Have you ever been in a scenario where a product or concept has confused the bejesus out of you and you’re not sure where to turn? Well you are far from alone. We’ve all been in that situation where we can’t quite figure out how everything should fit together. And video is a popular place to turn when you discover gaps in your knowledge.

In fact, 70% of YouTube users use the platform to watch “help with a problem” videos. As such, creating an animated explainer video is an excellent way for your brand to fill in some of these gaps.

Essentially, by informing your audience about the more technical side of your product or service, you are creating a smoother user experience. But no-one wants to sit through a drawn-out drawl on the ins and outs of a particular technicality. It needs to be snappy, eye-catching and entertaining. These are three characteristics that animation brings to the table.

However, before you dive head first into video production mode, there are a few things to note when creating an animated explainer video.

Let’s start with the basics though…

What is an Animated Explainer Video?

The clue is in the title… Explainer videos strive to summarise concepts that may otherwise be difficult to describe in a concise and intriguing manner. It can be anything from instructions on how to properly iron your shirt to conceptualising your company’s business process.

The most popular form of animated video online, explainer videos can be difficult to get right, as requirements vary depending on a number of factors. Branding, audience and tone of voice all play a part in making the video strike all the right notes. And, the perfect animated explainer video manages to create a glorious harmony between education and entertainment.

So, when creating an explainer video there are certain things that you should strive to do and other things that you should avoid like the plague. Here are our dos and don’ts for creating explainer videos.

Explainer Video Do's and Dont's

DON’T Forget Who your Audience is

Always keep your target audience at the forefront of your mind. Aiming at a younger crowd? Make sure that your writing and animation style are suitably jovial. Trying to market a futuristic tech product? Use smooth, seamless animation to match the sleek features of your latest gadget.

Animation offers users adaptability in a manner that is simply not available with live-action. This makes it possible to tailor your explainer video to the needs of even the most niche audiences imaginable. And with this flexibility comes the ability to operate across a wide range of industries.

DON’T Make your Video Too Long

If you are explaining a concept that is core to your brand’s ethos, it can be tempting to cover everything in immaculate detail. This in itself is not an issue, but it is important to make sure that you don’t let your video run for too long. Animated explainers typically last for between 60 and 90 seconds. Try to make sure that your video fits in this bracket.

Thanks to animation’s ability to condense information into visually appealing effects, this is typically more than enough time to get your message across. The short run time also makes your content more applicable to platforms like social media, allowing for a wider delivery scope.

DO Have a Strategy in Mind

When creating new video marketing content for your brand it is easy to get caught up in the excitement and nose dive into the fun stuff from the get-go. As tempting as this may be, it isn’t the way to go about creating a successful explainer video. Having an effective content strategy and following a strategic process are your keys to success.

Consider what it is that you are trying to achieve, create a structured breakdown of your process and follow it from start to finish. This includes everything from concept to the initial storyboards to the final animation stage. Sometimes approaching projects by the book may seem a little mundane – and by all means allow for some creative freestyling – but it does help in preventing your explainer video from heading too far off track.

DON’T Over-explain Things

Whilst animated explainer videos are specifically designed to explain matters clearly, sometimes this is taken a little too literally. Trying to cram too much information into your video, or explaining your subject in too much detail won’t do you any favours. If you want to make a great explainer video, you need to make sure that you don’t over egg the pudding, as it were.

Remember that the mission of an explainer video is to make things more digestible. Keep your message delivery simple and your points, well… to the point. Remember that the voiceover is only one element of your video. Even if your script may seem a little vanilla, the animation itself is sure to add all kinds of flavour to the finished product.

DO Write an Engaging Script

Every great animated video starts with an enthralling script. And explainer videos are no different. Elegant and informative scriptwriting will stick in the memory of your audience for a long time. As for the word count, we advise around 140 words for a 60-second video. Make sure that your script flows naturally and touches on all of the most important points. Or alternatively, let us take the weight off your mind and write a script for you!

For a more in-depth insight into this process, read our step by step guide to animation script writing.

DO Make it Entertaining

This may seem obvious, but it is still an important point to make. When delivering dense material to your customer base, it can be easy to slip into autopilot. You could end up reeling off bland information and in turn allowing your explainer video to become dreary and monotonous. It is vital that you keep things entertaining, otherwise it is unlikely that anyone will watch your content.

This is where using animation really comes in handy. Thanks to the unique styles, vibrant colours and limitless possibilities that go hand in hand with animation, you can deliver just about any message in a lighthearted format that keeps viewers entertained. Choose anything from classic hand-drawn stylings to more modern computer-generated 3D imagery. When it comes to animation, the world is your oyster.

Who Do They Work For?

Everyone… No, really!

In the past we at The Animation Guys have created explainer videos for members of the insurance, healthcare, technology, property, finance and environmental industries. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! One of the best features of explainer videos is their versatility. Regardless of industry, style or content you have in mind, there will always be a means of delivering your explanation through the medium of animation.

If you want to create a captivating animated explainer video, then get in touch with our experienced and very friendly animation team and we’ll help make it happen.