Define your target audience.
Knowing who you’re talking to and what they need is key to making an awesome explainer video. “It always starts with the questions, ‘Who is our target audience? Who are we talking to? And what message do we want to convey to them?’” says filmmaker and director Mike Leonard. “Those are the baseline creative questions that dictate the rest of the project.” If you know who your audience is, you’re likely to know what their pain points are, and these pain points should inform topics for your explainer videos.
Defining your target audience will also help you understand how much information they may or may not have about your topic. If you’re making a video for people in a given industry, you can assume a certain amount of baseline expertise. However, if you’re making a video for the general public, you don’t want to use industry jargon or assume that your audience is familiar with technical references.
Stay focused, and get to the point.
The best explainer videos stay focused. It’s easy to put extraneous content into a video, but if you don’t get to the point you’ll lose both the viewer’s attention and goodwill. If you’re doing a live-action explainer video, avoid the temptation to begin with small talk or pleasantries. “They didn’t come to your site to get to know you,” says filmmaker Taylor Kavanaugh. “They came to your site to figure stuff out. They want that information in 60 seconds or less.”
Keep your information clean and clear. Begin by telling them what the video will cover, and then tell them what they need to know using the clearest language possible. “End with a quick recap,” says Kavanaugh. “Here’s what we talked about, here’s what we did, and here’s some hyperlinks for additional information.”