Sometimes it’s hard to explain what your company does to potential clients—that’s where an explainer video comes in. Explainer videos are short films, often only a minute or two in duration, that condense and present what you do and how you can assist your customers. Videos create a personal connection and greater clarity, which increases sales. As an online medium, explainer videos can be shared by satisfied clients and web denizens if you make your video entertaining enough to go viral. Get started with this guide on how to shoot an explainer video. Whether you film your own or hire a production company, you can craft a message that’ll go far.
Create a list of whatever points you’d like to hit in the video, distilling what your company does down to the basics. What do people absolutely need to know about you and what you do? Just as important, who are you trying to reach? Consider whether you can reach and teach more people through live-action or computer animation, or a combination of both. Once you decide what you’d like to do, now decide what you can afford, and whether it’s better to hire a video production company or to shoot the commercial yourself.
Hopefully, suggesting that you write a script isn’t causing you to suddenly freeze up and develop writer’s block. Scripting an explainer video is easy. More than likely, you already have a half-minute-long “elevator speech” prepared—a short spiel about your company and products you memorized in case you ever needed to pitch someone outside of a meeting room. Write up that elevator speech, stretch it out for another minute, and remember you can accompany it with graphics and illustrations to underscore points. If you have the budget, hire a copywriter, but really—just take it easy. Just write what you know as if you’re talking to a friend. If you’re artsy, create storyboards that lay out each shot, captioned by lines from the script.
Decision time—do you create a DIY video, or do you enlist a production company? Truthfully, when deciding how to shoot an explainer video, it’s better to spend the money to get the job done right. While you can use your phone to film yourself lecturing in front of a wipe board, then edit it on your own, your amateurism will show if you’re a first-time director. Find a production company and set up a meeting to discuss your plans, their pricing, and scheduling. In the long run, it may be easier and even more economical since most production companies have their own professional cameras, lighting, and other equipment, as well as studios set up with cyclorama walls. If you prefer animation, there are plenty of freelance animators and animation studios you can hire through marketing and advertising temp agencies. Whoever you choose to do the job, they can help turn your rough draft and storyboards into a final polished product.