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You want every lead to know why your product is great, but it’s hard to communicate that value clearly and quickly. There is a lot of useful product information to share—mission, prices, product details—but it’s spread out, and it’s a lot of information to absorb.

There’s a proven way to convey your product value quickly and powerfully to customers: explainer videos.

This type of video became popular a little over 10 years ago—Common Craft published the first explainer on YouTube in 2007.

 

Since then, companies all over the world have made explainer videos a part of their marketing strategy and have seen massive engagement from customers. Common Craft alone has gained 50 million views from their explainer videos since 2007.

If you’ve never made an explainer video, it’s time to get started. We’ll cover everything you need to know about this video type—purpose, benefits, examples—so you can create explainer videos that captivate customers and draw them to your company’s product.

What is an explainer video?

An explainer video is a short video (1-2 minutes) that introduces a new product or company to potential customers. It should answer a few fundamental questions: What problem is the product trying to solve, and why would the viewer want to use it?

An explainer video for Unroll.Me, an inbox cleaning service.

The structure of explainer videos

Explainer videos are shorter than most video content, so they’re organized in a way that ensures viewers clearly understand the value of a product.

Here’s how an explainer video typically progresses:

  1. Focus on the pain point: “Here’s the problem.”
  2. Introduce a solution: *“What if the problem could be fixed?”
  3. Reveal the product as the solution: “Our product will fix everything!”

You can see this structure in an explainer video from Help4Backs, a support service for people with back pain.

 

It starts with a problem—the character, Mike, has intense back pain. He tries to get rid of it in a few ways, but the problem persists. The video alludes to a solution— “Can’t someone just tell Mike what’s wrong and how to fix it?”—and, shortly after, the video presents Help4Backs as the solution.

The benefits of explainer videos

The video studio TransVideo has seen a 15-50% increase in sign-ups on landing pages with explainer videos. The file-hosting service Dropbox drew thousands of extra sign-ups per month after posting an explainer video to their homepage.

The data speaks for itself. Explainer videos communicate your product’s value proposition in a powerful, memorable way that motivates potential customers to take action.

Why do explainer videos work so well? There are a few key reasons:

  • They’re shorter than most videos. In a world full of distractions, a good explainer video captivates potential customers with a short attention span. Short videos, like explainers, also make it easier for viewers to retain information by avoiding cognitive overload.
  • They’re easy to curate for your target audience. By using characters that match your buyer personas and addressing pain points of your target customer profile, your explainer video will resonate with people who are most likely to purchase your product or service.
  • They spread brand awareness. Explainer videos, especially animated ones, are easy to customize with your company’s logo and colors. After watching your branded explainer video, viewers are more likely to recognize your company.
  • They break down complex ideas in a fun way. Animated explainer videos have interesting visual effects, like whiteboard animation and motion graphics, and live action explainer videos often use humor to appeal to customers.

As a powerful form of video marketing, explainers can be shared via landing pages, social media, and more to excite people about your product and increase conversion rates.

5 examples of standout explainer videos

You might think that the best explainer videos require massive budgets and tons of explainer video production experience. Not the case! Dollar Shave Club made an explainer video for just $4,500—and it has had over 25 million views on YouTube. Many of our customers at Vyond have zero production experience, and they create animated explainer videos in a few hours.

Instead of focusing on budget or experience, you create a standout explainer video by focusing on your value proposition. Your product is what makes your company unique—communicate that value clearly and powerfully through your video and your explainer will pique leads’ interest in your product.

To show you how this works, we collected five examples of exceptional explainer videos. These companies use different types of video and a number of tactics—screenshots, humor, music—to engage potential customers and convince them that the companies’ products are great. We’ll break down their strategies to show why each video is a worthwhile explainer.

Dollar Shave Club: Delights with humor

For companies with a simple product offering, using humor is a great explainer-video strategy. There isn’t a whole lot to say about your product since it’s so straightforward, but you can appeal to customers by making them laugh.

With a basic shaving product—a set with shaving cream and a razor—Dollar Shave Club wins over viewers by being funny. They clearly mention their product’s strengths—their razor has a great blade, it’s shipped regularly to customers—but in a fun way, with a good dose of humor. The narrator makes a joke about the viewer’s “handsome grandfather” and has an impromptu dance party at the end of the video.

Snagashift mobile app: Builds trust with screenshots

If your product has a unique, less familiar purpose—industry-specific software, a specialized appliance—use your explainer video to show it in action. A viewer may not have heard of your niche product before, but they’ll realize how it can benefit them if you show it being used. Plus, showing shots of your product makes it easier for viewers to recognize your brand when they’re ready to make a purchase.

The online staffing platform Snagajob quickly shows the value of their unconventional app Snagashift—a job scheduling tool—by including many screenshots in their explainer video. Potential customers see screenshots of people scheduling shifts and communicating with coworkers to swap shifts on Snagajob, so they immediately understand the value of the app.

 

 

Snagajob created this video in Vyond. See more customer creations on our Showcase page.

Spotify: Packs a punch with simplicity

Spell out in your explainer video every reason why your product is great and you’ll overload viewers and lose their attention. Keep people engaged by keeping it simple. Focus on your core product value without any frills and potential customers will see how your product could benefit them.

The music app Spotify captivates potential customers with a bare-bones short animated video. The company uses just a few lines of text without any narration to explain their value proposition—a device-friendly app for listening to all types of music anywhere, anytime. Viewers immediately understand why Spotify is a great product and—thanks to the video’s energizing music, sound effects, and bright colors—feel excited about using it.

iScout: Engages with color

Colors have a universal impact—a sunny yellow shade makes you feel happy, while a faded blue leaves you sad. Take advantage of this effect in your explainer video by using colors that make your product captivating and memorable. For example, you might use bright shades to grab viewers’ attention, or you might use your company’s palette to build their brand awareness.

The safety-management system iScout, formerly known as HazardScout, uses color in their explainer video to show that their product is great. They use a dull black-and-white animation when describing the problem of managing safety operations and lowering workplace risks and then shift to vibrant scenery and characters as the product is described—a fun visual move to show how their software “brightens” users’ work lives.

iScout created this video in Vyond. See more customer creations on our Showcase page.

Be My Eyes: Inspires by telling a story

At the end of the day, potential customers won’t care about your product or service unless they see how it can benefit themselves and others around them. If your explainer video tells the story of how your product or service improves people’s lives, it will captivate viewers and push them to connect with your company.

The visual assistance app Be My Eyes builds viewers’ interest in the product by depicting what it’s like to live as a blind person. After watching a few scenes of blind people engaged in an activity—walking down the street, grocery shopping—viewers can empathize with the everyday struggles of people who are blind. By understanding those struggles through the video’s story, viewers are more likely to download the app to improve the lives of blind people.

Be My Eyes – Bringing sight to the blind and visually impaired from Be My Eyes on Vimeo.

 

Create your own explainer video today

Explainer videos are a powerful way to connect potential customers with your product. The videos are short and punchy, so they’re easy for viewers to absorb. Beyond being quick, explainer videos provide an opportunity to sell viewers on your product’s value proposition. Like the companies mentioned in this post, you can use a variety of tactics—from screenshots to emotional storytelling—to engage potential customers and show them why your product is great.

You can create a high-quality explainer video in a few hours using a video platform like Vyond. Our studio is designed for all levels of experience, so anyone can quickly and easily make an explainer video. If you don’t have an account, sign up for our free trial to make your first explainer video today.