Explainer Video Dos and Don’ts to Always Keep in Mind

Startups and big brands that come up with ground-breaking products or services need to find equally innovative ways to market themselves.

In your mission to attract and engage prospects, an explainer video will prove to be a valuable ally.



In this article, we’ll walk you through some explainer video dos and don’ts so you can avoid major pitfalls and end up with stellar results.


explainer video dos and don'ts


Don’t start without a strategy

You wouldn’t want to create an explainer video without a strategy, would you?

No, of course not!

Have a clear idea of what you want to achieve with your explainer and how you’re going to do it. Ask yourself the following basic questions:


Where will your video live?

We’d recommend placing it on your home page or a landing page. You should also consider hosting sites like Vimeo or Wistia.


Where will you distribute/share it?

Decide which social media you’ll share your explainer video on because you’ll need multiple versions of it to share across different platforms.

A survey we conducted revealed which platform people like watching videos on most. So far, YouTube reigns supreme.

Videos on YouTube


Read more: The Best Video Distribution Platforms and Channels in 2020


How will you increase its visibility?

What SEO tactics will you use to give your explainer video the best chance at thriving in the digital space? All of this needs to be considered to improve your content’s visibility

Read more: 15 Simple Tips to Increase Your Video Views on YouTube

An explainer video can be a valuable tool in your digital marketing utility belt.

If you’re new to video, though, check out our free e-book on how to build a video marketing strategy from scratch.
You’ll learn the ropes in no time!

How to build a video marketing campaign for startups

Download Our Ebook


Do keep your target audience in mind

Let’s face it, you won’t sell your product or service to everyone out there.

Craft your message around your target audience so they can connect with it easily. Here are some points to consider:

  • Your explainer video characters should look and act like your target audience
  • Create situations that your prospects will be able to relate to
  • Use language and references your target audience will easily understand.

Watch how the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation uses The Imaginary Friend Society video series to communicate with its young audience.



Read more: Tips for Character Designing for Explainer Videos


Don’t mislead your audience

Being clickbaity with your explainer video is a big mistake. Call your product or service like it is; don’t make false promises, and make sure your message is concrete so it doesn’t leave room for multiple interpretations.

If you mislead your audience once, for some short-term gain, you’ll lose their trust. Building your reputation back up once it’s damaged is a tough process.


Do prepare an excellent script

A great explainer video script can make or break your project. Here are three things to keep in mind when you’re trying to write a script:

  • Prepare a short outline (keep it up to 5 lines max)
  • Avoid jargons and complex language
  • Use concrete examples and avoid vague analogies

Read more: Why Explainer Videos Need a Killer Script


Don’t make the video too long

Our study found that 80% of people believe a product/service explainer video shouldn’t be longer than 60 seconds.

Keep this in mind when it comes to your explainer video project. Follow these tips and become a master of brevity:

  • Be concise
  • Try not to go over the 90-second mark
  • Keep it at 150 words per minute maximum

Check out this explainer we made for one of our clients



Do include a professional voice-over


motioncue voice over


A TechSmith study found that more than 25% of video viewers will watch the full video if it has good quality audio.

The voice-over should complement the video’s style and match your brand identity. So, pick the one that’s just right!


Don’t brag about the features

Instead of going in-depth about your product/service’s features, talk about how your prospects will benefit from your offering.

This will help your audience understand how you aim to solve their problem and make them more interested in taking the desired action.


Do tell a story

A good story can make your message stick! Here’s how you can tell a story in an explainer video:

  • Use the problem-solution format
  • Cast your viewer as a hero
  • Take your hero on a journey
  • Provide a resolution so your audience can envision how your offering can help them solve their problem!

Here’s an animated explainer video we made that follows the story format.



Don’t hire a sketchy explainer video company

There are plenty of explainer video companies out there, but not all are legit.

To check if an explainer video company is credible, do the following:

  • Go to trusted sites like Clutch and look for company reviews.
  • Ask for past client references and contact them to find out how their experience working with the company was.
  • Survey their social media activity and look at how they interact with their prospects and other relevant people from the industry.
  • Inspect their portfolio carefully. And see if their work is consistent in terms of the level of detail and quality.

Read our post on how to pick and explainer video agency for more details.


Do add a compelling call to action (CTA)

You must make it clear to your audience what action you want them to take.

If you want them to visit your landing page or website, sign up to a newsletter, subscribe to your channel, or even just check out some of your other content, whatever the desired action is, let your viewer know it with a CTA.

On-screen CTA example - Explainer video dos and don'ts

Your CTA can be of the following types

  • On-screen CTA: It could be a clickable button or just plain text.
  • Description CTA: tells the viewer what they can do next in the description section of the video.
  • Auditory CTA: Incorporate your CTA into your video’s narration/voice-over.

And last but not least…

Don’t forget to hit us up!

We’ve been in the video production business for over 10 years and have helped businesses—from Fortune 500 companies to up-and-coming startups—accomplish their goals with result-oriented videos.

If you’re in the market for an explainer video, be sure to contact us! Our video strategists would love to help bring your project to life.

Schedule a free consultation call with our video strategist



Posted by Maria Saif

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