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8 Brilliant Explainer Video Ideas and How to Make Your Own

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Rachel from InVideo
October 28, 2021
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15 min

If you’re looking to create effective explainer videos for your brand and business, you’re in the right place. In this comprehensive guide on explainer videos, we’ll take you through the exact 8-step formula you can use to create super-effective explainer videos. 

Not just that, but if you stick around till the end of the video, we will also share with you easy explainer video ideas with ready-to-use templates that you can use to hit the ground running.

Here’s everything you will learn in this guide:

A. Types of explainer videos 
B. 3 examples of explainer videos (and what makes them so great)
C. 7 explainer video ideas to get you started with making your own!
D. 5 common mistakes to avoid when making an explainer video
E. Bonus: The 8-Step formula to make an amazing explainer video

Pro Tip: You can make video creation quick and easy for your brand with InVideo for business where you get access to tailor-made templates and on-demand video editing services. Sign up for a demo here

Let's get started

What is an explainer video? 

Explainer videos are used to explain a product or service or educate audiences about a particular topic. Also referred to as how-to videos or instructional videos, they often use a mix of live action and animation to showcase a topic in an engaging format. 

Audiences are much more likely to learn about your business or topic of expertise from easy explainer videos than they are from a long article - which makes them one of the most popular types of videos around. 

Explainer videos are used on landing pages or product pages, in company ads, for crowdfunding campaigns, or during conferences and events. 

Here’s an explainer video example:

Now let’s get right to it! 

A. Types of Explainer Videos

Before you start making your own explainer videos, you’ll first need to learn about the types of instructional videos and select a format that works best for you. 

Here are the 3 most popular explainer video formats:

(1) Live Action Video
(2) Animated Video
(3) Whiteboard Video

(1) Live Action Explainer Video

A live-action video is a video shot on camera and doesn’t usually involve animation or added graphics. Some very simple yet effective live-action videos feature just one person talking into a camera (often referred to as ‘talking head’ videos). To ensure their videos aren’t monotonous, many creators include multiple-angle shots in their videos - either demonstrating a process, changing locations, or using some B-roll footage

Here’s an example of how we used live action to explain the 3 Moods TikTok trend:

When do you use live action explainer videos?

If you want to demonstrate a product or service, live action is probably the best explainer video format for you since people want to see the products or software in action rather than illustrated versions of the same. 

Live action is also really great if you want to establish a human connection and lend credibility to your business. This is especially important if you run a small business like a consulting firm or restaurant. Being able to see the person behind the work helps build trust and create an emotional connection - both critical factors in growing your business.

Pro tip: Once your clips are shot, you can sign up for a service like InVideo for business where you can get your video edited to perfection using our video editing on-demand option. Sign up for a demo here

(2) Animated Explainer Video

Animated videos use illustrated characters, objects, text, and graphics to tell a story or explain a  concept. The animation helps break down more complex concepts into simple visual images that make information easy to digest - and much less intimidating than an expert lecturing for hours.

Also, since your videos don't contain any ‘live action’ you can showcase ideas and products which may not already exist since you don’t need any footage to be able to create these videos. This makes animated videos a budget-friendly and easy-to-execute choice when you are trying to create videos to illustrate proof-of-concept or when you want to explain small abstract concepts, like MuleSoft’s explainer video example below:

Unlike talking head videos, which you can easily figure out how to do yourself, with an animated video, you’ll almost definitely need to hire an animator or motion graphics designer to execute your vision. Be mindful of this when making a choice. 

When do you use animated explainer videos?

As we’ve just seen, animated videos are a great way to explain something abstract or conceptual like an API, but animated videos can be used for a ton of different purposes. 

Let’s take a look at a few ways in which you can use different types of animation in your explainer videos: 

- Use Animated Infographics to highlight detailed or complex ideas in an engaging format. Animated infographics are a step up from a regular presentation - in fact you can even animate your own presentations to make them more interesting. It’s a great style to use if you’ve got a lot of detail to cover in a short amount of time or there’s a complex concept you’d like to explain simply. Take a look at this example from Red24:

- Use Kinetic Typography to give life to data-focused videos.  Kinetic typography is a type of motion graphics animation that animates text, numbers, graphs and other elements. It’s really helpful when conveying ideas that would otherwise be difficult to depict visually, and keeps the story engaging despite being data-heavy. It’s also a very mobile-friendly format, since viewers can watch videos with their sound off since the motion graphics speak for themselves. Usually there’s only a background track that’s added to the video for sound -so you’re not missing much. Take a look at this simple approach to graphics and see how it amplifies the story being told:

- Use 3D animation to promote your brand or business. 3D animation adds  depth to the animation equation, creating a highly dynamic animated environment great for brand promotional videos and storytelling. Using the structure of a story to explain the purpose of your brand, what you do, or why you exist can be a great way to get people invested.  It’s also extremely fun to watch! See how Kasra Design turned a relatively boring chart about workflow process into this great 3D animation:

- Use Stop-motion animation for a unique look and feel to  your videos. This is a type of 3D animation made using puppets, graphics, papers or live objects -pretty much anything you can imagine. Stop motion involves taking a series of images of the objects in different positions and adding them all together to form a video. It’s an animation style that’s super unique and can be used by brands who want to make a lasting impression or who’d like their explainer videos to address kids. While it is one of the least complex animation styles - it can take a lot of work since you require hundreds of images for a video that lasts only a few seconds. Stop motion doesn’t always have to be for kids or ‘fun’ brands - Honda used it to talk about 6 decades of their history as a company: 

- Another type of animated explainer video you can use is Whiteboard animation. Since this is such a popular form - we’re going to take an in-depth look at it in the next section. 

(3) Whiteboard Explainer Video

A whiteboard explainer video, also referred to as “video scribing,” is a type of animated video where a person, or just their hand, draws on a white screen or background while narrating. The story or explanation progresses as the person draws, allowing viewers to feel involved in the process of creation and increases their retention. In fact, people retain 15% more information after watching a whiteboard explainer video when compared to a ‘talking head’  one. 

Charles Duhigg’s video on what makes a great team is a classic whiteboard explainer video example.

When do you use whiteboard explainer videos?

If you have a complex or abstract concept to talk about, a whiteboard explainer video is an excellent format to use. They are especially effective for charting timelines or describing a system or process. 

For example, take a look at this video on the history of Northwestern University: 

Whiteboard explainer videos are also used a lot in educational content or when tackling a more serious topic like climate change or stock market tutorials - since the simple drawings can help viewers retain information easily without the distracting influence of animated characters or the monotony of a ‘talking head’ instructional video.

If you're still concerned about adding animation to your videos, you can sign up to InVideo for business where you can get access to tailor-made templates for all your animation needs. Sign up for a demo here

Next, let’s look at the 8-step formula for making great explainer videos. 

B. Three Examples of explainer videos (and what makes them so great!)

In this section we’ll take a look at 3 of the best explainer videos on YouTube and analyze what makes them work. Watch these videos carefully and note down how you can adopt some of their techniques in your own explainer videos. 

(1) How to get more Views on YouTube by Brian Dean

What makes this 15-minute video by Brain Dean one of the best explainer videos is the clarity of the narration and the variety of assets he uses to emphasize his point. 

Brian’s narrative style is simple, clear and includes some jokes to break the flow and give viewers a chance to relax. He also talks at a slower than normal pace - which is great when you’re learning and need to pay attention to new terms or key points. 

Brian is featured on a white background, so the viewer isn’t distracted by background clutter. He also has a neat trick of changing camera angles every time he makes a different point - this jump from a center shot to a side angle can really help with holding viewer's attention. 

Examples of how-to videos

Another technique he uses to hold attention are pattern breaks. Watching someone talk for 15 mins can get pretty boring, no matter how many camera angles you use! So every new step is introduced with a section break, important points are emphasized with text and references or examples are accompanied with images and animation. 

Another thing that really works for this video is the animated arrows and boxes Brian uses to make his point - a still image would do just as well, but the motion graphics and zoom-ins make this video super engaging. 

You can get professional videos like ben created using InVideo for business where you can get access to tailor-made templates for your brand as well as on-demand video editing services for all your needs. Sign up for a demo here

Examples of how-to videos views

(2) 7 ways to make your videos look more cinematic by Storysium

Here’s an explainer video example that doesn’t use the ‘talking head’ technique. 

The narration here is accompanied by live-action footage that ‘shows’ what the creator is talking about. This works well if you have to explain a technique or teach someone how to do something - for example, many cooking videos don’t show the face of the creator because people want to see how the food is prepared rather than watch you talk about how to cook it. Similarly, in this video, it’s more important to show viewers different camera angles and techniques than simply narrate what works. 

video showing viewers different camera angles and techniques

This creator also uses text to call out important points and includes some light humor to make the viewer feel comfortable. Remember, being approachable is key to making explainer videos since very few people will want to learn from someone they’re intimidated by. 

example of explainer video

(3) How to rank higher on Google by Ahrefs

One of the best things about Ahrefs tutorials is their easy and approachable style. The script here is incredibly tight - there’s a 2 line introduction on what the video is about (i.e. ranking higher on Google), and then they get right to it. A good script will make your videos seem effortless and is essential to keeping viewers engaged in what you’re saying. While the video doesn’t use a ton of motion graphics (unlike Brian’s), the simplicity and value of their content make it something you won’t miss. 

Ahrefs also does branding really well. Sam is wearing an Ahrefs shirt and has an Ahrefs mug alongside his laptop. The background is still clear and distraction-free allowing you to focus on him and the few elements on the screen. All the graphics are branded with the Ahrefs colors and fonts, and their logo is clearly visible throughout the video - but again, not distracting. This is a great example of how to subtly reinforce your brand in explainer videos.

Pro tip: Tutorials like this are easy to create with InVideo for business where you can custom branded templates to make your videos reinforce your brand identity. Sign up for a demo here

C. 7 explainer video ideas to get you started with making your own! 

If you’re still wondering what to make a video about, we've got you! Check out these 7 explainer videos examples which you can learn from. We’ve also included a few simple explainer video templates from InVideo you can use to get started right away! 

(1) Technology explainer video

Some of the most popular explainer videos are used to explain abstract concepts or ideas in tech. Here’s Hubspot’s simple explainer video on artificial intelligence: 

You can create your own explainer video with this fully customizable, ready-to-use template. 

Use this template

(2) Tips and tricks explainer video

Making videos of tips and tricks can help establish you as an expert in the field while delivering valuable content to your target audience. Tips and tricks videos tend to be longer format since they deal with a topic in detail.

Create your own tips and tricks video using this template.

(3) Awareness-building explainer video

If you have a cause or a campaign you’d like to educate audiences about, creating an awareness-building explainer video is a great way to inform viewers while keeping it engaging.

This informative video on the depth of the ocean uses some incredible animation techniques that hold your attention despite the dense topic: 

Create your own awareness-building video using this template.

(4) Step-by-step tutorial video

There are tons of how-to tutorials out there, so figuring out how to make your instructional video interesting is critical.

InVideo has a series of tutorials on how to use their software. Check out this step-by-step tutorial on how to create an explainer video using InVideo:

(Note how they’ve created a series of shorter tutorial videos and added them to a playlist to prevent new users from feeling overwhelmed)

Create your own step-by-step tutorial  video using this template.

(5) Promotional explainer video 

Promo videos are your chance to get really creative! Businesses often use the explainer video format to promote a new feature they’ve added while simultaneously advertising their business.

Check out this really cool explainer video by Mailchimp which promotes the integration of Facebook ads into their email marketing software: 

Create your own promotional explainer video using this template

(6) Brand explainer video 

Similar to promotional videos, brand explainer videos tell the story of your business and its values while also highlighting your products. Brand explainer videos can also be used to talk about your organization’s origin story or explain the meaning behind your logo.

Here’s LivePlan’s brand explainer video example:

Create your own brand explainer video using this template.

(7) 30 second explainer video

30 second explainer videos are a great way to quickly introduce a concept, set up a teaser or reveal new branding for your business. The short format can be a challenge to get right, but your audience is also more likely to watch right to the end. 

For example, Prescribe Wellness uses its 30 second explainer video to  convey a single idea - the simplicity and convenience that using their prescription service will bring. The way in which the video is made leaves the user with a good idea of what their company does, but also prompts them to want to learn more about the business. 

Create your own 30 second explainer video using this template.

For tailor-made templates that work specifically for your brand, consider using InVideo for business Sign up for a demo here

D. Five common mistakes to avoid when making a explainer video

You know everything about making your own explainer videos, but before you start working on them, let’s first take a look at some common mistakes people make so you can avoid them.

Here are the 5 most common mistakes made when creating an explainer video: 

(1) Ignoring the importance of a good script

Before you create explainer videos - work on your script. You might be tempted to get started with shooting right away, especially if you’re pressed for time, but don’t do it. 

A good script is what decides the effectiveness of your videos. A script not only helps organize your thoughts and forms a cohesive story but also prevents you from making costly mistakes. Videos without a detailed script don’t have a framework and are more likely to lack a clear point of view, confuse viewers and undergo multiple takes and revisions later on - adding significantly to costs. 

It’s fine to leave room for small bits of improvisation while shooting but having a script will prevent you from going off on a tangent and keep you on track.

Pro-Tip: Get someone to review your script before you start shooting - that way they’ll be able to point out any breaks in flow or inconsistencies you might’ve missed. After reviewing your script, practice it out loud to make sure you sound conversational.

Don’t forget to bookmark and read this blog for more detailed tips on scripting or watch this video on a 4 step script writing formula:

(2) Using an incorrect tone of voice

Adjust your tone of voice according to the type of video you’re creating and make sure it aligns with your brand. For example, if your video aesthetic is light and fun, using a deep or intense tone of voice (like Morgan Freeman’s), will confuse viewers. 

If you’re creating a video series, make sure your tone of voice is consistent throughout - having a strong video script will help you here! 

An incorrect tone of voice can be confusing and sometimes even irritate users, so think about your tone carefully before you begin shooting. Accents don’t matter as much as you think they do - as long as you are clear and your tone is consistent with the style of your video, you’re fine. 

Pro tip on using filler words and clear tone in video

(3) Creating low-quality videos 

There’s nothing more off-putting than a bad-quality video. This doesn’t mean you must always have to shoot with professional equipment - smartphone cameras are good enough, although we definitely recommend investing in a tripod and mic. This will prevent shaky videos and clear audio - so even if your video isn’t of amazing quality, few will notice. 

Bad lighting, background noise, and shaky video will make you lose viewers faster than anything else. If you’re on a budget and can’t afford to buy expensive equipment, hire actors or travel for shoots, use stock footage to create professional-level videos instead. 

Check out InVideo for business to create high-quality videos for your brand in minutes. Sign up for a demo here

 stock footage to create explainer videos

Pro-tip: Check out our guide to video equipment to make sure you have the right gear to be able to create your own videos.

(4) Providing unnecessary information

Providing unnecessary information is one sure way to get viewers to leave - so getting your point across in the least amount of time is key! 

It’s important to clarify here that we’re not talking about video length. Even 30 second explainer videos can have unnecessary info. Whether you’re creating a 2 minute video animation tutorial or a 15 minute instructional video about YouTube marketing - make sure you deliver value every single minute.

When you work on your script, make sure to cut out anything that’s not absolutely critical, and don’t forget to provide a clear call-to-action at the end of the video so your audience knows what to do next! 

Pro-tip: Keep your intros as short and concise as possible since people are most likely to drop off in the first 5-10 seconds of a video.

(5) Failing to understand your target audience 

Finally, don’t forget about your audience. This is one of the most important things - and something that’s most neglected. 

All too often, video creators make videos because they want to say something but forget to think about who’s listening. You might create some of the best instructional videos in the world, but if your target audience is school children and you use a very formal tone with a lot of jargon, no kids are going to watch your videos. 

Keep your audience in mind throughout the development of your video - while scripting, during production and definitely while editing. 

Think about what they’d want to hear and the format they’d be most receptive to. Here’s a few questions to ask yourself to make sure your video is enjoyed by it’s intended audience: 

- Who is your audience?
- Who are they most likely to listen to or trust?
- What are their pain points? 
- How can you help?

Another thing you should absolutely never do, is use clickbait or mislead people to direct traffic to your videos. 

Here’s an example of a clickbait video that misleads an audience: 

While the thumbnail looks like it’s someone falling off a cliff - that never happens. Instead this video is just a series of clips of people jumping off heights - and landing just fine. The video title and thumbnail are both clearly written to get people to click and watch the video. 

While such videos might gather large numbers of clicks or opens - most people will quickly close the video - and probably never watch anything you make ever again. Successful video creators aim to deliver consistent, long-term value to their audience and misleading someone about the nature of the content is not only unethical, it will also lose you your most valuable asset: your audience. 

E. Bonus: The 8-Step formula to amazing explainer videos 

Now that you have a good sense of the different types of explainer videos you can create, here’s a highly effective eight-step formula to help you make your own:

Step 1: Choose your Video Style 
Step 2: Choose a Length
Step 3: Write a Script 
Step 4: Record and Edit Your Narration 
Step 5: Collect Media
Step 6: Edit and Arrange Media 
Step 7: Add Music 
Step 8: Publish and Track Performance

We’ve also included a ton of helpful links and templates in each of these subtopics so you’ll have all the info you need to make the best explainer videos ever!

Step 1: Choose your Video Style

To make explainer videos, start by selecting your video style. As mentioned in the previous section - you can choose between a live action, animated or whiteboard explainer videos or  use a combination of any two. 

Your style should be determined by the explainer video topic you chose. Here’s a brief summary of the pros and cons of the 3 popular how-to video styles:

pros and cons of how-to video

Step 2: Choose a Length 

Before we go ahead, here’s an important point to remember - there is no ideal or specific length for an explainer video. The optimum length of a video is determined by certain factors, mainly: the content it covers, the target audience, its purpose and overall context. 

Let’s look at this in a little more detail:

- The content: Explainer videos offer tons of possibilities to communicate your ideas from short videos for brands to 2 hour tutorials. If you intend to educate your audience on a complex topic - having a longer video will make more sense - since a 30 second explainer video won’t be able to deliver any value. 

Videos longer than 15 minutes may affect watch-time, so if you have a lot of content to cover, think about breaking the topic into smaller sections and covering this in multiple videos instead. 

Many YouTubers use playlists to break up longer topics into more easily watchable chunks- take a look at how we did this for our explainer videos around simple video editing tips:

Invideo search results on YouTube

- The target audience: Think about whether your audience is more interested in long-form content or more likely to want to consume bite-sized information and create your videos based on their needs or expectations. Marketing longer videos to people expecting something under a minute isn’t going to work.

- The purpose and context: Consider the devices and platforms on which your target audience will watch your videos. Mobile viewers typically enjoy shorter videos - most smartphone viewers choose videos under 5 minutes according to Hubspot. Also, make sure your title and thumbnails give potential viewers a clear idea of what to expect so that they don’t drop off during the video

That said, here are a few ideal video lengths based on the platform and type of video.

optimal ideal video lengths

If getting people’s attention is your main goal - shorter is probably better as the average human’s attention span is now below 8 seconds. But don’t completely discount longer step-by-step tutorials - people who want to learn something in detail aren’t going to be impressed by a 30-second tutorial and actively look for more in-depth guides. 

For example, we have a two minute video on how to crop or resize a video - something that you’d want to learn to do quickly, and a 30-minute tutorial video on YouTube ads for an audience which requires a more detailed guide.

There’s definitely a strong relationship between video length and audience retention - but you must consider the use case of your video for your audience when choosing its length!

Video Length Best Practices:

- Make sure you hold your audiences’ attention for the first 10 seconds of your video to make sure they keep watching. Those first couple of seconds are critical.
- Explainer videos can’t always cover everything you need to say. If you find that your topic is very extensive, don’t try and overstuff  your video with information. Instead, create a video series and break your topic into multiple sections. This way you’ll be able to cover everything in detail, illustrated with proper examples.  

Step 3: Write a script

A script will help you visualize your video and plan shots accordingly which will in turn save you massive time and effort while shooting and editing. 

The simplest way to write a script is to separate the visuals from dialogue or voiceovers. This allows you to plan both audio and visual aspects simultaneously, and can easily flag any concerns.

To help you get started with writing a script, check out this super detailed blog on how-to write an explainer video script

Here’s an example of an explainer video script:

example of an explainer video script

Use this explainer video script template.

(You’ll have to click on File > Make a copy to copy the sheet so you can edit it).

Before you begin writing your explainer video script ask yourself these few questions: 

- Who is it for?
- What are their pain points?
- How will you help them solve it?
- What should they do next? 

This will give you a good sense of the goal and purpose of your script. Keeping these questions in mind, start with a rough outline (you can use bullet points) and then add in the details.

The amount of detail in your script will depend on what type of explainer video you’re making. For videos that include testimonials or interviews, exact dialogue cannot be planned, but brand explainer videos - which are typically less than a minute, have detailed scripts where every word is carefully chosen and edited.  

You should also definitely take a look at these 9 tips for writing the perfect video marketing script to make sure you’ve not missed out on anything important.  

Pro-tip: Practice reading your script out loud to check that your words sound conversational enough - reading the script aloud will also give you an idea of how long your video might end up being.

Adjusting content within a time-frame:

Tracking the number of words in your script can help you create content within a certain time-frame. Here’s how many words you’ll need for different video lengths: 

- 150 words roughly translate to a 1 minute video
- 225 words roughly translate to a 90 second video

Step 4: Record and edit your narration

Now that you have a script ready, it's time to record your voiceover narration. In this section, we’ll take a look at some best practices on recording audio and suggest equipment and software that you can use to record and edit your narration. 

Best practices while audio recording

Whether you are using a professional recording artist or doing it yourself, here are some best practices to keep in mind: 

- Pick a quiet place to record: if you don’t have the budget for a recording studio, choose somewhere quiet with minimal noise or interruptions.
- Use a recording software: recording software will help you easily adjust sound levels and remove any unwanted background noises that might creep in. If you’re looking for a free software, Audacity is a great option. You can also edit your audio and video on a single online platform: InVideo (more on this in the next section).
- Invest in a mic: Don’t use your smartphone or built-in laptop mic. While these are fine for calls, they will pick up a lot of noise and have very low clarity. Mics don’t always have to be super expensive; you can easily find a budget one for $40-$60. Read this exhaustive list of mics for every budget and requirement.
- Keep a good distance from the mic: don’t stand too close to the mic while you’re recording as this will make some of your words unclear or too loud - 6 inches away is an ideal distance.
- Level check before recording: Before recording your final audio, do a level check - this is extremely important since if your audio is too soft or too loud in volume you will not be able to properly remove out additional background noise when you’re editing. Do a trial run on your recording software and adjust your level to about 5 decibels. Most standard voiceover narration software will be able to identify decibel levels so you should be able to check this easily.
- Read from the screen: Reading from a screen instead of paper will not only block out additional noise from the shuffling of the paper, but also allow you to quickly edit your script if needed

For more tips on audio recording, check out this video:  

Audio equipment

Here are a few options for mics you can use to record your voice overs:

- Shotgun mic: The most sought after choice for audio amongst video creators. These cameras easily mount on your camera and are great for vlogging and interviews – whether you’re shooting indoors or outdoors. Check out RODE Video 
- Lapel mic: These small mics easily clip onto your shirt and plugs straight into your cell-phone or camera. These lapels are great if you create videos from your desk and they’re also good for conducting interviews and vlogging. Get the RODE Go Compact Wireless (also useful for outdoor recordings)
- Podcast mic: These versatile mics directly connect to your system and give a clear audio output. They work great if you’re looking to create live streams or screen-sharing tutorial videos. Podcast mics are strictly indoor mics and can’t be used outdoors simply because they have to be connected to a PC system to record the audio.  Consider getting the Maona USB Podcast Mic or RODE NT-USB

Edit your narration

Once you’re done recording, it’s time to edit! Don’t forget to remove bad takes, long pauses, breaths between lines and any other background noise you find. Try and get your voiceover as clear as possible for a smooth-sounding narration. 

One option to use while editing your audio is InVideo’s online video editor as you can record your voiceover directly onto the platform. What’s great about using InVideo is that you can edit the rest of your video as well - so you won’t have to keep switching from one software to another. 

Here’s how you can record and edit your voiceover narration with InVideo: 

Step 1: Sign up or log in to InVideo. Select a template you’d like to use by searching for keywords or scrolling through available templates on the homepage.  

You can also start with a blank canvas if you already have your video and are just looking to add audio or narration to it. 

how to record and edit your voiceover narration with InVideo_Step 1

Select a template to open up the video editor. 

Step 2: Add narration to your video by selecting ‘Voiceover’ on the top-left corner of the timeline panel.

how to record and edit your voiceover narration with InVideo_Step 2

There are 3 ways you can add a voiceover on InVideo:

#1 - Using the automated text-to-speech feature: 

The text-to-speech feature provides a variety of professional-sounding options. You can generate a voiceover based on your input or a particular text element in a scene. 

Just follow these steps:

- Select ‘Automated Text to Speech’
- Enter the text you’d like to narrate
- Pick a language or accent 
- Pick a voice
- Click ‘Generate VO’ to create your voiceover preview
- Press the play button to preview your narration
- If you’re happy, select ‘Add VO to Scene’

adding a voiceover - Using automated text-to-speech feature- step 1

The generated voice-over will appear in the timeline below the scene. 

adding a voiceover - Using automated text-to-speech feature - step 2

Click on this to set up additional options, such as:

- Trimming or looping the voice-over
- Adding fade-in and fade-out effects
- Setting up the volume for the voice-over and the background music

Note: The default setting on the slider for the background music is ten percent. This means that the volume of the song will go down to that level when the video starts playing the voice-over.

adding a voiceover - Using automated text-to-speech feature - step 3

#2 - Recording a voice-over within the editor

Here’s how you can record a voiceover right from within InVideo: 

- Click on ‘Record voiceover’ from the Voiceover tab
- Start speaking into your mic once the recording starts
- Select the stop button when you’re done recording

Recording a voice-over within the editor - step 1

#3 - Uploading a file you’ve created in another program

To upload a recording, simply click and drag it onto the Uploads tab and add it to your scene using the same steps mentioned above. 

Uploading a voiceover file you’ve created in another program

We’ll dive deeper into how you can edit your explainer video on InVideo in Step 6

Step 5: Collect media

After you’ve recorded your narration, it’s time to put together all the visuals and animations you’ll need for the video. A good way of doing this would be to refer back to your script and mark out the exact visuals you’ll need for every section. Once you have your list ready you can start creating and compiling them together.   

Remember - even talking head videos should use graphics, text, animations or B-roll footage to make it more engaging for their viewers. 

You don’t need to be a professional graphics designer to have well-made accompanying graphics. Keep them simple and make sure they illustrate the point you are trying to make, so users will stay engaged. 

If you’re just starting out with explainer videos, you can use these resources to help you find and create media assets:

- InVideo’s stock footage: choose from a library of 8M royalty free images and video clips to make up for the times when you can’t necessarily shoot your own video or just need some high resolution B-rolls to support your video. You will also have royalty-free music, graphics and text stickers at your disposal. You can find all of these resources on the left hand side menu.

 InVideo’s stock footage - library of 8M royalty free images and video clips

- Freepik: choose from an extensive library of copyright-free stock images, logos and photos 

Freepik:  library of copyright-free stock images, logos and photos 

- Canva: easily create graphics, slides, and animated gifs for your videos with Canva 

Canva: easily create graphics, slides, and animated gifs for your videos

Step 6: Edit and arrange media

Now you have all your media assets, it's time to start putting everything together. 

Editing is the part of your workflow where you get to make your video as crisp and concise as possible - cut away any footage that’s not absolutely critical to your message and focus on how you can get across your point instead of just adding a bunch of effects to impress your viewers.

Start a project in the video editor of your choosing. There are a bunch of video editors you can use including Movie Maker, Lightworks or PremierPro but the easiest way to create your explainer video is using InVideo’s online editor. Unlike the others, InVideo includes a free version, comes with a bunch of ready-to-use templates, an inbuilt library of royalty music and stock footage, animated text and stickers to help you get started. 

How to edit your explainer videos online in minutes with InVideo:

Here’s a step by step guide that shows you how simple it is to edit videos using InVideo’s online editor: 

Step 1: Log in or sign up for a free account on InVideo. You can search from over 5000+ templates by typing in ‘explainer video’ in the search bar. 

How to edit your explainer videos online in minutes with InVideo- step 1

When you’ve found a template you like, click on Use this template to open up the video editor.

Step 2: You can edit your video by adding stock footage, text or music found on the left hand panel. Simply drag and drop the elements, footage or images you want to add to the scene to the center of the editor. 

How to edit your explainer videos online in minutes with InVideo- step 2

Step 3: Your video is made up of different scenes. Use the timeline panel below to toggle between scenes, add new ones, rearrange them and increase or decrease the time of each scene. 

How to edit your explainer videos online in minutes with InVideo- step 3

Step 4: To edit a layer, select it from the right hand panel.  Select a layer to open customization options like animations and colors. You can view these on the panel above the edit preview. 

How to edit your explainer videos online in minutes with InVideo- step 4

Once you’re done editing your video, it’s time to add some background music. 

You can ease up your editing process even further with InVideo for business where you can get your video edited to perfection using our video editing on-demand option. Sign up for a demo here

Step 7: Add Music

One of the most critical things you must remember when adding music to your video are copyright rules. Always check to see if your audio file has the correct license before adding it to your video. If your video is in violation of any copyright law it could get taken down.

Your best bet is to only use audio files that are in the public domain or have a creative commons license. The YouTube Audio Library has a ton of tracks that you can add to your videos which are free to use. The only downside to this is that it can get a little generic. 

But this is where an online video editor like InVideo comes in. With an in-built audio library of thousands of royalty-free music tracks to choose from, you will always find the perfect music track for your explainer video no matter what the genre or the industry.

Once you’re done editing your video - that is making the cuts, adding effects, transitions, elements, and text, you can add background music to it.

Click on the Music tab on the left panel of the screen: 

Add music to your video on InVideo

This will open up a bunch of music genres. You can either click on a genre to explore or use the search bar to find the music you like. 

If you have your own track you’d like to add, simply click on the Upload button next to the search bar and add a music file from your computer. 

To add music, either click and drag the file to your timeline or click on the button next to the track to add the track.  If you’ve already got an audio file loaded, you’ll be able to replace existing music or add the new track before or after the previous one. 

Add music to your video on InVideo

You can also watch this video for a step by step guide on how to add audio to your explainer video using InVideo: 

You can also read this blog which lists the best websites to access free music and also includes an informative section on copyright regulation and music rights. 

Step 8: Publish and Track Performance

Once you’ve added music to your video - you’re done! After a round of review you should be ready to publish. 

Download and share your video

If you’re using InVideo to edit your video, you can share it directly to your social channels. Preview your video and make sure everything’s fine before clicking on the ‘Download and Share’ button on the right-hand corner of your screen. 

Publish video and Track Performance

Once the video renders, you can either download it on your desktop or share it directly on YouTube, Facebook or Twitter. 

Download and share your video

Where should I publish my explainer video?

There are a couple of video hosting platforms you can publish your video on, the most popular one being YouTube. YouTube is a great option if you’re looking to get discovered or advertise to a large audience. They have all the tools you need to get the video online, allow you to embed it in your website or another location, and track the number of engagement metrics, which are critical to understanding the success of your video. 

If you’re looking to drive traffic to your website or improve your on-site conversions and engagement Vimeo, Vidyard, or a paid option like Wistia work better. (They don’t have YouTube’s all-important discoverability feature though!) 

Hosting a video directly on your website isn’t the best idea simply because you won’t get the performance metrics video hosting platforms offer. Your videos also won’t be as easily shareable and there’s a greater risk of your video malfunctioning or loading incorrectly on different screens or browsers. If you absolutely have to host it on your site, make sure you upload a duplicate version to one of the platforms mentioned above.

Once your video is hosted, don’t forget to regularly track its performance. Video analytics provide key insights which should inform your overall marketing strategy and help you create more engaging videos in the future. 

Here’s what an analytics page from YouTube looks like:

YouTube analytics page

As you can see, there are a ton of ways in which you can track your activity - which may not be available if your video is hosted on your own website.  

What is the best time to publish a video?

If you’re looking to make your video more discoverable, publishing times matter. Various studies have identified that people watch videos during much the same time as when they watch TV - however you should upload your videos a few hours ahead of peak viewing times as YouTube requires some time to index your video and populate search results. 

For more detailed information on peak viewing times, check out this blog. 

Pro-tip: Consider where your target audience’s time zone is and post accordingly - especially if you’re targeting markets that are outside your own time zone. 

Wrapping up - 

That’s it! We have shared everything there is to know about creating super effective explainer videos! 

Don’t forget to share this guide with your friends and colleagues who are looking to create explainer videos for their business or brand.

If you liked this blog and want to learn more about the step-by-step process to creating better videos, you must check out this guide where we take you through the entire process of how to make a video from start to finish.

And if you prefer learning via videos, you definitely should check out our YouTube channel where we share daily video creation tips and tricks, the latest video trends and ideas and help you make more money as a video creator.

FAQs

What is a video tutorial?

Let’s get some clarity on the question of what is an explainer video tutorial. Video tutorials are a type of instructional video where users learn a specific skill, concept or software. These are usually more detailed explainer videos that go in-depth into a topic, for example a tutorial can teach you how to cook or how to learn to use Photoshop.  

How do you make explainer videos? 

Making easy explainer videos shouldn’t take you very long if you’re well-planned. Using a video editing software where you get explainer video templates free will definitely speed up the process. 

In this article, we share with you an 8-step formula to creating super effective explainer videos and we also show you how you can edit your explainer video on InVideo.

Where is explainer video used? 

Explainer videos are used in a number of places and for many purposes. You will often find them on landing pages or product pages, in company ads or on crowdfunding campaign pages. They are also used a lot during conferences and events

What makes a good explainer video? 

A good explainer video will introduce a problem or talk about a pain point your target audience may be experiencing and then position your product or technique as the solution. It will also end with a call to action so as to direct the viewers where to go next. You can take them to another video, a landing page or provide them with some downloadable material like an ebook. 

In this article, we share with you an 8-step formula to creating super effective explainer videos.

Are explainer videos effective? 

Explainer videos cater to the short attention spans of today’s consumers and are an easy way to digest complex information. Studies have shown explainer videos can hold viewers’ attention for 70% of the total video length. Since most types of instructional videos use a mix of audio, text and visuals - it also boosts retention, making explainer videos one of most effective ways to learn something new.

In this article, we share with you an 8-step formula to creating super effective explainer videos.

How long should an explainer video be? 

Here’s a list of how long your explainer videos should be - depending on the platform:

- Instagram or Twitter: 30 seconds or less
- Facebook organic: 3 minutes plus
- YouTube: 2 minutes plus
- Your website landing page: 90 seconds or less

How do I make an explainer video for free? 

Making explainer videos for free is easy! You don’t need expensive equipment to get started with your own how-to tutorials - just use your smartphone and a video editing software that has a free version. 

In this article, we share with you an 8-step formula to creating super effective explainer videos.

 

 

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