By Andrew Angus on March 14, 2013

We know the feeling well.

You start out trying to decided whether or not to do an explainer video by looking through all of the available research and case studies where you learn that explainer videos can increase conversions by 20% or more. You eventually realize it would be the best way to explain online what your company does.

So you decide to go with an explainer video. But now you need to choose the right style for your business. Should you do 3D or whiteboard? Would claymation, motion graphics, or cartoon be better? When is each style of video preferred, and what are the costs involved with each?

This post will answer all of these questions and break down appropriate times to use each of the different explainer video styles.

The Basic Premise

The first thing to realize is that every style has its own pros and cons. Some are more straightforward, some are more creative, and some are more youthful. In this way, some styles are more appropriate for different industries than others.

With that said, you may want to break from the convention and do something different in order to stand out from the crowd. If everyone in your niche is doing whiteboard videos, you may want to do 3D to stand out in customers’ minds. It all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.

However, there are some rules of thumb to consider and some basic pros and cons for each style of video. Let’s talk about those now.

Option #1: 2D Animation

This style is the most creative available, and it’s also our most popular here at Switch Video. 2D animation provides the most possibilities based on colors and characters that can be used and gives you the most control over your video. You can request a lot more specific things like whether a character is male or female and what color tie or hair he/she will have.

The good news is that there really isn’t a downside to 2D videos. They aren’t perfect for every situation, but for most businesses and scenarios, 2D animation is the way to go. It gives you a lot of options and flexibility which is why they end up being so popular.

Example:

Option #2: Whiteboard Videos

The pros of whiteboard videos is that they’re structured, very “to-the-point,” and communicate information in a simple and effective way. They work with a wide range of audiences from 25 and up. They’re also highly engaging and spark curiosity in viewers. They can even be inverted to look like a blackboard video. The cons of whiteboard videos are that they work better with audiences 25+, and they’re limited in the amount of color and animation you can use. If you’re looking to convey your information in a clear and effective way and don’t necessarily need to wow a younger audience, then whiteboard may be right for you.

Example:

Option #3: Stop Motion / Claymation

Stop motion and claymation videos are creative and provide a more “life-like” quality to the characters in your video. They’ve very inviting, warm, and nostalgic.

The cons are that they’re more expensive and take longer to produce. Some audiences may also view them as too childish.

If you’re looking for a more life-like video presentation that’s creative and inviting, stop motion or claymation is perfect. However, if you’re short on time, have a smaller budget, or have a mature audience, you may want to consider something else.

Example:

Option #4: Motion Graphic

Motion graphic videos are colorful, to-the-point, and straightforward in presenting facts. They’re similar to whiteboard in that they present a lot of facts, yet they’re more colorful and more creative. They can also use different styles of fonts for more options, and there’s not a hand shown drawing in the video. The downside is that they’re not quite as creative as some of the other videos. They’re very clear and effective, but they don’t push the envelope when it comes to creativity. Mature, professional audiences are good for motion graphic videos when you’re trying to present something complicated in a clear way. But if you need to appeal to a younger audience or do something extra-creative, you may want to consider another style.

Example: 

Option #5: 3D Animation Videos

The first option is 3D animation. This is a current style that has amazing quality and lots of options. The only limiting factor with what you can do comes down to your budget, which brings us to the next point. The downside of 3D animation is that they’re more expensive and take longer to produce than standard animation. If you’re looking to wow your audience and create something unique that stands out, 3D is a great way to do so, but if you’re working with a limited budget and could manage with something a little more simple, one of the other options may be better for you.

Example:

How to Choose

Now that you know more about the pros and cons of the different styles of explainer videos, here are some things to do to help you prepare for creating one of your very own:

  • Write out a list of things you want to see stylistically in your video. This will help to narrow down which style is best for you.
  • Think about what is important and the way that your message can best be conveyed. Every project and company is different so it helps to identify what’s important for your company and audience and how the message can best be conveyed.
  • Consider the personalities of your clients. Would they respond better to something with more of a “wow” factor, something creative, or something professional? Are they traditional and structured or younger and open-minded?
  • Take into account your budget. Not everyone can afford a 3D video for every project. You’ll need to consider your budget to narrow down which options will work for you.

It’s good to remember that there are so many possibilities for your explainer video. Within every style of video there are so many options that can be explored.

You’ll also want to trust the company and the team you’re working with since they know what they’re doing and can give great advice. Do your research and look at their portfolio to see the videos they’ve done with past clients. This will give you the best idea of what they’re capable of and which style will be right for you.

Now that you know more about the different styles of explainers videos, you’re all set to go out and get one made for your business. Good luck!

 

 

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