12 Types of Explainer Videos Explained

By on February 9, 2015

How to Make the Best Explainer Videos

You might have heard that explainer videos are pretty much essential to the early success of any modern day startup. You might have heard that those company’s who don’t create an explainer video to accompany their launch make significantly less revenue than those who do.

So maybe you do a bit of research. You watch a few explainer videos, maybe one or two animations and a live action, and you think you’ve managed to pick up on one or two things. The general gist is that lots of company’s use animation explainer videos.

12 Types of Explainer Videos

The thing is, there are actually at least 12 types of explainer videos out there. At least. Not all of them are animation. Knowing the different types of explainer videos is essential to you choosing the right kind of video explainer for your business.

Because your audience is paramount, it’s absolutely essential that your video explainer speaks to them. This means making explainer videos that they will watch without quickly switching off. For this reason you really need to know the types of explainer videos available to you, so that you can decide exactly which one to invest your money in. Let’s have a quick rundown of all 12.

  • 2D Animation: Animation is so popular, and indeed many of the best explainer videos are animated. 2D animation is cost-effective and can be done on a budget. Moreover, 2D animation comprises many styles and you can pick the one which is right for you. These styles include hand-drawn sketches, stop-motion, as well as flash-based animations.
  • StopMotion: One of the masters of modern StopMotion animation is Tim Burton. But we’re guessing you guys don’t have his budget. Fear not, StopMotion animation, which is essentially photographing objects frame by frame until putting them altogether in editing software to create movement, can be done on a budget and is hugely rewarding. You just need a good idea and a bit of talent.
  • 3D Animation: 3D animation is without a doubt a significant step-up from 2D animation, and not too many startups utilise this kind of video explainer. It costs more money, but the things that can be done with it are almost limitless and awe-inspiring. If you want to create one of those explainer videos that grabs everyones attention instantly and sees people talking about it to their work college over a coffee the next morning, 3D animation is something to consider.
  • 2.5D Animation: As the somewhat unfortunate moniker might suggest, 2.5D Animation sees the combination of 2D images with 3D objects. It’s the types of explainer videos that would probably require you to hire a firm to carry out the job, owing to the amount of rendering work that would need doing, but if have the time and can afford it, 2.5D animation – when done right – is certainly something which would get people talking.
  • Animated Screencast: An animated screencast, put simply, is a screencast that is animated. It’s a simply concept, but it’s hugely cost-effective and a lot of startups prefer this type of video explainer. The great thing about it is that it accurately and easily conveys everything the startups need to convey to their audience.
  • Live Action: Some of the best explainer videos are stripped down live action explainer videos. Live action is basically a video explainer centred around real live people at the heart of the action. There are two types of live action explainer videos: big budgets and small budgets. A live action video can be done on a budget, but you’ve gotta work hard to make sure that your lighting and camera setups don’t ruin the whole thing. Remember, the best explainer video scripts have to look quality.
  • Kinetic Typography: Explainer videos were decided to be a good thing because Internet folk, in general, get a bit bored with rows and rows of text. It wasn’t good for conversion rates. Kinetic typography is basically text that is presented sequentially and creatively. So you get the right amount of information but what matters is how it’s delivered. It makes reading less boring and more involving. It’s also really cheap and easy to do.
  • Whiteboard: The Whiteboard is actually one of the most popular types of explainer videos and you’ll see it popping up here and there. It basically consists of a whiteboard and a hand sketching in visuals that pair up with what the voiceover is saying. Clever, fun and always engaging. The only problem is the need to come up with something that sets you apart from the Whiteboard crowd.
  • Infographic: Infographic explainer videos might not be everyones idea of the best explainer videos, but they’re ideal for company’s who want to show a lot of data, figures, graphs, facts and so on. All this information flows smoothly onscreen thanks to fluid transitions to create an absorbing and potent video explainer that really hits the spot.
  • Just Music: It’s self-explanatory really; just music types of explainer videos consist of just text and images without the need for actors or dialogue. Spotify really nailed this particular video explainer when they launched the company. No clutter, just some cool visuals and a memorable track. Sometimes it’s all you need.
  • Testimonial: The old ones are the best explainer videos, right? Well, the testimonial video explainer has certainly been around for quite some time now and it consists of a few people talking into the camera about their experience using your business. It’s a simple concept, and with good lighting and knowledge of video editing it can be done easily on a budget.
  • iPhone/iPad Apps: This one of those popular types of explained videos that, like the Whiteboard explainer videos, probably needs a bit of a fresh approach if you are going to invest in it. It’s basically a video inside a video – or, rather, inside a mobile phone. Yep, a mobile phone is displayed in the centre of a screen, through which the video plays, whilst a hand will intermittently intervene to touch the screen, thereby keeping the video moving forward.

Choose the best and the most suitable type explainer videos here today!

Karoline is a creative mobile apps bloggers who keeps an eye at the latest trends in the apps industry. Karoline is eager to share her findings with our readers and answer all questions.