Explainer videos are a form of business / marketing communication tool, that uses animation to communicate a message from ta company or brand. The benefits of explainer videos vary based on the type of website they’re deployed on, as well as how they’re marketed as a whole.

Great explainer videos can be highly valuable for your business because they typically have a long shelf life and can be used in multiple ways to promote your brand. To make a great explainer video, you need to understand some key concepts.

What are the Key components to an Explainer Video:

Whether you choose animation or live action for your explainer video, the style of the video should fit the tone of your business and cater to your target audience. The visual scenery needs to align with the message you’re communicating. If it’s bright and flashy, but your message is serious, you should make changes; if it’s slow and structured, but your message is fun, you’ll have another misalignment.

Here are the Key components of developing an explainer video:

  1.  Strategy
  2. Script
  3. Storyboard
  4. Style frames
  5. Rough Animation
  6. Sound Design

Strategy : The process of discovery before the script phase

The goal of a discovery session is to ask your client lots of questions about the piece of work they think they need and listen to their answers. It’s your job to get a good understanding of the issues and pain points they have leading up to them contacting you.

The ultimate takeaway from a discovery session is a clear understanding of the client’s business needs now and in the foreseeable future in the form or an achievable roadmap document/proposal setting out goals, milestones, actions, schedules and costs. If your discovery session is great, the client should be able to take the outcome document to any designer, developer, consultant or agency allowing them to jump-start right into the project.

We kinda want the client to go with us though!

Script: A document that clearly and concisely communicates Your core Message

Just about every business is trying to solve a problem, which is why explainer videos come in very handy and useful, but an explainer video can’t be successful without a script. At Mediaworks, we believe that the script lays down basic story points and guides the narrative.  We work along side the client because we understand that “no body knows your business like you do.” So on this premise, we usually guide them into identifying the major objective of the story, which is the fulcrum and focal point of the communication. Having an outside perspective can help you drill down to your most compelling message.

To write a great script, we ask detailed questions and get lots of important information from the client. We have excellent script writers and give rounds of feedback so that the client can edit and approve along the way, and it is also okay if the client has the script already laid out, so we concentrate on the execution of concept.

he process of distilling your message should not be taken lightly. Begin with lots of information — all the material you think you might need — and then evaluate your priorities. Start cutting the copy down until you have the absolute essentials.


Story Boards

This is where the narrative of your script literally starts to take shape. That’s why, when you’re approving storyboards or samples, you should be meticulous and bring in other members of your team whom you think would have a good sense of what fits your business and the message of the script.

A good video company will be watchful on this as well, but they are still learning your brand and will want helpful feedback to ensure that you get exactly what you need. Catching key misalignments in the storyboarding phase will keep them from snowballing into bigger issues further into development.


Style frames

The creation process for motion graphics videos consists of distinct steps to help discover, craft, and direct the production of a video. After we have concluded the script writing step, which solidifies the message or storyline of the video, we move into the step focused on defining the visual direction and feel for the end product. This step is about creating style frames.

Style frames demonstrate key visual frames of the way a video is going to be assembled and how it correlates with the script, the message. They also provide a client with a sample of styles that the video will have, including color pallet, graphics, and typography.

Style frames typically consist of two parts:

  • The left two-thirds of the page are still images that depict certain scenes or frames of the video.
  • The right one-third of the page shows parts of the script, or a description that correlates with the scenes on the left.

We use style frames to provide the client with a sample of the aesthetic of the video that is going to be created without having to create the whole video. This allows us to get feedback and change the style aspects of the video before actually creating it.


Rough Animation

The first step to create  animation is the rough construction, which is the sketch of the animation. It would usually start by animating the most important part of a character’s action. For example, to animate a walk cycle, you will start with the torso motion and the legs. Secondary animation such as the head, arms and clothes can be added afterward.

For a satisfactory animation, start by animating the main action with quick, rough sketches, then add the details when you’re satisfied with the movement. If you start animating all the details right away, you will lose a lot of time if you have to make corrections, and your animation is likely to look rigid.


Sound design

Sound Design doesn’t tell us the story, but it teleports us inside the story. It’s the immersive factor that allows an animation to be truly experienced and messages to be delivered with more purpose. Many moving pieces need to be put together for it to efficient, and it’s common for a thing or two to get overlooked.

An aspect we often see being disregarded is sound design. After all, when the sound design is done well, it feels so natural that it’s ‘invisible.’ That’s why so many agencies often forget that it’s a significant part of any animation production… one that can make or break the end product.

There are five different aspects of sound design that is deployed during sound design, Ambiance: The sounds that set the tone and the environment of the animation. Foley: Used to represent what’s being seen. E.g., The footsteps on the ground,  Sound Effects: The sound effects that enhance other sounds, actions, or elements. Voice Over: The mysterious narrator telling you the story, and Music: The music in the background working together with the ambiance to set the tone of the story.


Beyond Production of Explainer Video: Placement

Explainer videos are not meant to be buried somewhere within your website or used in your blog. They are high-impact pieces of content that need to be in a very visible or promotional space. For example, they can placed on your homepage (above the fold is best), on a targeted landing page where you drive traffic, used for social media campaigns, or emailed out to prospects or new customers.

Placement is also key to your explainer video’s impact as an educational piece or sales asset. The process of measuring the success of your video won’t be straightforward unless you have a very specific call-to-action that is trackable. Most of the time you won’t know the exact ROI, but you may be able to determine the video’s usefulness within the structure of a marketing or social media campaign.


Metrics for measuring the effectiveness of An Explainer Video

Most of the time, explainer videos add to the positive signals that allow people to understand, know like trust (KLT Factor) your business. You may see significant results on landing pages, especially if you’re driving certain kinds of traffic to the page (and the messaging on the page is targeted for that audience),You can measure the impact of your explainer video is making with a couple things:

  1. Customer feedback
  2. A single, trackable call to action

If you want to know what your customers or site visitors think of your video — whether it’s working or increases their understanding — you should ask them! Whether you email your list or include a short form underneath the video (“Was this video helpful to you? Yes / No”), you can find out whether your video is resonating with consumers. You can also do this with tools like Hotjar, where anonymous users can give feedback on your website experience so that you have data to improve the usability of your site.

But one of the best ways to find out the ROI of your explainer video is to include a specific call to action that you can track. For example, you could do one of the following:

  • Ask them to visit a webpage ONLY mentioned in your video: “Visit [your site name].com/action to find out more.”
  • Ask them to call a phone number that is specific to the explainer video.
  • Tell them to call your company and mention a certain word to receive savings.
  • Track the number of clicks on an in-video CTA button


Mediaworks is a leading company in providing animated Explainer Videos and content managements, we are based in Lagos, Nigeria. Our expertise covers Content creation, Search engine optimization and media buying. We simplify your brand communication and messaging so you can drive audience action.

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