A good explainer video typically breaks down a complex concept to quickly clarify a complicated idea. Good explainer videos naturally have a number of essential features. Let’s consider five essential features of a good explainer video:
The use of images is an essential feature of a good explainer video. Images aid effective explanation and may also provide an element of entertainment. To a certain degree images add a sense of storytelling to an explainer video and help the viewer to visualize information. Moreover, when images are involved it is easier to understand and easier to remember! Visuals are processed thousands of times faster than text. Viewers therefore get the message quickly. People also remember pictures better than words. The brain processes images and words in different ways. Our memory, therefore, benefits from dual coding and we understand better and remember for longer when pictures are included in the explainer video. Because images enhance understanding and memory they form an essential part of a good explainer video!
2. Attention Grabber
An essential feature of a good explainer video is having an effective attention grabber that grips the viewer’s attention right from the beginning. It may be captivating statistics, an interesting story, a motivating quotation, emotional accounts of personal experiences, a shocking statement, or merely a stimulating question. It may be something funny. It may be something serious. It is vital to make use of a strong attention grabber because, not only does it get the viewer interested in the video, it provides the viewer with the necessary context to best understand the explanation. No matter how brilliant the explainer video, if you cannot get the viewer’s attention focussed on what you want to explain, it is futile. You have to get the viewer’s attention and interest before explaining a concept. A good explainer video definitely has an attention grabber that relates to the rest of the explanation.
A good explainer video is short! Within the first 8 seconds the video needs to have grabbed the viewer’s attention. (Just think about the advertizing videos that take a few seconds before your chosen YouTube video starts playing: you usually have the option to “skip video” after 5 seconds – and yet, those 5 seconds feels like a lifetime.) People’s lives are busy and even a couple of minutes in today’s busy schedules is a lot! You have a few seconds to grab their attention – you also have very limited time to keep the viewers’ attention! A good average length for an explainer video is about 1½ minutes to 2½ minutes. How can you keep the video short? By keeping the explanation simple and straightforward. If the video is too long, with too much information, the viewers will simply lose interest and click out of it. It is, therefore, paramount not to add in a lot of information that is not really essential to the explanation. So, an important feature of a good explainer video is that it explains effectively in a remarkably short period of time.
Even with an excellent script the explainer video will fold if the audio quality is poor. In addition, the voice / voices used must be a good match. The speaking must be loud and clear, using natural nuances. A monotonous dull voice that sounds like a machine-voice will draw attention to the poor audio and deflect attention away from the actual information shared in the video. Intonation, changing speed and varying pitch all play a role in making the voice-over more interesting. Music and other sound effects also play an important part in a good explainer video. It influences the viewer’s mood and mind-set. Music can trigger excitement, curiosity, serious emotions, etc. Good audio, including music, voice-over and background sounds, is an absolute essential feature of a good explainer video!