Whether you are a small business owner looking to introduce a new product, or a non-profit aiming to explain a complicated social issue, a well-crafted explainer video can get your message across like no other medium. For many viewers, a one to three-minute video can provide as much value as a lengthy article or a drawn-out presentation, making it an excellent investment for your organization. But how do you create a compelling explainer video that grabs attention and imparts meaningful information? 

Here’s a comprehensive guide broken down into key points to get you started.

1. Define Your Objectives And Target Audience

Before you even pick up a camera or write a script, you need to identify what you want to achieve with your explainer video. Are you trying to raise awareness about a cause, or maybe you’re looking to boost sales for a particular product? 

Once you define your objectives, think about who you’re trying to reach. Your target audience will influence the style, tone, and content of your video.

2. Write A Stellar Script

The script is the backbone of your explainer video. It’s where you flesh out your message, including what you’ll say and how you’ll say it. Keep the language simple and straightforward. Use bullet points to outline the key ideas, and then build a coherent narrative around them. 

Your script needs to be engaging and to the point, leaving the viewer with a clear takeaway.

3. Leverage Storytelling

One of the most effective ways to create an emotional connection with your audience is through storytelling. Use characters or situations that your target audience can relate to. Storytelling also allows for easier absorption of complex topics, as it’s easier to follow a narrative than to digest a list of disconnected facts.

4. Visuals And Style

The choice of visuals and style can make or break the effectiveness of your explainer video. Whether you’re creating a video for a small business or working on non-profit explainer videos, it’s essential to pick visual elements that resonate with your target audience. The decision between opting for animation, live-action, or a mix of both will largely depend on what you’re trying to convey and to whom.

For example, animated videos can offer a whimsical or abstract approach to complex topics, making them accessible to a broader audience. On the other hand, live-action could be more relatable and evoke strong emotional connections, especially when real-life testimonials or stories are involved. Non-profit explainer videos might benefit from a combination of both, using animation to break down complex issues and live-action to capture personal stories or testimonials.

No matter what style you choose, remember to keep your visuals uncluttered and straightforward. The simplicity in visuals often enhances the impact of your message, making it easier for the audience to focus on what’s truly important.

5. Quality Sound And Voiceover

Never underestimate the power of good sound quality and a professional voiceover. Poor audio can significantly impact viewer engagement, causing you to lose your audience before your message even gets across. Choose a voiceover artist whose tone aligns with your message and appeals to your target audience.

6. Optimize Video Length

While explainer videos should be short and snappy, their length can vary depending on the complexity of the topic and where they will be shown. A general rule of thumb is to keep it between one and three minutes. Videos that are too short may not provide enough information, while those that are too long risk losing viewer interest.

7. Call To Action (CTA)

Conclude your explainer video with a strong CTA. This could be a request to visit your website, sign up for a newsletter, or participate in a social movement. Make it clear, straightforward, and aligned with the objectives you outlined at the beginning.

8. Review And Test

Once your video is ready, review it multiple times to ensure it meets your objectives and appeals to your target audience. Test it with a small audience first to gather feedback and make any necessary adjustments.

9. Choose The Right Platform And Distribution Channels

The platform where you host your explainer video plays a critical role in its success. YouTube, Vimeo, and your own website are popular choices, but each has its pros and cons. 

For instance, YouTube might give you a larger audience but less control over the viewing experience, while hosting on your website allows for a more branded, controlled environment. In addition to this, consider other distribution channels like social media, email newsletters, and even offline methods like USB drives for specific events.

Understanding where your target audience spends their time will help you decide where to upload your video for maximum visibility and impact. The choice of platform also ties back to your objectives. 

If you’re aiming for virality, social media channels optimized for mobile viewing might be the best bet. If it’s an instructional video that viewers will return to multiple times, your website or a platform like YouTube may be more appropriate.

10. Measure Success And Iterate

Once your explainer video is live, tracking its performance is crucial for measuring ROI (Return on Investment) and understanding its impact. Metrics such as the number of views, engagement rate, click-through rates, and, most importantly, conversion rates can provide valuable insights.

Beyond the quantitative metrics, gather qualitative feedback. This could be through comments, social shares, or direct feedback from stakeholders. Use this data to understand what’s working and what’s not, allowing for iterative improvements in future videos. It’s rare to get everything perfect in the first go. Learning from each project will help you refine your approach and create even more compelling explainer videos in the future.


Crafting an impactful explainer video is both an art and a science. From defining clear objectives and crafting a stellar script to choosing the right platform and continually measuring success, each step is crucial in building a video that resonates with your audience. This guide aims to give small business owners and non-profits a comprehensive look into the process of creating compelling explainer videos.

Whether your aim is to raise awareness, boost sales, or inspire change, the effectiveness of your video will depend on your attention to these key aspects. So take the time to plan, execute, and review each element meticulously. 

Richard is an experienced tech journalist and blogger who is passionate about new and emerging technologies. He provides insightful and engaging content for Connection Cafe and is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.