App explainer videos – explained

What is an explainer video?

Explainer videos are short online marketing videos used to promote your app, explain what it does and how to use it. Explainer videos are often placed on a landing page, your website’s home page, or the app store. These types of videos have become extremely popular with some sites boasting conversion rates increasing by as much as 144% after including an explainer video on their website.

Types of explainer videos

Live Action Explainer Videos:

A non-animated promotional video explaining your app, these are usually better for apps that relate to the real world. For example, fitness apps would probably benefit from showing how they are used in real life.

These are good because having people in your explainer video can create an emotional connection for viewers, as we are naturally drawn to other human faces.

Whiteboard Explainer Videos:

A whiteboard video is an explainer video in which animation is hand-drawn and erased on a whiteboard. This format of explainer videos has become popular due to its ease of operation and low cost, making it one of the cheapest and easiest types of explainer video to create.

However in order to keep to the whiteboard this would mean no app screenshots or walkthroughs and doesn’t really work for most apps, more for just the creative ones or as a small part of a more intricate explainer video.

Animated Explainer Videos:

 The most popular type of explainer video, animation is often the preferred format for explaining apps. Some services involve few, if any, physical objects, making live-action an unrealistic option. Animated explainer videos allow for more creativity, and are easier to edit or update when you want to make future adjustments. You can also easily implement app screenshots or walkthroughs to show how the app works in more detail.

A combination of all these options

In some instances it makes sense to use a mixture of the three above. For example, a fitness app might want a live-action demonstration paired with an animation showing how the app works or a creative app might be demonstrated on a whiteboard or piece of paper but then show the artist who is doing it and how they are using the app.

How to make an explainer video

Step 1: Video Script

The script is the most important element in creating a good explainer video. Your explainer video could have the coolest graphics and the best voiceover in the world but it wouldn’t mean a thing without a solid script to get behind.

The script should be where you put the most focus as you need to concisely pinpoint the key characteristics of your app and be able to convey them in a way most people can understand.

It is recommended that your explainer video contains:

  1. A quick overview of your app and what it does
  2. How your app solves a problem
  3. A call-to-action (e.g. Sign-up here)
  4. Reviews

App explainer videos should also be short, most people suggest 90seconds but I would say keep to under 60 as this seems to be the best at keeping peoples attention for the whole video (It can also then be posted in its entirety onto Instagram) You should also explain the key concepts of your app towards the beginning so that viewers can know if this app will actually benefit them and won’t waste time watching a video that they then won’t find useful and won’t download.

Videos with integrated humorous qualities also tend to do well and can stick out from the crowd compared to the standard professional, boring videos.

Step 2: Voiceovers

There are plenty of ways you can get the VoiceOver of your script done for your app but to list a few:

  • Fiverr, allows you to hire freelancers to record themselves reading your script at a very low cost and with a large range of potential voices.
  • Someone you know, as-well-as being free this can also end up being a great option in the future if you need other videos done as it will mean you can have a consistent voice across your videos. However, although this could be recorded on a mobile phone or in a home studio it may not be the best quality that it could be.
  •, this is one of the biggest sources for voiceover artists however it is the most expensive option here.
  • Facebook, depending on how large your audience is it might be possible to ask for one of your fans to do the voiceover for you.

Step 3: Explainer Video Production

There are a number of different paths you can take when it comes down to the actual creation and production of your explainer video.

Professional videographers: There are plenty of companies that will offer to make app explainer videos for you but you can expect to pay out anywhere from £500 – £5,000 this may be worth it as they can often produce some amazing results but it does then take a large chunk out of your marketing budget so you will have to way up your options as there are other ways to spend that £5,000 with a better ROI.

D.I.Y: With more and more editing capabilities being introduced to mobile phones or PC’s it is easy for the everyday man to get there hands on them and learn to use. If you have the time to I highly suggest looking at some of these options in order to make your own app explainer videos. One quick search will reveal thousands of people making them using PowerPoint and windows media player and while these can look pretty amazing in the end it will take a while to get to that point, especially if you have to learn a whole program to do so.

Freelancer: As mentioned before Fiverr also has videographers which you can hire to work on whatever you need. This can get you nearly the same level of video as a professional videographer but can save you a fair bit doing so. You have to be careful on there though as some users modify templates instead of making original videos which could end leave you with an unoriginal or overused video.

Step 4: Music and sound effects

If you decided to go with freelancers or professionals to make your explainer then it is likely that they came with the music and sound effects already done for you. But if you chose to make the video yourself then these are some great sites on which you will find free music and sound effects.

  • Free Sound: A database of Creative Commons licensed audio samples and recordings.
  • YouTube: Offers some free background music to use in video creations.
  • Audio Jungle: Royalty-free audio files including loops, sound effects, and more.

If you want to record or create your own then Audacity is a free tool for doing just that.

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