A step by step guide on how to make an explainer video

Your business is finally starting to grow as more and more people follow you on social media and visit your website. But your sales growth is lagging. Shouldn’t all those extra people be buying your offerings?

As frustrating as it might seem, there’s an easy way to increase your conversions: explainer videos.

What are explainer videos?

Explainer videos are elevator pitches for your product that introduce your audience to your offerings and compel them to buy.

But with all the content you’ve already created—like blog posts, Instagram Reels, and other business videos—you might feel like an explainer video isn’t necessary. After all, can’t your audience get the information about your products from the content you’ve already published (and spent loads of time creating)?

Here’s the thing: your audience doesn’t have time to piece together content from your various platforms. They want a quick and concise way to learn about your offerings. And according to Google, potential buyers seek out videos to learn more about a product they want to buy. If you don’t have videos available, your potential customers won’t convert, and worse, they’ll give the sale to your competition.

Luckily, creating explainer videos that increase your sales is easy, and you can even make an explainer video for free!
Let’s learn how to make an explainer video for your business to drive sales and build your authority as a brand.

How to make an explainer video in 6 easy steps

Step 1: Choose your video style

You can’t start making your explainer video until you know what video style suits your brand. There are three main video styles to choose from:
  1. Cartoon/animated
  2. Whiteboard
  3. Documentary/footage
Your explainer video can be one style, or you can blend different styles together. Ultimately, the video style you choose depends on your brand and which one suits it. For example, if your brand is fun and bubbly, an animated explainer video might be the way to go. However, if you’re a luxury brand, a footage-based video may better align with your values.

Moovly’s explainer video software lets you make explainer videos for free in any style. We even have video templates to make video creation as straightforward as possible!

View examples made in Moovly

Moovly’s video templates give you a headstart on your explainer video production.

If you need some inspiration, check out our piece packed with explainer video examples to see each style in action. 

Step 2: Write your script

A good script is the foundation of your explainer video. But before jumping feet-first into writing your script, take a few moments to review or create your buyer persona, i.e., the semi-fictional character to whom you’re targeting your explainer videos.

Alina Clark, Co-Founder and Marketing Director of CocoDoc says that creating buyer personas before writing a script has helped them make their videos:

“Because video content is always targeted towards converting viewers to customers at some point, you always need to narrow down on your most likely buyer before even working on a script. Having a buyer persona is just like having a roadmap. It gives you pinpoint accuracy when writing a script.” -Alina Clark

Some basic information you need for your buyer persona is their:

  • Demographics
  • Interests
  • Behavioral traits
  • Motivators
  • Pain points

Gather this information by listening to past recorded calls, gathering input from team members who work closely with customers (like your sales team), and reading reviews customers left for you or your competitors.

After intimately understanding the audience for your video, begin writing your script. Here are some handy tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep it short and simple: most explainer videos are under three minutes. Cut irrelevant words and cull your best sentences, so your video only has what’s essential.

  • Frontload your explainer video with impactful info: according to Facebook, 65% of people who watch the first three seconds of a video will watch for at least ten seconds, and 45% will continue watching for 45-seconds. Your video must hook viewers right away, and critical info needs to be at the start of your video so those who don’t finish watching still get the main message.

  • Incorporate language your customers use: mirroring your customers’ language increases your conversion rate. Listen to your audience describe their pain points and use that same language in your video.

  • Remain conversational: scriptwriting differs from blog posts and other forms of writing. Write your scripts as you speak. Otherwise, they might come across as too scripted and formal. When reviewing your script, read it aloud to spot areas that don’t feel natural to say. If it helps, you can also use speech-to-text apps to “speak” your script rather than write it.

  • Follow the PAS framework: the PAS framework is a tried-and-true conversion copywriting technique that stands for problem, agitation, and solution. First, identify your viewers’ problem; in other words, what keeps them up at night? Next, agitate their problem and bring it to life through vivid descriptions by asking yourself how the problem makes your customers feel. Lastly, introduce your offering as the best solution.

  • Use second person language: avoid using first-person language like “I” and “we” when possible. Using “you” and “your” pulls your audience into the script and makes them feel part of the action. For example, instead of saying, “we make great widgets!” shift the perspective by saying, “you’ll love our great widgets!

Step 3: Create your storyboard

After polishing your script, you’re ready to start your storyboard, a.k.a. the blueprint for your explainer video. A storyboard tells you which graphics to use when and where during your video. It also contains other useful notes, like what is needed for each scene.

Search Google for “storyboard examples for videos” to get inspiration. Image source

All you need to create a storyboard is a good old pen and paper. And you don’t need to be a world-class artist to sketch out a storyboard. Stick-figure sketches with bullet point notes are more than enough to convey your ideas. If you feel like getting fancy, you can use a free storyboard software like Storyboarder.

Don’t stress about making it perfect; if you don’t consider yourself an artist, that’s fine. It’s just important to create a roadmap of what visuals you need, when, and where. 

Note instances where you want still shots, live-action shots, close-ups, long shots, or effects. Your storyboard helps all members of your team remain on the same page so production goes smoothly.

Step 4: Find or create media for your video

Armed with your script and storyboard, it’s time to (finally!) gather the content for your video. 

If you’re creating everything from scratch, this means filming and creating your scenes. However, if you aren’t creating content from scratch, you can use stock images, videos, graphics and cartoon illustrations, and music found in Moovly’s library.

Screenshot of the moovly library

Search through Moovly’s library to find cartoons, graphics, stock photos and videos, sounds, and more to add to your explainer videos.

Moovly has millions of free media at your disposal. Find exactly what you need with a few clicks! Pro tip: refer to your storyboard to ensure you’re collecting everything you need to bring your masterpiece to life.

Step 5. Organize clips, edit, and finalize

After collecting your visual assets, use Moovly’s free drag-and-drop video maker to organize everything and pull your explainer video together. 

Within Moovly, you can split and trim any video content so everything lines up with the storyboard you created earlier.

Gif example of a drag and drop feature

Easily drag-and-drop content and put your explainer video together in a snap using Moovly.

You can also record any narration you’d like right within Moovly, turn your text to narration (if you don’t want to record your voice), or add music from our music library.

For the cherry on top, add final touches like subtitles or transition effects from our library to really make your video look polished.

Step 6: Save and upload your explainer video

When your explainer video is complete, use Moovly to export it in various aspect ratios and upload it to different platforms.

Explainer videos should go on your sales page, but you can also put them on landing pages, your home page, and post them to different social media channels for your business. 

It’s also worth mentioning that your explainer video will likely need to be of different lengths for different social media platforms. While researching your audience (and through trial-and-error), you might find they have different attention spans depending which platform they’re on (i.e., TikTok versus YouTube). Steven Holm, the videographer for HomeGrounds, notes:

“The most common mistake businesses make is creating a 7-minute masterpiece where the audience’s attention span is approximately 40 seconds. It’s important to research the appropriate duration of your video depending on which platforms you intend to release it on, that doesn’t mean to say your video needs to be devoid of creativity but simply sharp and concise in its presentation.” -Steven Holm

Using Moovly, you can quickly trim, split, and rearrange your content to create unique videos of different lengths so your video is a hit no matter which platform it’s on.

Explainer video best practices

Before starting your next explainer video, review these best practices.

Use benefits over features

Features describe your product, but benefits describe how your product helps your audience. Features don’t tug on the emotions of your viewers and aren’t as likely to push them towards converting. Benefits, on the other hand, do.

The quickest way to uncover the benefits of your product is to list the features and follow up by asking, “why should my audience care?” for each feature. 

For example, let’s pretend you’re selling an exercise bike and one of the features is that it has 30 different tensions. 

Why should your audience care? 

Well, with 30 different tensions, they can customize their work out exactly how they want. Plus, they have a bike that will continue to provide varying resistance as they grow stronger over the months. Right there, we’ve uncovered two different benefits from one feature, and both are more convincing than the feature itself! 

Keep it high-level

You only have a couple of minutes to convince your audience why they need your product. Explainer videos aren’t meant to be in-depth guides on your product or service that uncover the inner workings. 

Keep your video high-level and make sure you don’t bury key takeaways in irrelevant information.

Include a call-to-action (CTA)

The most important part of your explainer video is the CTA, in other words, what do you want your audience to do after they finish watching your explainer video? 

Use a CTA and explicitly tell them. Examples of popular CTAs include:

  • Book a call
  • Buy now
  • Book a demo
  • Start your free trial

Without a CTA, your audience won’t know what their next steps are, so make it easy by telling them and watch your conversion rates soar.

Test your explainer videos

Before sharing your video with the world, test it with a small group of customers or your internal team for feedback. 

While you’re in the trenches of making your explainer video, your bias prevents you from seeing things that might not make sense or aren’t valuable for the video, like unnecessary information or confusing scenes.

Testing your video with people who weren’t involved in its creation helps you spot weak areas that need tweaking.

Moovly’s explainer video software helps you promote your business

Ruben Gamez, the Founder and CEO of SignWell, has used video marketing for his businesses over the years. When asked what the number one mistake small businesses make when creating videos, he said:

“Small businesses tend to spend a lot of money on video creation when there are so many DIY tools in the market. You can create an in-house studio without design professionals if you have a powerful DIY tool.” -Ruben Gamez

As Ruben mentioned, you don’t need fancy equipment or a pricey production studio to make professional explainer videos! 

Moovly’s drag-and-drop video editor has everything you need to capture the attention of your audience and nudge them towards converting. 

Ready to give it a try? Make your next explainer video for free with Moovly!

Dana is a freelance writer who works closely with B2B SaaS brands to create content people enjoy reading. When she’s not working, you’ll find her sipping on a warm cup of tea and reading a good book (the scarier, the better). See what she’s up to at www.dananicoledesigns.com