The Anatomy of a Quality Explainer Video

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The popularity of explainer videos has been exploding recently, and for good reason. Many startups, entrepreneurs and small businesses have been realizing the potential of explainer videos. It goes without saying that if a website visitor is 64% more likely to buy a product or pay for a service online after watching a video, according to comScore, then it’s a no brainer to say that videos are an extremely powerful conversion tool, and explainer videos in particular.

So, what makes a good explainer video?

Generally, a complete and well-crafted explainer video will contain the following:

  • Well thought-out script
  • Storyboards
  • Quality illustration (characters, graphic elements, backgrounds etc)
  • Detailed animation (clear expressions, smooth movement)
  • Enticing voice-over
  • Background music
  • Sound effects

As you can see, there are a fair few very important elements needed to produce a successful explainer video.


Well though-out script

In essence, this is the brains behind the video. If the script doesn’t work, everything else will be pretty pointless, kind of like a body without a brain.
You first have to think about what the goal of the video is. Do you want to explain a complex process or maybe generate some leads? Once you know your goal, it’s time to specify your audience. What will be the demographic of the people watching your video? With this information in mind, you can start writing. You have three options here – you can write the whole script yourself, you can write down some main bullet points and send them to a scriptwriter, or get the scriptwriter to write the whole thing for you. These days it’s very easy to find an affordable scriptwriter that will write good content, on sites such as Upwork or Fiverr.



Now that we have the script, we need to get the visual ideas out of our head and onto paper. Storyboards are a great way to quickly demonstrate animation ideas with drawings. They are a great communication tool for the animator to show their ideas to the client and ensure that they are on the same page. It saves lots of time too, because if there are any problems at this stage, it’s much easier to fix them before the animation has started.
Storyboards also help the animator work out what assets they need to prepare in order to start animating. These can be things such as characters, backgrounds, objects and other illustrations, and even 3D models.


Quality illustration

Illustration is an important aspect of explainer video-making. Good characters and other graphics help you illustrate the story and reinforce the voice-over. Before you begin making the video, you may need to choose from several illustration styles; if so, pick one that supports your brand image the best.


Detailed animation

This stage is where all the magic happens, and is where all the elements are brought to life. The animation process is the longest stage of the explainer video creation process. This is why we must ensure that the script and subsequent stages are perfect before moving onto animation. Changes to the script during the animation process will delay the project and incur additional costs. After everything is in place, you should start animating all the illustrations carefully, assembling every movement, and syncing them with voice, music, and sound effects.


Enticing voice-over

The voice-over is the audio version of the script. It needs to be recorded by a professional voice actor and be done in a closed and soundproofed vocal booth to avoid room ambience. The voice and tone drives the feel of the video. Some products require a soft luring voice, and some may need an upbeat approach.
Every explainer video comes with a standard professionally-made voice-over. It is important that you have the right person delivering your message.


Background music

Background music is not always necessary, but adds a unique flavor to it all. A background music track will keep people entertained and give your video a consistent, less choppy feel. Music can evoke all types of emotions, and it has the ability to set the tone and pace of your explainer. To polish off your video you should pick a music track to play in the background. Pick something with a tempo and theme that matches your video and product. Of course, finding the right soundtrack is quite challenging because the sound has to have the same pace and feel as the overall message.


Sound effects

Another key creative element for explainer videos is sound design. Adding sound effects to animated visuals can really make the animation come to life. The sound effects make the animation believable, providing a real world experience to the person viewing the video.


In conclusion

Reviewing, revising, and approving the animation is the final step in the process. In short, only good content and good production means a good video; however, when both of these are complemented with apt distribution, only then are explainer videos that have a greater tendency of going viral produced.


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