make explainer great again

E-commerce and web-based companies rely heavily on their web content, explainer videos being one of the most vital.

However, these companies are subjective when judging their own explainer videos. Most of them only ensure that their explainer videos are good enough for them and NOT their target markets.

It’s hard to be objective, we know. But as experts in explainer videos, we are happy to share with you what makes an explainer video a good one.

We always ask ourselves these questions to see if the explainer videos we make are good enough for both our clients and their target markets.

Does it grab your attention?

Explainer videos average around 90 seconds, but viewers decide whether or not they will keep watching an explainer video in its first eight seconds. A great explainer video makes the most out of that short time window.

The rest of the video is both an extension of the first eight seconds and a reward for viewers’ curiosity after they’re hooked by the video’s first eight seconds.

How do they do it?

First, they grab attention with an intriguing visual (usually with awesome thumbnails) and then with the narration they get to the point very quickly.

Of course, that eight-second window is far from enough to make viewers understand exactly what the product is–but at least they have a clue of what they are about to watch and they’re eager to do so.

In short: a great explainer video grabs attention and increases curiosity.

Is it visually appealing?

The central reason for using an explainer video is to present a product or service in an engaging way to attract a certain audience.


There used to be a trend in designing company websites: go big or go home. It means either you make the design as fancy and flashy as possible or don’t make a website at all.

However, most companies now use the “less is more” approach when designing their websites. An explainer video is the perfect fit for this–provided it gives the right information in just the right amount to leave viewers wanting more.

Good quality design and animation are important for making an explainer video pleasing to the eye, but the video isn’t supposed to be a showcase for the designer’s skills.

A tip for this point: “Good quality design and animation” does not mean you have to obsess over obtaining the smooth and flawless graphic quality of Finding Dory or Monsters Inc. This is a corporate video, not a million-dollar movie.

Simple and not over-the-top graphics are important for keeping viewers focused on the overall message of the video instead of being distracted by the ultra-realistic hair movements of the main character.

Do you understand what the narrator said?

Like the name implies, an explainer video should contain clear explanations. One of the two ways to achieve that objective is the narration of the video, or, to be more technical, the voice-over.

Generally, a good voice-over for an explainer video should be clear and easily understood.

It shouldn’t be too fast, even though the duration is limited to a certain point (mostly 60-120 seconds).

breadnbeyond explainer video

Keep in mind that the overall message of the video is more important than the number of words.

But what can a voice-over artist do if the narration transcript given to them is just not good enough?


They get paid for reading what’s been given to them.

Some writers are overly proud of their ability to exhibit their sleight of words using prodigious terminology.

Did you understand the words in previous sentence?

Most non-native speakers won’t.

Using SAT-level vocabulary can be nice, but the point of explanatory narration is to help people understand.

In short: the narration should be simple and not use too much jargon.

Does it meet “great” standard?

The most common misconception about an explainer video is that it can drive hundreds, even thousands, of sales on its own.

It can, but that’s unlikely unless you make a video that is truly out of the ordinary.

An explainer video is a tool to direct viewers to enter the conversion funnel, which most of the time is not an immediate purchase. If viewers do decide to make a purchase based on the explainer video alone, good–but it’s not the explainer video’s main purpose.

There are 2 essential questions to ask to determine if an explainer video is a GREAT explainer video or just an explainer video.

“Can a viewer watch this explainer video and then turn the screen off to tell other people about the product?”

breadnbeyond explainer video

If the answer is yes, that particular explainer video is a success. (Or, at least, it should be.)

The success of an explainer video also relies on how the video itself is promoted by the company.

P.S: Sharing a video on social media is a great way to expose a new audience to the video, but social media can be a tricky line to walk. Read our social media video sharing tips to get the most out of it.

If a viewer can’t explain the product to other people, you have a problem because viewers won’t bother watching it twice to get a better understanding.

“Does the viewer take the desired action after watching this explainer video?”
Most of the time, the answer to this question is closely connected to the answer to the previous question.

If the answer is yes, then the explainer video is a success.

However, if the explainer video content is good but insufficient leads are gathered from it, there might be one or more of these 5 call-to-action mistakes in your explainer video.

Closing thoughts

An explainer video is only as good as you make it. If you choose the right explainer video company, then you’ll find it easier to share your ideas and produce the video in an engaging way.

The most important part is ensuring that the video satisfies not only you, as the one who invests in it, but also your target audience.

Always keep in mind that you are making the explainer for your audience, not for yourself.

And don’t expect an explainer video to be a miracle that will drive your sales through the roof. It’s content that requires promoting and outreach to the right influencers in your niche.