The Essential Guide To Animation Explainers: Benefits + Best Practices

Stephen Conley
Stephen Conley
Stephen is Gisteo's Founder & Creative Director. After a long career in advertising, Stephen launched Gisteo in 2011 and the rest is history. He has an MBA in International Business from Thunderbird and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he did indeed inhale (in moderation).

In the fast-moving landscape of digital marketing, grabbing and holding your audience’s attention is becoming increasingly difficult. Your target audience wants you to get to the “gist” of what you’re communicating…and fast! 

In the midst of this challenging environment, animation explainers have emerged as a highly effective tool to communicate complex ideas in a simple and engaging way. 

At Gisteo, we recognize the amazing potential of these videos when done correctly, and we are committed to helping you leverage them for your marketing strategy.

In this essential guide, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about animation explainers, from their benefits to their creation,  best practices and more.  

So without further ado, let’s get to it! 

What Are Animation Explainers?

Animation explainers are short, animated videos that provide a clear and concise explanation of a product, service, or concept. 

These videos use engaging visuals and storytelling techniques to break down complex ideas, making them accessible and digestible to your audience.

They’re often used on websites, social media, in presentations and even at industry conferences to enhance communication and retention.

Why Should You Use Animated Explainers?

Animated explainers have many benefits but let’s take a closer look at five of the most important ones. 

  1. They Simplify Complex Concepts

Animation excels at breaking down intricate ideas into easily digestible “packets” of information, helping you transform complexity into clarity. This simplification is especially useful in industries like technology, finance, and healthcare, where products and services often involve complicated processes.

  1. Explainer Help Boost Engagement and Retention

Animation explainers are more likely to keep viewers engaged compared to text-based content. The combination of visuals, audio, and storytelling elements ensures that viewers not only watch the video to the end but also remember the information presented.

  1. They’re Versatile and Adaptable

These videos can be used across various platforms and formats, making them a versatile tool in your marketing arsenal. Whether it’s on your homepage, in a social media campaign, or as part of a sales pitch, animation explainers can perform brilliantly in a variety of contexts and audiences.

  1. Explainers Can Help Enhance Your Brand Personality

Animation provides a creative canvas to express your brand’s personality. From quirky and fun to professional and sophisticated, the style of animation can be tailored to reflect and enhance your brand identity.

  1. They Increase Conversion Rates

By clearly explaining the benefits and functionalities of a product or service, animation explainers can effectively drive conversions. They help potential customers understand the value proposition, making them more likely to take action.

Different Types of Animation Explainers

There are a wide variety of animated explainer videos. Let’s break down a few of the main styles, all of which we produce here at Gisteo. 

  1. 2D Animation

  • Overview: 2D animation is the most traditional and widely used form of animation. It involves creating characters, backgrounds, and scenes in two-dimensional space.
  • Advantages: Cost-effective, versatile, and easy to produce. Suitable for a wide range of styles and narratives.
  • Use Cases: Ideal for storytelling, educational content, and character-driven narratives.

Gisteo example:

We created this humorous 2D animation explainer for Envirocon, a Texas-based pest control company. 


  1. Motion Graphics

  • Overview: Motion graphics involve animating graphic elements, text, and shapes to create dynamic and engaging visuals.
  • Advantages: Great for explaining abstract concepts, data visualization, and adding a modern, sleek look to your videos.
  • Use Cases: Perfect for corporate videos, presentations, and explainer videos that require a clean, professional aesthetic.

Gisteo example:

Applause helps deliver digital experiences customers demand with real-world testing. We produced this motion graphics animated explainer to provide a brief overview of the company’s offering.


  1. Whiteboard Animation

  • Overview: Whiteboard animation simulates the process of drawing on a whiteboard, with illustrations being drawn and erased in real-time.
  • Advantages: Highly engaging and educational. Easy to follow and great for breaking down complex information.
  • Use Cases: Effective for educational content, instructional videos, and step-by-step guides.

Gisteo example:

Valify specializes in healthcare purchased services. We produced this whiteboard animation to better explain the company’s value proposition. 


  1. 3D Animation

  • Overview: 3D animation creates three-dimensional characters and environments, adding depth and realism to the visuals.
  • Advantages: Highly realistic and immersive. Capable of showcasing products from all angles and creating lifelike simulations.
  • Use Cases: Ideal for product demonstrations, architectural visualizations, and industries where detail and realism are crucial.

Gisteo example:

We produced this 3D animated explainer for WAX’s vIRL NFTs product offering. 


  1. Mixed Media Animation

  • Overview: Mixed media animation combines various forms of media, such as live-action footage, 2D and 3D animation, photographs, and other visual elements.
  • Advantages: Highly creative and visually engaging. Offers a unique way to present information by leveraging different styles and techniques.
  • Use Cases: Suitable for innovative storytelling, product showcases, and content that requires a distinct and captivating visual approach.

Gisteo example:

Rhodium Law specializes in estate planning. This mixed media video delivers the law firm’s USP in 60 seconds. 


Key Elements of a Successful Animation Explainer

Outstanding animated explainers typically marry several main “ingredients,” which we’ll review below. 

  1. Clear and Concise Script

The script is the backbone of your explainer video. It should be concise, engaging, and focused on solving a problem for your audience. Avoid unnecessary jargon, excess fluff and keep the language simple to ensure your message is easily understood.

  1. Engaging Visuals

High-quality, cohesive visuals are important to capturing and maintaining viewer interest. Professional animation services can create visually appealing graphics that align with your brand’s aesthetic and communicate your message effectively. 

Remember, animation explainers are a reflection of your brand so cheesy visuals won’t do you any favors!

  1. Compelling Storytelling

People connect with stories. A well-structured script that resonates with your audience will make your video more memorable. 

Ensure your story has a clear beginning, middle, and end, and use relatable language or characters. Don’t overlook the power of humor either. People relate to things that make them laugh so, depending on your audience and objectives, a lighthearted approach can be smart. 

  1. Professional Voiceover

A professional voiceover adds a layer of credibility and helps convey the tone and emotion of your message. Choose a voice that complements your brand’s personality and appeals to your target audience.

Avoid monotonous, robotic voice overs and be careful with voice talents that sound too much like a salesy radio announcer. 

  1. Call to Action (CTA)

Most animation explainers should conclude with a strong call to action. Whether you want viewers to visit your website, sign up for a newsletter, or make a purchase, make it clear to your audience what the next step is. 

The Explainer Animation Creation Process: Step-by-Step

  1. Define Your Goals

Start by identifying what you want to achieve with your explainer video. Are you aiming to increase brand awareness, explain a new product, or boost sales? Clear goals will guide the content and style of your video. 

A professional animation service should be able to assist you in better defining your objectives. 

  1. Know Your Audience

Understanding your Ideal Customer Profile is crucial for crafting a relevant and impactful message. Tailor your video to address their specific pain points, preferences, and interests. 

  1. Choose the Right Style

As we discussed earlier, there are various styles of animation to choose from, including 2D animation, 3D animation, whiteboard animation, motion graphics or mixed media.. It’s important to select a style that aligns with your brand and resonates with your target audience. 

  1. Write the Script

Craft a script that is clear, concise, and focused. Highlight the problem, introduce your solution, and explain how it works. Ensure the script flows naturally and keeps the viewer engaged from start to finish.

  1. Storyboard the Concept

Storyboarding involves sketching out the scenes of your video. This step helps visualize the script and plan the sequence of animations. A detailed storyboard ensures everyone involved in the project is on the same page.

  1. Create the Animations

Once the storyboard is approved, animators bring the visuals to life. This stage involves designing characters, backgrounds, and other elements, and then animating them according to the storyboard.

  1. Add Voiceover and Sound Effects

A professional voiceover artist records the script, and sound effects and background music are added to enhance the video’s overall impact. Ensure the audio and sound design complements the visuals and reinforces your message.

  1. Review and Revise

Review the final video carefully to ensure it meets your expectations and goals. Gather feedback from stakeholders and make necessary revisions to refine the video.

  1. Publish and Promote

Once the video is finalized, publish it on your chosen platforms. Promote it through social media, email campaigns, and other marketing channels such as your website to maximize its reach and impact.

Best Practices for Animation Explainers

  1. Keep it Short and Sweet

In most cases, you’ll want to aim for a length of 60-90 seconds. This is enough time to convey your message without losing the viewer’s attention.

  1. Focus on Benefits, Not Features

Highlight how your product or service solves a problem or improves the viewer’s life. Focus on the benefits rather than just delivering a “laundry list” of features.

  1. Incorporate Your Brand Identity

Use your brand’s colors, fonts, and logo to ensure consistency and reinforce brand recognition.

  1. Optimize for SEO

Include relevant keywords in the video title, description, and tags to improve its visibility on search engines.

  1. Monitor and Analyze Performance

Be sure to track metrics such as views, engagement, and conversion rates to gauge the effectiveness of your explainer video. Use this data to refine future videos and improve your overall strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What style of animation is best for my explainer video?

There’s no one answer to this question. The best style for your video depends on your brand and the message you want to convey.

For a traditional approach that leverages storytelling,, 2D animation is suitable. For a modern, sleek look, motion graphics are ideal. If you need realistic visuals, consider 3D animation or mixed media. 

  1. How much does it cost to produce an animation explainer video?

The cost can vary widely depending on the complexity, length, style of the animation and, of course, the animated video production company that you choose.

On average, a high-quality explainer video can range from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars. More information on explainer video pricing in general can be found here and Gisteo’s transparent rates can be viewed here

  1. How long does it take to create an animation explainer video?

The production timeline can range from a few weeks to a couple of months, depending on the length of the video, the complexity and revisions needed. At Gisteo, it normally takes 4-6 weeks from concept to final delivery.

  1. Do I need a script for my animation explainer video?

Yes, a clear and concise script is critical. The script guides the entire video, ensuring that the message is delivered effectively and efficiently. Any animation service that doesn’t incorporate script development and review as a key step to the process is not doing their job!

  1. How can I measure the success of my animation explainer video?

Key performance indicators (KPIs) such as view counts, engagement rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates can help measure the success of your video.

Analyzing these metrics will provide insights into how well your video is performing and areas for improvement.

  1. Can I use my animation explainer video across multiple platforms?

Most definitely! Animation explainers are versatile and can be adapted for use on various platforms, including your website, social media channels, email campaigns, presentations, displays and more.. 

This flexibility ensures maximum reach and impact and helps you get more ROI from your investment. 

  1. What is the process for creating an animation explainer video at Gisteo?

At Gisteo, we follow a streamlined process: initial consultation to understand your goals, scriptwriting, storyboarding, animation production, voiceover recording, adding sound effects and music, and final revisions before delivery. 

This ensures a high-quality, customized video that meets your needs.

  1. Can animation explainers be updated or revised after they are created?

Yes, animation explainers can be updated or revised if needed. In fact, the ease in making updates is one of their key advantages. 

This may involve re-recording the voiceover, updating graphics, or making changes to the animation. It’s best to discuss potential future updates during the initial production process to plan accordingly.

  1. What are the benefits of using animation explainers over live-action videos?

Live-action explainers can be amazing but animation explainers offer several advantages over these videos, including the ability to easily illustrate abstract concepts, create engaging and versatile visuals, and avoid logistical challenges associated with live shoots. 

Additionally, animation can be much more cost-effective in most cases.


Animation explainers are a powerful tool for businesses looking to communicate complex ideas in an engaging and memorable way. 

By investing in a well-crafted explainer video, you can enhance your brand’s visibility, connect with your audience, and achieve your marketing goals. 

At Gisteo, we specialize in creating animated explainer videos that clarify and convert.

Contact us today to learn how we can help bring your story to life.

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