Avoid These 4 Explainer Video Mistakes

From Kickstarter to Shark Tank, explainer videos have exploded. Pitching a product in two minutes or less, explainer videos fuse salesmanship with creative storytelling.

But it’s easy to get lost in the rest, if your video script is lacking.

While we recommend using an explainer template, these 4 common explainer video mistakes can detract from your product’s message and quickly bore your audience.

1. You focus on the problem too much

Every great product solves a problem. It provides a fix to that burden we all face or the one we didn’t even know we had.

While it’s important to stress the obstacles your product overcomes, you can’t talk about it too much.

The point of your explainer video, after all, is to provide the solution. You should only dedicate the first 30 seconds or so to setting up your problem.

On our template we’ve marked the act breaks and how long you should dedicate towards it.

If you feel like your product needs a lot more time addressing the problem, then it's possible that problem isn’t so big after all and you may need to rethink your product.

2. You use too much voice over

More and more, explainer videos are getting animated. As products and actors go two dimensional, the actual explanation usually comes in the form of a dreaded voice over.

While voice over is a staple of explainer videos, it’s only effective in small doses. After all, having someone talk at you for two minutes defeats the purpose of a video in the first place.

See where you can cut out voice over and instead implement a more compelling visual story.

As you storyboard your explainer video, turn what could have been a droll voice-over into short visual vignettes. It’ll communicate the same message, but instead of hearing it your audience will experience it.

In  StudioBinder , once you’ve created your explainer video script, you can easily break it down for pre-production.

In StudioBinder, once you’ve created your explainer video script, you can easily break it down for pre-production.

3. You’re listing features, not benefits

Does your product work on wifi and bluetooth? Does it work ten feet underwater? Is it made of stuff only Astronauts use?


Why should we care?

While each new product is bound to have its own set of bells and whistles, always think about benefits instead of specs.

If you find yourself saying, “Our product does X” always follow it up with a “so you can...”

Taking pride in your features only matters as long as it provided a concrete benefit to the viewer.

4. Your ending isn’t actionable

If your video isn’t actionable you’ve wasted both you and your audience’s time.

Too many times explainer videos tantalize us with products out of the future without providing the next steps.

Do we sign up on email for pre-release? Can we buy the product right now?

You have to make sure there is a clickable way to take the next step, either annotated on the video or in the description.

If you’re working on a template, be sure to write your call to action first so you don’t lose sight as your write.

Wrapping Up

Thanks to creative agencies like Sandwich Video, explainer videos have become high quality masterpieces. In order to compete in the marketplace, make sure your video not only captivates but also utilizes a clear structure.

Writing as clearly and focused as possible always makes for a better final product.

The people breaking down your script will thank you too.


StudioBinder is the world’s most intuitive film production management service. Create and share script breakdowns, shooting schedules, shot lists, storyboards, personalized call sheets and more. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.