A guide to explainer videos

Out of all the types of videos we make here Hyperfine Media, explainer videos are the most popular type. An explainer video is a short and engaging video that is either produced for marketing or educational purposes.

For marketing purposes, explainer videos can be used to showcase a business and what they do, introduce a new product or service, or describe the benefits of an existing product or service.

For educational purposes, explainer videos can be used for employee onboarding, such as inductions and introductions to the company, guidance around company policies, and provide training, such as health and safety training.

There are three different types of explainer videos, live-action explainer videos, animated explainer videos and blended explainer videos. In this article we’ll explain each video type, provide some advice for developing engaging explainer videos, and show how explainer videos can represent your brand and culture.

Live-action explainer videos

Live-action explainer videos involve filming people, places, products or equipment. This type of explainer video can be used in the following ways:

By using real locations and people, live-action explainer videos can include a human element to your project. This type of explainer video can also be a cost-effective option as they involve scripting, filming and editing.

Animated explainer videos

If you’re looking to inject a higher level of creativity into your project, you may want to develop an animated explainer video. Animated explainer videos provide you with creative freedom over your visuals, tone and style.

Some of the most common types of animation used in explainer videos include:

  • Motion Graphics – this is essentially graphics in motion. This animation type often focusses on the animation of text and data
  • 2D Vector – this is the animation of computer vector animations that adopts the techniques of traditional animation
  • 3D Animation – this animation uses computer generated objects that appear to move through three-dimensional space

Developing an animated explainer video will require additional budget compared to live-action explainer videos. This is due to the need to develop illustration assets that will be animated in the final video.

Blended explainer videos

Depending on your needs and audience, you can combine the elements of live-action and animated explainer videos to develop blended explainer videos.

This hybrid approach could be adopted to develop a training video where there is a recorded presenter explaining complex information or an abstract topic. Animation can be used to visualise the information or topic, make the overall explainer video more engaging and easier to understand for the viewer.

How to make an engaging explainer video

Once you’ve decided what format you want your explainer video to be, there are a few additional considerations to keep in mind to ensure your explainer video is engaging for your audience:

  • Find the right length – explainer videos can be as short as 60 seconds, but if you have more information to convey, we recommend keeping the length to 2 to 3 minutes
  • Tell a story – use a simple narrative in your explainer video to take the viewer on a journey
  • Present a problem – introduce a problem that your target audience faces at the start of the video
  • Offer a solution – once you have introduced the problem, offer the solution that your business provides, and explain how you will help your target audience to overcome it
  • Provide a clear call-to-action – you will want your viewer to take an action after watching the video (purchase, sign-up, access more resources) so make it clear how they can take this action

Represent your brand and culture

As well as helping you to achieve your marketing or educational goals, your explainer video will act as a visual representation of your businesses brand and culture.

Your explainer video, especially in the case of animated explainer videos, can communicate your brand and culture through the style and tone of the video. You can achieve this by following any brand guidelines that have been established for your business and setting out what branding or cultural elements you want to include before the animation goes into production.

We hope that this has given you an insight into the types of explainer videos you can create for your business. If you have any questions or are considering producing an explainer video, please contact us at info@hyperfinemedia.co.uk.