From Boring to Brilliant: 7 Pro Tips to Create Engaging Explainer Videos


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If we are talking about marketing through video, one of the most powerful tools you can have in your arsenal is an explainer video optimized to communicate complex ideas or concepts in a way that is simple, engaging, and easy to understand. 

But making a video like that is no easy feat!

You need not only to understand your audience and product but also to leverage the explainer formula to make something that fits into your larger marketing approach.

So, in this article, I’ll be sharing with you seven expert tips that most experienced animated video production companies follow to help you create pro-level explainers that engage your target audience and turn them into customers. Let’s dive in!

#1 – Figure Out What You Need Out Of Your Explainer

As it happens with any other piece of marketing content, you need to have a solid plan in place by the time you choose explainer videos as your marketing tool. So, you want to start by identifying your goals for your video and defining what you want to achieve with it.

  • Do you want to drive more traffic to your website? 
  • Do you want to increase brand awareness? 
  • Do you want to boost sales? 
  • Promote a new product?
  • Do you want to educate your audiences and build relationships? 

Next, consider your target audience. Understanding your audience is also crucial for creating an explainer that resonates with viewers and drives action.

  • Who are you creating this video for? 
  • What are their pain points, interests, and needs?
  • What platforms do they use to consume video content?

Once you’ve set clear goals and defined exactly who this video is for, you’ll be much more informed and better equipped to make calls during production. It will allow you to tailor your video in ways that appeal to its intended audience and contribute to your primary goal.

#2 – Develop a Captivating Visual Language

Visuals are a key element of any marketing video, but more so with explainers.

Dull, boring visuals = dull, boring video.

As you start defining the core aesthetics of your piece, consider elements like the potential color palette and typographies you may use in your video. Choose colors that evoke the emotions you want your audience to feel. Use clear, easy-to-read fonts that match the tone and style of the rest of your marketing content.

To keep your audience engaged, use interesting transitions to create a sense of continuity and flow that keeps viewers hooked. An important note here, however, is not to overdo it. 

Keep your visuals clean and simple, and focus on creating a cohesive and engaging visual narrative that helps you illustrate your points and communicate your message. 

Flair, just for the sake of flair, is just visual noise. 

Last but not least, ensure your visuals align with your overall brand identity. You want all of your marketing content to feel cohesive and easily relatable to your brand, and your explainer videos are no exception, so whenever you are making decisions about your explainer’s visuals, consider your overall brand image.

#3 – Don’t Take Sound Design for Granted

While great visuals are essential for creating an engaging explainer video, don’t ever underestimate or ignore the power of top-notch sound design. 

Poor audio quality can detract from your marketing message and make your video feel unprofessional. But even beyond that, if you fail to take advantage of your video’s sound design, you’ll be missing a lot of opportunities to make a much more effective piece of marketing content.

Pay close attention to any high-quality explainer, and you’ll notice the audio is often synced with the on-screen elements to help drive viewer attention or to reinforce key pieces of information with a special chime or jingle. That’s no accident, but intentional mnemonic techniques meant to help your audience remember your message — and all thanks to meaningful sound design.

As you work to polish your explainer’s audio, here are some crucial things that you should take care of: 

  • Ensure there are no unwanted noises: Use audio editing software like Audacity or Adobe Audition to remove any unwanted noise or background sounds that might appear during voice-over.
  • Normalize your audio: Spikey and uneven audio is a great way to annoy viewers and tarnish their overall experience with your content. Use the normalization feature in your audio editing software to make sure that your audio is consistent throughout the video.
  • Add meaningful music and sound effects: Adding music that reinforces the tone you are going for and sound effects at key moments to reinforce important ideas will result in a much more effective piece of content.

#4 – Use Storytelling To Make Your Explainer Memorable

Research shows that by incorporating storytelling in your marketing campaigns, people tend to stay hooked and remember your core message long after engaging with your content. That’s because stories generate emotional attachment, which helps develop a deeper connection with the audience. 

Needless to say, you want to effectively incorporate storytelling elements into your explainer videos to make them more engaging and memorable. 

Here’s a list of popular storytelling techniques that you can use in your explainer videos to make them more engaging:

The Hero’s Journey: This technique involves a protagonist going on a journey or quest to overcome challenges and achieve their goals. In an explainer video, the Hero’s Journey can create a compelling narrative that resonates with your audience and leaves a lasting impression. To use the Hero’s Journey in your explainer video, create a story that follows its stages and showcases how your product, service, or message helps the hero overcome their challenges and achieve their goal.

The Problem-Solution Story: This simple yet effective storytelling technique involves identifying a problem and presenting a solution. To use the Problem-Solution Story in your explainer video, start by introducing a problem built around your target audience’s pain point, and then move on to describe the consequences of not addressing it while presenting your solution and explaining the key benefits of implementing it. You can even use hard data to back up your arguments and keep your video both engaging and educational by leveraging data visualization software tools. 

The Personal Anecdote: This powerful storytelling technique involves sharing a personal experience or story related to your explainer video’s topic. To use this technique effectively, take relevant, personal anecdotes that have a clear connection to your message, and use it as the basis of your explainer’s narrative.

#5 – Use the Power of Animation To Its Fullest

Animation synergizes exceedingly well with explainer videos because it gives you a lot of control and versatility to explore your creativity through unique visuals, colorful environments, and charming characters. 

Most importantly, in the case of explainers, animations can help you simplify complex concepts, data, and statistics, making them easier for viewers to understand. 

Moreover, animations excel at adding charm and personality to your video, helping you establish an emotional attachment that delights your audience and keeps them interested in what you have to say.

If you leverage the medium wisely, you can even create visual metaphors that help viewers connect with your message on a deeper level. Or set up dynamic visuals that capture and retain the audience’s attention. 

Here are some popular animation styles to consider for your explainer video:

  • Whiteboard animation: This style features hand-drawn images on a white background, giving the illusion of a whiteboard. It’s perfect for explaining step-by-step processes, as it allows for clear and concise visuals that minimize distractions.
  • Motion graphics: This style uses graphics and animation to create dynamic visuals that simplify complex ideas. It’s great for showcasing data, statistics, and other information in an engaging and easy-to-understand format.
  • 2D animation: This style uses flat images and shapes to create characters and environments, giving a cartoon-like feel to your explainer video. It’s perfect for telling a story with your video while adding a touch of fun while keeping production costs low.
  • 3D animation: This style uses computer-generated imagery to create realistic 3D environments and characters. It can be time and resource intensive, but it’s great for showcasing products or creating virtual tours of 3D spaces or objects.

#6 – Choose the Right Voiceover Talent To Carry Your Message

The voiceover sets the tone of your explainer video and ultimately delivers your message directly to the viewers. So, it’s crucial to choose a voiceover artist that synergizes with the overall vibe you are creating for your piece.

One critical consideration when selecting a voice-over artist is the tone and style of the video. If you’re creating a video that’s meant to be playful and fun, you’ll want to choose a voice-over artist that can match that tone. On the other hand, if your video is more serious and informative, you’ll want to select a voice-over artist that can convey that tone effectively.

It’s also important to consider any characters that are featured in the video. If you have multiple characters with distinct personalities, matching the voice-over to each character can help maintain viewer interest and prevent the video from becoming repetitive.

#7 – Hook Viewers with Well-Placed Humor 

Humor is a powerful tool that can help keep an audience engaged with most digital marketing pieces, and explainers are no exception. When used appropriately, humor can make your video more memorable, enjoyable, and relatable to viewers. 

However, it is important to note that not all explainers will benefit from humor — as you might be going for a more serious tone. In those cases, you might want to choose a different emotion to carry the torch.

An important caveat here, however, is that injecting humor into your video should serve a specific purpose to avoid overdoing it. To help with that, here are a few specific ways in which humor can benefit an explainer video:

  • Breaking up the monotony: Explainer videos are designed to convey information, but they can easily become dry and tedious without some variety. Humor can help break up the monotony by providing a lighthearted and entertaining moment that gives the viewer’s brain a break. This can make it easier for the viewer to stay engaged and absorb the information being presented.
  • Grabs attention: Humor can be an effective attention-grabber. In the first few seconds of an explainer video, a well-placed joke or humorous anecdote can capture the viewer’s attention and make them more likely to stick around for the rest of the video.
  • Makes complex ideas more accessible: Explainer videos are often used to convey complex or technical information. Humor can be a helpful tool in making these ideas more accessible to viewers who may not be familiar with the topic. By breaking down the information in a humorous way, the viewer is more likely to remember it and understand it.
  • Creates a positive association: When viewers laugh or smile while watching an explainer video, they associate those positive emotions with the brand or topic being discussed. This can help create a more positive association with the content and increase the likelihood that the viewer will keep watching, and even share it with others.

Wrapping Up

Creating a high-quality explainer video is, without a doubt, a challenging task. Planning your video carefully, drafting an effective video production proposal, creating engaging visuals, recording high-quality audio, editing and optimizing for viewing… There’s a lot that needs to go into it! 

Luckily by following the tips and advice we went over, you can create a professional-level explainer video that captures your audience’s attention, delivers your message effectively, and drives more conversions for your business!

Get started today, and see the impact that a high-quality explainer video can have on your business.

Victor Blasco
Víctor Blasco is the founder and CEO of the explainer video company Yum Yum Videos. He is also an audiovisual designer and video marketing expert. Aside from running the business, he loves studying Chinese Philosophy and is a real geek for science fiction films and comics!


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