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Top Ten Explainer Videos and Why They Are Good

An explainer video clarifies the unique value proposition of a product or company through a resonating visual story, and that too in just a matter of 60-120 seconds. 

They act as a quick elevator pitch for you, explaining what the business is, what problem it solves, and, also, why the viewer should buy the product or signup for the free trial.

With so many success stories, explainer videos have made a name for themselves as a sales machine.

We have compiled here a modest list of ten fabulous explainer videos that we have come to admire. These video overviews have been positioned randomly.

The selection process on the other hand was simple:

  • The explainer video must excite the target audience and make them like the product or company.
  • The explainer video must reflect the brand personality of the company.
  • The explainer video must have a clear call to action.

Following these three golden rules, here are the ten explainer videos that you should see before making another one.

1. Litmus

An explainer must grab the viewer’s attention within the first few seconds. Litmus grabbed mine with a ninja. That opening ‘shuriken’ scene set the tone of the video for me. Fun.

Litmus, by the way, is a SaaS solution with which you can test how your email will look in different devices and email clients. And, of course, how can you forget that shark-teethed spam filter as portrayed in the explainer video?

2. Dropbox

“Magic pocket”- that’s how this explainer video describes Dropbox, a file hosting service that has made file sharing between different devices easier for us.

It doesn’t use any cool graphics or animation effects to wow you. The video is quite simple (though it supposedly cost $50,000).

Despite all that, this explainer video drove 10% conversion rate. That’s 10 million extra sign ups and a whopping $48,000,000 in extra revenue. Wow.

The great thing about the Dropbox video is that, albeit being a technical product, it uses plain language to make so as not to intimidate its target audience (the majority of which don’t speak software). Lastly, this video tells a story using a Josh character to help the audience understand how they can use Dropbox and benefit from.

Takeaway: Using simple graphics and animation effects is ok. The focus should rather be on creating an explainer video that does the job of explaining your product or business in simple words.

3. Airbnb

It’s a live action video, sprinkled with animated elements here and there… on windows and walls, and even on the swimming pool surface. There’s also the price tags too, conveniently pinned about the place.

It’s totally brilliant the way they blended 2D elements and animation in a live action video.  Hats off to Adam Lisagor for creating such a wonderful video.

4. Jellyfish Freight

Jellyfish’s explainer video is similar to that of Dropbox regarding the use of simple whiteboard graphics. The tone is set for a more professional audience, and they quickly get to the point.

Also, much like Dropbox, Jellyfish has a unique success story to tell.

By including an explainer video in their sales pitch, Jellyfish, a freight management firm, was able to close one $800,000 deal in just 7 days.

Yes, it was a cold calling approach i.e. the client had never heard of Jellyfish. And, you know how these cold pitches yield just about 1-3% success rates of getting an initial appointment with client.

But, not in this case! Before the salesman at Jellyfish could send the follow-up email to get the conversation from their side going, the client reached out to them for a meeting and the deal was closed.

And, it was all because the client saw their explainer video, understood what Jellyfish did, what benefits it provides in just about 60 seconds and therefore was persuaded in giving it a try.

Takeaway: Not many entrepreneurs can grab a customer with cold calling approach. It takes a while to make the customer warm up to your business offering. Jellyfish proves that an explainer video can overcome the restrictions of the cold call, and help you win customers in no time.

5. Appointy

Done using an aspirational approach, Appointy’s explainer video is full of life. Everything is beautiful… the opening scene, the graphics, the animation, the soundtrack, the ending.

The video uses “Sally’s Salon” as an example to explain how this appointment scheduling software removes the scheduling hassles for businesses, making life easier and relaxed for both the business and its customers.

6. Dollar Shave Club

Ever heard of razors being delivered by mail? Well, Michael Dubin is here with his new startup – Dollar Shave Club. And an explainer video that you won’t forget.

With punchlines like “our blades are f**king great” and “your handsome-as* grandfather had one blade- and polio”, you would think that Dollar Shave Club’s explainer video is too bold.

It is but the reason they could get away with all those profanity is because they know that their audience would like it. And, they did. Who doesn’t like humor?

Dollar Shave Club did some homework like discovering that their consumers are mostly men in their 20s or 30s. So their explainer video successfully makes use of language and humor appealing to that target audience. And, it was indeed a success, what with over 20 million views. The video propelled Dollar Shave Club to stardom.

Takeaway: One thing businesses must understand is that they are not making the explainer video for themselves but rather for their target audience, and therefore the language and graphics used in the video should appeal to and engage with potential customers. Try humor to make your target audience like you.

7. CaseComplete

From the sound of it, this explainer video seems to have been targeted to a rather technical audience.

This one is different from the other explainer videos in the list. Why? Because they don’t use any metaphors, nor any human character in the video, to clarify the concept of a requirement tool to an average non-technical audience. They just focus on explaining how the product works.

Other than that, the animation and flow of the video is smooth. And, it seems to have worked superbly for their intended prospects, what with a conversion rate of 23%. (CaseComplete had expected only 5% conversion but this explainer video exceeded the boundaries).

8. Crazy Egg

Thanks to its explainer video, Crazy Egg saw their conversion rate increase by 64%, leading to $21,000 extra income per month i.e. roughly 250,000 extra revenue on yearly basis. The explainer video paid for itself within the first month.

Neil Patel, the co-founder of Crazy Egg, confides that it was the script that made their explainer video such a success. We couldn’t agree more… the script does make the video. That’s why we take it as a mission to understand the client’s business before we get down to writing the video script. At the end, we would have the final script, which has been edited over a dozen times.

Crazy Egg also understands the fact that software intimidates the average people. No wonder, its explainer video smacks of fun graphics and playful animation (that scene when they tug on the character’s moustache… granted, it won’t win any humor awards but that was amusing).

Overall, the video gives you a quick, but detailed, demo of how Crazy Egg works by using animated screencasts to show Crazy Egg in action, and, I would say, the heatmap and confetti tools look quite interesting, not something Google Analytics offers at the moment.

9. Local RankWatch

Pizzas! Well, that’s not the only hook this explainer video has. The language, graphics and animation used in the video smack of fun (like that scene where the customer review is sliced in half).

Played out in the problem/solution video style, it uses the first 30 seconds to explore the common business issue so as to connect with the target audience. And, much like Crazy Egg’s explainer video, Local Rankwatch too gives a screencast of its web app in action, showing you (and the potential customers) how this SaaS based product works in actual.

10. Panorama9 “IT Man”

If you have ever played 8 bit video games as a kid, then you are gonna love this explainer video.

Played out in the style of an arcade game, with dragons to fight and coins to collect, this explainer video tells the tale of an average IT man running around to do his day-to-day jobs.

But our hero cannot do everything. And, then he stumbles on to Panorama9, which, according to this explainer video, is “a secret power-up in the cloud that will give you IT-powers beyond your wildest dream”.

In technical words, Panorama9 is an asset management software… that sounds boring, right? But thanks to this amazing explainer video with its clever game concept, you will feel like it’s the best software for your IT problems.

Deepasha Kakkar

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