Not all explainer videos are the same. There are a lot of styles that you can choose from, and some will be a better fit than others for specific communication and marketing necessities.

This is why it’s so important to know which one is the best style of explainer video for your brand.

But first, let’s refresh the basics:

What is an explainer video?

An explainer video is a basic and powerful video (either animated or live-action) that will help you showcase your business idea in an engaging, fun and attention-grabbing way.

Although simple and short in length, a great animated explainer video must follow some rules:

  1. Make the beginning powerful: Grab your audience’s attention and build empathy by showing pain points first
  2. Keep your video quick and straightforward: Short is gold for explainer videos
  3. Make sure you carefully craft your message for a particular audience
  4. Create a compelling story that supports your business idea and keep it dynamic

There are several types of explainer videos, and your job is to choose the one that aligns best with your marketing goals. All of these styles aim to introduce your business and explain a complex idea or concept simply, but with each method, you’ll be able to communicate these thoughts differently.

Explainer video styles for your business

Character Animation

One of the most effective ways to engage with an audience is by creating animated characters. Think about movies designed for children and how successful they are with adults, too.

These kinds of videos use the power of animation combined with storytelling to create a highly memorable, engaging, and entertaining video that helps your brand create an emotional bond with your target audience.

Character animation has many advantages, but three of them stand out:

  • Allows you to form empathy very quickly, which is critical in the fast-paced internet environment.
  • An animated character can evoke emotion that can help showcase your company’s core message in a compelling and straightforward way.
  • Advertising has become more personal and having animated characters to front your company’s communications will help your business connect with their audience, providing a direct and personal approach.

Whiteboard Videos

In the realm of videos that appear to be simple but are, in fact, very powerful, the Whiteboard Video is king.

Our audience is already used to the concept of learning by scribbles made out of pure black lines displayed on a white background. They’re easy to understand, charming and highly educational, which make them perfect to use when you need to explain a product with too many important details or features.

The educational power of the Whiteboard video is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted. In fact, a study led by Dr. Richard Wiseman found out that an audience can retain 20% more information when learning by looking at graphics on a whiteboard, in comparison to just watching a simple video of a person explaining something.

And why was that? Because people learn better when they’re engaged in the process —and whiteboard videos are highly engaging.

Let’s take a look at an example:

Motion Graphics

Simple communication gets the job done when you’re trying to explain important concepts. This is why Motion Graphic Videos are such a powerful style of video explainers.

Motion Graphics Videos help explain complex business ideas through graphic elements in motion: it’s a creative way to grab your audience’s attention and get your message through because of its high synthesis power.

These are videos that look a little bit more formal than other types of explainer videos, but formal doesn’t mean boring. In fact, this style is well-known by its elegance and sophistication; and it works great when you need to deliver numbers or statistics that, in any other context, could be tiring for your audience to look at.

Another exciting thing about Motion Graphic Videos is that they don’t need to go alone, in fact, this animation style may work better paired with another one to create some balance, like character animation.

Meet Picniic from Picniic on Vimeo.

Live Action Videos

Even though animation and motion graphics are entertaining and effective for most marketing goals, some businesses may find it difficult to benefit from an animation, and in that case, it’s time to use a good old-fashioned live action video.

There are very few things that generate as much credibility and empathy as a video showing a real person, especially when this person is dealing with real problems or real scenes that your audience may identify with.

This is why Live Action Videos are great to generate brand trust.

Let’s review

Explainer videos have become extremely popular—because of their high synthesis power, and their ability to simplify complicated concepts, to name a few. The magic around animated explainer videos is the fact that they deliver the perfect sales pitch, every time: that’s their superpower.

But, in order to work at their best, you need to choose the type of video that fits best with your marketing goals. This is when you have to choose between different styles of explainer videos.

You can use character animated videos for a cheeky, approachable style; whiteboard videos for when you need your message to be highly educational; motion graphic videos for translating a complicated message into a more straightforward, elegant graphic. Live action videos, for when you need the human approach to boost brand trust. Or, even a combination!

The most important thing is that, when choosing which style to use, you identify your needs and match them with the best video structure. And now, it’s time to make the best explainer video for your brand!

Víctor Blasco