How to make an animated explainer video

An explainer video can be used to showcase a new product, break down your services, or outline how your product can be used in context. This will give you a guide to how a great explainer video is created.

Written by Jack Last

What is an animated explainer video?

An animated explainer video can get a point across to your audience quickly and clearly regardless of how complex the topic behind it is. Animated explainer videos are typically short, snappy, and visually compelling, as we use stylish images, skilfully crafted animations, and storytelling elements to catch and hold the viewer’s attention.

This type of video brings written content to life through movement and makes for a very compelling media, where animated graphics are combined with sound to explain a key point to your audience. One of the ways we make this type of video visually compelling is using colour and movement to draw the viewer in.

The content marketers we work with here, at OK Social, use animated explainer videos for a range of marketing campaigns given how efficiently they engage audiences. For example, animated explainer videos can be key in explaining how to use a product, presenting it, demonstrating how to use it in context, or showcasing your company’s services.

What are the benefits of an animated explainer video?

Animated explainer videos are currently some of the most potent resources for content marketers. The main benefit of using animated explainer videos is that they take complex ideas or processes and transform them to be easily understood. Our expert design team breaks down and explains this information in ways our clients’ audiences will most connect with. They create animated explainer videos that make the concepts at stake simple, catchy, and engaging for viewers.

These animated explainer videos help avoid miscommunication that would otherwise compromise customers’ engagement with a brand. If you launched new information on your website as long, dense text, your audience would view it as difficult to understand, unattractive, and frustrating. Imagine you are a customer trying to access a service you are interested in, but do not quite understand. Are you inclined to use a website if:

• It is unappealing as it is mostly made of long texts?

• You cannot find the information you are interested in?

• The website is confusing, and you quickly lose focus while trying to navigate it?

• You know another website typically uses other media and better explains its services?

• The lack of information efficiency leaves you frustrated?

Most people would be instantly driven away by the negative points above. According to a study of the human attention span, we can only stay focused for 8.25 seconds at once. When a prospective customer visits your webpage, they are likely to leave it in 10 to 20 seconds unless they are otherwise engaged by the content. Given the need to quickly connect with your audience, clear, short messages, storytelling, rich video media and ease of navigation are the best means of getting a point across to your audience. Luckily, animated explainer videos tick all the boxes for audience retention.

A brand’s communication with clients becomes clear and impactful when it uses animated explainer videos. Rather than being driven away by unappealing, long texts, the audience connects with the information and storytelling on their screens as it is dynamic, stylish, and catchy. Now, imagine you are trying to let your customers know how to use an application that lets them get live updates on loved ones’ locations, even when they have no internet connection. An animated explainer video will allow you to present the service and how to use it way better than words ever could by making use of animations, storytelling, colours, and sound.

While even the best writers may struggle to present complex information quickly, a video does so with ease. Animated explainer videos can be used for a wide range of different purposes for this reason; your brand can use them to showcase new product launches and explain product uses in context, as well as promote and explain your products, business, and services. Today, video holds attention, so despite people’s attention span being only 8.25 seconds in their day-to-day life, they watch videos for an average of 2.7 minutes. Using animated explainer videos in your brand’s marketing campaigns has many benefits such as better engagement, as well as clearer communication with your audience and a greater digital presence for your brand.

Where can animated explainer videos be used?

Once you have your finished and polished animated explainer video content, you can use it in many ways, for numerous purposes, and on several platforms. Not only can you place your animated explainer video on your website or landing page, but share it in presentations and events, marketing campaigns, and on your brand’s social network platforms. Look below to learn more about the most popular uses of animated explainer videos.

Website or landing page

Placing your animated explainer video on your website’s homepage is the first step you can take to increase your brand’s visibility and help prospective customers learn about your services or products. The explainer video will help boost your website on search engines, and draw people in by being sharp, engaging, and informative.

If you have multiple animated explainer videos, you can scatter them across your website or create a portfolio, depending on what your goal is. On one hand, distributing your explainer videos across your website may help your audience learn about different parts of your business while navigating your platform and easily accessing the service they had just watched a video about on the same webpage. On the other hand, having a portfolio may give a good preview of all your services in the same section of your website, which may lead your audience to click on the services they are interested in.

Presentations and events

You can use your animated explainer videos outside of digital marketing and in your own business, as well as during sales pitches and events. 58% of business executives and other individuals would rather watch a fast video presentation than listen to or read a lengthy speech. Using animated explainer videos creatively can boost executives’ engagement with your business, encourage investments, partnerships, and your employees’ understanding of the services they will provide.  

Marketing campaigns

Animated explainer videos are helpful tools in marketing campaigns when you want to make a statement. For example, these videos can explain a new service or product quickly and efficiently to convince viewers to convert to your brand in a matter of seconds. An animated explainer video can be part of a stylish and engaging advertisement on social media, TV, or even email. Using animated explainer videos as part of your marketing strategy, you can considerably increase brand awareness and skyrocket conversion rates.

Your brand’s social platforms

When you stepped into the world of digital marketing you probably noticed how important your brand’s presence across social media networks is for building and maintaining your customer base. By sharing your animated explainer video onto third-party platforms, you may increase your customer base. People look up services and products across social media as much as on Google.

Uploading quality content is just as important as having an account on the most popular social media networks, and animated explainer videos are among the most powerful ways to engage with and expand your brand’s audience. Once your explainer video is created, you can share it across the most popular social media platforms, including YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and even the recently famed TikTok.

What are the different types of animated explainer videos?

There are two main types of animated explainer videos. Depending on your brand image, preferred style, and content, you can choose between animation explainer videos and whiteboard explainer videos to get your brand’s message across to its audience. If you decide that animation is not for you, but wish to use branded, bespoke content to represent your business, another popular option is using live-action explainer videos. Look at each type of explainer video below to find out which one fits your brand’s mission best.

Animation explainer video

Using bold colours, illustrations, and creative graphics, animation explainer videos bring your message to life through skilful storytelling, voice-overs and sounds. Your brand’s colours, typography, and other key aesthetic elements will feature in the animation explainer video to make it true to your brand’s image. Apart from these elements, you can choose between 2D and 3D animations depending on which one suits your style best. Our ongoing collaboration will assure we stay true to your vision, so we are happy to act on your input. The best part is that working with us means having our experts bring their creative insight into the process to produce bespoke, professional animation explainer videos tailored to your brand image. These animation explainer videos are best for launching products, creating engagement on social media networks, and marketing your business, its products, and services.

Whiteboard explainer video

Like animation explainer videos, whiteboard explainer videos use illustrations, voiceovers, and bold colours in movement to get an idea across to your brand’s audience. Their illustrations are typically presented on a plain background, which gives the name ‘whiteboard’. This type of explainer video is most often used to transmit complex information to your brand’s audience, as it can simplify concepts by breaking them down into steps that are easy to follow. They are highly engaging, aesthetic, and clear, so your brand’s audience will effortlessly connect with and understand the information.

Live-action explainer video

As opposed to animation and whiteboard explainer videos, live-action explainer videos feature shot video footage instead of animations. Using live action explainer videos, you can show your company’s products and uses in context, share honest customer feedback, or show your company in action during a typical workday, to name a few types of videos. The key component of live-action explainer videos is that they feature real people as well as voiceovers, sounds, and skilful editing that pulls the content together to appeal to its audiences.

How to make a great animated explainer video?

The recipe for a great animated explainer video is quite straightforward: you want to send a quick, direct, clear message to make a positive impact.  

Our experts at OK Social wanted to share a few of their top tips with you, so read on to find out how to make great animated explainer videos from some of the best in the industry:

1. Write a good script. Brainstorming and mapping out your animated explainer video script is essential to creating great content. Once the drafting stage is over, reviewing your script and receiving feedback from your target market are also essential steps in creating outstanding scripts for your animated explainer video.

2. Stay on-brand. Keep your brand image consistent by using the same colours, fonts, logo, and tone of voice you have used previously while marketing your business.

3. Take your time. When you produce your video, everything from the animation and motion graphics to the voiceover needs your utmost attention to detail. When you create characters, design text, and record voiceovers, try to take your time and try again if you are not 100% satisfied with your results. For voiceovers, tone and clarity are key, so you might want to record multiple times and make sure their pace fits in with your animations.

4. Take risks and be bold! You want your animations to stand out, and your design to be bold, so do not shy away from using striking colours and fun designs. Any good, animated explainer video leaves its audience entertained as well as informed, so make sure to keep yours fun, captivating, and helpful.

5. Make the most of the sound. To make your video engaging, you should consider incorporating music, sound effects, and any other sounds that may help get its message across to an audience while keeping them interested.

6. Check your video’s performance. After methodically creating the most fun, engaging, and informative on-brand video you can think of, it is time to measure its performance. You can use views, leads, bounce rates, retention times and CTR to learn how well your brand’s audience receives your video, and what you can improve on in the future.

We're motion graphic designers, so don't hesitate to get in touch to discuss a project with us.

Great animated explainer video examples

Every animated explainer video is unique here at OK Social; we tell bespoke stories to your customer bases in the most engaging ways while staying true to your brand. To give you some insight into some great animated explainer video work, we have put together a list of our favourite explainer animations (in no particular order):

• ‘We are offices’ for London based office company Making Moves. The dynamic animated explainer video we created for Making Moves reflects their rebrand and who they are as a company.

• ‘Onboarding’ for the new staff at Capita. We created an animated explainer video for the new staff at Capita, working with Thirty Three’s team to accurately reflect the seamless onboarding process at the company.

• ‘Grow with Focus’ for the new Ford Focus. To feature the benefits of the new Ford Focus, we crafted a short, animated explainer video following the narrative of a child who explains some of the advantages of Ford’s newest car.

• ‘Be more digital’ for Charity Digital. We helped Charity Digital create a collection of videos that explain how they can help charities lead engaging campaigns, using animation, illustration, and storyboard design among other services.

We’d love to talk about your new project.
You can reach us at

I’m Jack, the Motion Director here at OK Social. I’ve been working in the world of motion design and animation for nearly 10 years. I had the pleasure of working with leading agencies and brands around the world, such as Samsung, Ford, Shell, Deliveroo, and Starbucks, to name a few.

From a young age, I’ve always been interested in animation, from making stop-motion films in my room as a kid to learning animation on my first computer. It started as a passion and still is to this day. Part of what I do now is more than just animation. I help craft the narratives of the stories we tell to ensure they make an impact to the audience and remain worthy of their attention.

So how do I do that? It starts with asking the right questions, leading to solving the right problems. First, diagnose what the problem is. Then, we can start to see if we can help. I believe that communication plays a key role in delivering a smooth and successful project. Looking into the future, I’m excited to expand my knowledge into creating more engaging stories that make a difference.