The first product explainer video was arguably made in 2007, describing how Twitter (which had launched only the year before) worked. We say “arguably” because, this being the internet, people like to argue, and some purists claim the first explainer video was far more humble and less ambitious.
Some say the OG, bare-bones, no voice narration support, 1990 PowerPoint gave birth to the first explainer video. Another school of thought says a great explainer video has to have lively and informative narration, so it had to have been the post-dot-com-bust 2004 PowerPoint (which was the first version to allow for the playback of a recorded track along with the “slides” that made up a presentation).
Maybe someday, someone will get around to creating an explainer video about the first explainer video, and we’ll have a clearer answer (or at least clearer and charmingly illustrated arguments about it). Until then, we can all agree that animated explainer videos evolved from the sort of static information presentation methods first widely seen in PowerPoint.
The Emergence of Product Explainer Videos for Video Marketing
Animated explainer videos have evolved from the sort of static information presentation methods first widely seen in PowerPoint, to a fluid, engaging experience that helps consolidate loads of information, into an easy-to-digest and entertaining format.
Product explainer videos are ideal for digital marketing and social media, highly shareable, and, if well done, can have a chance of going viral.
If you’re interested in leveraging video animation in your product explainer videos, here are some keys points to consider.
Benefits of Explainer Videos for Products & Services
The explainer video format is perfect for introducing a product or service for a couple of reasons and is a great tool to add to any marketing strategy. Explainer videos do a great job of quickly and effectively imparting information to a target audience because the information is presented visually.
You see (pun intended), we process visual information much more efficiently than information presented in almost any other way. We can break down and understand the information in an image in as little as 13 milliseconds. That information will stay with us longer and with more clarity because of its visual nature.
The best product explainers present essential information to potential customers while ensuring all those tasty product deets are communicated clearly and memorably. It’s significantly easier to do that with this type of video than in almost any other format, video or otherwise.
Use Cases for Explainer Videos
If you can explain it, you can make an explainer video about it. Anything that can be understood by learning about its component pieces, key figures, or historical factors can be understood with an explainer video.
The product explainer format does a great job of communicating every bit of important information to an audience in an entertaining and engrossing way. Different types of explainer videos can be used for various purposes, but the underlying structure is essentially the same.
That structure makes explainer videos a good option for everything from product launches to training staff on the use of new equipment or bringing them up to speed on organizational changes.
Creating Product Explainer Videos
More goes into creating a good explainer video than you might first assume. These videos can contain a mixture of animation styles and live-action video, and getting the two to play together can be tricky. A talented animation artist and an experienced video production engineer will likely be needed at a minimum.
The videos also require narration, and many make clever use of sound effects, so most projects will also need a good audio engineer. And then there’s all of the equipment … you know, you’re probably just going to want to find an experienced product explainer video production team. That would probably be a lot easier.
Working With Animation Experts vs. Freelance Sites
Of course, I only mention the challenges that creating high-quality product explainer videos can bring to highlight the specialized skills and equipment needed. You can find people who claim to offer product explainer video production services on gig economy platforms like Fiverr and Upwork. Still, many lack the proper experience or equipment necessary for the creation of a genuinely top-tier video.
You’re better off working with professionals who know precisely what they’re doing and can provide valuable insight and guidance into the specific needs of your particular project. Your product and message deserve professional treatment and customized video production assets — not stock photography, uninspired typefaces and design, and even transitions and cookie-cutter stock movement paths for graphical elements (yeah, those are a thing).
You see a lot of stock imagery, stock graphical elements, and even cut-and-paste movement paths in video projects produced by freelancers. You also see a lot of mistakes and a lot of wasted time and money. Do you know what else you see in the final product from gig sites? Regret.
The Process for Creating Explainer Videos
Here at The Sketch Effect, we have a dedicated, talented, friendly (and good-looking!) team of professionals with extensive experience in every stage of product explainer video production. A lot goes into a project like this, and one of the most critical elements for success is quality communication, which is where we always start.
Our experts will meet with you to discuss your product, goals, and the exact type of product explainer video that best suits your needs. Only after we’re sure we understand your project and objectives will we move on to the next step of the process.
Bring Your Product to Life With Video Animation
No matter your product or service, there’s a way to showcase the information you want to highlight with a product explainer video from The Sketch Effect.
Even relatively complicated offerings like a program that provides all the tools and information someone would need to buy, sell, or refinance a home can be presented in a product explainer video that highlights all of the critical information without overwhelming or confusing the viewer.
We were grateful for the opportunity to work with 21st Mortgage in presenting its Cash Lending Program, a suite of tools and resources that customers can use to buy, sell, or refinance a home. Though the information presented in the video is relatively technical and specific, using the proper techniques and methods enabled us to help 21st Mortgage offer the program to their customers in an easy-to-understand way that clearly explained their available options.
We would love the chance to work with you on your big project. Get in touch with us today so we can schedule a consultation to discuss your product and ways an explainer video can help you get the word out to the right people at the right time.