Explainer Videos

When It Comes to Explainer Videos, One Size Does Not Fit All

Claude Harrington 01.20.2016

Given the growing popularity of custom explainer videos, it is perhaps not surprising to see an influx of low-cost software that claims to help you create your own. These are one-size-fits-all, template-driven tools that offer features like “14 Scenes, 3 Characters and 10 Typographies,” or boast mottos like, “We hired professional animators so you wouldn’t have to.”

But while these templates–especially in screen-shot form–may resemble the popular explainer videos that we all know and love, they differ dramatically in many critical ways. So to help you avoid falling into this trap, today we’re going to discuss some of the reasons why template videos just aren’t worth it…

Easy to Use ≠ Easy to WatchTo their credit, most of the template software is pretty easy to use. With drag-and-drop features and explicit instructions (i.e. upload logo here, insert tagline there), you can create an explainer video in a matter of hours. But at some point, either along the way or upon watching the final video, you will find yourself asking: what did I just create?

Although many familiar explainer video attributes will be there—characters, icons, moving text—these individual details don’t usually mix together well. Instead what you’re left with is a colorful, semi-animated version of Frankenstein’s monster. Not only does this lack of cohesiveness lead to inconsistency throughout, but it will result in something even worse…

Off Target With Your Target Audience: As aesthetically impressive as any animation style may be, one cannot forget that “impressive animation” is not the objective of an explainer video. The true goal, above all else, is to successfully deliver a message to a specific target audience. Impressive animation can help with this endeavor, of course, but the point here is that an effective explainer is more than just the sum of its parts. And a lot of that has to do with how a video is position towards the target audience.

From our very first conversation with any client (before any script is written, or any artwork has commenced), the target audience is discussed and remains a persistent focus throughout the entire process. Who is this video being created for? What are the characteristics of that demographic? And how can this explainer video inspire them to implement a desired action? Questions like these drive the entire process and help create a cohesive start-to-finish message that will resonate with the target audience and—often forgotten, but quite importantly—will still be accessible to all audiences. Which is especially a problem for template explainers because…

The Modern Viewer is Savvy (and Craves Authenticity): From products and services to experiences and entertainment, the word that keeps coming up—the one quality that everyone seems to respect and desire—is “authenticity.” With the transparency provided to us through the digital age, customers can detect the big-box, one-size-fits-all solution and are running away from it quicker than ever before.

This new consumer mentality is actually part of why custom explainer videos have been so effective in recent years. Created uniquely and crafted with a straightforward sense of honesty, custom explainer videos provide a way to authentically communicate a distinct sales proposition. All of which makes it especially problematic to use what viewers will perceive as an inauthentic, template-riddled video. Not only will this deter them from receiving your message, but it can easily turn them away from you and your brand. That’s because…

Something Is Not Necessarily Better Than Nothing: At first glance, there might be a temptation to believe that any explainer video is better than no explainer video at all. Something is better than nothing, right? Not when it comes to explainer videos…

Given what we know about how much audiences prefer video to text, there’s a good chance that, if available, an explainer video will be the first thing that visitors gravitate towards on your website. This means that, in many ways, your explainer video will be responsible for creating that visitors first impression. And as the popular saying goes: “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” It may be an old saying, but it’s more true today than it ever was before. With shorter attention spans and more of a need for clarity an explanation, you can’t underestimate the importance of putting your best foot forward…

Similar Stories