How to Make a Professional Explainer Video Cheap

By on January 19, 2015

These days, when we start a new business, it’s essential that we create an explainer video to go along with our launch.

The biggest online presences today created best explainer videos to accompany their inception, including Spotify and Instagram. Their videos were to-the-point, and helped people to identify with their brand, as well as to understand within seconds exactly what their product and service was all about.

Businesses that refuse to cave into the demand for explainer videos, fearing that explainer videos are probably going to cost the earth and are difficult to create, will fall behind the competition.

Whilst you’re still churning out pages and pages of drab text in a bid to attract customers, your rivals will be releasing engaging and humorous videos that are helping their customers to better understand their business and concept.

Not to mention, these explainer videos occasionally go viral, thus creating even more awareness of the brand.

One explainer video recently attracted5 million views.

Even better? It cost hardly anything to make.

How to Make an Explainer Video on a Budget

But okay, you might be worried about the difficulties that come with creating an explainer video. First things first, you don’t need to be Steven Spielberg. Let’s get that one out of the way. Knowing how to make an explainer video is knowing that anyone can make one. You need imagination, inventiveness, and you need to know your audience.

Some of the best, most eye-catching explainer videos are those that are the simplest. They grab attention because the creators have thought outside the box and done something a little different.

You Don’t Need Big Bucks to Do Something Different

Dollar Shave Club know how to create an explainer video on a budget. They got their own founder in front of the camera, fed him awesome dialogue, gave him a few props, and before they knew it, the video had gone viral.

It cost next-to-nothing and yet it destroyed videos that cost thousands of dollars.

Sure, some businesses hire a professional firm. These guys can charge up to around $20,000 for a video. It might turn out great, but there’s absolutely no guarantee that it will be better than something you can create yourselves for less than $300.

Moreover, knowing how to make an explainer video yourselves means you are in complete control. If after a few months your business has a new line of service you want to promote, you can easily re-edit your video to suit your new direction.

A firm will charge serious dollars for a re-edit.

Write a Script

The first step in knowing how to make explainer video on a budget is making sure that you have a solid script.

Now, not all of us are blessed writers. Not all of us can write the kind of dialogue that grips everyone’s attention and causes them to drop everything they’re doing to listen to what we have to say.

The key thing to remember here is that you don’t always need dialogue. Voiceover is not imperative. If you – or anyone on your team – lacks the confidence to put together a narration, you can focus on visuals.

But you still need the ability to tell a story. Knowing how to make an explainer video that tells a story may require a bit of research.

Watch other explainer videos. See how they start, how they approach the middle, and how they end. See how they manage to simply put their message and concept across.

The two key components are information and coherency. You need to write a script that is coherent – has a beginning and an end – and which conveys information. Take us on a journey, tell us what you’re all about, show us the problems you guys solve.

Most importantly of all, this is not Godzilla.

Write a script that is shootable. Ergo, stick within your small budget. Want to film a car crash? Forget it. Work creatively within your means. Keep things simple. You need to translate your complex concept into simple terms that your customers understand.

Moreover, if your script requires actors, remember that many actors out there are willing to work for expenses only as they search for their own big break. You don’t need to throw big bucks at actors. A lot of talent exists out there which can be used on a budget.

Sound

Sound in an explainer video can mean two things: Sound design and music. Having knowledge of how to create an explainer video means having adequate knowledge of just how important sound is in filmmaking.

Visuals are probably about 40% of filmmaking.

Sound is 60%.

If your sound design is awful, you’ll have a bigger mess only your hands than a new Paris Hilton movie.

The biggest problem for knowing how to create an explainer video on a budget is dealing with bad sound. Microphones do not come cheap. If you really need external sounds in your video, such as ambient sounds in a coffee shop, hire a good microphone for a good price. We’re talking about $150. If your video won’t suffer from a lack of external sounds, leave them out.

That just leaves music. Because you’re learning how to make explainer video on a budget, there are many royalty-free sites out there where awesome music artists have submitted top quality music for you to use for free as long as you credit them. Getting the right piece of music that suits your brand will take some time, and you might have to listen to hundreds of songs, but it’s well worth it.

Editing

Let’s say you now know how to make an explainer video. But do you know how to edit it?

Editing an explainer video is actually not all that difficult. Referring back to the Dollar Shave Club video, these guys had about 10 different shots at most, which required simple cuts in the edit suite. No effects, no animation, no graphics. Simple.

Whilst some editing software costs the earth, you can purchase programs like Sony Vegas with your budget and it will do the job you need.

As long as you’re creative with what means you have, there is no reason why the editing stage has to trip you up. Watch a few tutorials, get to know your software.

Even better, if you have someone in your team who loves films, get them onboard. Good editing is all about intuition. Knowing when to cut. Knowing when to use text. It comes through watching movies and commercials.

How to Make an Animated Explainer Video

Animated explainer videos are very popular. They can be cute, funny, and most of all eye-catching.

Some are hand-drawn, others are of the stop-motion kind. But mostly all are of a very high quality that allows them to stand apart from the competition.

There is, after all, something quite magical about animation. Many people would probably admit to preferring animation to live action, and our attention is no doubt drawn towards quirky animated characters who make us laugh, make us happy and cheer us up a bit.

But knowing how to make an animated explainer video is important; for you, knowing how to make an animated explainer video on a budget might be even more important. After all, there are many animation suites out there that will help you create the next Toy Story if you put your mind to it. But these are expensive.

Thankfully, there exists software such as VideoMakerFX, which can be purchased for less than $100, and which helps you to create an animated explainer video that can be just as popular as the competition if you allow yourself to be creative.

After all, making an explainer video that gets your message across, and which looks great, is not all about how much money you can throw at it.

It’s about making something that endears to an audience.

Remember: Viral videos often cost nothing.

And it’s really that last line which sums up this post. If you want to know how to make a professional explainer video cheap, you should remember that the best viral videos were made cheap.

They had a winning concept. They had imagination. They were clever.

They were simple.

Learn how to make an animated explainer video and get started 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.