Home Articles How startups are using explainer videos to sell their products successfully

How startups are using explainer videos to sell their products successfully [VIDEO]


Video marketing has undoubtedly become a very influential marketing trend over the past decade as video content has become easier to consume and cheaper to produce. An explainer video is one of the most powerful marketing mediums available to a startup today that is looking to launch its brand.

It has been found that 90% of users report that explainer videos make it easy to understand what the product does and the value it provides. An explainer video is therefore the perfect way to not only showcase your idea to potential investors but also to usher your startup brand into the world.

How to make an explainer video

There are five basic steps to follow in putting together a great explainer video:

1. Write a short video script

The script is the most fundamental component of any successful explainer video. As the backbone of the video, it needs to have the right text arranged in the right order to grab and keep the attention of your viewers. The script of your explainer video should not only be interesting but should also adequately outline and address both the problem your startup is looking to solve and the solution it has to offer.

2. Record a voiceover

Once you zero in on a great script (of 60 to 90 seconds in reading length, 2 minutes at most) the next step is to find a good voiceover person for your video. Here, it’s important to consider what brand personality you want to express such that the tone of the voiceover matches your desired “brand voice”.

So while you could go the DIY (do-it-yourself) route here, it’s highly recommended that you work with an experienced video production company that has a wide range of top voiceover talent for you to choose from and find just the right voice for your explainer video that matches your brand personality.

3. Create a storyboard

A storyboard is a visual presentation of how your explainer video will play out. It combines the script and sketches with action notes describing what’s happening in each scene. This is where your story comes alive, as you develop and put together ideas of how you want to present your startup.

4. Create Illustrations

Once your storyboard is complete, the next step is to refine the visuals and create illustrations for animation. Once again, although it’s quite possible to do this yourself, it’s highly recommended that you hire an experienced animation company that can deliver high quality animation for your explainer video. However, if you’re really on a shoestring budget, you can try some of the DYI video maker software online.

5. Share your video

Once your startup explainer video is edited and ready to launch, the next step is to share it with the world on your website’s homepage, your landing page, and social media channels. You can alos use free video hosting platforms like YouTube, Wistia and Vimeo. These platforms are particularly great because they are optimized for mobile, which is how most people consume video content these days.

Examples of great explainer videos for startups

Here’s a list of the 10 best startup explainer videos that can offer you great inspiration for your own.

1. Dropbox Business

The explainer video for Dropbox focuses on how easy it is to use their file-sharing service. You will notice that they paid particular attention to using captivating colors and a friendly voiceover. This helped properly visualize and explain their product which would otherwise not be easy for most people to understand.

2. Etsy Plus

This explainer video was created by designers and aimed at designers, hence its outstanding premium quality. The flawless smooth transitions, attractive object animation, bold yellow and orange color combination as well as vivid and sharp frames come together to instantly grab any viewer’s attention.

3. hangTag

This excellent startup explainer video leverages the power of storytelling to highlight the challenges of finding and paying for your parking. It starts by stressing the fact that time is precious (something that each and every one of us can agree on).  It then goes on to explain the convenience of easily finding a parking spot and going about your business hustle free – brilliantly showing why every driver needs hangTag.

4. Patreon

One of the biggest struggles creatives face is getting people to pay for their services. This has always been true offline and even more so online where pirating content is very common and people are often hesitant to part with their cash. So how do you convince people to pay for your artistic efforts online?

Well, Patreon has paved the way for passionate independent artists to collect funds from the very people they want to entertain. Their live-action explainer video focuses on highlighting the genuine emotional sentiment of artists with a simple laid-back feel in order to strike a chord with the viewer.

5. Dollar Shave Club

The Dollar Shave Club startup explainer video is one of the most successful explainer videos ever made. It catapulted the company from obscurity into an overnight success. Its playful, very funny and carefree tone landed very well with its target audience and saw sales of its shaving products spike.

They also made sure to highlight the problem of forgetting to buy blades every month and offer a very affordable solution to take away the stress of having to remember to buy new ones every so often.

6. PooPourri

We’re all not comfortable talking about what we do in the toilet. This startup explainer video made us more comfortable about the subject in a humorous way while presenting a great product. No wonder the PooPourri startup video is one of the most viewed startup videos ever with over 40 million views.

7. Final

Having to replace your credit card when there’s a fraud can be frustrating. Final takes away the frustrations that come with the ordeal. This live-action startup explainer video uses clear, concise and effective storytelling to get its message across and is one of the best examples available to learn from.

8. Digit

Digit app helps users to automate daily savings habits. Their startup explainer video combines rich visual aesthetics with a pitch-perfect voiceover that easily captures the viewer’s attention. Furthermore, the tone of the video is calm and engaging at the same time as they describe the nature of their service.

9. Hudway

The Hudway app helps drivers navigate dangerous road paths and even informs them about possible upcoming roadblocks. This startup explainer video takes the unconventional approach of cutting out the voiceover altogether and focusing on live-action footage integrates with graphics and text information.

10. Yova

Yova’s startup explainer video appeals to small businesses looking to compete against giant retailers in terms of setting low prices. The straightforward script helps the audience enjoy the clean and layered visual quality of the video. They also managed to add various CTAs without exaggeration.

Larry Mutenda is a Digital Marketing Consultant who runs a marketing agency, Mammothic Group Inc. with several companies that specialize in digital marketing, video production and animation.