Video Content

12 Types of Explainer Videos & When To Use Them (2024)

Laura Chaves
December 20, 2023

Explainer videos have become a powerful tool in communication and marketing, offering an engaging and concise way to convey complex ideas, products, or services to potential customers.

Whether you’re a startup trying to introduce a new product or a seasoned marketer aiming to explain a complex service, this guide is for everyone looking to leverage the power of explainer videos.

These videos are designed to break down information into easily digestible chunks, making it easier for viewers to understand and remember the key messages.

Based on our extensive experience in video production and marketing, we’ve gone ahead and broken down each type of explainer video for you.

Our guide gives you a detailed look at their unique strengths and best use cases, helping you make a decision that’s right for your message and audience.

Let’s discover the perfect style for your brand as we dive into the 12 types and their ideal use cases.


    12 Types of Explainer Videos For Your Business

    1. 2D Motion Graphics Explainer Video

    Key Characteristics: 2D Motion Graphics explainer videos are characterized by manipulating images, whether stock visuals or custom-designed graphics.

    2D Motion Graphic animation is well-suited for app demonstrations, tech explainer animations, financial data visualization, and corporate explainer videos.

    Unlock the potential of your message with an explainer video . Our VidiFit Quiz provides expert guidance to help you choose the perfect explainer video for your business [1].

    When To Use It: Meetings, Campaigns, Social Media, Landing pages, Digital Products, Apps, Online Services, Retargeting Ads

    Average Cost: Roughly $5,000 – $10,000 or more


    • Easy brand integration
    • Professional and clean look
    • Effective for complex information


    • It may lack the personal touch
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    2. 3D Animated Explainer Videos

    Key Characteristics: 3D animated explainer videos involve animating objects in a three-dimensional space, allowing for realistic movement and detailing.

    Unlike other explainer videos, an animated explainer video involves objects and characters in a three-dimensional space, often requiring complex software and powerful computers.

    3d animated explainer videos ensure that characters and environments resonate with your target audience to maximize engagement and effectiveness as marketing videos.

    When To Use It: Apps, Digital Products, Online Services, Meetings, Storytelling, Social Media, Teaching, Health Trainings

    Average Cost: Roughly $8,000 – $20,000


    • Animated videos have realistic, detailed animations
    • Animated elements appeal to audiences seeking realism
    • Animated videos are effective for products in development


    • Requires powerful hardware and software

    3. Live Action Videos

    Key CharacteristicsLive-action explainer videos feature real people and physical products or services. A live-action explainer video provides a genuine human touch to explanations [2].

    Live-action video often combines live footage with animation for added visual appeal.

    It’s important to note that while live-action video is often considered expensive, factors can affect explainer video production costs.

    Combining live-action explainer videos with 2D motion graphics is a common approach to make key moments more impactful, making it suitable for explainer videos.

    When To Use It: Physical Products, Services, People-Oriented Products, Services, Commercials, Social Media

    Average Cost: Roughly $5,000 to $20,000 or more


    • Genuine human connection
    • Useful for people-oriented products
    • Product context and usage


    • Live action explainer video has longer turnaround time

    4. Stop Motion

    Key Characteristics: Stop motion is a unique and eye-catching style created by filming one frame of a model at a time and then incrementally moving or manipulating the subject.

    Stop-motion explainer videos stand out due to their artistic and visually distinctive nature. Unlike other types of explainer videos, it has artistic charm but is challenging to create, requiring particular studio space and equipment.

    When To Use It: Sales Outreach, Social Media, Homepage, Commercial

    Average Cost: Roughly $15,000 – $30,000


    • Visually distinctive
    • Artistic and charming
    • Unique and uncommon


    • Requires specialized studio and equipment

    5. Infographic

    Key Characteristics: Infographic explainer videos are designed to simplify the presentation of complex data, statistics, and information through visual representations, including charts, graphs, and other infographics.

    They effectively convey large amounts of data more understandably and engagingly.

    When To Use It: Education, Presentations, Meetings, Commercials, Sales

    Average Cost: Roughly $1,000 to $5,000 or more


    • Simplifies complex data
    • Enhances statistical understanding
    • Effective for data-heavy topics


    • Limited for non-data topics

    6. Screencast Explainer Video

    Key Characteristics: Screencast explainer videos involve recording a computer screen while demonstrating a website, program, or application.

    Screencast videos are a cost-effective option; anyone with a screen can create them, although professional help can enhance quality.

    Unlike other types of explainer videos, visual tricks can also enhance a screencast video to highlight essential elements or create engaging content.

    When To Use It: Business presentations, Apps, Digital Products, Online Services, Tutorials, Overviews

    Average Cost: Roughly $5,000 – $10,000


    • Shows key features in action
    • Great for digital environment
    • Easy to create


    • It may lack a professional touch

    7. Whiteboard Animation

    Key Characteristics: A whiteboard animation explainer video is an animated video that uses hand-drawn static images or artwork on a whiteboard to illustrate a story or message.

    Whiteboard animation video excels in simplifying complex ideas and concepts through imaginative storytelling.

    While whiteboard videos may lack brand customization, they remain effective for explaining processes, outlining brand history, and educational content.

    When considering whiteboard animation explainer videos, balancing cost and quality is essential to ensure a consistent brand experience.

    When To Use It: B2B [3] Companies, Physical Products, Digital Products, Online Services, Education

    Average Cost: Roughly $5,000 – $15,000


    • Whiteboard videos simplify complex ideas
    • Effective for explanations
    • Whiteboard explainer video is more affordable than other explainer video styles


    • Limited brand customization
    • Risk of looking outdated

    8. Typography Animation

    Key Characteristics: Kinetic typography animation is a style where fonts are brought to life, which plays a significant role in conveying the entire story. Words and text are dynamically animated on the screen, often synchronized with a voiceover.

    Kinetic typography animation style is an extremely popular explainer in 2022, with fonts taking center stage to convey the entire story dynamically.

    When To Use It: Commercials, Presentations, Storytelling

    Average Cost: Roughly $5,000 – $12,000


    • Emphasizes key information
    • Enhances message delivery
    • Complements voiceover narration


    • Limited visual variety

    9. Cutout Explainer

    Key Characteristics: Cutout animation features elements such as characters and objects cut out of paper and then filmed to create movement.

    This type of explainer video has low-tech style simplifies visuals, allowing every viewer to focus on the message without distraction.

    When To Use It: Storytelling, Education

    Average Cost: Roughly $5,000


    • Minimalist and simple
    • Distraction-free visuals
    • Cost-effective production


    • It may not suit all topics

    10. Isometric

    Key Characteristics: 2.5D animation provides a style closer to the look of 3D animation but maintains flat, two-dimensional images without an illusion of depth.

    Isometric enhances visuals by adding illustrations to heighten the sense of height and width, providing some dimensionality.

    When To Use It: Storytelling, Presentations, Business Meetings

    Average Cost: Roughly $8,000 – $15,000


    • 3D-like appearance
    • Enhances depth perception
    • Ideal for visual punch


    • Limited true depth perception

    11. Parallax With Images

    Key Characteristics: Parallax animation explainer videos offer a unique visual effect by animating images to create depth and movement.

    This style engages viewers with captivating visual effects while maintaining a moderate production cost.

    When To Use It: Companies animating archival or historical images, storytelling

    Average Cost: About $4,000 to $15,000


    • Adds depth and movement
    • Engaging visual effects
    • Animates real images


    • Limited to image animation

    12. Traditional Animation

    Key Characteristics: Traditional animation is a type of explainer video, also known as hand-drawn animation, is the original and classic animation style [4].

    It involves creating videos of a single frame by hand, with slight adjustments in movement for each frame. This meticulous process results in a beautiful, timeless visual style.

    These explainer videos convey emotions, tell classic stories, and engage viewers with handcrafted artistry.

    When To Use It: Timeless Storytelling, Presentations, Education, Sales, Homepage, Social Media

    Average Cost: About $3500 to $8500


    • Classic and timeless
    • Captivating and expressive
    • Iconic animation style


    • Labor-intensive and time-consuming

    How To Structure An Explainer Video

    • Introduction: Grab the viewer’s attention quickly.
    • Problem Statement: Identify the issue or pain point.
    • Solution: Introduce your product or service.
    • Benefits: Highlight advantages.
    • How It Works: Explain its functionality.
    • Use Case: Showcase real-life scenarios.
    • Call to Action: Encourage action.
    • Closing: End with a memorable message.
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    Which Explainer Video Type Should You Use For Your Business?

    Selecting the right explainer video style for your business depends on a specific target audience, complex message, and budget.

    Consider types of explainer videos like 2D motion graphics for tech content or live-action explainer videos for physical products.

    Infographic explainer videos are ideal for data-heavy topics, while screencast explainer videos suit software tutorials. Balance cost and depth with 2.5D animated video. Parallax animation brings images to life, and traditional video offers classic visuals.

    To simplify your choice and get the right style for your business, use our VidiFit Quiz for a free consultation tailored to your needs. It ensures your explainer video effectively conveys your message.


    What is a custom explainer video?

    A custom explainer video is a tailored and unique video designed to convey a specific message or concept.

    It’s an explainer video example crafted to meet a business’s or individual’s precise needs, often incorporating brand elements, storytelling, and visuals that resonate with the target audience.

    Customization ensures a good explainer video aligns perfectly with its purpose.

    Is an explainer video the same as a demo video?

    No, an explainer video is not the same as a demo video. While both aim to clarify an actual product or concept, compelling explainer videos provide a broader overview, focusing on the “why” and “what” of a topic.

    In contrast, demo or how-to videos specifically showcase “how” a product or service works, offering a detailed tutorial or demonstration.

    You can check out our portfolio on our website if you want to see explainer video examples.

    How long should an explainer video be?

    The ideal length for an explainer video is typically 1 to 2 minutes, depending on the video type.

    The duration of explainer video types strikes a balance between conveying essential information and maintaining viewer engagement. Shorter videos may need more detail, while longer ones risk losing the audience’s attention.

    Final Thoughts

    Different types of explainer videos offer businesses and individuals a versatile toolbox for conveying their messages effectively.

    Whether the simplicity of a 2D motion graphics explainer video or the depth of a 3D animated explainer video, each style serves a unique purpose.

    The choice ultimately depends on the target audience, message, budget, and desired visual impact.

    By selecting the right type and tailoring it to specific needs, explainer videos become potent tools for simplifying complex messages or ideas and engaging new customers.

    Ready to bring your message to life with an explainer video? Try our VidiFit Quiz for a personalized explainer video recommendation and a free estimate tailored to your unique needs


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