Explainer videos are an increasingly popular way for brands to communicate information to their audience.
It’s easy to see why so many companies are starting to implement them.
With the simple combination of visual content and voice over, you can explain even complicated subjects while using videos, screen captures, and other forms of content to supplement the speaker.
It might be tempting to voice your next explainer video in-house, but pro voice actors offer a number of benefits that shouldn’t be underestimated.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the goals of a typical explainer video and how a professional can help take your content to the next level.
In short, explainer videos are all about letting potential customers know what your product or service can do for them.
With that in mind, a good explainer needs to be both informative and promotional.
Viewers should come away with a deeper understanding of your brand, but they should also be motivated to make a purchase.
In the below, Dropbox gives viewers an idea of what their app can do without spending too much time on the details of particular features.
In just over a minute, they cover everything you need to know to understand how Dropbox can help you manage your files.
This is a great example of an explainer that strikes the perfect balance between education and promotion.
It’s informative enough to be helpful, but it also moves quickly enough to avoid becoming dull or boring.
This video primarily uses animation to demonstrate key concepts, but brands often use screen sharing and live action video to illustrate concepts more vividly.
Of course, the right format for your video depends on your brand image, your audience’s expectations, the topic of the video, and a variety of other factors.
Explainer videos are sometimes displayed on a company’s website or YouTube channel, but they can also be used as material for ads.
A good explainer video will communicate enough information to get cold leads interested in your products or services.
While some run for several minutes or even longer, effective explainer videos typically stick to the point and cover all relevant information in two minutes or less.
One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is what kind of visual content you want to use for your explainer video.
As mentioned above, this needs to be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Just because you saw an amazing animated explainer video doesn’t mean that you should use animation for your own content.
In this section, we’ll cover three common types of explainer videos and give you an idea of which contexts each one is best suited for.
Your approach to the visual side will affect every other aspect of production, so this should be one of your first considerations when brainstorming for a new explainer video.
The PandaDoc video below demonstrates how powerful animation can be-in just over one minute.
The animation and voice over combine to show what the service can do and how it can make life easier for users.
Whiteboard animation – a subcategory of animated explainers, has been extremely popular over the last few years and is also used to illustrate concepts and processes in a simple and digestible way.
Here’s one recorded by British voice talent Nicola B.
That said, an animated video isn’t always as effective for more technical topics that need to be covered in-depth or with the use of visual aids.
Whether or not animation will be sufficient to get the point across depends on what you’re planning to focus on in your upcoming explainer video.
Some digital brands may find that screen sharing is a more engaging option for their video.
This gives you the opportunity to show exactly how your product works or how it integrates into an existing workflow.
While animation tends to be more abstract and conceptual, screen sharing is perfect for going through individual steps.
Of course, you don’t have to stick to any individual video style.
Our very own explainer video below, for example, combines screen sharing, live action, and animation to go over big-picture points while displaying what those points look like in practice.
Simply sharing your screen for the entire video may not be particularly engaging, so don’t be afraid to spice things up and throw in other types of visual content.
Finally, live action is a good option for products and services that require a physical demo.
You might use live action to illustrate how a product works in practice or to show the steps involved in setting it up.
Again, live action is often combined with other formats to create a more complete video.
Billy Mays’ Oxiclean ads are a classic example of live action explainer videos, and cleaning products are the ideal candidate for this type of content.
When it comes to products that have a visual effect, the best way to demonstrate that effect is typically to show it in action.
Simply animating a stain going away won’t have the same impact as showing someone using the product to clean a real stain on a real surface, and the same concept applies to many other hands-on products.
Billy Mays’ characteristic style is an ideal match for the results-focused nature of an infomercial-rather than simply droning on about features, he shows how Oxiclean works in action and offers genuine enthusiasm about the product’s benefits.
This approach is far more likely to pull viewers in and get them more interested in the brand.
Creating an explainer video isn’t necessarily the right option for every business, but it can be an extraordinarily effective form of outreach when done correctly.
When you work with an explainer video company, you’ll be able to leverage the expertise of a business that specializes in this unique niche.
In this section, we’ll cover some of the key benefits of explainer videos for different kinds of brands.
Explainer videos offer a variety of advantages, but the most concrete benefit comes down to sales.
A strong explainer video can substantially increase revenue by giving your products or services more credibility and motivating viewers to place an order.
Furthermore, explainer videos are uniquely situated to appeal to users at different points of the customer journey.
A viewer who has never heard of your brand before, for example, might be interested enough to visit your site to learn more.
On the other hand, a lead who was already on the edge of conversion may finally make their first purchase once they see the product or service in practice.
While marketers often focus on technical specifications and other features, consumers are generally more interested in learning what the product can actually do for them.
In other words, they want to know what makes the features important and how they will make their lives easier.
With that in mind, it’s crucial to focus on examples and use cases instead of simply providing information without connecting it to how customers will actually benefit from the product or service.
Explainer videos are the perfect way to communicate those real-world applications in just a few minutes.
Consumers are obviously interested in good products & services for low prices, but they’re also looking for brands with a unique perspective or value.
Contemporary digital marketing is all about forging connections with your audience rather than simply talking about dollars and cents.
Explainer videos are particularly well-suited to this task since they give you the chance to provide information about your products while also giving your audience a taste of what your brand is all about.
A voiceover from the right voice talent will perfectly match your brand image and align with other areas of your online presence.
While a professional voice actor may not have the same expertise in your field, they will know exactly how to connect with viewers and help you create a more engaging video.
You don’t want to spend too much time getting into details about a product’s functionality or features, but an explainer video is still all about helping viewers learn what your brand can do for them.
As mentioned above, striking a balance between education and promotion is one of the biggest challenges involved in creating an outstanding explainer video.
If your product comes with features that your audience isn’t familiar with, an explainer video will help them get past that uncertainty and gain a clearer understanding of why they should be interested in your products.
Unsurprisingly, the best explainer videos come from open collaboration between various professionals including video marketing experts, product developers, script writers, and voiceover artists.
Many companies simply ask someone on their staff to handle the voice over duties for an explainer video.
If the video is intended to demonstrate a particular product, for example, they might use someone in product development who worked on the item or someone from marketing who understands its key features and benefits.
Unfortunately, while these people know more than anyone else about the topic of the video, that doesn’t mean they’re in the best position to record the voice over for an external audience.
Explainer videos are about more than simply relaying information or providing instructions.
It’s important to cultivate an engaging, positive tone that gets viewers more interested in your brand.
If you’ve ever watched an internal explainer video at work, you already know that clearly and calmly explaining something is a skill on its own.
The people who did the work to create a particular product might not be as good at connecting with an audience.
This is doubly true for explainer videos that double as promotional pieces rather than being distributed internally.
Unlike employees who may or may not have experience performing or speaking in public, professional voice actors are dedicated to the craft.
They’ve honed their skills for a wide range of projects including commercials, animated movies and TV shows, dubs, public service announcements, video games, and more along with explainer videos.
Some actors focus on informative rather than dramatic content.
Even if the voice actor doesn’t have as much experience with the topic of the video, they’ll probably be able to communicate it more effectively than the average employee with a little information.
It’s hard to conceptualize the difference between an average voice recording and a voice over recorded by a professional actor.
That gap starts with their equipment, which ensures a clear recording that emphasizes the speaker’s voice while eliminating background noise and reverberation.
A professional voice actor will use a high-quality audio interface, a proper microphone and an acoustically treated recording environment, ensuring excellent audio quality.
Of course, most companies don’t want to invest in sound equipment for a single explainer video, so it’s typically more cost-effective to work with a professional.
When you hire a voice actor, you won’t have to worry about setting aside a room for recording or auditioning different staff members to see who has the best cadence.
You also won’t have to deal with any imperfections that could make the explainer video look less professional. In other words, professional voice actors remove the guesswork by giving you a reliably excellent product.
Clarity isn’t the only skill voice actors have to develop, but clear speech and perfect enunciation is foundational to successful voice over work.
This is even more relevant for explainer videos in which actors often describe complicated products, features, or processes to an audience with less experience.
Every explainer video should be easy for viewers to follow regardless of how much they know about the topic.
Good voice actors have experience delivering clear and comprehensible content on a wide range of subjects.
Once they take a look at the script and familiarize themselves with the topic, they’ll be ready to communicate it in a way that makes the video easier for viewers to understand.
It will also be easier for your audience to relate to an actor who doesn’t have professional experience on the topic and is therefore speaking from a similar perspective.
Clear speech can make a recording easier to understand, but it won’t make listeners more interested on its own.
Voice overs also need to have an engaging and charismatic tone that draws audiences in and makes them curious about the content of the video.
Someone with voice acting experience can match the style you’re looking for and effectively promote your brand while providing an explanation.
Just as internal communications often suffer from a lack of clarity, they can also appear boring and dry in comparison to a professionally recorded voice over.
Persuasively speaking about something is an entirely different skill from understanding its function in a professional setting.
Most viewers only give videos a few seconds before deciding whether to continue, so it’s vital to create a strong first impression that motivates the audience to learn more.
They’ll also help you give off a more unique image, generating positive associations and increasing trust in your brand.
The example below illustrates the importance of developing engaging explainer videos.
While it moves at a brisk pace and explains the key reasons to use the platform, it does so in a narrative format that makes the benefits seem more relatable. The voice actor’s unique cadence is crucial to the overall effect.
Explainer videos are primarily informative, but that doesn’t mean they need to be dry or boring.
An effective speaker moves through complicated sections clearly and succinctly while injecting some personality and getting viewers more interested in the topic.
With that in mind, it isn’t always enough to simply understand the topic well or be able to explain it in a technical or professional sense.
Like the video above, the one below walks through the advantages of the service while telling a story.
The voice actor has to balance narrative momentum with the nuts and bolts of Docusign and how it can make life easier for individual users.
This is also done in a way that matches the company’s ideal tone and cultivates a positive brand image.
Every company and every product is unique, so it’s impossible to give a one-size-fits-all blueprint for crafting the perfect explainer video.
On the other hand, there are a few reliable ways to develop more engaging content and build something that your audience will be interested in.
In this section, we’ll go over some of the best tips for optimizing your next explainer video.
If you’re thinking about working on an explainer video, the first question you need to ask yourself is what your audience actually needs to know.
Think about what information the average viewer would need before feeling confident enough to make a purchase.
The disconnect between audiences and product developers is a common sticking point for explainer videos and other forms of content.
Keep in mind that what your internal team wants to highlight about a given product could be completely different from what your viewers are looking for.
Understanding your audience is critical for developing content that responds to their unique desires and questions.
If you’re having trouble with this initial step, start by considering what you want viewers to take away from the video.
You should also develop a clear understanding of who your target audience is, what they’re looking for from your brand, and what questions they might have about your products or services..
Finally, come up with one or two quick selling points that demonstrate why your brand is a better option than any competitors they may be familiar with.
These basic ideas-key takeaways, audience questions and concerns, and competitive advantages-should be at the core of any explainer video.
You might spend more time on dry information in an internal video for your employees, but your audience won’t wait around for you to get to the point.
Unless it’s absolutely necessary for a complete explanation, you should generally try to keep your video shorter than around two minutes.
That’s enough time to describe how a product or service works without boring viewers with too many details.
Regardless of the length of your video, the script should be short enough for your voice actors to read through their lines comfortably and leave plenty of room for pauses.
While an English voice actor may be able to get through 150 or even 160 words per minute, that kind of pace often makes the content less clear and accessible to new viewers.
Try to shoot for something closer to 130 or 140 words for each minute of video. Then make adjustments from there if that doesn’t work out.
After writing an initial script, take some time to revise what you came up with and look for areas that can be removed for the final video.
Anything that isn’t directly relevant to the main subject should be cut out whenever possible in order to keep your script on topic.
Viewers can always visit your site for a more comprehensive look at your products, so you don’t have to cover every single feature or function in your explainer video.
Remember that explainer videos are generally more about big-picture ideas-in fact, going into too much detail often backfires by making the explanation less clear to viewers who aren’t familiar with the content.
There are some great options for recording your screen activity that you can use for your explainer video.
Options like Camtasia (Mac and PC) and Screenflow (Mac only) are great not only for capturing your screen but also for easily editing your recordings in a way that helps highlight your workflow and give your video clips a professional look.
The best explainer videos utilize both visual and aural content to get their point across, and finding a great voice actor is one of the most important steps toward developing stronger content.
Your explainer video’s voice actor will be responsible for relaying information between your team and your audience, and they’ll also be acting as a literal voice for your brand.
Before searching for the ideal voice talent, consider what kind of tone you’re looking for and what you want the final product to look like.
Make sure to include some details about your ideas for the video so that applicants understand what they’ll be working on.
Working with a voiceover artist will help you create a more engaging video that will keep your audience interested in learning more.
One key decision for any voiceover project is whether to work with a female or male voice actor.
First, consider your target audience. If you sell products or services that are clearly gendered for example, your video will gain more credibility from a voice actor of the same gender.
If you decide on a gender and ideal vocal style in advance, you’ll have a much easier time narrowing down candidates during the hiring process.
While there’s relatively little information about gender in voice acting, one study found that listeners tend to put more trust in female voice actors and find their vocal style more attractive.
Of course, voice acting is more about the individual’s style and ability than it is about their gender.
The right voice artist for your explainer video comes down to your brand image and the nature of the products or services you’re selling.
Localization isn’t right for every video, but explainer videos are often easy to localize for different audiences.
Translating your script, accounting for cultural differences, and recording audio in other languages may be enough to seamlessly localize your explainer video for a variety of markets.
The video below illustrates the ease of localizing an explainer video in order to penetrate foreign markets.
Since explainer videos tend to focus on a product’s basic functions or benefits, they’re usually a great way to introduce new audiences to unfamiliar brands.
The main vocal recording is a narration played over the visual content, so localization mainly involved producing and recording a script in various target languages.
Here’s the original:
And some of the localized versions by Voice Crafters:
If you’re considering localization for an upcoming explainer video, keep in mind that different types of content can require very different forms of localization.
Sticking to narration, screen sharing, and animation will make it much easier to localize your video without starting from scratch for each target market.
Of course, localization can be a complex process if you want to do it correctly.
As mentioned above, a one-to-one translation may not be enough to get customers in foreign markets interested if you fail to account for their preferences and desires, which may be very different from what you’re familiar with.
With that in mind, it’s critical to work with a translator who understands the target audience and how to tailor content to their unique habits and tendencies.
We have experience with explainer videos of all kinds as well as localization in a number of different markets.
Make sure to check out our video translation services page for more information about working together on your next video.
A few companies have developed incredible explainer videos using only in-house talent, but most successful explainers involve professional voice acting.
While you might save money by using an internal employee, a professional voice actor will add value to your video and help you generate even more audience interest.
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