And, Action! How to Make a Business Explainer Video


Years ago making an explainer video for you or your business was a costly, time-consuming endeavor. But today high-quality video creation tools are all around and easily accessible.

We’re not just talking Facebook Live, Periscope or YouTube Live, although those are great for those off-the-cuff branding moments.

Rather, we mean a polished, professional asset you can run as a digital ad or display on your website to give visitors a quick, informative run-down on who you are and what you do.

There’s A Process For That!

Well, there used to be an app for that — YouTube Director — but Google has since retired it. Not that we’re bitter at all.

But still, we have the process. And by following it you can streamline your video creation and editing efforts to create professional-level company explainer video:

  • Without a production crew
  • Without lengthy scripts
  • Without an expensive video editor
  • Without taking an entire day away from your clients or customers

All you need is your smart phone camera, good lighting, a quiet space and about an hour of your time total.

The Seismic Shift

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to make your own business explainer video, it’s essential to understand just how much traction custom video has claimed. Enough to create a seismic shift.

Take a look at the cable television space. Major players have long defending itself against the competitive onslaught of content platforms such as Hulu and Netflix. But we’re now seeing members of the traditional cable family such as Disney spinning up their own streaming services.

Facebook is another challenger wanting in on the steaming and custom video content game. In an attempt to compete with to Google’s YouTube, Facebook is rolling out Watch Pages so that influencers can showcase their own video series. A native Facebook creation app similar to the erstwhile YouTube Director is also rumored to be in the works.

The impact of this video-first direction is easy to see. Scroll through your Facebook feed and count the branded videos. Video probably accounts for about 60% of your feed’s content. And it’s only going to grow. Late last year, Facebook added a play button feature to their mobile app that takes users to an entire discovery page containing nothing but video.

Even LinkedIn is trying, having rolled out its own native video creation functionality just a few months ago. The adoption of off-the-cuff video creation on that platform is happening — just very slowly.

Video is King

In short, video is everywhere, and people are paying attention. stellapop-click-to-tweet Are you making the most of it? Here’s how to create an explainer video that gives your audience value and continues to nurture your current and potential customers.

Let’s Break Down the Process

Think about the big picture before whipping out your camera phone and getting to work. Planning is key for capturing the content you want on the first go.

Answer these questions first:

1. What’s the goal of this video?

2. Where am I filming this content and what am using to film it?

3. Who is the star of the show? What exactly are they saying and how do I create visuals to go with it?

4. What am I using to edit the video together?

Dive On In

What’s the goal?

The goal of an explainer video is to quickly and succinctly describe what your company does and why they do it. stellapop-click-to-tweet Depending on your audience, you might prefer to create an offer video – it’s like an explainer video, but it offers a little extra value-add at the end.

Where am I filming & how?

This is crucial to know so you can plan. If you’re filming in your office, clean up a bit and use quality lighting such as natural window light or the ever-popular ring light. It’s a small touch that will have a big impact on the overall quality of your video. Determine any required props ahead of time as well.

Pro Tip: Make your setting relatable to your audience. It doesn’t make sense for a corporate firm to to film at a beach unless you’re selling a beach-goer lifestyle or the entrepreneurial journey that allows for that freedom. If you’re shooting off-site visit the location prior to the shoot – trust us on this!

Next, determine what you’re using to film. To keep things simple, use an iPhone or other mobile device with a decent camera and audio.

Who’s the star and how do I create visuals to suit what they’re saying?

Glad you asked! Now that you know the goal, the location(s) and setup of your explainer video, the next step is to determine who’ll be speaking. Generally we recommend the CEO, but you can opt for someone else so long as they’re aligned with your video’s goal.

Pro Tip: If you use more than one person’s voice in the video, it’s important to also show them on camera first before moving to voiceover. This minimizes audience confusion.

So now you know who’ll be speaking and serving as the voiceover for your video. The next step is to determine what to include in the script and how to match your audio to your visuals. Short and simple is key here.

Breaking Down the Structure

We took all of our own advice and spent an afternoon creating a video with about 7 clips. Here’s how they break down – just follow this structure for a simple video that works!

1. Intro

StellaPop-Video-AudioOn-Camera Audio: Briefly introduce yourself, your company and its mission.

StellaPop-Video-Visuals Visuals: Ideally the CEO, but anyone aligned with the goal of the video works.

Pro Tip: Have your camera operator film you from the waist up, and shoot all video horizontally. This will make editing easier.

2, 3, 4. Identify Services

studio-microphone_1f399Voiceovers: Explain in greater detail the services you provide and why you provide them.

StellaPop-Video-Visuals Visuals: These shots show you in action, with a voiceover that explains your services. Get a shot of you working in the office, holding a meeting with a client or collaborating with team members. This gives viewers insight into who you are and how you work.

5. Establish Credibility

StellaPop-Video-AudioOn-Camera Audio or Voiceover: Establish credibility by telling your audience how long you’ve been in business and a bit about your background.

StellaPop-Video-Visuals Visuals: If you have additional shots of you interacting with customers or clients add them here with a voiceover. If not, do an on-camera shot.

6. Encourage Action

StellaPop-Video-AudioOn-Camera Audio: You’ll be on camera in this shot to give a quick, concise final pitch to encourage potential clients to contact you. What do you want them to do next, or who do you specifically want to help? Add a short call to action accordingly.

StellaPop-Video-Visuals Visuals: Your camera operator will film you from the waist up for this interview-style shot once more. Use the same eye line as in the first shot.

7. Contact Info

StellaPop-Video-VoiceoverVoiceover: The goal of this final audio clip is to make potential clients feel welcome to get in touch. Try something like: “we look forward to talking with you soon…”

StellaPop-Video-Visuals Visuals: Using a title card within your editing software, add the appropriate details such as phone number, email address or website, along with a message that tells viewers exactly what to do next.

What am I using to edit the video together?

If you use a Mac OS then iMovie can do the trick. You can also try free web tools like Adobe Spark Video.

If you’re using Adobe Spark Video it’s best to record all your “B-roll” or in-action video clips on your device and then do the voiceovers within the Adobe Spark Video platform. This will save time because you’ll be able to see the clips you’re speaking about as you record — pretty snazzy!

Here’s one we prepared earlier

Thanks to today’s technology, creating a great explainer video is as easy as knowing what you want to say, and who should say it. With a phone, some editing software, and some awareness of the tips above, you’ll be uploading actionable, highly-converting content like a pro.

Take a quick peek at the little video we crafted from start to finish in just one afternoon!

If you need assistance on how to use Adobe Spark, iMovie or even Adobe premiere (a paid software) please don’t hesitate to reach out to the StellaPop team. We’re happy to assist with crafting a storyboard and script for your company’s next explainer video.

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