Explainer video production is an everyday activity for us, an explainer video company. Things are different for our clients. Most of them have no idea how the step-by-step of our production stage goes — sometimes, this lack of knowledge leads to a delaying in their project, which often they don’t like.

Here’s the secret of how we make awesome explainer videos: great communication between us (the creative team) and clients. Like all good communication, it should go both ways.

We believe that an explainer video should represent the brand it so deliberately showcases. This is exactly why we decided to write a complete walkthrough of an explainer video’s production (with an accompanying comparison infographic).

However, before you get deep into the production process, you have to go through the hardest part of an explainer video production: finding the right production company.

As far as you, the customer, are concerned, the rest of the production stage mainly consists of reviewing drafts and exchanging feedback with the production company.

We have thought everything over and decided to put everything you need to know in an infographic so you can save it and read it anytime you want.

Here is the infographic:

Choosing The Best Explainer Video Production Company

How to Choose the Right Explainer Video Production Service

You should consider many factors when searching for the best explainer video production company for you.

Style & Design

The most important part in choosing a production team is finding the one that resonates with your company, that understands what’s important for you, and that is able to deliver results that meet your expectations.
After all, the explainer video will represent your brand and product.

Preferably, their design style is hip and up-to-date, following current trends. (You don’t want to end up with a video that looks like it was created a few years ago.) Judging whether the style matches yours or not is quite simple: Just go through their portfolio. If you find 3 to 5 of their videos that are suitable for your target audience, go for it.

More people are becoming professional animators and illustrators. This spurs the development of a more diverse design community; new styles are being experimented and invented every day.

This means two things:

  • First, you have an enormous pool of style options for your explainer video, which is good.
  • Second, you need to be thorough when picking the one.

If you haven’t figured out who is your target audience, think about who you want to be your customers and what they want to see from your explainer video. Consulting an expert from an explainer video production company will also help you.

Getting More Bang for Your Buck

Explainer videos can be expensive, and by that I mean $50,000-for-one-minute expensive.

Only a handful of companies can afford to spend that kind of money for a video. And that’s only if they have the budget to spare.

Explainer video production companies from around the world charge differently for each project they handle. Depending on the budget you have, the best choice for your company may be different from the one you competitor chooses.

Larger, more prominent companies that have worked with giant corporations are likely to put more premium price tags on their videos.

On the other hand, smaller and lesser-known companies often offer more affordable price tags aimed at startups with tight budgets.

Choosing the cheapest one doesn’t always mean getting the worst results, and paying a premium price doesn’t guarantee satisfaction either.

Here’s what you should do:

  1. Filter to find companies that charge within your budget.
  2. Go through their portfolios and pick the ones you like.
  3. Send details about what you want for your explainer video.
  4. Ask for a quote.
  5. Set an expectation for what you are going to pay.

The key takeaway here is: Try to find an explainer video company that gives you the best value for your money.

Experience and Expertise

An explainer video company may showcase hundreds of videos on their portfolio, but this doesn’t guarantee their expertise. To know more about them, dig deeper to see what they can really do.

Expertise, for an explainer video company, is knowing how to handle projects from companies in different industries and meet their expectations.

Let’s go back to the main value of an explainer video: explaining stuff.

From all the portfolios you have seen from a company, did you understand none, some, or all of the products and companies they explained?

Did the explainer video you watched really help you understand, or did it just seem “nice to have”?

If you understood the majority of the products and companies from their explainer videos, it means they have the expertise in, well, explaining stuff. The better you understood every concept they explained, the more skilled they are.

Those are the three main guidelines to help you choose the right explainer video production company. Now, let’s talk about the actual explainer video production process that all explainer video production companies go through every day.

Explainer Video Production Process

1. Initial Creative Brief

Before you start working on an explainer video, you need to know exactly what kind of audience you want to address, and what you want to achieve with your video.

Every explainer video production company will start asking for this specific information before they begin the production process. It can be in the form of interview, or they might ask you to fill out forms about you explainer video’s purpose. To produce eye candy that appeals to a certain audience and to make it suitable for a specific purpose, they need you involved in the process.

What’s important for you before starting this stage is to always prepare.

2. Script Writing

A good explainer video must have a unique written script. It needs to be custom-written to address the target market that a company has, while it pays attention to preferences in many aspects such as diction, references, or technical jargon.

Of course, you can opt to write the initial script yourself. However, keep in mind that the creative team has the know-how in script writing specifically for explainer videos. Unless you are a seasoned writer who has created hundreds of narrated explanations, we highly recommend that you provide initial script that will be subject to change.

The actual time it takes to write a script varies. Some can be done within 24 hours, while a more complex script that needs thorough research may take a few days–or more–to write.

3. Character and Style Design Mockup

Character and style design mockup is the part in which the illustrators involved in a project create the draft as a preview for how the full storyboard will look like. As the client, you’ll receive a few mockup slides to review, comment on, and approve.

Once you feel the character and style design are good to go, the illustrators will move on to create the storyboard. This is what breadnbeyond’s mockup looks like:

Design mock-up example

4. Voiceover Recording

After the script is finished and approved, it will be handed over to voice actors for recording. Most explainer video companies are affiliated with voice actors from multiple countries to provide you with options that they know are right for your explainer video.

The recording process should take less than 24 hours, but sometimes voice actors may need to rent a recording studio, which can take a few days to become available. As with everything, planning ahead is beneficial.

5. Storyboarding

A storyboard is your explainer video’s master plan. It describes the video’s actions in the form of still images. It’s like a comic book version of your video.

storyboard example

Storyboarding is, in a nutshell, turning the script (text) into slides (pictures). That means every bit of information you provide about your target audience, your product, and your company are mixed with a story and brought to life through illustrations.

While most explainer video production companies create storyboards before they go to production, some choose not to involve their client while doing so. This actually depends on you, the client. If you have time to be involved in the process, I recommend you to take a look at the storyboard and avoid any surprises in the later production stage.

We’ve all had an experience where we tried to tell a story to others with words. No matter hard we tried, we couldn’t share our complete experience with others because our memories are visual and often can’t be explained by mere words.

This is why a written script can be vague and broad and interpreted in different ways by people involved in the production process. The process makes the transfer of ideas from you to the video production team and vice versa stutter at times.

While skipping the storyboarding process entirely can spare you some time early on, having a storyboard will save you more time (and stress) in the long run.

6. Animation

Animation is the final stage of creating the actual explainer video. It’s like when you’re baking cake. You have mixed all the ingredients together perfectly into a batter, and now all that’s left to do is to put it in the oven at the right temperature for the right duration.

Likewise, animating an explainer video takes precision and patience. With the perfect frame transition and bending, you’ll get a delicate final cut.

Purry on a jet plane gif

Animation is the stage that takes more time than the others. It takes nearly half of the allocated time.

7. Adding Background Music and Sound Effects

Without any sound or music, even the liveliest animation will fall short. In other words, additional sounds and music are necessary in a video.

However, some explainer videos are made without any sound effects and music in specific sections to emphasize their meanings or emotions.

The key to getting the most of an explainer video is utilizing as many senses as possible to imprint your brand’s name onto your audience’s brains. The main role of audio elements in explainer videos is to enhance the effect the videos have on the viewers.

In most explainer videos, the music, sound effects, and voice-overs are produced after the animation is done.

Adding catchy music ensures that if nothing else, viewers will remember the tunes (remember this video: PPAP?). Sound effects are also important to put more weight on events where they happen in the video.

Catchy music is one of the factors why some videos live on for years, maybe decades, after they were made.

That’s it! You get a complete animated explainer video. Now, would you like to know more about how you can start an explainer video project with us? Send us a message.