What Are Explainer Videos?

The phrase ‘explainer videos’ is a new one popping up in web design circles. The concept has been around for a while and you’ve probably seen explainer videos before. Explainer videos are those videos you see (usually on the front page of a site) and they quickly explain about that site’s product or service.

Still don’t understand? I’ll explain with an example. We’ve been searching for a good job dispatch and tracking software for Pogo. We’ve visited dozens of sites and read long boring excerpts on some very dry and dusty websites. It was hard work. Sometimes we’d land on a site and perhaps not even delve further. Then you get a site with an explainer video right where it should be, top of front page. Like this one:



That video from MHelpDesk is not exactly a perfect explainer video but it’s a very good example of what an explainer video is. My problem with this explainer video is that my mind goes “blah blah blah” for at least the first half of the video because they’re explaining to me about my situation. I know what my situation is. I want to know what solution they’re going to provide.

What Makes A Good Explainer Video

After a while, I generally ignored sites without explainer videos. Having watched so many explainer video recently I found the ones that kept me hooked were the ones that provided solutions, didn’t waffle on too long and showed me examples of what they provided. Clearly scripting is the most important aspect of the explainer video. It’s all very well to have some funky cartoon characters but if you want to grab the attention of people like me (who have better things to do and will click away from your site on the slightest pretext) then you need to convey your information in the best and quickest (and most interesting) way.

Who Makes Good Explainer Videos?

Well I’m glad you asked. When it comes to explainer videos CMP Film TV are the people we use and trust. Explainer videos is a fast growing category in web video production field and still many people don’t have adequate experience in this new field. As this article Stop Creating Explainer Video You’re Doing It All Wrong says, you need to get your explainer video right for it to be effective.  CMP’s background in making TV commercials means they have all the experience they need to make short (15 second to 1-2 minute) and punchy web videos. Here’s an example of one of their explainer videos:


Why Use Explainer Videos

As both a web designer and a web user I’m convinced of the efficacy of explainer videos. There’s plenty of research to show how effective explainer videos can be. Video captivate and explains faster and better than mere text and images. You’re asking people to invest a considerable amount of time and effort to read your site. Video is giving them a soft option. Also, once they’re invested some time in your site watching the video they’re much more likely to continue. My recent experience certainly demonstrates this. The MHelpDesk explainer video could be better but it at least gives them an edge over their competitors.

A good explainer video offers fantastic return on investment. Your company spends considerable time and money getting people to your site. You’re investing in your product or service. It’s too bad if you get people to your site and don’t convert them. Too bad if they don’t even stay on your site long enough to find out what it is you offer. Grab them straight up and keep them there with a good explainer video. It could be the best investment you’ve made.