A lot of us have our elevator pitches down pat, which are quick, bite-sized summaries of our answers to the classic question “What do you do?” We have it practiced and perfected, so we never miss an opportunity to get a new lead (or even better, a direct customer).
Elevator pitches are really most effective in person when you can respond to someone’s follow-up questions, however.
When you’re trying to appeal to a large number of potential customers at once as they stumble onto your content online, the explainer video is the better way to go.
An explainer video should give potential customers a summary of your business and what it can do for them, but unlike your site copy or social media, you have a very, very finite amount of space to do so.
Ready to create an evergreen explainer video that will help you improve lead acquisition and provide huge ROI?
This is the post for you.
What Are Explainer Videos?
Explainer videos are pretty appropriately named. In about 30-90 seconds, you’ll use a video to summarize what your business can do for customers, and why they should choose you. It could explain the premise of your product or service, or highlight unique features that competitors don’t have. It could do a bit of both.
Your explainer video should use simple language, make the concept of your business or service as simple as you possibly can while still keeping it engaging and compelling. It doesn’t matter if you have a seven-tiered rewards pyramid for affiliates depending on their level of involvement: just say “lots of affiliate rewards” and move on to the next point.
The majority of explainer videos are animated. This means that they’re also expensive. And by expensive, I mean expensive. The average 60-second explainer video costs about $5,000-$10,000 USD to make, start to finish. It goes without saying that at this price point, you want to make sure that you do it right the first time so you’ll definitely get back your investment overtime.
Fortunately, there are plenty of great examples that we can learn from. Let’s take a look at nine of the best explainer video examples out there and what we can learn from them.
6 Of The Best Explainer Videos
We’re going to take a look at six incredible examples of explainer videos. We’ll examine what they did well, and how you can replicate that strategy for your own business.
You know we have to start this list off strong, and DocuSign has a fantastic example of an explainer video that does several things well. Let’s watch and take a look:
They actually use several strategies that we’ll take a look at with other videos on this list, including introducing the problem and solution quickly. They also make good use of characters and storytelling to introduce a scenario we can all relate to (we’ll discuss this in video #2). There’s one thing that they completely tackle, however, which I don’t see a lot of explainer videos do: they use different story elements to almost subconsciously emphasize a huge benefit of their product. That’s flexibility.
The character is showing traveling the world, living a flexible lifestyle, and ends up dragged down by the need to come in and sign papers. They don’t just tell us this, they show us this by having Danielle on the beach and in a cafe. Since DocuSign offers immense flexibility that makes it easy to connect with clients or customers all over the world, this was a genius play. It supports their argument when they say the world “flexibility” out right, and since many people will want to be or identify with the main character who is living a free lifestyle, it will encourage new users to sign up.
2. South Indian Bank
Sometimes, the best way to capture user attention and make sure that they’ll remember you is to use a single, specific story. We touched on this above. It doesn’t even have to be real; it can be pure fiction. A great example of this strategy can be seen in South Indian Bank’s explainer video here:
The video tells a story through two characters, one of which runs out of money at the very beginning of the video while on their weekend outing. It’s a story most of us can relate to; I know I’ve realized that I left my credit card at home and had no cash, or had a card expire on me before. They count on this story evoking that feeling of “oh crap” that we’ve all had, and help you to reminisce on those fun memories before saying “and now you can make sure that never happens again!”
This video consistently uses the story and the characters to demonstrate the functions of the app and move the video forward; it shows his wife wanting to gain access to her husband’s account, and how easy it is to grant it. They even show the couple leaving the restaurant, happy and having paid off their bills. It’s a full, complete story that efficiently demonstrates why the app is so good to have.
Picniic is an app designed to keep your family’s schedule organized, and to help everyone stay on the same page. The explainer video below, unsurprisingly, sums it up sufficiently:
4. Travi App
Even if the actual graphic design and animation aspect of the explainer video seems straight forward, investing in a good animator to really make it pop will benefit your video immensely. A great example of this is the explainer video below from Travi App.
This explainer video is visually stunning. They have a lot to work with, to be fair, with all those scenes (and the waterfalls!) from all over the world they can illustrate. They also use animation effects that make the video look even more high quality, like the layers of a the next scene being built piece by piece at around 32 seconds. The animators take everything just one step further than others might have; when they’re doing the demonstration on the animated mobile phone, they add additional effects like the shapes reverberating from around the phone when clicked. All of this makes the video– and thus the product– look that much better.
5. Zip Schedules
Sometimes, getting creative about pain points is one of the best things you can do for your explainer videos. Let’s take a look at the following example from Zip Schedules.
Anyone who has ever created a schedule knows how frustrating it can be. Somebody wants a last-minute day off after you spent an hour playing tetris with everyone’s weird availability. Now this is an annoyance at work, where it interferes with productivity on other projects. Zip Schedules, however, took this pain point a step further; in the video, the schedule conflicts aren’t just taking away from work time, it’s taking away from family time, too. That’s something a lot of people aren’t willing to sacrifice.
They use compare and contrast images (even using contrasting blues for the office and reds for when he’s with his family) to demonstrate how he shouldn’t be at work slaving away on the schedules; he should use their tool so he can spend time with his family, relaxing on a picnic blanket instead of face planting onto the desk. It’s an effective storytelling mechanism that helps show how valuable the tool is, and that’s what every explainer video should do.
6. TIBCO Jabersoft
Most videos on this list will introduce a problem, and then offer their product as a solution. The video below from TIBCO Jabersoft goes about this in a slightly different way.
They do still show the problem (the impossible-to-please customer), and what the ideal solution scenario would be. Then, they show the happy customer getting full analytics, thanks to the work of the magician. The video then explains how competitors’ alternatives come up short. This sets them up to show how they’re different. For businesses in particularly high-competition fields (which is a lot of B2B businesses), this is a great strategy. It gives you a clever way to show how you’re offering solutions that other business’s aren’t, and why your solution is superior.
While these video examples make it look easy, it’s a lot harder than it sounds to cram all the best features of your product or service into a 30-90 second long animated explainer video.
By focusing in on the exact message you want to get across and making it as concise as possible and keeping that message true to your brand, you’ll be able to connect with your target audience and start winning over new customers.
What do you think? Do you have explainer videos for your business? Which explainer video on our list is your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comments below!