The expert guide to explainer videos for marketing and HR teams

explainer videos

The expert guide to explainer videos for marketing and HR teams

By Paul Lenson

When it comes to creating video content for online audiences, there is a difference between a video for entertainment or promotional purposes, and a video designed specifically for internal learning or customer-retention purposes.

We’re going to talk about the latter today. 

Explainer videos are as important and necessary as your big-budget promotional and brand video material. However, while they may have many elements in common – such as the need for good design, scripting, gear, and production – explainer videos need to be done by those who understand elearning. By experts who know how to make complex or technical information easy to understand. But more about that later…

First, we need to unpack what exactly explainer videos are, what types they come in, and some tips on how to create the best explainer videos for your target audience.

What is an explainer video? 

According to Jake Kilroy of Column 5 Marketing, an explainer video is a short, informative video (typically between 30 seconds and 3 minutes) that explains something in a colourful, fun, and engaging way. 

explainer video

From a marketing perspective, they can be used to communicate a variety of things.

  • Explaining an upgrade or change to a product to ensure retention
  • Highlighting benefits and uses of products, such as software, technical equipment, etc
  • Explaining how to install or use the product, etc

From a human resources (HR) point of view, explainer videos are imperative! 

  • Health and safety videos for new employees, or for remote staff based off-site
  • Internal training and communications for new recruits
  • How-tos and guides for key business processes to reduce time and resources wasted, and improve productivity

In fact, according to the latest WYZOL marketing report, people prefer to learn about a new product or service by watching a video. Even more so than reading an explainer article, as you are now! 🙂

Why use explainer videos?

There are many benefits to investing in explainer videos. Here are a few.

  1. Increased website traffic. Research shows that videos play a significant role in increasing traffic to customers’ websites, and – once they are on the website – in user engagement on that website. assisting in lead generation, and ultimately increasing sales.  
  2. Better lead generation. Explainer videos are fabulous at assisting in lead generation, as some prospects prefer to watch a quick video rather than read a pamphlet.
  3. More sales. Another great reason to use videos is that they help close the deal. 
explainer videos

(wyzowl 2022)

  1. Better learning. Explainer videos also play an important role in teaching and learning. Video explanations of key concepts or processes, which are not readily understood in dense academic text, appeal to students.
explainer video

So what makes a successful explainer video?

  1. Who, what and why. Identify your target audience, what this video is for, and why you need it. Simon Sinek has reminded so many of us that starting with the why is indeed important. Why will someone need to watch the video, what is its purpose, and why should they care?
  2. Keep it simple. This could be the trickiest part of all. It takes sophisticated tools and experienced concept-thinking to simplify and streamline a complex or technical process into easily understood language and layout.
  3. Write the story. Begin drafting a script that outlines the product or service and gets to the point of the video quickly. The average duration of an explainer-type video is only three minutes. You may not be a scriptwriter, but having written down the key points. A video’s overall success depends on the message and call to action, i.e. what you would like your target audience to do after viewing the video. Having these thoughts written down will assist with meeting with corporate explainer production companies such as ourselves. 
  4. Get the picture. Choosing the right type of explainer video that supports the overall message is important. Then ask yourself if these images, animations, or text help to explain, or do they take away from the overall message and distract. Remember you only have 3 minutes to engage with your audience, before they click over to the next tik tok video. Here are the types of explainer videos you can explore (or combine).
    1. Live-action explainer videos. These videos use people in the video to explain a product or service, rather than animation. 
    2. Live streaming on social media. Live streaming explainer videos are basically the same as live-action videos, except without the editing capability. Make sure you use an expert live-stream production company for this!
    3. Animated explainer videos: Animation is often the preferred format for explaining intangible products such as software or services.
    4. Whiteboard explainer videos: These videos feature animations that are drawn on whiteboards and erased as the video progresses.
  5. Appeal to the senses. Consider the importance of voice-over, music, and sound effects. These elements help to convey tone, and mood and enhance the meaning of the visuals. Text on screen with the correct typography can enhance or even replace a voice-over.
  6. And lastly, keep it light and fun. But still professional. Consider the myriad of videos your target audience is subjected to. In all likelihood they have spent time searching for a solution to their question, so when they land on your web page, blog or LinkedIn page and find your video, you need to make sure it counts.
explainer videos

Image source

It’s time for streamlined explainer videos

If you would like to learn more about how corporate explainer videos can add value to your business, email or speak to the experts at Anderson studios.