Tips to Create a Better Live Action Explainer Video

An explainer video is a short video, usually up to three minutes long, which explains a product or service you are trying to sell. However, explainer videos vary from traditional advertising approaches, mainly by how they are delivered to the target audience. While you may rarely see them on TV, they are quite common on websites, social media, and video hosting sites like YouTube.  If done right, explainer videos can be monetized, have a higher rate of success when compared to static advertising, and are often spread by word of mouth through social media. 

With the advent of crowdfunding, explainer videos have become a crucial part of any marketing or development plan, and they don’t seem to be going away anytime soon. However, the question always remains: How can I make my video more effective?

Know Your Target Audience

Imagine that you had a company that offered a service like “play football on the moon.” Who would this target? athletes? Academics? White or Blue collared workers? Stay at home moms? Knowing your audience is key to determining who will be addressing them. In this case, you would be targeting athletics, therefore – you should strive to get athletic figures to try an explain your services. Of course, while it is always nice to have high profile figures explain your product for you, this is often extremely costly and works to alienate parts of the audience. 

For example, if you were to use a football player, who earns six figures a year, you can efficiently target other high-profile athletes, those with similarly high incomes, and those who idolize the sportsperson. However, if you were to use average athletes, families, or students, ‘everyday people,’ the viewers (target audience) get the impression that they are being talked to, not at, by their peers. Not an elusive elite, or someone they look down on.

Conversely, if your moon football company was looking for investors through crowdfunding, they don’t want to hear science from a 6-foot sack of muscles that can barely grunt out the alphabet on a good day. Nor do they want to hear from average joes, barely making as much as it would take to build a spaceship in 20 years. No, investors want to hear from high profile professionals, who have years of experience, who understand the science, and who can accurately assess the profitability of the venture. In many ways, High profile individuals are a brand in their own right, and this can be used (or not used) to your advantage.

More Bite; Less Bark

Since explainer videos primarily spread through word of mouth, social media, blogs, and other mediums, it is crucial that they are not only emotionally charged, but that they also emotionally charge the viewers.  This emotional charge makes videos memorable, feel like a message that needs to be shared. This means that they need to be provocative, inspiring, funny, or even depressing. At the same time, there needs to be a balanced between the emotional charge, and the message you are trying to deliver.

If you were to make a video targeting email services, it might be funny to see people list their grievances; you may even relate to some of them. This is the “bark.” However, that “bark” needs to be focused and targeted. Once a viewer is emotionally charged, you need to offer them something substantial to sink their teeth in, the “bite.” In this case, it would be your new email service, which has dramatically improved on the complaints aired earlier. Too much “bark” leaves viewers feeling empty, or drained, while too much bite does not allow viewers to become emotionally invested in the service or product your video is showcasing.

Regardless of your product or service, these two tips should help you focus and develop your explainer video, in a way that maximizes its share rate, while minimizing your expenses.


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