Video Content

8 Types Of Explainer Videos and How To Use Them

Laura Chaves
May 24, 2022

The State of Video in 2024

Explainer videos are marketing videos that explain your product, application, or service to your target audience. Ideally, you break down what your offer is about, how it can help them, and the benefits they can get from it while visually showing them what the product looks like. 

For example, if it’s a physical product, you can show them its different features while detailing their benefits and demonstrating how they all form the product. And if it’s an app, you can show them the app’s interface, the different features, and what they can do with them. 

This being said, you can’t use the same explainer video for an application and a product. In fact, there are several types of explainer videos that you will need to choose from based on your product, your goals, and your target audience. 

In this article, we will discuss the different types of explainer videos and when you will need them to help you make your choice. 

Why Do You Need Explainer Videos?

You need an explainer video for the simple fact that these videos are effective in explaining your product or ideas to your target audience. 

Case in point, 94% of marketers believe explainer videos have increased users’ understanding of their products or services. Traditionally, you would need to produce 3,000 or 4,000 words to explain what your product is about and how it can help your potential customers. 

The problem with these articles is that not enough detail is given, and today’s buyer needs to have physical or visual contact, at the very least, with the product before they can make a decision. In this context, explainer videos help you both explain and show the target audience what your product is about and what the interest is for them. 

You will be better able to present them with details and examples. The stories you tell and the points you make will be more believable when you tie them together with visual examples and a human voice. For example, whiteboard animation explainer videos not only allow you to tell your stories, but they also allow you to draw them and let the viewer see what you’re thinking. 

Furthermore, statistics show that these videos effectively convert and are one of your customers’ favorite ways to learn about your products and company. For example, 86% of video marketers say video has been effective for generating leads, and 72% of customers said they prefer to learn about a product or service by way of video. All these only go to say that explainer videos are crucial to your business. 

8 Different Types of Explainer Videos And How To Use Them

Now that we’re clear on why explainer videos are best for educating your target audience about your product or service let’s discuss the top 8 types of explainer videos you can leverage for your business. 

  • Live-Action Explainer Videos

Ideal for: physical products and services.

Explainer videos that use live action are more common among e-commerce with physical products and online service providers. These videos require an actual person to come in front of the camera with the product to show what the product looks like and explain how to use it.

For instance, they can present the product in a useful context, allowing the viewer to better understand the usefulness of the product and how to use it. Here is an example of a live-action explainer video. 

On the flip side, when it comes to service providers, it is common to see this type of video mixed with some animation to help illustrate the speaker’s explanations. Here is an example from Fugo. 

Keep in mind that these types of explainer videos are more expensive and have a longer turnaround time. 

  • Animated Explainer Videos

Ideal for: digital products, apps, and online services.

Explainer videos that use animation are extremely popular across all industries. Live action videos can’t explain a product or illustrate something that is not physical; that’s where animated explainer videos come in. Animation allows you to simulate environments and objects to describe and explain a product that is not physical, like a software, an application, an idea, a concept, etc.

The advantage of using animated explainer videos for tech products is that they are easily editable and customizable. You can easily innovate and adapt it to any idea or concept you want to illustrate. It’s also a lot easier to create something that’s representative of your brand using animation. Creating animated videos requires less equipment, which makes them much cheaper than live-action explainer videos. 

Here is an example of an animated explainer video from Spotify. 

  • Whiteboard Animation Explainer Videos

Ideal for: Physical products, digital products, and online services.

Whiteboard animation is an animated video that illustrates a story using hand-drawn artwork on a whiteboard. The real power of whiteboard animation is its ability to use the imagination to explain an idea or break down a specific message. So whether it’s an online course, a product you’re selling, or a service you’re offering, whiteboard animation allows you to illustrate by drawing pictures to clarify the points you’re making. 

You can easily make them imagine contexts to make your story more authentic and complete. This type of video is one of the cheapest when it comes to creation. As far as what you can achieve with this type of video, only your imagination will limit you. Here is an example of a whiteboard animated video from Dropbox.

Also read: Types of Video Production & Examples

  • 2D Animated Explainer Videos

Ideal for: apps, digital products, online services, and storytelling. 

2D animation is a form of animation in which the scene and characters of the animation are created in a 2D space. In short, in this 2D explainer video, animators use characters, visual effects, and backgrounds to create an illusion of movement by seamlessly tying individual drawings together.

The dominant attribute of this type of animation is that the animated images exist only in a 2D space. This is achieved by filming hand-drawn images, characters, storyboards, backgrounds on paper or any other flat, two-dimensional surface. Here is an example from Loopit.

There are a few marketing rules you should keep in mind to find success with these videos. For example, you need to pay attention to the 2D characters you create. That’s because the characters and objects you create can hurt your message. Also, your audience should identify with the protagonists and the environments. In this way, the video will come out as an engaging and relatable marketing asset rather than a simple cartoon.

  • 3D Animated Explainer Videos

Ideal for: apps, digital products, online services, and storytelling. 

3D animation consists of placing and manipulating objects and characters in a 3D space to create a sense of motion. Objects are designed from 3D models rendered in a digital environment with 3D modeling tools. 3D animators’ goal is to move the objects and characters in a given scene as realistically as possible.

So the most significant difference between 2D animation and 3D animation is that 3D animation brings more detail to your video. It is much more creative and draws on reality. Not surprisingly, 3D animation is much more expensive. Indeed, 3D animation requires complex software and platforms, while 2D animation is mainly done manually and can be compiled using free 2D animation software. Here is an example of 3D animation from Wilio.

Also, you need to consider the marketing rules of 2D animation success here as well. Make sure your characters have common traits with your audience and portray an environment they can easily relate to. 

  • Motion Graphics Explainer Videos

Ideal for: apps, physical and digital products, online services, and storytelling. 

Motion graphics is one of the types of explainer videos that combine animation, visual effects, and other cinematic designs to infuse static images with movement. The result is a captivating, colorful, and dynamic motion graphic explainer that hooks your viewers from the very first second. This is the ideal type of explainer video to represent and animate your application, software, or website’s user interface and tell a great story about the user experience. 

Motion graphic explainer videos allow you to animate more than just images and characters; you can also recreate and animate abstract shapes, logos, or text in an effective and visually stunning way. This makes it the best type of explainer video for also breaking down a complex range of products or services. Here is an example from Shopboxo.

  • Kinetic Typography Explainer Videos

Ideal for: apps, physical and digital products, online services, and storytelling. 

This type of explainer video uses text overlays, animations, and any typographic content to convey messages and help marketers break down and explain their products to their audience. Here is an example from Apple.

This type of explainer video is so mainstream because it fits any message, product, or concept you want to share with your target audience. The most significant part is writing the script. After, you can easily bring the video together by cleverly using fonts and animation. 

  • Screencast Explainer Videos

Ideal for: apps, digital products, and online services. 

As the name implies, screencast explainer videos require you to record your computer screen while running a website, program, or application to convey your message. This type of explainer video is especially effective when you want to show or demonstrate your app UI, give an overview of its features, and show viewers how to leverage them. 

Think of it as sharing your screen with your target audience to present something you’ve created. Screencast videos are less expensive than live-action or animated videos. Also, anyone with a screen can create a screencast video. Still, it’s best to seek professional help to perfect the video and make it look professional. Here is an example from Basecamp.

Choose and let Vidico create your explainer video for you!

There are a lot of explainer video types you can create to market your products. But based on the average products on the market (i.e., apps, software programs, digital and physical products.), the above are your best bet for creating compelling explainer videos. 

Be sure to choose a specific explainer video that best brings out the beauty of your product. The video type you choose should also easily explain your offering and its value to your target audience. For example, it makes no sense to use motion graphics for a physical product. A live-action video offers more value. 

Vidico is an explainer video production company that helps businesses like yours figure out the best explainer video type to tell your story and explain your product value to your target audience. We’ve created all kinds of explainer videos for big companies like Etsy, Amazon, Spotify, Airwallex, etc. We’ve got the team and experience that can meet any creative requirement. 

Get an estimate of how much explainer videos cost here


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