How to make an awesome explainer video that sells

George M. Hughes, Founder and Creative Director, Small Films

19th July 2021

written by George Hughes

Explainer videos are becoming an integral part of marketing for brands, but how do you make one that actually sells your product or service? It’s easier said than done, especially with so many videos out there competing for our attention. But it is possible, and we’ve put this guide together so you can make an awesome explainer video that sells.

Some explainer video stats

Before we get into the finer details about how to create a great explainer video, first, let’s look at some important statistics. According to the State of Video Marketing Report, 96% of people said they watched an explainer video to learn about a brand’s offering.

Seventy-nine percent went on to say that a brand video persuaded them to buy a software tool or app, while 68% preferred watching video over text to learn about a new offering. In other words, video content – and specifically explainers – have the power to strike a chord with audiences. 

Create explainer videos that actually explain things

You’d be surprised how many brands create an explainer video that does little explaining. That’s not to say they haven’t tried; it’s just that they get so caught up in the idea of creating a video that they lose sight of its purpose. 

Preparation is key when it comes to making an explainer video. Don’t rush into things, and spend some time thinking about what you want it to achieve. Put down a blueprint and ask yourself questions as you go: does it make sense, can you refine it to make it clearer, how good is the script (more on that in a bit)? 

A meticulous approach is required, especially if it’s going to sit on your website home page. An explainer video will be the first interaction many people have with your brand, so you want to ensure that it’s clear and concise. 

Write a killer script (with great narration)

Or get someone to do it for you. Either way, you’ll need a strong script if you want to reach the right audience and send a message that resonates with them. A well-written script holds the key to nailing your explainer video. 

We recommended getting this done externally, as it allows someone to come on board and provide a fresh perspective. With the right direction, they should be able to explain it in a way that viewers can understand, whether they’ve never used your brand or are familiar with your offering. 

It’s worth exploring the idea of hiring a professional video company. They can help you with the script and even filming, asking you to fill out a creative brief that will make you dive deeper into your business to derive the best aspects from your brand. 

Keep them short and sweet

While there’s an argument that more people are reading and watching long-form content, a video explainer is best kept short. Ultimately, it’s sales-led (as opposed to purely informational-led), and the less you say, the more likely people are to remember your message. 

As a rule of thumb, industry experts say you should keep it to 150 words per minute, and an explainer video should be no more than a couple of minutes. The longer the video, the higher the chance that people will switch off early. 

You may be tempted to cram tons of information into the video, but less is more in this case. Only 58% of people watch business-related videos to the end if they’re under one minute. So keep that in mind when you’re confining the length of your explainer video. 

Choose the right type of explainer video

There are several different types of explainer videos, so you want to ensure that you pick the right one. Options include live action explainer videos, where a non-animated video provides information about your business. 

You could opt for a live stream on social media, offering a real-time experience to your audience and fielding questions from viewers. Animated explainer videos are the most popular format, as they allow for more creativity than a live-action video. 

Another option includes a whiteboard explainer video, where animation is hand-drawn and erased on a whiteboard. This is one of the most cost-efficient types of explainer videos available.

Focus on the benefits (not the features)

Reeling off feature after feature might sound good as far as industry jargon goes. But customers want you to cut through the noise and watch a video that explains how your product or services will help them. 

Show a clear problem, solution, how it works and a call to action. If you abide by those four factors, then you have a great chance of creating an explainer video that pops and conveys your intended message. 

Customers are time poor and don’t have the patience to hear hundreds of benefits. Instead, they want solutions to their problems. So focus on providing the pros in your explainer video and get consumers excited about using your brand. 

Summary: selling with explainers

Explainer videos should be at the top of your marketing agenda, and by following our tips, you can increase the chance of making killer videos that sell. You can boost your bottom line, too, as you drive up sales with a watertight video explainer that acts as a gateway to your business and gets consumers hooked from the second it starts.

Check out our article, how to find the best video explainer company for more insights and some killer explainer video examples.

If you are looking for an explainer video company for your next video project, then do get in touch – we’d love to help.