Difference between Normal Video and Explainer Video

In the current digital ecosystem we live in, it’s common to experience information overload. Wherever we go on the internet, we keep running into marketing messages, and all it does is numb us to content. After all, only so much one can read. But the medium of video does not invoke the same kind of jadedness. It somehow still manages to engage the viewer. Why is that?

Well, humans can process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. As a result, videos are far more effective in getting the message across to the viewer. Thus, if you are a brand trying to gain visibility, you should try to adopt video in your marketing process. But what kind of videos would make sense for your brand?

According to Video Marketing Statistics published by Wyzowl for 2022, explainer videos are the most common type of videos. Hence, if you are a brand that wants to begin its video content creation journey, then you must try your hand at these videos. You can learn a lot by going through some Explainer video examples. It would help you understand how an explainer video differs from any other video and how you can leverage its potential to the fullest.

What is an Explainer Video?

Explainer videos are concise online marketing videos that summarize your product/service in a digestible and engaging way. An explainer video takes a brand, or its product, or its ideas and presents them in a well-thought-out video that ideally is not more than 90 seconds long. An impactful explainer video should make a strong emotional connection with your targeted demographic. The goal is that your audience will have a gut understanding of what you do after watching your video.

Explainer videos almost always take the form of animation or live-action footage. They explain the core idea behind your product or service, typically under 2 minutes. Explainer videos usually are on the homepage or other prominent pages of a brand’s website. Businesses that are just starting or companies with new products to introduce are the ones that usually use explainer videos.

How are explainer videos different from normal videos?

There are many ways explainer videos differ from any other kind of videos a brand makes. As a brand, the following are some of the distinctions that you should take note of:

1. Explainer videos are shorter in comparison to normal videos

A usual video may last several minutes, even hours, depending upon the type of video or its content. However, explainer videos are brief and to the point.

Explainer videos are short and succinct because we all know how impatient internet users have become. They don’t have the time to go through a boring 10-minute video about what a brand has to offer. Think about it for a second. When you open YouTube there’s always a video auto-playing on top. It’s so tempting to just watch a video before reading an article, and this psychology is exactly what is being leveraged by brands.

Brands recognize that a viewer would rather watch a 30-second animated explanation that is visually engaging from start to finish. Explainer videos try to catch the viewers off-guard by being intuitive about their buying behavior. As a result, the viewer stops and notices the message being communicated in the video.

2. Explainer videos answer the question “Why does a business exist?”

Explainer videos perform a more essential function than normal brand videos – they tell the story of why a business exists. A normal video usually only serves as instruction. It shows you how to use a product or assemble something. For instance, say a brand like Ikea can create a video explaining how to assemble a desk.

However, it can also make a video about the company’s history and how it went from being a tiny family business to a global titan. The latter is a good example of an explainer video because it provides more of a context and background to the viewer.

3. Explainer videos follow a structure

A normal video may be structured any which way depending upon the subject matter it is covering. However, explainer videos follow a very specific structure. This is because a video cannot achieve the goal of educating the audience while also persuading them to take action, without checking the following boxes:

  • The principle problem: The first thing an explainer video addresses is the problem that its target customers are dealing with. It does that by revealing the brand and its value proposition. The video subtly states why customers need to use the brand’s product.
  • The solution: Next comes the solution to the problem. An explainer video should describe to the viewer how the product works, how their life will be better with it, and how they can pay for it. The solution must address the possible queries or doubts of viewers.
  • Advantages: After establishing the solution, the video should discuss why it is worth it for the customer to take the next step. For instance, baits such as a 7-day free trial or a guaranteed refund should be shown to the viewer as the benefits they can experience by buying a product or service from you.
  • Call-to-Action: Last but not the least, the video must provide a clear direction for readers and encourage them to do one specific thing. Action words such as “sign up,” “try now,” “find out more” should be used to motivate the viewers to take the next step.

4. Explainer videos contain a clear call Call-to-Action (CTA)

Normal videos offer an opportunity for the customers to understand what a product does and whether they need it or not. However, an explainer video is an opportunity for the brand to persuade the viewers to take action. Explainer videos are designed to be informative, but they also contain a Call-to-Action, usually in the middle or towards the end of the video.

A CTA encourages and directs the viewer to take a certain action: Like the video, Subscribe to the channel, or buy a product. CTA is an essential part of any explainer video, but remember, there can only be one CTA in a video. Asking the viewer to do multiple things may backfire and the viewer might end up taking no action at all.

5. Explainer videos centre around the target audience

Unlike other videos that essentially work as promotional tools, explainer videos are simpler, shorter, and try to answer questions that potential customers may have about the product or business.

Usually, brand videos showcase a brand’s skills and expertise. These types of videos are meant to make the brand look good. However, an explainer video isn’t obsessed with the brand itself. Instead, it informs people about your product, how it works, and what it does. So essentially, a normal brand video is all about self-promotion, while an explainer video is more about guessing what information your customers might be interested in knowing about.

A viewer should be able to learn everything they need to know about a brand or its offerings by going through an explainer video. Any information that may be flattering for the brand, but does not serve any purpose for the viewer(does not educate, inform, or entertain the viewer) does not belong in an explainer video.

6. Explainer videos are easy to understand

One of the main differences between an explainer video and say a tutorial video is that explainer videos simplify complex concepts. Hence, unlike tutorials that may drone on and on about technical details, explainer videos are short, simple, and concise. You cannot cram an explainer video with too much technical jargon as it may bore the audience.

Explainer videos also shouldn’t be as exhaustive as a video tutorial. A video overstuffed with information may confuse the viewer and they may not understand the message. Therefore, keep them as simple as possible. But this does not mean that explainer videos should not have any technical content whatsoever. That would be impractical and counterproductive. However, the sweet spot is where there is a balance between too many and too few details.

7. Explainer videos combine visuals with audio or/and written narration

Unlike other videos, explainer videos use voice-overs or, at the very least, written explanations. When people watch an explainer video, they simultaneously take in the visual and auditory information. Thus, explainer videos employ clear, pleasant voices for narration or include written explanations or whiteboard animations. It better engages viewers and comprehensively conveys the message.


Explainer videos are short videos that usually use animation to educate, inform, and entertain the audience. If a brand focuses on putting enough creativity, ingenuity, and effort into its explainer videos, there is no way it won’t increase its audience engagement, brand awareness, and conversions.

However, depending upon the complexity of the videos, doing everything yourself could be a daunting task. Taking assistance from a specialist video company is a more time and cost-effective option. You can create explainer videos that best fit your marketing goals by using the talent, skills, and expertise of professional video-makers.

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