December 11, 2020

What Makes a Good Explainer video?

What Makes a Good Explainer Video?

When you need an explainer video for your business, it can be tough for some to imagine… What will it look like? What do we need to say? How long is best for conversion? Will it do what I need for my brand? 

Here are some pointers that will help your explainer video to win for you.

Short Script

People generally have a short attention span for a video online, so keep the rambling down; it’s essential to consider what will the viewer see alongside the explainer that goes into more detail. It will generally always be with more context, so you can afford to leave extras out.

An explainer video is designed to be short and catchy, and you can’t do that if you go over 2 mins. Ideally, 90s to 2 mins would cover the message. You can read more about video lengths and attention span here

Well Designed Visuals

The design of a video can be very impactful one way or another. It can represent you poorly if it’s not well thought out – or it can show off your strengths. 

A motion designer with a good understanding of visual communication – and how people usually perceive form and colour, for example, can elevate your video and convey exactly what you mean quickly with simple, but powerful drawings.

Well Designed Storyboard Images For Explainer Video

Good Concept

The concept should be figured out at the start of the production. An exciting concept will make you stand out and make your explainer more memorable. Do you have an unusual idea? It might just work. Or if not, leave it to the creative team of the explainer video company you’re working with. 

Ideation is an exciting part of my job, coming up with concepts takes practice, collaboration and openness – especially at the start when everyone is just throwing ideas around. But it is worth it to find those unique solutions. 

Having a concept or device, either visually or with the script will bring your explainer video up a level.

Simple Script Language

Everyone uses a certain amount of jargon in business, but there are not many places for it in explainer videos. Spoken language is often quite different from written language.

It needs to be simple. Shorter sentences and shorter worlds make it much easier to digest quickly. This will help your audience understand, even if they’re only half-listening or watching. 

When it comes to scripting animation for your business – think concise.

Address Your Target Audience

Being able to frankly speak to your audience and address their exact pain points will be much more useful than trying to catch everyone with vague propositions – or details that aren’t relevant.

If you have a strong idea of your buyer persona it will be much more impactful to them. Again this comes in mostly at the scripting stage.

High-Quality Animation

This feels very obvious to say, but the higher the quality of the animation the more viewers can be absorbed in the story and weird bits where someone moves funny, or it’s jerky won’t catch their eye. As soon as they are distracted, they’ve lost the flow. 

The goal of animation is not to be noticed.

Try not to Be Too Serious

The world is full of quite serious corporate videos, there is still a place for them, but Explainers are generally more light-hearted, you can bring out the fun side of your brand or product. You can add some personality to the video, gaining empathy. 

Because you can show pretty much anything visually, it gives you a lot more scope to make unusual comparisons, or exaggerate a little. It’ll make you be remembered.

Benefits not Features

Going on about the features of your new software or service may be thrilling to you, but your audience needs to know precisely why it’s worth it, what does it do for them?

It’s a Them not Us approach in the script that will help.

Keep Your Team Small

The bigger your approval team is for reviewing the key stages, the more disjointed the video may end up. It’s a classic case of too many cooks – you will get a lot of personal opinions. 

And you need to define, is their feedback valid – will they make the video better? or are they adding more complication?

Music and Sound Effects

High-quality music can set the tone – I’d always recommend using a royalty-free track, not just a free music track (as they’ll be blander / or massively overused. It’s also good to keep your personal music taste out of it and trust the production company. 

And if your video is set in natural surroundings – for a more filmic option, adding SFX of recognisable sounds can really immerse the audience and set the scene fully – you’d expect it on a filmed video. 

Or if the animation and design are more conceptual based, adding sounds effects of beeps and boops and subtle whooshing, etc help to reinforce movement and flow.

Explainer video from Giant Ant, with a powerful soundtrack – invoking empathy in the audience

A Good Video Production Process

This is the only part where we are serious! Having a precise method in place for the video will make sure that you can review it at each stage, and approve the script, treatment, style frames, design and animation. 

This methodology leaves little room for error and means that you should be pretty happy when you see the final product!


You can see a lot of what makes a great explainer video is in the concept, and script stage.  The story you tell and how you tell it is the basis for the whole video and isn’t to be overlooked, or rushed. 

Everyone is often excited to get the visual stages, but the planning makes it. 

To see some video examples, head to our animated explainer video page.  Or if you want an explainer video for your business, let us help you

This website is using Google Analytics. Please click here if you want to opt-out. Click here to opt-out.