Most consumers have encountered animated explainer videos, even if they didn’t realize it. Simply put, an explainer video is a short marketing video used to describe a company’s products or services. These videos, typically under two minutes long, aren’t the same as presentations that may be shown to investors or new employees. Rather, every explainer video is created with a targeted demographic in mind.
Animated explainer videos first appeared in the mid-2000s. They were introduced to the Internet by Common Craft, an instructional video company located in Seattle. Common Craft took the same techniques they used for creating educational and instructional videos and applied them for marketing purposes. Dropbox was the first large new media company to be influenced by Common Craft, and implemented animated explainer videos for their users in 2007. As soon as Dropbox implemented explainer videos onto their landing page, the website saw a 10% conversion rate and gained 10 million new users. In the past decade, over 75% of US-based businesses have harnessed the benefits of instructional and explaining videos for their websites.
So, what’s the secret behind the success of explainer videos? When compared to text, videos have a 55% better chance of being indexed on search engines. This means more potential customers with every view. And once they’re watching your company’s explainer video, your visitor will be hooked; webpages with videos boast visitors staying on their page for an average of 2 minutes, compared with average visits of 8 seconds to text-and-image-only webpages.
Organizations generally prefer using animation over live-action in their videos because of the medium’s unlimited potential. Unlike live action, animation can be used to seamlessly blend characters and abstract concepts together. Animation gives brands complete freedom to explain their product. An animated explainer video must, above all, be as entertaining as it is informational. Once a customer or user is finished watching the video, they should feel familiarized with the product’s overall content and have a minimum of questions remaining.
Some business owners and individual proprietors may wonder, “Why make a video when we could just explain our product through copywriting?” Studies have proven that video content is likelier to keep a visitor on your page than plain text. The combination of voice narration and moving graphics makes the visitor more attentive; plus, they don’t have to go searching for information. Whatever they need to know is presented to them in one long narrative rather than paragraph after paragraph of text.
The design of every explainer video is unique to the product being showcased. The style that works for one product isn’t necessarily the best aesthetic for another one. Still, the benefits of animated explainer videos massively outweigh any potential benefits of live-action explainer videos. This is because animation allows creators to let their imagination run freely without the confines of shooting a video with real actors and physical props.
Whether your company is introducing a new product or service, an animated explainer video is one of the best ways to interest new customers and make them feel comfortable with what your organization is offering.Alexander Harrison
Create a bullet point list of information you would like to get across to your audience (and let your animator know who the target audience is and what the goal of the video is). Important facts about your business or product that set you apart from the rest. The animator will use this list to create a script that will work well with the visuals they will create for you.
Ask for a simple storyboard from your animator for you to see what will be onscreen to illustrate the bullet points you came up with. The animator will ask you to sign off on this before production on the animation starts.
Before production starts, decide if your animated explainer video requires voice over and/or music. Not all do depending on the subject matter. If needed your animator will provide you with examples for you to choose from.
Animated explainers based on a template can be turned around relatively quickly (think days/weeks) while original animation can be extremely time consuming (think weeks and months). You can save time by specifying exactly what you want before animation begins during both pre-production and during the story board phase of your animated explainer.
Are you looking to increase sales and acquire a larger customer base? If so, your website will benefit from animated explainer videos. These videos are short clips (less than two minutes long!) that explain products and services in a concrete manner. Websites with animated explainer videos see a rise in traffic nearly instantly.
Once you’ve decided to use explainer videos as a part of your marketing campaign, you’ll want to set a budget. When doing this, keep in mind that animated explainer videos are considered evergreen content. This means that unlike promotional ads that only showcase your newest products and services, your explainer video will rarely need to be updated. An explainer video created tomorrow can likely still be used two or three years from now, unless your product or interface changes drastically.
Overall, a professional-grade animated explainer video will cost between $2,500 and $15,000. This price may seem high unless you know the amount of work that goes into each minute of animation. By the time your video is complete, the professionals who’ve worked on it will include scriptwriters, animators, storyboard artists, illustrators, music composers, sound engineers, and of course, voice over actors.
While you should always trust animation work to the professionals, there are still different ways you can cut corners – but of course, only go that route if you are fully confident that it’s the best solution for your project. For example, a professional script writer will spend hours researching your industry and demographic. You can trust yourself to write this if you’ve written scripts in the past, you are very knowledgeable about your industry, and you’ve been familiar with your demographic for many years. A successful script will capture the viewer’s attention and make them want to stay on your website for longer than 15 seconds. (This is no easy feat!)
You can also save money on your video’s voiceover. If you or a friend or family member already have a good speaking voice, you can record your own narration with your own high-quality recording devices. Music is another area that doesn’t need to break the bank. Browse the Internet for low-cost music and sound effects libraries. You may even be able to find artists that will share their music for free in exchange for a credit.
Illustration and animation are the two areas that should never be skipped when hiring professionals. There’s a very good reason these visual artists are needed – they’ve spent years studying different art software packages in college, and you didn’t. This rule should be applied to storyboard artists as well. While it doesn’t take any visual talent to write a script, your explainer video will look its best and draw in more customers when it’s based on a storyboard created by a seasoned professional.
The saying “you get what you pay for” is very true when it comes to animated explainer videos. Your own potential customers will be more willing to put their trust into you if all the content on your website – including explainer videos – look professional and sophisticated.
Choosing the best animated explainer videographer or production house is a very important job. Unlike advertisements, explainer videos are considered “evergreen content.” This means that two or even three years from now, the information contained inside them will still be relevant to your company’s product or service. Since these videos will be around for a long time, you’ll want to partner with a videographer whose work you truly love.
As a marketer yourself, you know the importance of catering to your demographic. The animated explainer video production company you choose should be just as knowledgeable about your needs as well. This means knowing the history of your industry, where it is heading, and what current customers need. For example, if you’re creating a social network for fashion lovers, the production company creating your website’s explainer video needs to know how and why members will be using your social network. This expertise is something that can only be gained through hours of research.
As the production company or videographer goes through the process of creating your animated explainer video, you’ll surely have comments and critiques to make. This is why you want to work with a team who is transparent, communicates regularly, and is open to your feedback. If you feel uncomfortable during your introductions, you’re feel even more awkward if problems arise that you need to discuss. Do your best to meet each member of the team (including animators, the writer, and your storyboard artist) to make sure it’s a good fit. You don’t want a team that acts like a fraternity at the work place, but you don’t want to work with people who seem cold toward each other, either.
A professional animator or videographer is an artist who’s had the proper training and has been paid for their services. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always mean they have the proper experience to work on your project. Ask to see a resume or CV in addition to their portfolio. This is because the bulk of their portfolio may have been created while they were still in art school or were interning. While this amount of experience may be fine for one project, it won’t work for every project.
The right answer here should be “envy.” When you go through their reel and watch their explainer videos, you should think, “I wish our company had video content that looks just like this.” Your explainer video will be partly responsible for drawing in new customers. You’ll want them to be as impressed with your video as you are with the ones previously done by your videographer.
An honest product company will be realistic about what your budget can cover without pressuring you into getting extra services you don’t truly need. Before making your final decision, find third-party testimonials from former clients and keep an eye out for any negative remarks.
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An example project
2 minute animated explainer video
Animated explainers can take a long time to produce. The amount of time for a project is based directly on the complexity of the animation required and on the rounds of edits that are necessary. Be sure to state what your ideal length would be, it you have a script written or voice over produced. State what your desired turnaround time is. If you have examples, or ideas, be sure to include them as well. The more info for the producer the better. Keep in mind that rush productions will increase the cost.
Suggested Price: $1700