How to use explainer videos

Video is ideal for building engagement and getting a message across to your target audience. That’s why many brands choose to use video explainers to introduce their brand or demonstrate a product or service. These short films are the ideal way to convey a message quickly and succinctly. They also can provide a great return on investment – studies suggest that including videos on your landing page can increase conversions by up to 86%!

Read on to find out how to make video explainers work for your brand.


Ways to use an explainer video

There are different types of video you can use so it’s important to make sure you pick the right type for your brand and your goal:

  • Live-action – Despite the name making it sound like the latest blockbuster movie release, this simply means filming real people and places.
  • Animated – Animation can be a great way to get across your brand, product, or service in an engaging way and gives lots of freedom to what you can do with the concept of the film.
  • Live – using a live-stream on your social media channels can be an effective way to launch a new product or service and help to create a buzz around the launch.
  • Whiteboard – this is another type of video animation and is an ideal way to illustrate more complex ideas.

The type of video you use for your explainer should depend on your brand and the message you are trying to get across. It can also depend on the resources available to you. If you are a small business whose staff predominantly works remotely, then a live-action video might not be feasible for you. In this case, animation or whiteboard might be a better way to use resources.

Similarly, the tone of the video needs to align with your brand. Animations don’t have to be cute, they can work really well for a formal, corporate B2B business, but the style of the animation should reflect this.


The Dos and Don’ts of explainer videos


Do keep it short

Video explainers should keep things short and sweet to keep the attention of your audience – try to keep between 1-2 minutes. Anything over that could cause viewers to drop out. If you are finding it hard to keep it to that length, consider if the video could be broken down into 2 or more videos.

Don’t dive in without a plan

Whether you are going with live-action, animation, or even a live-stream, don’t start filming without a clear plan. You should have a goal for each video along with a clear message and, ideally, a call to action. The off-the-cuff nature of live streams can fool you into thinking you don’t need a plan, but to avoid last-minute stage fright or waffling it’s a good idea to have thought through what you want to say and have a few bullet points to hand.

Do make a storyboard

This will help you to plan out your video and keep on message. It will also help you to plan any resources you might need in advance which allows for a much smoother filming process. A storyboard doesn’t need to be complicated, it just breaks down how the video will play out and what you want it to cover.

Don’t wait for a big reveal

There’s no need for cliff-hangers or building up tension. You want people to immediately understand what your video is about and why they should watch it. With this in mind, get your key messages in early. You don’t want to mislead your audience and there doesn’t need to be any surprises, so if your video is to explain a new product or service, this should be clear from the start.

Do stay on brand

Your video needs to reflect your brand to be effective, so don’t be tempted to do something completely off-brand just because you have gone for animation. If you are using real staff members in the video, then make sure they understand the aims of the video and that they are a good reflection of the brand. You also need to ensure that whoever is featured is comfortable being filmed. This might seem obvious but it’s surprising how many people can freeze up as soon as the cameras start rolling. This is where working with a brand like Bigtank can help as we can support you to feel comfortable on film and draw the best out of you.

Don’t use jargon

If your video is to explain anything it needs to be in language that people can understand. Avoid using jargon or highly technical language unless it is for a very specialised target audience. Also, avoid acronyms that won’t make sense to a wide audience and instead focus on making sure your concept is as easy to follow as possible. Viewers won’t be taking in information if they are too busy trying to work out what NAV or CPU means.

Having well-thought-out and put-together video explainers can be such a valuable resource for your brand. They are easy to share across social media and can reduce bounce rate and increase dwell time. Make sure you get them right first time by working with a partner like Bigtank. Find out how we work with you to make explainer videos that speak to your audience.

If you would like to find out how we can support you in taking your explainer videos to the next level, get in touch now.