How to Create an Explainer Video for Less than $500
“Our Coffee Shop switched from Google Voice to Talkroute. We couldn’t be happier.” -Lauren K.
We increased our conversions by 48% with this simple explainer video.
You have probably seen an explainer video on nearly every company landing page. They are everywhere. Now you are thinking about creating your own but you don’t know where to start and more importantly, you don’t have much money to spend. We get it. Talkroute is 100% bootstrapped and we know how important every last dollar can be.
The bottom line is that you need an explainer video. There are very few rules that I believe apply to every business but the use of video for marketing is one of them. You would never expect to visit a company site without seeing text that explains a product or service. So why do we feel the absence of video is acceptable? Videos are 6x more effective than print and have a 41% higher conversion rate.
So we decided to create an explainer video with a budget of under $500. Why did we do this? I simply wanted to prove that any startup can create an explainer video without spending thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. Could we afford to spend more? Absolutely. Did we need to? I don’t think so.
Script, Script, Script, and Video
The script is by far the most important aspect of your explainer video. Is our script perfect? Hell no… We are still A/B testing and refining it but we are happy with the results that we are seeing. The majority of your time should be spent writing and revising your script. You want to try and get it as close to perfect as possible the first time. This is because A/B testing a video is simply not cheap. Any future changes mean you need to re-record your voice over and spend time editing the video.
Here are some key points to follow when writing your script that will help you eliminate unnecessary revisions:
- Explain the Pain: You need to explain the problem your customers are feeling in a relatable way. For Talkroute, we explained that it can be very difficult to run your business from a traditional cellular phone or landline. You end up missing calls and ultimately lose business. We further explained how “real” phone systems are a burden to most small businesses and are more trouble than they are worth.
- Transition: Once you have explained the problem, introduce and talk about why you created your business. By first expressing the pain points through your script and video, it is far easier to explain how your product or service can help. Customers want to know that you relate to them and are going to solve their problems.
- Features: Videos are visual for a reason. This is the time to show off your product or service by listing your features with short summaries that are further explained with the use of visuals. With Talkroute, we focused on key features that the majority of our customers use, such as the call menu’s and the hold system. These are difficult features to understand but the use of visuals help convey how they work.
- Social Proof: After showing everyone how awesome your service is, it is time to tell your viewers why they should choose you. If you have 1000’s of customers, say so. This is the time to brag about how great you are.
- Tell People to Sign Up or Buy: You need to have a “call to action” at the end of your video. This is the single most neglected portion of explainer videos. I have seen countless explainer videos that do an amazing job selling you a product but don’t tell you what to do next. Be specific about what you want your viewers to do. With Talkroute, we want our viewers to sign up for a free trial. Our free trials convert to paid accounts over 90% of the time. If we get customers to try our service, we know they will most likely stay with us. We even go as far as to tell our viewers that the sign up button is below the video.
- Keep it Short: You really want to keep your video under 120 seconds if possible. If your video is too short, it will not explain your product or service well enough. If the video is too long, you will lose potential customers. Our video has a 88% user engagement. That means 88% of our viewers watch the video until the end.
Chances are your script won’t be perfect at first and you will need to revise it a few times. Hopefully by following the outline above, you should be 80 to 90% on target after your first final draft. Remember, A/B testing a video is not cheap. Try to get as close to perfect as possible the first time.
Great Scripts Need a Great Voice-Over
While you may have an impeccable singing voice in the shower, professional voice-over talent is here for a reason. These guys and gals know exactly how to deliver your script in a way that will engage your audience and help your video convert. So save yourself the pain of doing it yourself and hire someone.
I’m going to share a secret. Our video (and many other explainer videos) use the same voice over talent. I personally spent quite a bit of time trying to find out the identity of this individual. I will save you the same frustration. His name is Mike O’Brian and you can contact him through his website:
For a 1-2 minute script, you should expect to pay $300 to $400. His work is awesome and worth every dollar.
Time to Create Your Video
Wait… You just spent roughly $300 to $400 on a voice-over. I thought you said I could create an entire explainer video for less than $500???
I know it may sound crazy but the video is going to cost you less than $100. You just need a little creativity and some time. While your visuals are an important component of your video, they will not make or break conversions. Don’t believe me, check out what is probably the most successful explainer video of all time:
This video is not that impressive in terms of visuals but it helped DropBox grow to 100 million users. That’s pretty awesome for such a seemingly simple video.
We spent several days searching for video creation tools and tested several DIY services. We found GoAnimate to be the best solution. GoAnimate provides you with an easy to use interface and tons of assets. The learning curve is about 1-2 hours and you will be rocking.
GoAnimate has tiered pricing and we recommend the Premium Plan at 79.00 per month. This plan gives you full 1080p resolution and no watermark on your video.
Most importantly, be sure to have fun with creating your video. Several of our customers commented that they watched our entire video not just because of the information it provided but because there was some humor in it. If your can create a video that is both informative and entertaining, you will achieve excellent results.
Monitor Your Analytics:
Above I mentioned we have an 88% user engagement for our explainer video. These stats are incredibly important when testing and tuning your video. We found Wistia to be an awesome platform for hosting video and tracking how we are performing.
Explainer videos don’t have to cost a fortune and can be an awesome conversion tool for your company. Remember, the investment of time and money generally have a 1:1 ratio. If you want to save money you need to invest more time. It is entirely possible to save 20k to 30k on your explainer video by simply creating it yourself. You never know… You may even enjoy it!
We hope that you will continue to join us on our journey to 150k users. Our blog is 100% free and you don’t have to be a Talkroute customer to benefit from our materials. However, if you would like to try Talkroute for free, you can sign up for a trial here. See you next week.
About The Author
Paul Howey is the CEO & Co-Founder of Talkroute