    REGISTER NOW

Explainer videos focus on presenting a problem that a group of people have and positioning a product as a solution. They feature anecdotes and stories that remind viewers of these problems’ downsides and then provide the steps to stop experiencing them.

But pointing out a problem and its solution isn’t enough to make viewers buy from you. Explainer videos need to be clear and engaging so that when readers watch multiple explainer videos, your product appears as the most helpful and coherent solution.

And with ninety-four percent of people watching explainer videos to learn about products and services, you can encourage most internet users to buy from you by following these six expert-backed explainer video best practices.

1. Define your target audience

Producing a video for a specific audience raises the chances of selling your product. These people experience the problems you solve, so they’ll know how impactful it would be to solve them.

“Rather than targeting everyone, focus on the ideal customer for your business,” says Hafiz Bajuri, marketing executive at video production studio Vicinity. This narrow focus helps your video reach people who know your product’s value.

You can define your audience by talking to colleagues, like your sales, social media, or customer support team members, who speak to customers. Ask about the demographics of potential customers and clients. First, learn their average age, nationality, stage of life, and income level, as this data helps you adapt your message to your audience. Then learn about their interests and pain points to see precisely why a person would use your product.

Look at commonalities and create a user profile based on average characteristics.

2. Use simple language and explanations

Experts often forget that not everyone has the same level of expertise as them. As a result, they can reference information that listeners don’t know, making it more difficult for viewers to understand the explanation.

While writing your script, remove jargon, examples, and explanations that only people involved with your industry or product would understand.

You can spot these confusing sections by asking people outside your department for feedback. “We always test our script on our customers before launching it, and it has worked like a charm,” says Paul Sherman, CMO at Olive. He also shows the script to people unfamiliar with their product. “If they can understand it,” he says, “it’s very clear.”

You can then use the feedback to tweak your script and share a clear message.

3. Tell a straightforward message

Video introductions tease why it’s important to do or learn what the video suggests. They also let viewers discover if the video solves their problem. The issue is that lengthy introductions can bore viewers and make them view a video that solves the same problem faster.

“Most people who click a video know the problem they are having,“ says the founder of Coffee Geek TV, Tim Sutton. So it’s crucial to get to the point as soon as possible. “Getting to the point and staying on the topic can show viewers that you have the solution and that they can receive it quickly and clearly,” he says. When Tim switched to a concise format, he saw more views and comments from his audience.

Stick to a brief three-step intro so you quickly address the video’s topic and don’t ramble.

First, mention the stakes of not solving the video title’s problem—this is a problem that your product or service solves. Then, tease how your video will show how to solve this problem. Finally, share your achievements or your job title to prove that it’s worth listening to you.

This video does a perfect job of succinctly explaining the problem, and then articulating how the product will solve that problem. Feeling inspired? You can edit this explainer video with a Vyond account to create your own.

Use this explainer video template

4. Produce videos shorter than 2 minutes

Research from Wistia found that viewers are less likely to watch videos longer than two minutes. So, to increase the chances of seeing a positive ROI from your explainer video, record videos shorter than 120 seconds.

You can keep your video below two minutes by setting a word-per-minute limit and discussing one idea per video.

Mike Grossman, CEO at GoodHire, says you shouldn’t say more than 150 to 200 words per minute. This rule means your script should be between 300 and 400 words long. During this time, mention how you tackle one problem, share an example of how you have done it, and then finish the video before losing the audience’s attention.

5. Avoid cluttering your video with visuals

Our brains can process a limited amount of information at a time. When videos show many graphics and animations simultaneously, they overload the viewer’s brain. This cognitive overload can cause viewers to forget vital information that they might need to accomplish your video’s goals, like the steps to buy from you.

“The animation should be simple,” says Hafiz, “so that viewers are not distracted and understand the concept.” Adding fewer visual elements to your video also means viewers can focus on what matters the most: your video’s message.

You can avoid cluttering your video with visuals by sticking to one or two graphics per scene, like in the example below. One graphic can contextualize what the speaker says, while the other emphasizes an event on screen.

If you’re a Vyond customer, you can use this example video as a template to create your own explainer video.

Use this explainer video template

6. Include subtitles

Research from Verizon shows that 80% of consumers are more likely to watch videos with captions.

According to Convincely’s Chief Experience Officer Gregory Yong, “Most internet users browse videos on mute, and will leave content they can’t watch without sound.” So when you caption your videos, you cater to mobile users—66% of site visitors—and have more chances of reaching your target audience.

Yong recommends companies use Veed.io to caption their explainer videos. The video editing app automatically creates subtitles for videos that you drag and drop into their interface. Once their AI generates subtitles, you can download them or place them on top of your video.

Another great technique? Adding dynamic text directly into your explainer video. The example above demonstrates how using text in your video makes it easy to get a message across, even without sound. You can open this video template in any Vyond account to customize your own explainer video.

Use this explainer video template

Animate a great explainer video using Vyond

Vyond is an intuitive animation that anyone without an animation background can use as their go-to explainer video software. These videos can use a variety of templates (such as contemporary, business-friendly, or whiteboard animation) to suit your marketing campaign’s video style.

Once you pick a style, you can produce animated explainer videos that follow experts’ best practices to grow your business. For example, MailLift embedded a Vyond-made video on their homepage as part of their video marketing efforts and increased conversion rates by 67%.

Start a free trial