What is an Explainer Video? How They Work & Why You Need One

explainer video

What is an Explainer Video? How They Work & Why You Need One

You may have heard the term explainer video or even seen explainer video examples. But what is an actual explainer video? More importantly, do you need one to help market your business or product? The simple answer is: Yes, you do! 


In 2019, video content continues to be one of the most effective ways of communicating and engaging with your clients. Consider the use of video and the potential audience. 5 Billion videos are viewed just on Youtube every day and, according to Cisco’s Forecast and Trends for 2017-2022, video traffic will be 82 percent of all IP traffic (both business and consumer users) by 2022.

Video marketing is also highly effective. In fact, Brightcove found in a 2018 study that 53 percent of consumers report engaging with a brand after watching a video on social media. Furthermore, 45% of adults feel that video is more engaging that other content. 

What is an Explainer Video?girl sitting at coffee shop table on laptop

Let’s start with the simple definition – an explainer video is a short video used to convey a concept. The use of visuals, text, graphics, and sound should all help make the concept simple and easy to understand. An animated explainer video is different from a simple marketing video or product advertisement because the point is to explain rather than sell.  That being said, many businesses and companies use explainer videos to describe their product or service and often include a call to action or link to get more information for the viewer at the end of the video. This is especially useful when you want to clearly explain how your product or service works.

A successful explainer video will:

  • Grab the viewers’ attention
  • Provide helpful information
  • Keep the viewer engaged
  • Include an effective call to action or next step

Types of Explainer Videos

There are a variety of types of explainer videos, and knowing which type will work best for you is key to getting the most out of your video.

Before making your video, you’ll first need to know is who is your target market? Understanding this will be the biggest factor in determining what style will be right for you. If you don’t know your target market, stop right now and start doing some research on your target market. It’s important to understand who you are marketing to and what they respond to. This will ultimately help you create the most effective explainer video and convert more viewers into clients.

Once you know who you are targeting, the product you’re promoting, and your goals for the campaign, it’s time to pick your video type!

Animated Explainer Videos

The most common type of explainer video is the Animated Explainer Video. We use animated text, graphics, and sometimes animated characters to easily explain tricky or difficult concepts.

An animated video is a fun and visually exciting way to convey our topic. Take a look at this explainer video example for a company that patented a new process for protecting clothes and materials. The video explains the process through fun visuals and then provides information to the viewer on how to learn more about their product.

Nano Textiles Explainer Video:

Text Based Explainer Video

Another type of explainer video is a simple Text Based Explainer Video. This can be created very easily but can also be very effective in providing useful information to the viewer. Rather than reading an article or email. We can animate the text on-screen in order to keep the viewer engaged. When paired with voice over and music, this can be a fun and powerful way of explaining your topic.

Text Based Sample Video for Tru Torch

On-Screen Talent Videos

Using real people on screen can add a face and emotional connection. When combined with text and graphics this can be one of the most powerful ways of explaining your product or service. Viewers connect with the person, and when done correctly, a live-action explainer video can create a more powerful emotional reaction to your video.

There are several ways you can create an effective explainer video using a real person or on-screen talent.  From a simple video shot with your phone to a high-quality production video. Again, it is important to understand your target market in order to know what will be the most effective method of shooting your video. Your content and script will also be a huge factor in how well your video connects with viewers and explains your information.

Take a look at this video we created for one of our local clients that simply explains why different glasses are used to pour beers:

This video received 3.9k views, brought attention, likes and shares to their Facebook page and ultimately brought in more customers for the busy restaurant. All without trying to sell anything directly.

Product Showcase

If you have a specific product that needs to be explained, you may want to consider building an explanatory video around that product.  Why not show exactly what it is you are explaining? This is usually best accomplished by using images, photographs or video of the product. Use text and voiceover to explain what we are seeing, how it works, and how to use it. Show it in action and highlight with on-screen graphics that give more details.

MotionSlam created this video for an Australian auto parts company to showcase their products being used:

Benefits of Explainer Videos

We live in a world that is internet- and social-media-driven. Advertising and marketing strategies are more subtle than ever before and the key is to engage with your customers, rather than bombard them with ads. The benefit of making an explanation video is that you are providing information and solutions to potential clients. This allows you to connect with potential customers who are looking for information.


We can use the power of social media marketing in order to speak directly with clients that are already interested in learning more about what we have to offer. This leads to higher conversion rates since we are dealing with a much more targeted audience.


Want more information on how to connect with your target audience? There is a fantastic book called Unmarketing by author Scott Stratton that breaks down this simple concept and outlines steps to engaging with your audience instead of selling to them.

Getting Started with Explainer Video Marketing

Now that you understand a little more about the benefits of having and using an effective business explainer video. You can take the next steps towards creating one. If you have the resources, video software and the right tools, you can build an effective video on your own.  Perhaps you would like to have a professional high-quality video created for you, then reach out to us and we can answer any questions you have and let you know how to get started.


If you’re ready to get started on creating a powerful and engaging explainer video, contact MotionSlam to get started and find out how we can help you get your message out to the right clients.

Or Call us at 1-888-760-4958 to find out how MotionSlam can help you.

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