What Your Business Needs to Know About Explainer Videos


Give a standing ovation for Jive’s new motion graphic explainer video!


We’ve been working on this video for months, and we’re delighted with the results. Jive decided to invest in a new explainer video because our company outgrew our old one. (We wanted an explainer video worthy of our company’s success in being named one of Forbes’s 2017 Next Billion-Dollar Startups.)

If your company is about to make or update an existing explainer video, we’d love to share our experience to help. This blog will outline the process and set appropriate expectations for companies embarking on the project of creating a successful animated explainer video.

Explainer Video Basics

If you don’t have one, you need one. Video is paramount in today’s marketing world, and this is true from small business to large enterprise. And in a world where video marketing is essential, explainer videos are the best video investment. They’re the perfect foundation for a video campaign, as a Forbes article argues, because they allow creativity, are multifunctional, approachable, impact old and new customers, and demonstrate personality.


Definition: A short (30-90 second) video that introduces and explains your business.


Purpose: This video must illustrate a problem your target audience experiences, and illustrate how your product or service solves their problem.


Price Point: $350.00-$10,000.00

You can use software to create your own animation video, but we recommend hiring a company to make the process quicker, cheaper, and easier. Luckily there’s a wide spectrum of companies to work with, so you should be able to find a company that fits your individual budget.

“There are so many affordable options out there that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg for a quality product. Check out options under Video and Animation on Fiverr or go with a streamlined option on 30secondexplainervideos.com. Just make sure that you ensure that it properly represents your brand and resonates with your particular audience.” —Jonathan Timothy, Co-Owner SoShell Social Media  

Time: 1 week—8 weeks

The better the quality of the motion graphic, the more time it will take to produce. If you go with a company like 30 Second Explainer Videos, it takes—at most—a few weeks. For our video, Jive worked with the talented team at Motifize. If you’re working with a company like Motifize, a sixty second video can take anywhere between 6 to 8 weeks.

Feedback is the greatest variable for time. Dan and Michelle Noakes, the creators of Motifize, can easily produce a storyboard in 4-5 days and a first draft for a 60-second video in 7-10 days, but feedback and revisions are usually the areas that take up the most time. Especially dealing with corporations, there are levels of feedback and that takes a lot of time.

The Role of Animation in Explainer Videos

The most common medium for explainer videos is animation. One advantage of an animation video is that it’s cost-effective: you avoid the expense and headache of hiring actors, renting out a space, etc. Motion graphics also provide you more freedom and control of aesthetics and messaging, which often makes animation explainer videos especially engaging.

Motifize’s video also illustrates that animation is also excellent for explaining complex ideas.

What are the different styles of animation available?

  • Whiteboard Animation
  • Motion Graphics
  • 2D Animation
  • 3D Animation
  • Stop Motion Animation

We found this source useful to research the different kinds of animation and the pros and cons of each style within a marketing video context.  


Are there ways to save money?

Yes. You can do several elements in-house, which will bring down the price. For example, Jive’s content writers drafted the script, and our videographer recorded the voice over, selected and purchased the music, and mixed the entire video.

How do you find an animation company?

You can find a good animation company through research, networking, and asking for recommendations. Jive began with some good old-fashioned research on vimeo and Google, and then we narrowed our choices through price comparison, body of work, and style.

As shopping experiences often go, we found out that our first choice was outside our budget, but they were more than happy to recommend Motifize. Once we met with Motifize and discussed the project, we knew it was a perfect match. Just to give you an idea why we loved working with them on this project:

“Motifize makes it a point to establish a good relationship with our clients. We’re passionate about our clients and their businesses. In short, our client’s business becomes Motifize’s business.” —Dan Noakes, Motifize  

What do you need before you contact / hire an animation company?

You need to know your budget and time frame. While the script is an optional service, we recommend always having a digital file of your logo, a written explanation of what your business provides, and a strongly worded call-to-action. It’s also a good idea to share inspiration videos with the animation company to illustrate the style you want and your expectations.

How much do you collaborate with the animation company?

This depends on you. A lot of animation companies are willing to write a contract that reflects your preference for collaboration. I talked to Jive’s videographer, Stephen Durr, about how Jive collaborated with Motifize on this project:

“Jive took care of the script, voice-over, and music choice. Jive also started the basic outline of the video. We collaborated throughout the process, but I did give them the freedom to create the transitions and the overall flow of the piece. I knew they were artists, and I wanted them to do what they are good at, so I gave the the creative liberty to put it all together.” —Stephen Durr, Jive Videographer

What’s the process?

  1. Determine budget & project objectives
  2. Find a motion graphics company to work with through research and networking
  3. Draft a video script
  4. Record the voice-over
  5. Select and purchase music
  6. Storyboard
  7. Principal Animation
  8. Sound Mixing
  9. Revision
  10. Completion

Get Started on Your Animated Explainer Video

Video is important, and it’s worth the investment. That’s why Jive’s spent time and money creating our latest motion graphic explainer video. If you don’t love our video, which you would be crazy not to, remember that your company video doesn’t have to be like our video. That’s the beautiful thing about animation videos: you can easily control your experience, style, level of collaboration, and budget. So figure out what you want and start researching for the right animation company to take on your project.

A final word of advice. After you spend all that time and money to create an incredible animation explainer video, make sure your marketing team tailors the sharing of your video for each individual social media channel. For example, there are a few things you should do when you post your animated video on Facebook, which we explain in an article about knowing your facebook audience.

video marketing strategy ebook

For more information on getting a video campaign rolling for your company, check out Jive’s Platinum MarCom award-winning e-book, “Lights, Camera, Action! How to Start a Facebook Video Campaign for SMBs.”