When Rockstagvid officially became a company years ago the term “explainer video” wasn’t really a thing in the business world yet. Obviously, those two words existed and so did videos that explained things, but the term wasn’t widely used.
Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t long until explainer videos finally hit the big time. Take a look at the below Google Trends chart and you’ll see what I mean. This chart tracks the popularity of the term from when Rockstagvid started through today.
As you can see there’s a lot of data to unpack here. The strong jump in growth speaks for itself. However, it’s a complex story—there’s a variety of factors that influenced the rise of explainer videos.
Since we’ve witnessed a lot of the happenings behind those numbers firsthand, we wanted to share our journey with the evolving concept of explainer videos. I should acknowledge that explainer videos have always meant a lot of different things to different people (and will continue to), but here’s our take on these helpful videos from over the past 5 years.
The Beginnings of Explainer Video
At first, it was easy. An explainer video was a simple animated video usually 60 to 90 seconds long placed on the homepage of a website.
Live-action explainer videos started to get into the mix quite early on as well. People also started to move away from just demo-ing their product and started to get into the storytelling game.
While these minor steps forward were cool to see, explainer videos were still relatively small potatoes.
The perception of explainer videos all changed when a company called Dollar Shave Club entered the consumer markets for grooming kits.
If you haven’t of Dollar Shave Club you need to go watch their explainer video. The brand’s explainer video is a pure marketing genius. Those 93 seconds put the small startup on a trajectory that culminated in its $1 billion acquisition by Unilever in 2016.
While the Dollar Shave Club video went viral because it’s funny, its value goes beyond the entertainment factor. Not only was it able to reach a massive audience, but it also very effectively and succinctly communicated relevant details: for a competitive price ($1 per month), high-quality razors (with steel blades, pivot heads, and lubricating strips) are shipped straight to your door.
Viral video ads like this succeed in large part because they can transmit the most information in the shortest time, giving your brand the opportunity to showcase its best features in addition to exciting and entertaining viewers.
The Stats Don’t Lie
Of the 45% of businesses that have explainer videos on their homepage, 86% say they are effective—Wyzowl
Where do Explainer Videos go From Here?
With explainer videos existing nearly everywhere these days, the future is a bit difficult to pin down. In our eyes, it’ll be a merging of editorial and sponsored content because that’s the way that a lot of writing has gone (for better or worse). More organizations have dedicated themselves to educating people around the globe through video content.
Beyond that, we believe that “explainer video” will fade away and a new term will take its place as happens with nearly all things on the internet. We have a few bets on what those may be but don’t want to tip our hand too soon. Until that time we look forward to educating people, helping companies of all types tell their story, and producing more great video content, whether it’s called an explainer video or not.
How Do I Create My Explainer Video that suits my Business?
In order to create your own explainer video, you first need to decide what type of explainer you want to create. Most explainer videos fall into one of three major categories.
- Animated Explainer Video: The most popular option, animated explainer videos are used most often because of their visual nature and relative ease to create. Animated explainer videos range in style and function, but some popular styles include:
- Product Simulation
- Motion Graphic
- Live Action Explainer Video: This type of explainer video uses people and objects to explain your company’s product or service. Harder to pull off, but excellent when done well, the live action explainer video requires a lot of creativity to keep things interesting. These explainer videos usually feature a spokesperson who takes the viewer through a visual journey as he or she explains the company’s product and service. They’re often the founder or CEO of the company and focus on highlighting their mission and purpose.
- Crowdfunding Explainer Video: Another popular video style is the crowdfunding explainer video. These explainer videos can be both live action or animated, and often include a combination of the two. Virtually every crowdfunding video is an explainer video by nature but often run longer as they have to include more information about how they plan to spend the funds raised. When done right, a creative crowdfunding explainer video can make or break a campaign and result in hundreds or even thousands of more dollars raised.
An explainer video follows the same three-step production process that any video production would.
- Pre-production: This is when you come up with your concept, write your script, gather your crew or partner with a video production agency, and plan your shoot or animation.
- Production: This is where you begin animating or start shooting your explainer video.
- Post-production: This is where you edit everything together, record your voiceover, and overlay any music or additional sound effects.
If you want to know why quality is correlated to clicks and price; check out the blog we did about how video production costing works and why.
The process is very different depending on whether you’re animating or shooting a live video, so make sure you reach out to a full video production house to help you if you aren’t sure what you’re doing. Many agencies and creative houses can help guide you through the process, but make sure you go with a company that specializes in or has created explainer videos before so you don’t get caught up making a Micheal Bay-level production and paying a heavy price for it.
If you’re looking for additional resources or support for making your own explainer video, we can help! Reach out to one of our creative producers today to find out how Rockstagvid can help you with all your explainer video needs.