Scott Hoffman

Posted on Sat, Mar 29th, 2014
Written by Scott Hoffman

Does your business want to make an explainer video? First, what is an explainer video? An explainer video is one of those animated videos that explains what your product or service does and why people ought to buy it. They are everywhere these days, especially on technology products websites… and companies use them to explain what their product or service is in hopes that it will boost their sign-up or sales rate.


We use the video above on the Yashi homepage and many of our Landing Pages.

Why not create one of these explainer videos for your site? If it works for Yashi, Dropbox, and even hosting companies, it must work for you, right?

Most explainer videos won’t boost your conversion rate or make you more money. It isn’t because the idea of an explainer video is a bad one, rather it’s because you are likely to take the wrong approach to making the video.

Here are some step by step instructions on how you can create an explainer video that’ll convert:

STEP #1: The script is infinitely more important than the video.

The most important part of a video is the script and not the actual video quality. Whether you have a high quality video or just an ok quality video, if the script isn’t good, it won’t convert well.

VERY IMPORTANT TIP: the company who is creating the video should not write the script. You know your business infinitely better than the video company. They don’t know what pain points your customers are experiencing. They don’t know how to write to boost conversions.

The goal of the video is to answer all of your potential customers’ questions and concerns. If you can do that in a short video and the ideal length is 90 seconds or less, you’ll see an increase in your conversions. If you can’t accomplish that, you won’t see your sales increase.

STEP #2: Before you write a script

Before you start writing your script, you need to survey your customers.

What’s the number 1 reason that is stopping you from buying?
What’s your biggest concern about this product or service?
Is there anything that is confusing on this page?
What can we help you solve?

Answering these questions as well as other questions you may have, you’ll get a better understanding of what is stopping people from purchasing your product or service. It could be that they don’t understand what you do or how easy your product is to use. Knowing what all their concerns are will help you create a better script.

STEP #3: Writing a script

Once you have collected your potential customers’ objections, start writing your script. When writing, answer all of the objections, or at least the important ones. You don’t want to create a script that is longer than 2-3 minutes. If it becomes too long, you’ll start to lose people. As mentioned before the ideal length of the video is 90 seconds, this blog post by Wistia entitled Does Length Matter? explains it in length and the chart below shows the average attention span of a video viewer.

Yashi Wistia Length Matters

The best way to demonstrate how to write a script, is to describe the order we used to create the Yashi script.

Introduction slide should state what your company does – the explanation of what your company does should be short and sweet. For Yashi it was a claim “Every 1 dollar in marketing could earn you up to 10 dollars in return”.

Explain the problem – you have to carefully articulate the problem your potential customers are experiencing. For Yashi, we explained that 98% of visitors are leaving your website without taking an action.

Create a transition – use common phrasing that your potential customers gave you during the survey to talk about specific problems they are experiencing. Then go into why you created your product or service. For the Yashi video we showed that Yashi allows you to recapture those visitors at a later time anywhere on the web with a video advertisement .

Show off your features – videos are visual for a reason. Show off your product or service. When showing it off, make sure you explain how specific features solve specific problems your potential customers are experiencing. With Yashi we showed that features like the the fact that Yashi is easy to use, reaches most of the users on the web on very popular website.

Tell people to sign up or buy – after you explain what your product or service does, you have to tell people to sign up or buy it. During this process, you need to answer any customer objections or concerns they have about signing up or buying. For example, with Yashi, people thought it was a bit pricy. Plus, they didn’t know how easy it was to use. In the video, we told people that we offer a free trial.

Answer any last objections – this is where you answer any last concerns a potential customer may have. For us, people wondered how Yashi would deliver on this promise. We answered all of the questions here, by citing a specific example of a consumer coming to their website, watching that user leave, and how we put a video advertisement in front of that user again on popular websites. If you are not sure what questions to answer, ask your support team what your frequently asked questions are.

Use proof elements to strengthen your position – after you answer any last objections, make sure you tell people to sign up or buy from you, while visually showing proof elements. With Yashi, we told people to sign up for our free trial, and we let them know again that every $1 in marketing could generate you up to $10 in sales to reinforce of our original claim.

Our script wasn’t perfect at first, and it took many revisions before we got it just right. When you are writing it, keep in mind that 120-150 words roughly translate into a minute of video. Ideally, you want to keep your video to less than 90 Seconds.

STEP #4: Find someone to create your voice-over

A voice-over (an audio narration of your video) for a 90 second script shouldn’t cost you more than a few hundred dollars. Our Video Production company, found and used a professional by the name of Keyon Williams, a producer at BET who had an amazing voice that matched our message.

You can use him or anyone else you like. Or if you really want to save money, you can find someone on Craig’s List to do it for free or under $50.

STEP #5: Find someone to create your video

Again, you can go through a professional video company to get your explainer video created, or you can go through freelancers. Big companies typically charge up to $25,000 for a video, and they can take up to a few months to complete it.

A freelancer can typically do it within a few weeks and will charge much less. I’ve found that Peter Romano, at the Joey Creative Agency, who produced this explainer video was an excellent partner and guide. He was able to produce the this video in just a few weeks.

STEP #6: A/B test your video

You wanted your video created cheaply and efficiently. Because your final product is not actually your final product. You will have to A/B test it to maximize your conversions. This means that you’ll continually have to spend money to tweak your video (both the audio and video files), and the last thing you want to do is go through a big company to continually modify it. We use a software solution called unbounce to measure landing page effectiveness and create A/B tests easily.

When you are doing A/B tests, make sure you are also tracking your video plays. Through software solutions like Wistia, you can see video engagement stats, which will help you figure out how you need to modify your video to maximize conversions.

Plus, as your product changes, you’ll need to get your video modified, and, of course, you’ll have to A/B test it again.


Creating an explainer video isn’t for everyone, but if you have a product that needs extra explanation, and you have to take the time and do all of the steps I mentioned above you will be ahead of the game. If you don’t have the time, don’t waste your money creating videos then.

Above all else, the most important part of an explainer video isn’t the video… it’s the script.

Scott Hoffman

About the Author

Scott Hoffman

Chief Growth Officer by day - Superhero (without Powers) by night. I speak fluent geek, marketer, data scientist, trainer, salesperson, and difficult client. Drop me a line if you want to talk about the latest and greatest in marketing tactics or snowboarding hills.
  • Philip A. Gabriel

    Writing the 90-sec long script may be a challenge but it is worth trying.

    • Scott Hoffman

      Hi Philip, you would be surprised about writing the script – in our case we had too much to say and not enough time. Our script had 312 words – when we started we were bumping up against 600 words. If you need any additional advice on how to write the script be sure to let us know.