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The Power of Animated Explainer Videos in Marketing

The Power of Animated Explainer Videos in Marketing

Animated explainer videos have become a trendy and effective way for businesses and organisations to quickly communicate critical messages, explain complex topics, promote products and services, and bolster brand awareness. As viewership of online video content continues its meteoric rise, explainer videos provide a dynamic way to reach and resonate with target audiences across devices and platforms.

But what exactly are animated explainer videos, and what makes them so powerful? Let's take a closer look.

What are Animated Explainer Videos Exactly?

Explainer Videos Storyboard Example

Animated explainer videos are short, animated videos that clearly explain a product, service, concept, or process. These videos incorporate graphics, characters, visuals, and a script to inform viewers and simplify complex ideas.

Key features include:

  • Short runtime: Usually 60-120 seconds
  • Animation: Motion graphics, kinetic typography
  • Narrative: Uses a conversational, easy-to-understand script
  • Explanatory: Simplifies and clarifies challenging topics
  • Engaging: Uses visuals, characters, and humour to capture the attention

Core Goals and Benefits

The core goals of explainer videos include:

  • Educating audiences on products, services, ideas
  • Simplifying complex processes and offerings
  • Boosting brand visibility and recognition
  • Improving audience engagement and conversion
  • Promoting calls-to-action

Key benefits include:

  • Memorability: Animations boost recall by up to 80% (Maclntyre, 2014)
  • Accessibility: Appeals to visual learners and global audiences
  • Cost efficiency: Relatively inexpensive compared to live video
  • Shareability: Short, impactful videos facilitate social sharing

In a nutshell, animated explainer videos leverage the power of motion graphics, catchy narratives, and sleek animation to explain, convince, entertain and promote.

Crafting a Stand-Out Explainer Video

With the exponential growth in video content, creating an explainer video that stands out takes thoughtfulness and strategic planning. Follow these steps when crafting your video.

Identify Goals and Audience

Like any successful creative endeavour, start by clarifying your goals:

  • Goals: What's the purpose of this video? Educate? Promote a product? Explain benefits. Boost brand awareness? State key goals early on.
  • Audience: Who are you talking to? Understand viewer demographics, pain points, and values. Tailor content accordingly.

Brainstorm Core Messages and Scenes

Prioritise the 3-5 key messages you want to convey. These messages will shape your script and serve as the building blocks for visuals.

Then, brainstorm the core scenes and sequencing needed to communicate messages effectively while keeping viewers engaged.

Develop an Impactful Script

Your script brings your explainer video to life. A compelling script:

  • Crisply states key messages
  • Sounds like you're explaining to a friend
  • Balances facts with feeling
  • Uses simple language, analogies, and examples
  • It ends with a clear call to action
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Follow the 80/20 rule – 80% conversational explainers, 20% clever hooks. Humour and surprise also help stick in the brain.

Choose the Right Visual Style

With animation, visual possibilities are endless. Consider these factors when choosing styles:

  • Does it appeal aesthetically to my audience?
  • Does it align with my brand identity?
  • Can my budget support the style? Simple is cheaper.
  • Is the style distracting from crucial messages?

From cartoons to typography to cut-outs, pick what aesthetically fits.

Work with a Professional Video Production Company.

Unless you have robust animation and video skills, work with an animated video production company to professionally bring your vision to life. Reputable companies like [insert company names] have the creative and technical expertise to handle everything seamlessly – from animatics and voicing to scoring and editing.

The right video partner asks intelligent questions, offers innovative solutions, manages revisions efficiently and delivers gorgeous animation on time and budget. For explainer video success, they're invaluable allies.

Types of Explainer Videos

Types Of Explainer Videos

With many styles to choose from, what are the most popular animated explainer video styles? Let's explore some top options.

Motion Graphics Videos

Motion graphics merge graphic design, animation, and digital effects seamlessly to tell a captivating brand story simply and powerfully.

How they work

  • Illustrator-style digital images
  • Animated text and shapes
  • Bold transitions and motion

Best for

  • Tech products/services
  • Complex enterprise offerings
  • Financial/investment concepts

Character Animation Videos

Character animation uses animated spokespeople to act out scenarios that communicate vital messages memorably and entertainingly.

How they work:

  • Animated characters as guides
  • Colourful scenes/backgrounds
  • Storytelling narratives

Best for:

  • Brands targeting consumers
  • Apps, websites and products
  • Fun, friendly companies

Whiteboard Animation

Whiteboard animation delivers complex ideas simply by showing drawings that appear magically on a whiteboard backdrop. The “hand-drawn” style gives an added boost of personality.

How they work

  • Appearance of hand sketches
  • Friendly hosted tone
  • Concepts explained visually

Best for

  • Educational concepts
  • B2B technical features
  • Trainer/coach brands

Typography Videos

Typography videos use animated text, kinetic fonts and minimal imagery to quickly tell a simple yet visually bold story.

How they work

  • Animated display/display fonts
  • High-contrast backgrounds
  • Music-synced text choreography

Best for

  • Trendy brands
  • Gen Z/Millenial messaging
  • Tech and digital native verticals

There are many other styles, too – from cut-outs to anime to infographics. Select what aesthetically resonates best with your goals and audience!

Explainer Video Production Process

Understanding the typical explainer video production workflow will help set expectations when embarking on your first video. While approaches vary, most follow the process below:

Step 1: Conceptualisation

This starts with defining your purpose, audience, script, visual style, and preferences regarding logo usage, talent, music, and length. Any imagery or video assets you already have are also helpful.

Step 2: Storyboards and Animatics

Your production partner first creates storyboards – sketches – to outline the primary narrative and scene sequence. This progresses to an animatic – a rough mockup video with placeholder images, music and voice. Feedback happens in rounds until the flow and messaging align with your vision.

Step 3: Asset Creation

With animatic approval, your team can create scenes and assets specific to your brand. This includes illustration, 3D modelling, designing characters if needed, and finalising graphics.

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Step 4: Animation and Voicing

Animation frames bring movement and transitions to life. Voicing also happens, using either professional or custom talent recordings. The near-complete video starts to take shape!

Step 5: Compositing and Editing

Shots get compiled into a storyline and flow with scenes, transitions, branded text/logos and visual effects added. Feedback happens on an initial edit before final tweaks are made.

Step 6: Sound Design and Scoring

The visual story now gets audio life with sound effects and an original music score that matches the video style and brand personality.

Step 7: Delivery

After final quality checks and edits, your fully animated explanatory video masterpiece is delivered as promised!

Now, let's explore what an ideal production timeline looks like.

Typical Explainer Video Production Timelines

Vyond Video Animation Tool

Creating an engaging, high-quality animated video that effectively meets your goals takes time. Below are the expected animated explainer video production timelines to plan for:

60-Second Explainer Video

  • Two weeks pre-production
  • Three weeks production
  • 1-week revisions
  • Total: 6 weeks

90 Seconds Explainer Video

  • Three weeks pre-production
  • Three weeks production
  • Two weeks revisions
  • Total: 8 weeks

2 Minutes/120 Seconds Explainer Video

  • Three weeks pre-production
  • Five weeks production
  • Two weeks revisions
  • Total: 10 weeks

Complex scripts, high-end visual styles (3D, TV/film quality), and languages beyond English add more production time.

Building a few buffer weeks into your timeline helps ensure the creative process isn't rushed.

What Does an Explainer Video Cost?

Let's break down what typical explainer video production costs are.

60-Second Video Cost Breakdown

Storyboarding + Animatic$80015%
Illustration + Asset Design$1,20025%
Animation + Editing$1,50030%
Sound Design + Music$50010%
Project Management$50010%

With additional complexity, costs scale up accordingly:

90 Second Video Cost Ranges

  • Simple character video: $9,000 – $12,000
  • More complex motion graphics video: $12,000 – $17,000

120 Second Video Cost Ranges

  • Character video: $12,000 – $17,000
  • Motion graphics video: $17,000 – $25,000

Top-end production houses charge over $1,000+ per finished minute for ultra-high-quality animation.

However, today's technology also allows DIY videos at much lower budgets. Marketplaces like Fiverr and Upwork offer worldwide talent access, too.

Given their marketing power, explainer videos provide immense value per invested dollar when crafted thoughtfully.

Best Practices for Explainer Video Success

Ready to move ahead with your explanatory animated marvel? Keep these best practices in mind:

Maintain Laser Focus

  • Keep core message points to 3 or less
  • Script under 150 words
  • Align scenes tightly with narrative

Lead Strong, Close Strong

  • Start with an intriguing hook
  • End with a clear call to action

Time it Right

  • 90 seconds is optimal for engagement
  • 60-120 seconds maximises social sharing

Speak Conversationally

  • Avoid complex language; explain simply
  • Use “you” and “we.”
  • Ask rhetorical questions

Entertain Brain, Heart & Eyes

  • Surprise, delight and humour help stick
  • Balance facts with feeling
  • Vary visual tempo

Follow these guidelines as your production partner translates your vision from script to screens. The result?

An explainer video that wins hearts, changes minds, and leaves a lasting impact.

Explainer Video Distribution:

Youtube Suggested Video

You've created a video masterpiece – now it's time to get it out into the world! Video hosting platforms and social networks make sharing compelling explainer videos easy.

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Video Hosting Platforms

Dedicated video hosting sites help organise playback, track viewership, foster engagement and share embed links. Top options include:

  • YouTube: The most prominent platform, great analytics
  • Vimeo: Popular with creatives, clean layout
  • Wistia: Additional marketing tools
  • Loom: Tailored for internal videos

Set up profiles and upload your animation so it has a designated hub to drive viewers to links and posts.

Social Networks

While hosting on a dedicated platform, share natively on social sites where your audience is active daily.

Top networks for B2C explainer videos:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest

Top networks for B2B explainer videos:

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

Social adds that viral factor, so consider sponsoring posts with some budget, too!

Company Assets

Lastly, incorporate your spiffy new explainer into your company-owned assets and channels:

This helps extend the video's reach to capture viewership across owned channels.

In summary, a multi-channel distribution strategy gives your explanatory video maximum impact and eyes for the messaging to land effectively.

Measuring Explainer Video Effectiveness

Like any marketing endeavour, it's vital to measure animated video success. Key metrics to track include:

Audience Engagement

  • Impressions
  • Views
  • Click through rate
  • Audience retention/drop-off
  • Comments
  • Shares

Business Impact

  • Website Traffic
  • Lead generation
  • Newsletter sign-ups
  • Sales Inquiries
  • Customer satisfaction

Analytics from hosting platforms and linked sites will showcase measurable effects over time. Consider an A/B test playing the video against not playing it for ultimate insights.

Beyond vanity metrics, stay laser-focused on how viewership links back to core business goals. This focus enables data-backed decisions on iterating future video content accordingly.

Explainer Video Inspiration

As you plan your first or next explanatory video, dig into these hand-picked examples across styles and verticals for a spark of inspiration:

Common Explainer Video FAQs

Still, have some lingering questions? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

How long should an explainer video be?

Somewhere between 60 seconds and 2 minutes is ideal. This keeps the viewer's attention while communicating key messages.

Can I make changes once production starts?

Absolutely! With an iterative production approach, changes and feedback loops are expected throughout the process. From script tweaks to visual adjustments, revisions ensure the end video aligns with your vision.

What file formats are best for my explainer video?

MP4 file (h.264 codec)
MOV file (Apple ProRes codec)
GIF file (for marketing assets)
Native project files (After Effects, Premiere, etc.)

Can I use animation and visual assets again?

Absolutely! A key explainer video benefit is the ability to repurpose graphic assets in future videos and marketing materials. From standalone social posts to website imagery to product demos, explainers provide visual elements to your complete rights.

Do I need to hire voiceover talent, too?

While you can narrate your explainer video, professional voice talent is highly recommended. Their technical skills and broadcasting voices deliver the clarity, credibility, and polish viewers expect.

Start Boosting Your Brand with Animated Explainer Videos!

As this comprehensive guide demonstrates, animated explainer videos are a highly dynamic content medium that pays dividends across critical marketing objectives – educating audiences, simplifying complex ideas, driving engagement and selling products faster.

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With smart goal-setting, strategic scripting and the right creative partner, brands of any size and budget can craft explanatory videos that inform, convince and wow.

Now armed with tips, examples and best practices, it's time to start with an animated video to boost your brand and bottom line today. From character worlds to kinetic text and everything in between, engaging explanation awaits. Let's get animating!

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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