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What is an explainer video and why would you want one?

Video camera in a meeting room

You’ve probably heard the term ‘explainer video’ a few times – but what exactly is an explainer video, and why might you want one?

Put simply, an explainer video is a short video (usually under 3 minutes) that explains a company’s product or service. They are used for marketing purposes on landing pages, websites and social media.

Explainer videos can take a number of different formats including:

  • Live Action – real people appear in the video, talking to camera or each other. These work well for companies with a physical product, or a people-orientated service (such as a restaurant).
  • Animated – these are probably the most popular type of explainer video. They work well for service-based businesses, or where the product is intangible, such as a piece of software. These videos are easy to update if changes are needed in the future.
  • Whiteboard animation – these are the videos that look like they are being hand drawn on a whiteboard, and are the cheapest of all the explainer videos to make, which makes them very popular. There are even packages such as Powtoon and Doodly that allow you to make these for yourself. 

I’ve provided voiceovers for all sorts of different explainer videos, in many different sectors. Here’s an example of an animated video for Onalytica, and here’s a Whiteboard animation for Frazzled on Toast

As for why you might want to use explainer videos in your marketing – the statistics are staggering. Here are just a few:

  • Videos attract 300% more traffic and help to nurture leads. (MarketingSherpa)
  • A website is 53 times more likely to reach the front page of Google if it includes video. (Insivia)
  • Including a video on your landing page can boost your conversion rate by up to 80%. (Unbounce)
  • Video increases organic search traffic on a website by 157%. (Conversion XL)

Are you convinced yet?

Not all explainer videos use voiceover, some just have on-screen text, but don’t forget that this isn’t much good to people who may be partially sighted and find text difficult to read.

There are other good reasons to use a voiceover too. If your product or service is difficult to explain visually, the voiceover can fill in the gaps in the visual information, so that the video makes more sense for the viewer.

A voiceover can also convey more about your product or service than simple text. There is a limit to how much text you can put on the screen without it looking cluttered, or without the words disappearing so quickly that viewers can’t read them. If you have a voiceover doing the explaining, you can include more information.

Using a voice will humanise your brand and add to your credibility, especially if you choose your voice carefully to reflect the tone and vibe of your business. This will help you to connect with your target audience. 

The right voice can also be very persuasive. The voice over artist is speaking directly to the viewer and encouraging them to take action on what they have seen and heard. 

If you already have an explainer video, is it working well for you? If you haven’t got one – are you going to get one?! I would love to know!