There are different types of explainer videos out there, but only a few are effective for your business.
Once you’ve decided on making animated explainer videos to tell your business story in an engaging way, increase conversions, maximize your business exposure and boost sales, it’s time to think about which kind of video you are going to choose.
This can be a difficult task if you don’t know what are you choosing from. There are different types of explainer videos out there, but only a few of those styles will be effective for your business. That’s why it’s important to know about them all.
Whether you are a startup, SMB or a big company, it’s crucial to determine the best style for your video, and thus ask the following questions: What are my goals? Who am I targeting? Which messages do I want to transmit? What’s my budget? The answers will get you closer to what you need and will help you in picking out the proper style for where you want to go.
First of all, it’s important to keep in mind that every style has its pros and cons. While a few are fun and creative, others are inspirational and more serious. The most important thing is to understand your target audience and always remember to use this magical marketing keyword: call-to-action.
Call-to-Actions (or CTAs, for short) are the ones that will take your audience from watching your lovely video to your site and into your sales funnel. You can’t neglect them, as those CTAs are the ones that tell your audience what you expect from them.
Here’s an example of one of our videos, check out how we apply a CTA at the end of it.
That’s why you create a video in the first place. You use the right style to get your audience’s attention, deliver your message in the simplest and most straightforward way possible and then redirect them to your website to keep them going towards the sale. How can you use CTAs? Links throughout the video, annotations or buttons are what you want here.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get to the point.
Here are some of the most common types of Explainer Videos:
- 2D CHARACTER ANIMATION
- 2D MOTION GRAPHICS ANIMATION
- 2.5D ANIMATION
- WHITEBOARD ANIMATION VIDEOS
- 3D ANIMATION
- LIVE ACTION
- LIVE ACTION WITH TRACK ELEMENTS
- STOP MOTION
These are the styles that are used more often by companies, regardless of their size, audience or industry. Why’s that? Because animated videos are more fun, engaging and unique. Besides, they offer almost limitless possibilities to tell any story. With that in mind, here’s a recount of each and every one of them.
#1. 2D Character Animation
2D animation is one of the most popular and broadly used techniques – and for a reason. It’s a style in which both characters and scenes are created in a 2D space using perspective in order to recreate the illusion of depth. This type of animation is a great choice for either B2C or B2B companies since it is emotion-evoking and appeals directly to the audience, making it an ideal form of content for people to share.
I know you might be suspicious about its simplistic look. Don’t be. 2D images and figures can be simple but that’s good, because they avoid overwhelming your audience and put the focus on your message.
#2. 2D Motion Graphics Animation
It’s primarily characterized for being engaging and straightforward. This style is ideal for companies that either have a complicated product or service to explain or that want to bring trust and buzz to their brand. In other words, graphics are used to show how that product or service works and how the customer can benefit from it.
Additionally, 2D motion graphics animation videos look fresh, colorful and dynamic. All of those characteristics serve as eye-catching features that will hook your audience from the first second. Given the complexity of the products or services that use this style, that’s definitely beneficial.
#3. 2.5D Animation
This animation technique simulates a 3D environment. It has all the benefits of a motion graphics animation video and it is quite an interesting way to have a professional and engaging result without the hassle and time (and money) consuming technique of 3D animation.
The object layering makes the whole video appear more sophisticated and fluid. It’s like looking to cutouts moving in a 3D-like space, even when all of the elements are designed in 2D. This is a great alternative for companies with a limited budget that want to look top-notch but can’t afford the price that comes with 3D techniques.
#4. Whiteboard Animation Videos
It’s one of the most popular and preferred styles for B2C and B2B companies because whiteboard videos are perfect for diving a bit deeper into a product, service or process explanation. This style consists of drawing simple black and white illustrations on a whiteboard to explain a concept.
The whole story just pops up right in front of your eyes and out of thin air, so you are drawn into it from the start. Besides, whiteboard animations have that simplistic feel I’ve mentioned when talking about 2D character animations which offers the benefit of being straightforward and to-the-point.
#5. 3D Animation
This animation technique has endless possibilities. It’s mostly used for commercial purposes because of its high quality and for its state-of-the-art feel that can make your brand be noticed in an instant. Additionally, the ability to rotate and zoom into all the elements in the video makes the viewer feel immersed in what’s being shown.
Nevertheless, the production of 3D animations can be quite expensive, so this isn’t a suitable option if you have a small budget. Finally, even if you have the money for this kind of video, you should consider that production times tend to be longer, simply because any changes or adjustments take more effort than with the other styles.
#6. Live Action
In live action videos, everything is recorded using a camera. It’s a good option for companies seeking to build a personal relationship between them and potential customers by showing real people in real scenes.
Also in a live action video, you could put your employees, your customers or even yourself before the eyes of your audience to explain or stand by your product or service. Often used in testimonials, this style can work in explainer videos because of their power to engage with the audience – people trust brands that aren’t afraid to show their human side!
#7. Live Action With Track Elements
This is a live video footage integrated with 3D elements that are tracked to the video. This brings the idea of real interaction and a more immersive feel to it. The added elements also add a more dynamic look and rhythm, making the journey all the more enjoyable for the audience.
The combination of live video with graphic components offer great benefits. On one side, there’s the ‘human side’ I’ve mentioned above – great for engagement. On the other side, the graphics add a new layer that you can rely on to strengthen the explanation about your product or service.
#8. Stop Motion
It is an animation technique that consists of photographing an object as it’s moved in small amounts creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames are played as a sequence. You’ve probably seen short films and movies that use this technique for a truly unique effect.
That unique effect is probably the best benefit you can get out of stop motion videos. But, this technique is expensive and also if you have to make a change, it’s possible that you can’t or it might take a lot of time and money.
This style is based on the animation of typographic fonts to express an idea. Sounds overly simplistic? It is – yet it works! If the proper fonts are used, the video can use the right format to underline certain passages and make them stick in your audience’s memory.
Besides, using color and movement paired with the proper music and voiceover, the video can have an unexpected rhythm that will keep your audience watching to see where you are headed. Bonus points for this style for its affordable cost and shorter production times.
A screencast is the digital recording of a screen capture containing audio narration. Since it’s one of the low cost alternatives to making a video, several startups rely on it, especially when it comes to tutorials. You can think that this won’t work for your explainer video but it depends on what you’re offering.
If your product is a complex software or platform, you can benefit from this style to showcase how it works. A real time demonstration of its capabilities might be what you need to show to keep your audience’s interest.
To sum up
Keeping these points in mind will assure that your video brings great results to your
business strategy. Knowing and understanding these useful animation styles is essential in making a killer video that is effective enough to strengthen your business and promote your brand. Analyze the best option according to your needs and be ready to make your conversions reach the sky!
Want to know more about explainer videos? Download our ebook ‘How to Improve your Marketing Campaign with an Explainer Video’ for FREE!