5 Types Of Video Explainers To Boost Your Marketing Efforts

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).

Video explainers are short, engaging videos designed to simplify complex information about a product, service, concept or brand. They combine compelling visuals and concise scripts to connect with viewers, making them highly effective for marketing, branding, education and more. 

Let’s take a closer look at 5 types of video explainers you may want to consider to improve your organization’s marketing efforts and why you should do it. 

5 Types of Video Explainers:

  1. Animated Explainers:

    These use 2D or 3D animation and motion graphics to visually represent concepts and processes. Animation allows for creative and abstract representation, making complex ideas easier to understand.

Gisteo example:

We created this 2D video explainer for Paperclip, an IT security solution. Instead of just listing a bunch of dry features, this video combines a fun, fairly-tale driven storyline with compelling visuals to deliver a unique take an password security.


  1. Live-Action Explainers:

    Featuring real people and real-life scenarios, live-action explainer videos add a personal touch. They are especially effective for demonstrating physical products or services. They are also great for bringing your brand personality to life with a human connection. 

Gisteo example:

The video explainer of our own company leverages live-action and resides at the top of our homepage. In this video, our cheeky “Gisteo Guy” delivers the company sales pitch with humor and conviction.  

The video has been very successful in introducing the Gisteo brand to clients and prospects, while giving our audience a better understanding of what we do and why it matters. Oh, and we’re not afraid to be a bit bold in our own marketing and this boldness can have its benefits. As one prospect said, “you had me at douchebag.”  


  1. Mixed Media Video Explainers:

    Combining animation and live-action clips, these videos marry the strengths of both formats to create a dynamic and engaging narrative. 

These video explainers are excellent if you want to use motion graphics animation but still want to maintain a realistic, human touch. 

Gisteo example:

This mixed media explainer for Intellify, a healthcare staffing solution, combines motion graphics, screen mocks up and live-action clips to deliver an overview of the company’s value proposition is a concise 60 seconds:


  1. Whiteboard Explainers:

    These involve animation that mimics hand-drawn content on a whiteboard. They are particularly effective for educational content or illustrating step-by-step processes.

Gisteo example:

Speaking of step-by-step processes, this video explainer for Blue Dot Seats educates viewers on how their innovative ticketing platform works:


  1. Screencast Video Explainers:

    These are screen recordings that show users how to navigate a software application or website. They can be a cost-effective and straightforward way to demonstrate digital products.

Gisteo example:

Frequence is an award-winning software to create data-driven omnichannel ad proposals, optimize campaigns, automate workflows, and share high-quality analytics reports. We’ve created an entire series of screencast-type video explainers to educate Frequence users on a variety of use cases:


Why Video Explainers Are Effective

  1. Clear and Concise Messaging:

    The exercise of creating a video explainer requires the distillation of complex ideas into a clear, concise message. This process helps businesses focus on their unique selling propositions and core benefits, ensuring that viewers quickly grasp the essential points.

  2. Engaging Storytelling:

    Video explainers typically follow a simple narrative structure that captures attention and resonates with viewers:

  • Problem Statement: Highlighting a common pain point.
  • Solution Offering: Presenting the product or service as the solution.
  • How It Works: Briefly explaining the functionality.
  • Call to Action: Encouraging viewers to take the next step.
  1. Reflecting Brand Culture:

    The style, tone, and approach of a video explainer can communicate the brand’s personality and values. This visual and emotional alignment helps in building a strong brand voice and connection with the target audience.

  2. Versatility:

    Video explainers are versatile marketing tools that can be used across various platforms including:

  • Company Websites: Enhancing the homepage or product pages.
  • Social Media: Driving engagement on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
  • Email Campaigns: Boosting click-through rates in email marketing.
  • Presentations and Pitches: Making business proposals more compelling.
  • Customer Onboarding: Simplifying the onboarding process for new users.
  1. SEO Benefits:

    Videos increase the time visitors spend on your site, which can reduce bounce rates and boost SEO rankings. Search engines favor sites with engaging content, and video explainers can significantly improve your site’s visibility and ranking.

  2. Cost-Effective Creativity:

    With advancements in technology, creating high-quality video explainers has become more affordable. Tools and software have democratized video production, allowing even small businesses to create professional-looking videos without breaking the bank. 

How Video Explainers Can Boost Your Business

Video explainers can be valuable, flexible marketing tools. Let’s take a look at just a few ways you can use them to boost your efforts and bottom-line. 

Enhanced Understanding and Retention: Videos are processed by the brain 60,000 times faster than text, making them an effective medium for understanding and retaining information. Viewers are more likely to remember and act on the information presented in a video explainer.

Increased Conversion Rates: A well-crafted video explainer can significantly increase conversion rates. By clearly communicating the value proposition of your product or service and addressing potential objections, explainers can help turn prospects into customers.

Improved Customer Engagement: Video content is inherently more engaging than text. Video explainers can be attention-grabbing, leading to higher engagement rates. Engaged customers are also more likely to share content, expanding your organic reach..

Stronger Emotional Connection: Storytelling through video can evoke emotions, creating a deeper connection with your audience. This emotional engagement can lead to increased loyalty and advocacy.

Demonstrating Thought Leadership: By producing informative and valuable video content, businesses can position themselves as thought leaders in their industry. This helps build trust and credibility with the audience.

How to Make a Video Explainer

Creating a successful explainer video involves several key steps, whether trying to do it on your own, using a freelancer or with a quality explainer video company like Gisteo. Let’s quickly review these:

  1. Write a Compelling Script:

    Your script should introduce the problem, present the solution, explain how it works, and include a strong call-to-action. Keep it concise and engaging.

  2. Choose Your Production Style:

    Decide whether you will use animation, live-action, mixed media, whiteboard, or screencast for your video explainer. Consider your budget, the nature of your product or service and overall objectives. 

  3. Record a High-Quality Voiceover:

    A clear and professional voiceover can greatly enhance your video’s impact. Ensure the audio quality is top-notch. AI voice overs are gaining popularity but, at the time of this writing, they still aren’t able to beat good old-fashioned humans in terms of tone, cadence and credibility. 

  4. Add Engaging Visuals:

    Use visuals that complement and enhance your script. This could include animations, infographics, or real-life footage. It’s always best to develop a storyboard before production in order to map out visuals for each scene. 

  5. Incorporate Music and Sound Effects:

    A well-chosen soundtrack and appropriate sound effects can add depth and engagement to your video. For higher budget projects, consider a professional sound designer. 

  6. Edit and Optimize:

    Ensure your video flows smoothly and is optimized for various platforms. Pay attention to aspects like pacing and transitions and refine if necessary.

Best Practices for Creating Standout Video Explainers

  1. Keep It Short and Sweet: While there are some exceptions, you should aim for a duration of 60-90 seconds for most explainer videos. This is long enough to convey your message but short enough to maintain viewer interest.
  2. Focus on the Script: The script is the backbone of your video explainer. It should be clear, concise, and focused on the key message. Use simple language, avoid jargon and don’t be afraid to use humor when appropriate.
  3. Invest in Quality Production: High-quality visuals and sound are crucial. Poor production value can distract from your message and negatively impact your brand.
  4. Include a Strong Call to Action: Clearly tell viewers what you want them to do next, whether it’s visiting your website, signing up for a demo, making a purchase or contacting you for more information. 
  5. Optimize for SEO: Use relevant keywords in your video title, description, and tags on platforms like Youtube. This will help improve your video’s visibility. Keep in mind that Youtube is the world’s second most important search engine, right after its owner, Google.
  6. Test and Iterate: Collect feedback and analyze the performance of your video explainer. Use this data to make improvements and create even more effective video explainers in the future.

Frequently asked questions

How much does it cost to produce a video explainer? 

The cost of producing a video explainer can vary widely depending on factors like the type of video (animation vs. live-action), production quality, and length. Costs can range from a few hundred to many thousand dollars. At Gisteo, we’re very transparent with our pricing, especially when it comes to animation, whiteboard explainer and mixed media productions.

What type of businesses can benefit from video explainers? 

Almost any business can benefit from video explainers, including startups, small businesses, and large corporations. They are particularly useful for tech companies, educational institutions, healthcare providers, and e-commerce businesses. Explainers can also be beneficial for non-profit organizations looking to raise awareness, increase participation and drive awareness. 

Can video explainers be used for internal communications?

Yes, video explainers can be highly effective for internal communications. They can be used for employee training, onboarding, internal process explanations, and sharing important updates within the company. Videos are more engaging than traditional methods like text-based manuals or presentations, making them an outstanding tool for enhancing internal understanding and engagement.

Can video explainers be repurposed for different platforms? 

Most definitely!. Video explainers can be adapted for various platforms by creating shortened version for social media, snippets to use as teasers and translated versions for a global audience. In addition, you may consider using segments of your explainer in longer form video content such as webinars or tutorials. 


Video explainers are a powerful tool for modern businesses, offering a unique combination of clarity, engagement, and versatility. By distilling complex ideas into compelling narratives, they can effectively communicate your message and drive business growth.

At Gisteo, we specialize in creating impactful video explainers tailored to your brand’s unique needs. Whether you’re looking to explain a product, simplify a concept, or engage your audience, we’re here to help. 

For more information on creating high-quality video explainers, contact us at Gisteo.

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