Making an Explainer Video in 17 Steps

Explainer videos aka “How we help you to get XYZ”-videos are so important for Saas & tech businesses. Especially if your business is providing comprehensive software or intricate technology, your customer might not understand how your solution can benefit them.

A couple of weeks ago I was in the creative process of writing a video outline, script and voice-over script for my client Emvisage. I’ve been doing this kind of work before, but it’s always a challenge.

Naturally, I did some research before I dig into the matter and ended up with 5 guiding principles on how to write a good explainer video.

5 guiding principles for explainer videos

➡️Make your point in the first 30 seconds
➡️Facts tell stories sell
➡️Keep the dialogue between 150-200 words for a 1-minute video
➡️Tone of voice – Who are you actually talking to?
➡️Don’t praise yourself, put your customer’s needs at the centre

Once I had the base line, I started the process of actually getting the explainer video done. These are the 17 steps I took to finish the video. The whole process took appr. 6 weeks.

How to make a product / explainer video in 17 steps: ⠀⠀⠀

1. Video reference research (aka checking the competition 🕵️‍♀️)
2. Choose a video production company (ask for recommendations 🗣️)
3. Write the first draft of the video concept
4. Write voice-over script (preferably someplace where you don’t disturb anyone – you’ll be talking out loud a LOT to yourself 💁🏻‍♀️)
5. Write storyboard script (Excel helps!)
6. Meeting with production company
7. Shorten storyboard script (attention spans and such 🙇🏻‍♀️)
8. Shorten voice-over script (more talking to yourself)
9. Stock video research (takes way longer than you’d think 🤷🏻‍♀️)
10. Stock music research (easier than searching for videos)
11. Make screen recordings (Desktop, Tablet, Smartphone)
12. Send brand guidelines, stock videos, scripts & music to production company
13. Receive first draft, review & send feedback
14. Receive second draft, review & send feedback
15. Publish on Youtube, embed on website, share on social
16. Wait for feedback from customers & prospects
17. Be proud of your work 🙌😌

I proudly present, the final version of the explainer video:

The explainer video I did for my client Emvisage.

What I’ve learned in the process of making this explainer video

  • Choose your video production company with care
  • Be prepared for lots of changes – it will take longer than you think it takes
  • Allocate enough time to do stock video research – this was the biggest pain poin in the whole process!

I’m a Contract CMO and freelance marketing strategist helping tech companies (B2B/B2C) to find their competitive edge and bring their story to life. Drop me a line if you want me to turbocharge your digital marketing to the next level.