With all the interest in video marketing at present, a new term is being bandied about called “explainer videos”. Some people have heard of ‘talking head’ video formats, but not as many are familiar with what explainer videos are.

For website owners, it’s important to avoid any confusion over terms. That way, they can quickly get to the meat of whether it is something they can use to help their site perform better. So, let’s do that right now.

What’s All the Fuss About Explainer Videos?

What Are Explainer Videos?

When a website owner is looking to get a point (or several) across to their visitors, they have a few ways to do this. The most common is the written word. Another way is an infographic. A third way is a royalty-free image. A fourth way is an explainer video.

An explainer video is a short piece of visual content designed to explain something. It can be to show the process to follow to find success, to cover what the company’s line of business is, or something entirely different. Instead of reading a 500-word piece on it, the audience can jump right in with a two-minute video at the top of the page that gets to the heart of the matter immediately.

You can discover more about how explainer videos are put together here.

When Are Explainer Videos Most Useful?

A video that explains an idea, concept or process is best when it’s covered in 1-2 minutes. It’s a bit like an advertisement on TV. If an advert were too long, people would lose interest entirely. They’re quick hits that get across the salient points in a fun or interesting manner. Your site visitors or social media followers get to see a video filled with visual animations, animated characters or other even an actor explaining something for you.

The video content can be a standalone thing, like a brief presentation on the About Us page of the website explaining the founding principles of the company. It could be for a charity that wishes to break down what areas of support they provide to local communities around the world and do so with a quick 1-2-3 punchy delivery to keep it interesting.

It’s also possible that a video is designed to accompany a longer piece of content. The explainer video gives the briefest of explanations or effectively summarises what’s covered in a 2,000-word piece of content. The accompanying long-form written content provides far more information on each of the points briefly covered in the video.

When Are Explainer Videos the Least Useful?

Trying to explain complex points in just a couple of minutes is tough. It’s sometimes possible by selecting a suitable video style or a combination of several to pack in the information in a quickly digestible manner. However, a website owner must decide what things to include and what to leave out to not overwhelm the viewer.

The ideal video length for an explainer video is around 1.5 to 2 minutes in length. When content cannot be condensed down to that length and when storyboarded out is going to be 5-7 minutes, then it’s time to rethink. Perhaps, under those circumstances, it would be better to break down the video into two parts or two different subjects. Otherwise, it’ll be too long and likely would be better received if it had less dense information and a shorter duration.

Are There Different Types of Explainer Videos?

There are different types of explainer videos. Here are most commonly used:

Screencast – These are digital recordings of a computer screen. A narrator can talk the viewer through what they’re doing and record it at the same time. It often works best as a tutorial. These are cheap to produce because all that’s required is a PC, a decent graphics card, and software to record the screen.

Whiteboard Animation – These present as a white background with an artist’s hand drawing out the animation line by line. The video is rapidly sped up to let viewers see the animation in real-time. These are used by companies to show how they produce products step-by-step and explain multi-part concepts visually.

Live Action – These involve filming actors or presenters giving information to the camera or in a scene. They are sometimes filmed on a green screen to add a digital background. With bigger budgets, on location with filming permits and multiple actors, these videos are some of the most expensive to produce.

Motion Graphics – These are videos with animated objects that slide across the screen. Different ones can move in multiple directions and at different speeds, simultaneously. It provides a visually arresting piece of video content and is often combined with different forms of animation and even life action parts too.

Are Explainer Videos Suitable for Your Site?

Are explainer videos right for your website? That all depends on what information you’re wishing to share with your visitors and the best method of doing so. These types of videos have been found to increase engagement, time on site, and other website metrics significantly when the visual content adds value to what’s already there.

Bear in mind, some people are more visual and don’t appreciate the written word as much. Others want a quick summary first and then decide whether to read a lengthy article or to skip it. By having a short video explaining key concepts at the top of the page, you cover a lot of bases and keep more people engaged in your content.

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