The Explainer Video Explained

July 12, 2017

You’ve heard us talk about the benefits of video here and here. If you are reading this, you are already sold on the fact that video is one of the most impactful marketing vehicles you can use for your business. Further, you’ve decided that you want to integrate video into your marketing campaigns.


This next set of blogs will help you determine which type of video is best for your objectives, as well as do a deeper dive into the logistics and considerations for the different types of video.

Each week we will dive into two types of videos and explain what is involved in each type. This week we are discussing Explainer Videos.

Explainer Videos:

In this post, we explained that Explainer videos are a fantastic way to introduce a consumer to a new or foreign concept, or emphasize on how your product is different from other products on the market.

This post by Hubspot has some great examples of explainer videos – they’re usually quite informal, and involve the direct presentation of a product or a service to a customer, making them highly engaging and informative.

This is an example of an Explainer Video we did for Mercersburg Academy:

Our team had several considerations that we looked at and worked with the client on to prep them for the video. If you are thinking about an Explainer Video for your organization, they will be the same types of considerations you will need to examine. They are:


The appropriate length for your explainer video will depend on a variety of factors. We generally recommend no longer than 2 minutes for a video, and the ideal video length is less than 1 minute. However, if a minute does not allow you to get your customer engaged, interested, and to a point of where they would consider interacting with your organization, then you may need to go longer.

ACTIVITY: How do you determine the appropriate length for your explainer video?

  1. Sit down with your team and ask them to explain what you do in 3 minutes or less.
  2. Give them a different “audience” to explain your organization too.
    1. Audiences may include internal stakeholders, external prospects, someone in the grocery store, a person at a ballgame, a client, or even another business person.
  3. Listen to how your team “Explains” the concept of your organization and write down metaphors, story elements, or images that resonate with you.
    1. Ask the team to do the same thing.
  4. At the end of the exercise—as a group—discuss what resonated with each team member and write it on a whiteboard.
    1. From those results, develop an overarching concept and story arc for the explainer video.
    2. Distill all of this into a one-sentence “vision” or “purpose” statement for the video that remains top of mind when you are developing the video.

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In marketing we develop personas for everything, but then when we create Facebook, magazine, or video ads, we forget that we need to have to target a specific segment of the population in order for video to work. If you want your video to be successful, you must know who your audience is.

ACTIVITY: How do you determine your audience?

  1. Sit down with your business development and marketing teams to answer the question “who are our primary customers?”
    1. You may already have this information mapped out – great! Skip to step 2.
    2. If not, identify your primary 3 personas (not sure what a persona is? Read this article for more information).
  2. Using your top 3 personas, determine which one is most likely to buy your product or use your service after watching a video.
    1. Video is universally used, regardless of age and gender, and it impacts buying decisions, however, the usage and buying decisions made from video vary.
    2. Take some time to review the global trends outlined by Nielsen in their article here
  3. Once you have identified the persona you want to target, ask the BD and marketing team members in the room how they explain your service or product to the specific persona you are targeting.
    1. Whiteboard specifics and ideas.

Length and personas (audience) will be a consideration for any video you produce, however, for Explainer videos they are particularly important because this type of video is a TOFU marketing tactic. If you can’t grab your prospect at the top of the funnel, then you will have a hard time nurturing them to take further steps. So clarity at this specific step is imperative to helping your customer advance into the next stages of the funnel.

Team Favorites

Our team has created hundreds of videos over the years, but there are a few that are our favorites and that have earned us lots of client raves. Check out our team favorite explainer videos below!

Bridge of Hope:

Westminster Theological Seminary:



Cross & Crown

About Cross & Crown

Cross & Crown is a team of creatives who are passionate about solving problems through design and technology, taking what is there and making it better. Based in Chambersburg, PA, we strive to help educate, advocate, and thrive in a digital world.

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