The rise of explainer video - short history.

Explainer videos are short 2D animations people usually use on website's landing pages and social media to increase the number of customers they get online and to demonstrate their product or service to the new visitors in an easy-to-understand visual form.

The trend of starting using explainer videos goes back to 2011 - that’s the time they started growing in popularity on the internet.

Explainer video trend

Basically using an explainer video became a standard nowadays when launching a new website.

Popularity of explainer videos is in direct correlation with the rise of online video streaming platforms. Rapid online video production growth and switching internet content from text to video format gave birth to the trend of using videos for selling purposes.

Animated sales videos and online video streaming platforms

So, animated sales videos became increasingly popular in explaining different features and benefits of products and services.

Not everyone has budgets to hire a professional crew to shoot and then produce some professional live video to demonstrate their brand and products, but explainer videos are very inexpensive comparing to producing a live video with professional recording equipment and actors.

Also not everything can be demonstrated with the camera, some digital products can only be demonstrated by screencasts and animated videos.

Explainer video examples.

Below are a few of examples of explainer videos created by our company.

If you’re interested in having a professional explainer video for your website, follow the link to see more examples of our company and learn more about all the benefits you’ll get by working with us.

Animated explainer video features.

Flat animation (2D animation).

Flat animation is the distinctive feature of every explainer video. Flat animation is the style of 2D animation which uses simple 2d graphics, not too many details and rather limited colour palette. The idea of flat animation is to create an engaging animated video which looks simple, yet stylish following modern web-design trends and consistent with your brand visuals. As flat website design, flat animation is currently very popular on the internet.

2D flat animation

Voiceover.

Almost all explainer videos use voiceover to guide the video flow and present their verbal content. The voiceover’s style or mood is usually very enthusiastic, high-energy and positive. The goal is to engage the viewer and hold her attention throughout the whole video.

Voiceover

Soundtrack.

Music is very important because it really changes the perception of your product or service. Unfortunately many people who decide to have an explainer video for their product don’t really pay too much attention to this critical element. Avoid using “standard explainer video” music which became cliche and look for something unique which will really represent the spirit of your product or service and add personality to your brand.

Music

Script structure.

There should be a structure to your explainer animation based on the goal you’re trying to accomplish with your video. Because large percentage of companies who decide to invest in an explainer video development want to generate more customers, there are proven advertising and copywriting script structures created and real-word tested to help you with accomplishing your marketing goals. Check out our animated sales video formula PDF which goes in depth into our explainer video structure and production process.

Script

Characters.

The vast majority of explainer videos are centered around some particular character or a set of characters. Characters are great because they allow people to relate to your video and help to present your story. They are usually presented in a humorous form, to make your video fun to watch and be engaging.

Explainer video character

Short.

Most explainer videos are between 30-90 sec. and its natural because when people land on your website and see a short video they have little or no resistance to click the play button. Obviously explainer animation can be longer, but generally speaking if your goal is to engage a cold visitor it’s better to stay under 90 sec. mark for the best results.

Short animated videos

Why to use an explainer animation?

Rapid growth of online video platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo as well as social media platforms with video sharing such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, deeply changed people’s online behaviours.

Back in the day you could write a nice sales letter on your website and those who’re interested would actually sit down and read it to learn more about your product or service.

Now people browse webpages, so fast, that when they land on a website and immediately don’t understand what your product is about they click the back button. It all happens within seconds.

They want to see the answer immediately, because there’s so much information on the internet.

Search results page show a bunch of videos for almost every search query and it taught people to just watch the video - it’s just easier, no one wants to put the effort of reading something, especially long walls of texts.

That’s why an explainer video is so effective - it rides the wave of internet trends and use them to your advantage.

People land on your webpage, the first thing they see is your short animated video and immediately click the play button.

Why to use explainer video

From the first seconds you grab their attention by being relevant ie. you speak directly to their problems and desires.

Say, they’re searching for a mobile app which will help manage their finances. They land on your webpage, see your explainer animation, click play and immediately the video says: “Are you tired of getting your spending out of control and looking for an app which will help you to stay on top of your finances?”.

Immediately they understand that you’re relevant and want to watch it further. Then you present all the benefits of your mobile app and how it will improve their financial life. And after that you tell them to go and download the free version of your app.

That’s the moment website visitors:

  1. Feel that they’re at the right place.
  2. Already invested in your product by watching your video.
  3. Feel familiar with your product.

And now they’re finally ready to browse your website to learn more about your product and eventually buy something.

Website sales funnel

It’s your job to build your website as a sales funnel by placing “sign up” buttons and call-to-action items in strategic places to facilitate generating a new customer.

As you can see it all starts with an explainer video - it should be the first point of interaction between your company and the new visitor if the goal of your website is to generate new clients.

Will explainer video work for my product or service?

The truth is explainer videos are pretty much good for almost all products and services out there.

You see, animated video is just one of the most effective formats to engage and communicate with your cold visitors.

You can use different mediums and formats to do the same task, with text being still the most popular one.

The way you communicate with the new prospects should follow a specific structure based on scientific advertising and proven marketing principles to be the most effective:

  1. Define the problem.
  2. Present the solution and its benefits.
  3. Call to action (close the deal).

Learn more about our company’s explainer video formula in more details.

Explainer animation formula

So, whether you have a brick and mortar local business, digital service such as SaaS or mobile app or consulting agency - they all can massively benefit from having an animated explainer video and really help you with getting more clients.

Explainer animations are extremely effective not just for generating leads for businesses, but also for educational purposes, such as short animated tutorials and lessons. There are even YouTube channels which exclusively use explainer videos for their content and ideas sharing.

Also explainer videos are called this way because they can actually explain and break down certain parts of your product or business. They are very popular for showing how some service works, presenting different parts of its functionality, guiding the person in helping her to learn how your service works in the easiest and fastest visual way.

Our company created explainer animations for the wide range of different businesses such as pharmacies, mobile apps, cryptocurrency online services, real estate agencies, gyms and many more.

Explainer video samples

Some people are not sure about the animation style - they think it won’t work for their business because it’s not serious enough or too cartoonish. However, explainer video format is so popular and is basically a standard, that people are actually excited to watch an explainer video when they see it on the webpage. They are basically trained already to watch animated videos when they land on a website.

Explainer animation style (flat animation) is very engaging and fun to watch. It actually helps you to connect with your visitors by using some humour and stories and open them up to learn more about your product or service.

So, if you’re not sure if explainer video will work for your business - 9.5/10 times it surely will!

Other benefits of using explainer animation.

Authority and trust.

When people see you have an explainer video on your webpage you’re immediately perceived as more legit and higher authority business.

You see, there are billions of websites (including your competition) and it’s pretty easy to create one for your business. On top of that nowadays they all look very similar and follow certain web-development standard.

But creating a high-quality video requires effort.

It’s all about patterns and trends. People usually see high-quality animations on websites of well-established brands and products and they can’t help, but perceive your company as an authority when they see a nice professional animated video on your webpage.

Business authority

Adds personality to your brand.

Explainer video is a great tool for conveying your brand’s personality to the new customers.

There is only so much you can do with text and images. Sure, if you can create an awesome professional website which stands out from the competition that’s a huge step in the right direction!

But, video adds this visual and audio component which can really change the perception of your company.

Brand personality

Builds connection and makes it personal.

Because explainer videos usually talk to people like a friend would talk over a coffee, they help building a connection between new customers and your company.

You can tell your story and be real and people naturally open up to your business.

Add some humour and personality and you’re not some stranger from the internet anymore.

Connection with customers

Explainer video vs. other types of videos.

There are many ways of creating video content for your website.

Check out whiteboard animations for example which are also a form of an animated explainer video, but quite different in terms of visuals from 2D flat animation style we’re talking here.

You can also create a 3D video or full cartoon style animation - possibilities are endless.

If you can afford it you can also hire a camera crew, actors and video production studio which will shoot a live video or an ad for your company.

So, why having an explainer video and not something different?

Popular and trendy.

As I mentioned above, explainer videos are popular than ever and they became a standard for developing a website and presenting a product or service.

People love them, click to watch them and they really work!

Watching online video

Inexpensive.

Explainer animations are pretty inexpensive comparing to hiring a video crew with actors or investing into full 3D animation video.

Many entrepreneurs still perceive explainers as an unnecessary luxury, but they should be perceived as a valuable investment to your company.

You can benefit from your explainer video for years and update it later on if needed.

Even if it will grow the number of new clients you get online just by 10% - imagine what this 10% can do for your business over the years to come!

The compound effect will be terrific comparing to the small investment you made some years ago.

It’s all about growth and optimisation investments and long-term ROI.

Explainer animation examples

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