Why Animated Explainer Videos Boost Your Digital Marketing

As marketing tools, animated explainer videos are meant to be as fun as they are functional.  Think of something like Legos explaining the basics of architecture—colorful, engaging, clear, memorable, and approachable for audiences of just about any age or level of education. 

A well-produced animated explainer video handles the “elevator pitch” lift, breaking down your brand, product, or service and why it’s great into digestible nuggets of information. But given the strengths and capabilities of animation, they also enhance and elevate more of your brand’s individual flavor. 

Another major benefit: adaptability. 

You can serve an animated explainer video via almost any marketing channel and push toward a long list of goals, from brand awareness to sales conversions. Embed explainer videos on a product page to encourage familiarity and erode hesitance. Use explainer videos as paid social media ad assets to draw attention to new products or promotions. Drop a fun, short, animated explainer on Instagram and encourage shares. 

It helps that users actually want these things. In their Video Marketing Statistics 2024 survey, Wyzowl found that 91% of consumers watched explainer videos to learn more about a product or service. Given the choice, most said they prefer to learn through a short explainer video over other kinds of content.

And explainer videos drive conversions. Nearly 90% of survey respondents said explainer videos nudged them toward making a purchase.

You can find all kinds of data showing SEO benefits from explainer videos, too, since they often increase dwell and reduce bounce rate.

Why are animated explainers such effective marketing tools? Let’s start sifting through the pixels.


The Animation Advantage

Marketing content has always had a handful of core goals. Job one: Grab attention. Jobs two through four: Make it clear, make it memorable, make it irresistible.

Animated explainer videos excel at all of it. They translate and clarify even the most intricate ideas with simple visuals and step-by-step pacing. They unlock emotional connections with relatable characters and compelling narratives. They build trust and loyalty by offering obvious value. They knock down questions by showing users how and what to do, clearly.

Explainer videos may not do it all, but they sure can do a lot—and therein lies the power. 


Explainer Videos Out in the Real World 

You’ll find plenty of case studies showing the ROI of explainer videos if you poke around on search engines. Among the most famous: Dropbox’s simple animated explainer video, to which they attribute an onboarding of 10 million new users; and Crazy Egg’s heat map tool explainer video, which paid for itself twice in the first month of new (ongoing) revenue.

They’re proven marketing tools, and they’re fun to watch, too. Test-drive a few more examples from Snapshot’s explainer-video portfolio:




Evidence Care_Admissions Care from Snapshot Interactive on Vimeo.

Tennessee-based healthcare company EvidenceCare was launching an innovative—and complex—new software solution, CareGauge, designed to help physicians and health systems balance care and costs.

They could’ve broken down the dynamic functions of the software in a thousand-word essay, but the animated explainer video our team produced makes it concise, compelling, easy to understand, and easy to remember.


HCA Healthcare

HCA_Hiring Process Animation_V2b.mp4 from Snapshot Interactive on Vimeo.

Healthcare giant HCA Healthcare puts clear emphasis on hiring with care and intention, and their leadership wanted every member of the massive organization to grasp that commitment to finding the right candidate for every job. The words you just read may “tell” it. The animated explainer video we produced really shows it.


Animation Styles That Elevate Explainer Videos

Animation comes in multiple flavors, so you have many style options to choose from as you’re developing an animated explainer video. Key considerations that inform the best way to go for your video: what serves your brand and audience best, the size of your budget, and the specialties of the video marketing agency you choose (plus which aesthetic aligns well with your overall branding).

Here’s a quick tour through the most common video animation styles:

2D Animation

From vibrant colors to hand-drawn characters and playful stop-motion, 2D animation has a timeless charm and a lot of versatility. They’re the marketer’s chance to tap into childhood Saturday mornings and produce a cartoon.

Motion Graphics

Often a more budget-accommodating option—think sleek lines, kinetic typography, and data skipping across the screen. Motion graphics are a great way to explain technical concepts or showcase data-driven insights.

3D Animation

Immersive experiences that let your customers/viewers interact with your products or services virtually. Think full product renderings or seemingly true-to-life how-tos. You can showcase the intricate details and features of a new product with a 360-degree spin, making users feel like they’ve already held it in their hands.

Live Action with Animation

A blend of the best of both worlds—you can weave imagination into reality with live footage augmented by well-placed animation. That can mean an animated brand mascot interacting with a real brand ambassador. It can mean product shots made more electric with playful overlays. This option brings in a bit of realism and relatability, which can broaden your explainer’s appeal.

Whichever approach and format you choose, invest in quality visuals87% of consumers say video quality impacts their trust in a brand, and trust is challenging to earn back.

The Explainer Video’s Beating Heart: Storytelling 

Engaging visuals are vital, but without a compelling storyline, your animated explainer video is just another twinkle in the ever-expanding content universe. 

An explainer video’s core purpose is pretty simple—you’re breaking down what, how, and why—but the storylines still can and should be creative and compelling.

A few explainer-scripting tips that may help sharpen your focus:

  1. Keep it concise. 

Explainer videos are meant to be short and to the point. So try to avoid info creep. Focus on a single, powerful purpose for your video, and walk your viewer through with clarity and brevity.

  1. Introduce a hero and their journey. 

Introduction, climax, resolution always seems to work as a storytelling approach. It’s a journey—our hero arrives, needs or wants something, reaches a boiling point, then finds an answer. It can work for your animated explainer video, too. Introduce a relatable character facing a challenge your product or service solves. Let viewers connect with their struggles. Make them want to cheer the hero on as your solution unfolds.

  1. Don’t be afraid to show pain points.

The fact that you get your customers’ problems builds solidarity and trust. Tap into the frustration, confusion, or boredom they’ve encountered so they see clearly how your brand was built to save the day.

  1. Lighten up, if it fits.

Oscar-nominated screenwriter and director Joss Whedon (The Avengers, Toy Story) offered this advice to storytellers: “Make it dark, make it grim, make it tough, but then, for the love of God, tell a joke.” This might not line up with explainer scripting exactly—we’re not going for dark and grim, so much. But the point is: Laughter is universal, and it can offer a needed break and a memorable touchstone. It might also make your brand feel more human. (But only sprinkle in the wit if it’s a good fit with your overall brand guidelines.)

  1. Close with a CTA.

Don’t leave viewers hanging. Tell them what you want them to do next, whether it’s visiting your website, contacting your sales team, or following you on social media.

Optimizing Your Explainer Video for SEO Success

When your animated explainer video is written, edited, designed, and done… you’ve only just begun. Even the most captivating video needs its delivery process optimized to reach your target audience.

Practices to keep in mind:
  1. Do your keyword research.

Identify relevant, related keywords your ideal audience searches for and weave them naturally into your video title, description, and tags. Think of keywords as breadcrumbs leading viewers directly to your explainer video.

  1. Use direct and descriptive titles and tags. 

These aren’t the place for clever turns of phrase. Titles and tags should clearly explain what your video is about and why viewers should watch it. Be direct and exact.

  1. Include transcripts and subtitles.

Transcripts and subtitles help make your video accessible to everyone, including hearing-impaired viewers and the vast majority of social media users who watch video with the sound off. They also help search engines crawl and index your content.

  1. Promote liberally.

Explainer videos are adaptable, so help them do their thing. Share across social media (and do it again in a few months), embed on your website, upload to relevant video platforms. Get the most out of your explainer-video efforts.

Ready to Get Animated?

Snapshot’s video team specializes in animated explainer videos, and we’re not limited in scope or style—we’ve done lighthearted 2D Animation service explainer videos, deep and dynamic 3D renderings for product launches, simple motion graphic explainers for ongoing paid social media campaigns, serious live action and animation pieces for healthcare companies, and the list goes on.

We’re also a full-service marketing house, so from concepting to deployment, our team can get it all done, strategically and to your brand’s specifications.

Take a look at our portfolio to sample some of the team’s video production products, and set up a meeting with Snapshot so we can show and tell you more about how we’ll help you reach your video marketing goals.