Category Archives: Video

How To Create An Awesome Explainer Video

 Why Should You Use Explainer Videos?

 So you think you want an explainer video on your website? Well, there are plenty of good reasons why you should be seriously considering this option to improve your conversion rate on key pages.

Videos can be great for a number of purposes:

  • Business – Get your visitor’s attention by explaining your
    product or service is less than two minutes
  • Crowdfunders – Having a video as part of a funding campaign
    often helps raise double the money than if you don’t have a video to explain your proposition and business plan.
  • Authors – Can benefit from having an engaging and
    entertaining book trailer.
  • Marketers – Communicate your latest service or content using
    rich media.
  • Contests – Grab attention for promotions or contests using a
    short video.

You can then use your video on your website and drive more
traffic to your website by uploading it to YouTube and sharing it on social media. Crazy Egg has a video on their homepage and they estimate it generates an additional $21,000 a month in new income. At the bottom of this post you will find verified links to over 100 explainer video companies.

Types of Explainer Videos:

 

1. Live Action Video:

A non-animated video can be good if you are selling a tangible product or a people-oriented service, such as a design agency or consultancy. People love to see what a product looks like in context and having the people who your customers would interact with in a video may help establish an emotional connection.

However, live-action videos do restrict you to the real world and so special effects are limited and unless you have a large budget your location is also going to be local.

2. Animated Explainer Videos: 

This type of videos allows for much more creativity in your visual story and they are easier to edit or refresh if you need to adapt them at a future date.  Animated videos are particularly good for  explaining services and intangible products, such as digital tools or
software.

If you don’t have a physical product or object to show you can use an animated video to construct a compelling narrative about how your solution will be the answer to your customer’s problem.

3. Whiteboard Explainer Videos: 

This is where the animation is hand drawn and erased using a whiteboard. It is popular because of its simplicity and the low
cost of producing such a video. However, they can be very compelling and powerful at telling your story.

 

4. Kickstarter Videos: 

Almost every Kickstarter project has an explainer video because it’s a great way to sell an idea and persuade people to part with their money. They do tend to be longer than your average explainer video, but Kickstarter does give you easy access to lots of examples of explainer videos.

Ok, if you are convinced you want to use explainer videos it is important that you have a reliable process to create a video. Outlined below are six steps people normally follow to produce an awesome explainer video.

 

Step 1: Get Script Right First.

 

The main determinant of whether your video will improve
conversion or revenue is how good the script is.  The audio script needs to engage and persuade viewers that what you are communicating is relevant to them and worth staying
with until the end of the video. You are likely to be better at understanding your product or service than a video studio or freelancer. So a draft script should be generated from within your organisation to capitalise on this knowledge.

The aim of the video should be to answer any important questions that your potential customers may have within two minutes.  If you can’t do this within the time you should review the amount of detail that you are going into or the scope of the video.

 

Step 2: Understand Customer Goals and Concerns:

 

It is important that you take a step back at this point and assess how well you understand your potential customers or reader’s needs.  Your visitors come to your site to complete a task or achieve a goal. To allow you to structure your script you need to be able to answer some or all of the following questions about your visitors by conducting some research:

What tasks are they looking to complete by coming to the site?

  • If they didn’t complete their main tasks, what prevented them from doing so?
  • What information is missing from the page?
  • What is their biggest concern about the product or the site?
  • What, if anything, is unclear or confusing on the page?
  • What is their number 1 reason for wanting to buy the product?

You can use tools such as SurveyMonkey or Qualaroo to ask your
website visitors questions and see my post how to use Voice of Customer tools to boost conversion for other providers. This should help you identify the main barriers to customers purchasing and what questions you could seek to answer in the video.  By better understanding the topic from your customer’s perspective you are more likely to press the right buttons and deal with potential objections.

Step 3:The Script:

 

To keep your video to within two minutes it necessary to plan your script carefully so that you deal with the most important customer
objections and effectively communicate why your product/service will meet their needs.

  1. Introductory slide:
    This should communicate what your organisation does or the
    product/ service that you are promoting. Ensure it states a clear and important benefit.
  2. Introduce the problem:
    Outline the problem that potential customers have using the language expressed in your visitor research.
  3. Explain your solution:  Answer the problem with how your product or service provides a solution and again try to use some of the language customers used in your Voice Of the Customer research.
  4. Focus on important features:  Make sure you communicate how some of your product’s features solve specific and important problems.
  5. Call to action: Ensure you include a clear and compelling
    call to action at the end of the video so that people are clear what to do next.
  6. Build trust: Demonstrate why customers can have confidence in your organisation by displaying trust signals. This should be
    evidence such as well-known clients or partners, awards or other independently verified seals of approval. A free trial offer can also reduce the perceived risk from the customer’s perspective of making a wrong decision.

To retain viewer interest you should aim to have a video of 90
seconds or less.  As a script of between 110 to 140 words should translate into a minute of video, you may want to aim for around 165 to 210 words in total. Other things to consider are:

  • Communicate your most important message and value  proposition in the first 30 seconds
  • Use 2nd person language, using words such as “you”, “your” and “yours”
  • Avoid jargon and technical words to keep the language simple
    and easy to understand.
  • The tone of voice should be appropriate for the subject and
    your audience. This usually means that people choose a casual, conversational tone of voice.

Step 4: Choose A Narrator.

 

You can find your own voice-over, perhaps you have a brand ambassador or local celebrity, who has done adverts for you before. Alternatively you can ask your video studio or freelance to suggest someone for you. Either way they need to have clear diction and a tone of voice that aligns with the subject matter and your audience.

 Step 5: Create Your Video.

 

Here you have a number of options from leaving it all to a  professional studio to producing your own animated video using a do-it-yourself website. However, given that it is good practice to A/B test your video and you are unlikely to produce the optimal video on your first attempt, I suggest you keep the cost to the minimum. You are likely to have to tweak or even make new videos as part of the optimization process. Further, if your product changes fairly frequently you may be forced to make new videos on a regular basis.

The main options are:

1. Professional Studios:

A studio will be more expensive than a freelancer or DIY option, but they do have the advantage that they can often also help with such tasks as choosing a narrator and background music. You will find entries for over 100 explainer video studios near the bottom of this post.

The list includes Explainify  who have produced videos for Nestle and Walmart, while PlanetNutshell have been used by Google and Microsoft .  Demo Duck   on the other hand have worked for Netflix and Crazy Egg.

2. Freelancer:

This option tends to be cheaper as freelancers have to be more competitive to get the business and don’t have the high overheads of a digital studio. You can either search the internet for a freelancer or use a crowd source website, such as Video Brewery, who will  arrange for a handful of quotes from their network of professional freelancers. This makes the whole proposal process a lot easier for you.

3. Do It Yourself:

If you have the time and inclination you can create your own
animated videos. Websites such as GoAnimateVideoscribe
and PowToon provide you with easy to use solutions and advice on how to go about this process.

Step 6. A/B Testing Video:

 

It is always wise to A/B test your video for a number of reasons. A great video can certainly engage visitors and improve conversion,
but a video that is on the wrong page, is too long, has a poor script or lacks a compelling call to action can in some cases reduce conversion.  So you may have to test more than one video to find one that improves conversion and then you should continue to adjust the video to test different versions or calls to action to optimise the video.

Check that you have analytics tracking for your video. If you use video players such as Sproutvideo and Vimeo they provide analytics to allow monitoring of how many unique impressions and plays your video receives. These video players can also tell you the location of viewers and the type of device that visitors are using.  This can help you with deciding how to amend your video to further improve your conversion rate.

 Finally:

For your video to be successful it is important to follow a clear
process and set an appropriate budget for creating your explainer video.  By following the steps outlined above you will increase the chance that your video will be both relevant and engaging for your website visitors. You will also have allowed for A/B testing to further optimize your video content and be flexible enough to respond to product changes.

Here are some great examples of different templates of business explainer videos that you may find useful.

Top Explainer Video Companies:

Here is a list of over 100 studios and explainer video companies for you to choose from. I have checked every link personally to ensure they are all relevant to explainer videos.

  1. #1ExplainerVideo: An explainer video  company and studio for creative animated explainer videos. Clients: Google, XBox360, Personality Plus, Ion Digital
  2. 1/29 Films: Inspiring brand loyalty and love. Clients: Intel, BrightCove, Adobe
  3. Advids: Online studio for explainer videos on-demand. Clients: Mercedes Benz, Valmont,  holidog.com
  4. Againstudios: A pioneer in producing animated explainer videos with over 6 years experience in the industry. Clients: Google, TomTom, TD Bank
  5. AmodFilms: Animated video production studio using video to explain & promote. Clients: Hasbro, iimyjobs.com, iBluebottle
  6. Animated Video: Studio for explainer & promotional videos. Western Union, The World Bank,  AAPT
  7. AnimationB2B: Animated explainer video. Clients: Reebok, Zenith Optimedia,  Hashi-Tashi,  Socializer S.A.
  8. Animotus: Amsterdam-based explainer video company for animated explainer videos. Clients: Juniper Networks, Westcon, Amsterdam RAI
  9. AppVideos: Explainer videos for mobile apps and software. Clients: Flockthere, Vito Technology, Quickoffice
  10. Barq Video:  Animated explainer video production. Clients:
  11. BWD: Johannesburg based digital marketing agency. Clients: NEDBANK, T Systems, BOSUN
  12. Blink Tower: Animated explainer videos. Clients: National Academy of Engineering,  Mozilla, Vodacom
  13. Brandlovevideos: Animated explainer videos to help sell your site. Clients: moviebuddy, VirtualDoctor, inFeedo
  14. Brandepix:  Explainer video company which offers to make kick ass videos that focus on the bottom line. Clients: HP, Infosys, ORACLE, Makemytrip.com
  15. Breadnbeyond: Explainer video company which offers Free guide on animated explainer videos. Clients: AskForTask, Pinterest, BetterBoo, Wealth Dragons
  16. Broadcast2world: Hand crafted videos for your business. Clients: ebay, Nokia, Johnson & Johnson, RICOH
  17. Cartoon Media: Awesome explainer videos built to achieve your profit goals – Premium Whiteboard Videos & explainer videos. Clients: Mazuma Mobile, HILTI, Wrexham Council
  18. Chat Noir: Bespoke film makers for video and animated films. Clients: British Army, Active Cheshire,  ea Technology and Cheshire West and Chester.
  19. Coat of Arms Post Production: – Explainer video company which produces unique explainers & original post production services. Clients: Land Rover, Undercover Cupid, Marriott
  20. Common Craft: Hand crafted media for explainers.
  21. Corporate Video Sharks: Animated video production
  22. Creamy Animation: Explainer and whiteboard videos. Clients: Microtek Corporation, Unstoppable, Pure Mortgage
  23. Creative Theory: A Canadian based explainer video company which offers creative and business services. Operates in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. Offers video production services.
  24. Cullin Collective: Explainer video company that also produces explanation videos. Clients: basho, Zopim, onit,  AES International
  25. Cinecsn: Animated explainer video production company. People don’t want to read text anymore. People want to be entertained and just “get it”. Clients: ebay, Santander, DNB and contiki.
  26. Daily Planet: A full service design and production studio. Clients: Subway, Nationwide Insurance, CocaCola, AT&T, Capital One
  27. Demo Duck: Make little videos that get big results – Clients:  Netflix & Crazy Egg
  28. DemoFlick: Explainer video company.
  29. DemoNinja: Explainer video, tour video and app demo video
  30. Easy Explain Video: explain, educate, entertain – explainer videos
  31. EdmanTV: Freelance producer and motion graphics designer specialising in website videos
  32. Epipheo Studios: Explainer video company that creates video content for large enterprises and small businesses alike.
  33. Explainers.in: Your story, explained in video
  34. Explania: Animated explanations, interactive tutorials and instructional videos. Free to embed existing videos on your own website
  35. Explainify:   Explainer video company that positions videos around awakening your best story. Showing people what your brand is all about. Clients: Walmart, Coca Cola & Expedia
    Engaging. Instigating. Converting.
  36. Explain It Videos: Animated explainer videos for your mobile apps.
  37. Explanimate: Corporate animation explainer video company based in Brisbane, Australia
  38. Explainervideoly: Studio for big brands, medium-sized companies,start-ups and even non-profits. Clients: WWF, htc and Panasonic.
  39. Flikli: Create top-notch animated videos faster and more affordably than ever before to make your brand truly shine
  40. Flock of Pixels: Vimeo animation, motion design and post production. Clients:  Amex
  41. Fueled: Award winning mobile design & development explainer video company. Clients: Porsche, Ducati, P&G
  42. FunnerVids: Make fun, inexpensive, animated business explainer videos that will wow your customers.  Clients: Micro Strategies, Convince & Convert.
  43. Fire Starter Videos: America’s number 1 animated video company.  Free e-book about explainer videos. Whiteboard, cartoon, demo and explainer videos. Clients: MasterCard, Volvo, unicef, The World Bank
  44. Gisteo: Creates one-of-a-kind  marketing videos built to engage, entice & convert. Clients: ORACLE, Intel, KPMG, CITRIX
  45. GoAnimate & GoAnimate for schools: Make professional animated videos. Easy learning curve,low budget, simple do-it-yourself tools. Clients: CNN, WIRED, Mashable,  The Wall Street Journal
  46. Green Iguana: Explainer video company which produces cartoons & animation, customer live action & stock videos, motion graphics & 3D. Clients: pci Security Standards Council, Virtual, Spirit Telecom
  47. Grumo Media: Product demo videos. Clients: Microsoft, Walmart, Fidelity Investments, Halifax, Recket Benckiser
  48. Howcast: The best how-to videos on the web. Clients: Next, Adobe, Virgin Media
  49. How It Works Media: Animated explainer video company.
  50. Idea Rocket: Put your message into orbit with animated videos. Clients: Bank of America, Alcatel Lucent,  Verizon, Electronic Arts
  51. Illustrate It: Digital media agency who create compelling videos for companies.  Clients: Uber Media, P&G, Microsoft, Call Fire
  52. In 60 Seconds:    Develops creative concepts, infographics, video productions and animations. Clients: Philips, eon, Oxfam Novib.
  53. Instruxion: Digital agency who specialise in conceptual design, development and distribution of high-impact digital content to achieve your business objectives. Clients: Sony, Bayer, IKEA
  54. Kasra Design: Premium animated explainer video, corporate video and anything in between. Clients: Panasonic, HTC, Dell
  55. Kicker Inc: Emmy award winning video production. Clients: Nike Golf, ATB Financial, Share Vault
  56. Kukuzoo: Canadian based animated explainer video production company. Clients: South Dade Toyota, Western University Canada
  57. Less Films: Create videos that turn web traffic into customers – Free case study. Clients: Salesforce, Dashlane, Grasshopper
  58. Legwork Studio: Digital agency which delivery app design & development, ecommerce and explainer videos.
  59. LooseKeys: Chicago based explainer video company who don’t just make videos, but tell stories. Clients: Cars.com, nakedwine.com
  60. Lumeo: Affordable explainer videos. Clients: Accenture, Plexus, Professionals Australia
  61. Mable Animation:  Mable Animation is a passionate illustration and animation studio located in Adelaide, South Australia
  62. Media Whale: Explainer animation video production company. Clients: Appsee
  63. MKShft: Creative company based in San Francisco. Clients:  Saatchi & Saatchi, Twitter, HTC, Velocidi PR, Bloomberg
  64. MindBug Studios: Explainer video company where your ideas are explained in short, fun, animated video. Clients: Rent Hackr, NOPSEC
  65. Mypromovideos: We make your message sell. Clients: Ogilvy, Flipkart.com
  66. Motion Crafter:  Explainer video production company. Clients: HP, Rackspace, Allstate
  67. Panda Motion: We make explainer videos. Clients:  Squarespace.com, Quipster
  68. Paper Krane:  Portland-based  studio that makes engaging & affordable animated marketing videos. Clients: Adidas, Clean Water Services, SkyLife
  69. Picturelab: An explainer video company with a  team of creative folk who are passionate about visual storytelling and everything web and tech. Clients: Google, eSignal
  70. Piehole: Create kick ass video to explain what you do. Clients: Zapper, Agent Converter,  Smartvault.com
  71. Planet Nutshell: We make videos called Nutshells that explain alien concepts to everyday people. Clients: Microsoft, Google, cpb
  72. RapidFire Consulting & Video: Explainer videos to help tell your story.
  73. Revolution Productions: Authentic Marketing Videos
    & Animated Video Production. Clients:  Lexis Nexis, John Deere, The World Bank
  74. RocketWheel: Ignite your sales with video on mobile & desktop.  Clients: Amazon, Symantec, Dell, Bloomberg BNA
  75. Sandwich Video: Make videos and TV commercials, mostly for neat tech  products. Clients: Groupon, OSMO, Slack
  76. Say it Visually: We explain complex ideas for clients. Clients:  Amazon, Chevron, Met Life
  77. Sean Duran Studios: A freelancer who creates live action and animated videos. Clients: Panasonic, Coachd, Metalab Flow
  78. Seed Well: Social video champions. Clients: YouTube, Microsoft, Google
  79. Simple Story Videos: Explainer video company which aims to create video for brands that’d rather make history than repeat it. Clients:  CocaCola, Shopify,  Citrix  
  80. simpleshow: Hand-crafted explainer video production. Clients: Adobe, BMW. ebay, Audi, Swiss Re
  81. Simplifilm: Enterprise grade product demo videos. Clients: Seth Godin
  82. Splainers: Explainer video company which produces videos that get results.  Clients: Microsoft, Pepsico, MasterCard, NFL
  83. Sprinkle Lab: We make and distribute delicious videos. Clients: Levi’s, IBM, Microsoft
  84. Sundstedt Animation: We make hand-crafted explainer videos. Clients: Pushdigital, VMS, Onyx Health
  85. Startup Video: Animated explainer videos. Clients: Standpoint, ABP
  86. Studio Pigeon: Even the best ideas needs explanation. Clients: farmerfinder, StudioPress, Snip2Code
  87. StudioTale: Creative videos. Clients: Scootr, Marbles App, Gotogether
  88. SureelVideo: Animated explainer video company.
  89. Switch Video: Corporate video production &  animated video production. Clients: IBM, Microsoft, HP, Bayer
  90. Tadapix: Animated video studio. Clients: Del Monte,  Zooztunes
  91. The Video Animation Company: Explain your business with video animation. Clients: Mashable, ebay, The New York Times
  92. The Explainers: Digital communications studio  focused on explainer videos, infographics, and content strategy. Clients: National Broadband Network, National Australia Bank
  93. Think Mojo: Explainer video company which produces smart videos that get results. Clients: ebay, LinkedIn, Western Union
  94. Think Video: Web video specialists with a knack for explanation.
  95. Topic Simple:  Great animated videos for your product, idea, business, or startup. Clients: MSN, Springboard
  96. Topline Comms: Digital agency that covers  technology PR, content marketing, search marketing, video production and B2B PR. Clients: Sony DADC, Barclays,  ABN AMRO
  97. Transvideo Studios: Explainer video company that claims to be the largest  video production company and studio complex in Silicon Valley. Clients: Mint.com, esignal
  98. UserFarm: Content creators – Connecting you with the world’s largest community of film makers. A global crowd of 100,000 classified filmmakers, backed up by a team of awesome professionals. Clients: Fiat 500, Smeg Factory, Santal, Rio Mare
  99. Veedme: Any video task. Clients: Google, MOSCOT, WAZE
  100. Veracity Colab: A video agency  driven by strategy, story and design. Clients: Lenovo, Google, Adobe
  101. Video Brewery: Video crowd-sourcing website connects you with freelancers to provide competitive quotes for your explainer video. Clients: UPSIDE, BusBank, Vero
  102. Video Explainers: We tell great stories about your business. Clients: Bright Promotions, SDG, Tune Gigs
  103. Video Igniter: Turnkey animated video production for agencies, businesses and marketers. Clients: LinkedIn, RICOH, ALTIMETER
  104. Video Sales Lab: Videos that will increase your conversions, guaranteed. Clients: AffiliateDotCom
  105. Vismo Media: Ideas into motion. 2D/3D animations. Clients: Thompson Reuters, Allstate, WSO.com
  106. Vjsual: Explainer video company which aims to improve the way you communicate. Clients: Commerzbank, Groupon
  107. Vungle: Provides the infrastructure for app monetization through video ads. More than 200 million people worldwide see a Vungle ad each month.
  108. WeblyGuys: Explainer video company and production studio.  “We create marketing systems that convert your visitors & prospects into buyers, followers and fans!“
  109. We Can Explain: Animated explainer video production. Clients: EasyAzon, Rightmove, Zoopla
  110. What Now? Exactly! Explainer video production. Clients: Fidelity National Financial, Global Heart Network Foundation
  111. Whiteboard Explainers: High Quality & Animated Whiteboard Explainer Videos at Affordable Prices. Clients: NSCAA,  NAPA, CASK
  112. Wienot Films: Explainer video company which delivers videos, whiteboard animation, editing and production services.
  113. Wooshii: Find an animator or video-maker for your explainer or demo video. Free e-book.  Clients: Google, ebay, Unilever
  114. Wyzowl: Create animated explainer videos with and without characters, website or web app walk-through using screen recordings, mobile app walk-through and video graphics based around statistics. Clients:  UserReport, Heebo.com,  Postify
  115. Ydraw: What’s your story. Explainer video production company. Clients: BlueSafe, Magic Sock,
  116. Your-60-seconds: Custom video productions for your website and App.
  117. YumYum Videos: Explainer video company which produces tailor-made animated videos and offers unlimited revisions.  The company has also produced a series of educational videos on inbound marketing, including What is inbound marketing? Clients: Walmart, McKesson, AMEX and Red Bull

 

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Here is a great infographic on explainer videos from Hubspot.

You can view my full Digital Marketing and Optimization Toolbox here. This includes a section on explainer videos which has links to over 100 animated video production companies and freelancers.

To browse links to all my posts on one page please click here.

  • About the author:  Neal provides digital optimisation consultancy services and has worked for  brands such as Deezer.comFoxybingo.com, Very.co.uk and partypoker.com.  He identifies areas for improvement using a combination of approaches including web analytics, heuristic analysis, customer journey mapping, usability testing, and Voice of Customer feedback.
  • Neal has had articles published on website optimisation on Usabilla.com  and as an ex-research and insight manager on the GreenBook Blog research website.  If you wish to contact Neal please send an email to neal.cole@conversion-uplift.co.uk. You can follow Neal on Twitter @northresearch, see his LinkedIn profile or connect on Facebook.