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How to Make a Killer Explainer Video

As a leading New York video production company, we produce many types of videos like commercials, product videos, viral videos, explainer videos, crowdfunding videos and so on. Each of these videos has a unique quality and is made for a special purpose.

Of these, commercials and viral videos are very popular, but what about explainer videos? Explainer videos can also have an important role in promoting products or services. These are often the first videos that a company creates to bring attention to their product. Basically, these videos explain an idea.

So what is the big deal about an explainer video? How difficult is it to make one (anyone with subject matter experience can make one, right?). But it is not so easy. Most explainer videos don't succeed in their objective- simplifying ideas and bringing focus on the idea. Is there anything you can do to make a killer explainer video? Well, you could always hire someone like Melty Cone - a professional explainer video production company in NYC. But if you can't, then here are some good tips:

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Keep the video short

According to YouTube, more than 300 hours of videos are uploaded to the platform every minute. To carve a space for your explainer video between this clutter, you will have to enhance its 'viewability'. Viewability is a video's ability to gain and retain a viewer's attention. It is a well-known fact that attention spans are decreasing. The rise of social media sites like Instagram and Vine is proof of this. 

The current ideal length of a video is 2 minutes 53 seconds. In this time, you not only have to catch the viewer's attention, but also keep it for the duration of your message. Here is a tip. Think that you have just 2 minutes 53 seconds to explain your idea. Now brainstorm what will be the best way to explain your idea to the viewer inside 2 minutes 53 seconds.

Keep it simple

Explainer videos should be simple; that is the whole idea. As Richard Branson says, 'any fool can make an idea complicated. It is hard to make it simple'. Take this Google video on Project Loon. (If you didn't already know what it is, Project Loon is Google's attempt to bring the internet to more people). 

The video starts with a few statistics on internet connectivity across the world (the narrator in the video is a child and there is light music in the background). Next, it explains the advantages of higher internet connectivity. Then it moves to the main question- how to bring affordable internet to more people. The solution? Balloons. Now that it has revealed the plat principal, the video explains how balloons can bring internet to more people. If you notice, the video is only 2 minutes 13 seconds long.

But there is also a corollary to this statement. Albert Einstein says, 'everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.' So don't make your explainer video so simple that you fail to put your idea across. Find a middle ground between 'simple' and 'too simple'.

Have a killer script

A video can tell a convincing story in a short time. But before you start creating the animations or shooting the video, put down all your thoughts down on paper and create a nice script for the video. Without this basic foundation, everything else will be in vain. Here are some tips to write a clear and engaging script.

First of all, keep the script short. Compress your entire message into one statement and put it across in the first 30 seconds. Speak directly to the audience. Use personal pronouns like 'your' and 'you'. Don't tell the audience what they already know. Do not tell the audience any information that is irrelevant to the occasion like the first quarter earnings of your company or how many employees you have and so on. 

Next, find a proper tone. Think about the type of customer that you are targeting, your purpose for making the video and what you expect from it. This will give you an idea about the kind of video you should make. Tell a story, talk about the people that your product or service has helped and the benefits it can give. 

You can also add humor to your explainer video like this video, but don't go overboard with it. Finally, pace yourself. You can speak up to 150 words a minute, but don't go beyond that. This is especially true, if you are explaining a technical product.

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Use animation and illustrations

Animated explainer videos are the most popular explainer videos. The assets and characters in these videos are usually created by hand which are then scanned, colored and digitized. Some illustrators will do this work on a tablet. This work is then imported to a computer and converted into an animation using software like Adobe After Effects. 

But animations and illustrations are not the only garnish in explainer videos. This iPad Air video has Jony Ive, Senior Vice President, Design Apple speaking about the company's iPad Air. Notice that there are no animations, yet the video does a good job. You will also have to add sound and music to the video which is a job for a sound engineer. Note that poor quality sound can ruin even the best designed videos. So don't scrimp on a professional music track, sound effects and voice over.

Creating explainer videos

After you've done the hard work and created a product or service that works beautifully, it is painful to see that people don't see your big idea. Here an explainer video can help. These tips will help you improve your explainer videos drastically. If you don't have the inclination or are short of time, don't worry. You can always take assistance from an explainer video production company to create such videos for you.


What is Melty Cone? Melty Cone is a full-service video production company in NYC. We make videos from start to finish; from creative idea conception to final video delivery.

Lucas Chu

Melty Cone Video, 67 West Street, Greenpoint, NY, 11222, United States

Melty Cone is a full service video production company in NYC. We make commercials, corporate videos, branded content, brand videos and the best videos in New York!