How To Create An Animated Explainer Video That Converts

by Steve P. Young


How did Crazy Egg drive an extra $21,000 a month?


What did (formerly Rypple) do to convert 20% more of their homepage visitors?


They both used animated explainer videos to highlight their products and services. In this post, we will dig into what it takes to create an animated explainer video and more importantly how to craft one that converts.


video converts


1. Research Other Videos

When creating your animated video, research is especially important. Give yourself about 2-4 weeks to complete the entire video. The first step you should take is to research other startup videos in your industry.


Things you should consider:

  • What style of animation are they using? Would you like to be similar or completely different?
  • How long are the typical videos?
  • Are the videos on their homepage or further down the conversion funnel?
  • How are they crafting their script?
  • What is the call-to-action at the end of the video?


Try to think of your animated video as a business idea. Once you are committed to doing it, then do a little research to see how to make it really shine.


2. Survey Your Users

As startup founders or marketers, we have a difficult time articulating the problem that we are solving. We use words that normal people don’t use or let alone understand (ie platform, marketplace, algorithm, etc).


Try to avoid as many buzzwords as you can and talk to your users before writing the script.


Here are some questions you should ask them:

  • What is the #1 reason that is stopping you from buying?
  • What kind of concerns do you have about this product or service?
  • What are alternatives to this product or service that you are considering?
  • What problems do you have that this product can help solve?
  • If you did buy, what made you choose us over the alternatives?


By getting answers to these questions, you will get a better understanding of what is preventing users from buying and what alternatives they are considering.


You will even get some insight on why they decided to pick you over your competitors.


3. Write a High-Converting Script

Now that you have the results from the survey above you can overcome key objections and tout your best features. When you are writing your script, make sure you keep the length at about 1-2 minutes long. If it becomes any longer then it will lose its effectiveness.


Here’s a simple framework we used to create our script:

  • Explain the problem – In our video, we first started by explaining how hard it is to find quality photographers or filmmakers. We also mentioned Google and Craigslist as alternatives. Then we go on to state that the problem with those sites is that customers don’t see any job history or ratings for the person they are hiring.
  • Tout your features – After explaining the problem, you want to focus on why your product and service is better than the alternatives. In our video, we walk the user step-by-step into our process, so viewers can see the benefits of our service over the alternatives.
  • End with a call-to-action – Lastly you want to end the video with a call-to-action. Try testing different call-to-actions on your website before deciding on one for your video.


5. Create the Animation

Next you want to pick an animation style that fits within your goals.


Note that some animations are more conducive to longer videos. For example, you may consider a whiteboard animation (or video scribe) when creating a longer, more educational video.



The above video runs almost 11 minutes long and has close to 11 million views. The constant movement and animation style of the video keeps viewers engaged throughout the entire piece.


Once you find an animator, you need to send them your logo, color scheme, and any other design assets that you would like to incorporate in the video.


6. Highlight Your Video

Remember that studies show that websites with video convert more than those without it. Therefore, don’t make it difficult for your visitors to find the video.


When we ran an A/B between two identical pages (one with video and one without), we found that the one with video converted 11% better than one without. And the only difference between the two pages was a big play button.




Your Turn

What do you think? Has video helped you convert more users? Share your video in the comments below.



profile_082013Steve P. Young is the Director of Product Marketing of SmartShoot where marketers go to get stunning photos and video from the best local photographers and filmmakers. Connect with Steve on Twitter or LinkedIn.


Photo & Video Credits

89studio | | Courtesy of Steve P. Young