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Why Animated Explainer Videos Work

Title graphic reads 'Why Animated Explainer Videos Work"; features a custom whiteboard style graphic; hand-drawn man stands in front of a complicated math problem drawn out on a giant chalkboard; the chalkboard also doubles as a video play screen featuring the Next Day Animations logo; Next Day Animations logos float in the background.

Today, audience engagement is everything. And there is, perhaps, no more engaging piece of content than a well-produced animated explainer video.

Animated explainer videos are short, fully-animated videos that a business can use for promotional purposes. They can highlight nearly anything, from new products and services to company announcements. And each can be tailored to your business and your audience.

In this article, we will unpack the power and effectiveness of animated explainer videos for your business. With these insights, you and your team will be able to determine if a collection of smart animated videos is worth pursuing.

Why do Animated Explainer Videos Work?

1. The Power of Visual Storytelling

The human brain has a natural preference for visual content, making animated explainer videos exceptionally effective in capturing and retaining attention.

Studies have shown that unlike static content, animated explainers use movement and sound to draw viewers in. making it easier to convey complex messages quickly and effectively.

By combining vibrant visuals with compelling narratives, animated videos also impact how these messages resonate with your audience. The human brain has a bias towards stimuli that engage multiple senses simultaneously, making your explainer video more memorable and impactful than something like a standard pitch deck.

The dynamic nature of an animation explainer video turns even the most mundane topics into engaging stories, leveraging the power of visual storytelling to enhance audience engagement.

2. Clarity and Simplicity in Communication

One of the greatest strengths of explainer animation is its ability to simplify complex concepts.

We love the way this article puts it: “There are concepts that are so complex that they would falter in normal conversation. This is where explainer videos take the stage!”

This propensity for simplification is the reason that many companies use animation explainer video technical details, demonstrating complicated processes, or educating audiences.

Fortunately, animation can also be molded to perfectly fit the topic at hand. For example, being intentional about pairing highly technical vocabulary with a clean, modern text-based like the video below with the American Kidney Fund – is a great way to enhance clarity while still getting the important facts across to viewers.

Curious about how animation styles influence messaging outcomes? Read more here.

Check out this video we created with the American Kidney Fund. Although defining extremely complex rare kidney diseases like IC-MPGN, C3G requires a lot of details, the syncronicity of the animation and vocabulary help the viewer cement the most important messages about what the diseases are and how they effect your kidneys.

Over our thirteen years creating animations, we’ve supported our clients in accomplishing highly complicated goals – from the internal communication of changing insurance policies to the impact of new laws passed in government. Our productions process includes a dedicated deep-dive into your mission, goals, and branding by our production team to ensure your message is effectively translated – and clarified – with video.

3. Versatility and Accessibility

When it comes to business, ‘ROI’ is always going to be at the top of the priority list. Fortunately, video animation gets an A+! Explainer video animation is versatile in both audience targeting AND compatability across platforms and use cases.

Animated explainer video also appeals to diverse audiences. With no limits but your imagination, you can shape your message visually and narratively to engage your target viewers, regardless of age, profession, or background. More on this in a 2024 article by video creator Nirav Jagad.

Compounding on an ability to appeal to diverse audiences is video’s inherent adaptability across locations: videos are highly compatible with multiple platforms and devices. Whether on social media, websites, presentations, or more – animated explainer videos can be seamlessly integrated to maximize reach and impact, enhancing their accessibility and effectiveness. Organizations with stricter budgets, such as educational institutions or nonprofits, stand especially to benefit from the high ROI of explainer animations.

4. Increased Conversion Rates and Engagement

We’ve seen enough success stories to know that animated explainer videos have a significant impact on sales and marketing efforts. Below are two crucial ways we’ve seen video marketing impact engagement for our clients:

  • Higher Click-Through Rates and Shares: Videos are more likely to be clicked on and shared compared to other forms of content. Animated explainers, with their engaging visuals and compelling narratives, can boost click-through rates and encourage viewers to share the content – especially on social media! And when it comes to website conversion, video is a definitive upgrade: this LinkedIn article cites some webpages seeing conversion rates improving by 144% after the addition of video!
  • Improved Website Traffic and SEO: The presence of video content on a website can enhance its SEO performance (Forbes) Search engines favor websites with video, leading to improved visibility and increased traffic. This, in turn, can result in higher conversion rates and business growth.

5. Cost Effectiveness and Efficiency

Compared to live video production, explainer video animation offers a more cost-effective solution.

The overall expenses of creating an animation are immediately reduced because there is no need for actors, locations, or extensive equipment; especially when you partner with an expert studio to bring your animation to life. Typically, your project package will cover those little nuisances that can really add up when producing a live video: storyboarding, post-production, voiceover and background music…

As discussed above, animation can also prove to be more cost effective because animated explainer video, as a medium, lends itself to flexible use across time and location.

Despite the lower upfront costs, these videos provide long-term value and a high return on investment. But how much does it cost to create one?

Our blog on pricing (see the sidebar) essentially discusses how animated explainers can be built to suit any budget. By exploring different lengths, styles, and production timelines, animations can be produced at a variety of price points. We’ve also linked some additional commentary from other creators on explainer video pricing to support your research: here and here.

Examples of Successful Animated Explainer Videos

We stand by animated explainer videos becasue of the reasons outlined above, but you might be looking for more proof that animation is the right choice for your goals. Check out some of our favorite examples of explainer video animation to explore some effective techniques we’ve seen really work for a variety of industries.

Bruno Mars said it best: Don’t believe us? Just watch.

Marketing a new rewards program with engaging 2D Animation:

We’re proud of this engaging explainer video series crafted exclusively for Home Depot’s Pro XTra program. This project is comprised of a dynamic overview explainer video, and four complementary videos regarding specific rewards in the program.

Check out the introductory video here, and see the rest of the series here.


Communicating organizational changes with a charming blend of live footage and animation:

Step into the vibrant world of The Schenck School as they introduce their new Head of School to students, parents and their community through an enchanting and informative video. Through humor-infused scripting and a playful concept featuring ‘hard-hitting’ interviewees, we transformed what could have been a mundane introduction into a delightful journey.

We’ve partnered with the Schenck School on a number of videos you can see here.

Demonstrating product effeciency to a wide audience with Whiteboard Video:

Bridging the gap between technical jargon and layman’s terms is paramount when selling technology. We partnered with Enwave Energy to explain their heating and cooling solution in sales meetings, on their website, at events, and more using video. By leveraging the simplicity and effectiveness of whiteboard animation, Enwave District Energy communicate their innovative solutions in a way that will stick with viewers, differentiating themselves in the market.

You can always visit the ‘Our Work’ page at the top of your screen to see more examples of work from our clients across 13 years creating explainer videos. We’ve also linked below to Yansmedia and Hubspots recent listcles featuring their best examples of explainer videos across the web.


Best Practices for Creating Animated Explainer Videos

Creating an effective animated explainer video takes skill and intention

With thirteen years worth of tips and tricks, we couldn’t possibly cover everything in this blog. That being said, it just doesn’t feel right to send you off without a few key steps involved in producing animated explainers that impact how well they work.

  • Take time to understand your target audience: Your audience is everything! Consider creating a profile (or a number of profiles) that represent the person you’re trying to reach with your video. This will be a great jumping off point for building a script that truly resonates with them.
  • Craft compelling scripts with a focus on clarity, brevity and storytelling: Storytelling works (refer to point number 1!) Thinking carefully about a throughline or narrative for your message goes wonders towards audience retention, as does considering the old addage: short and sweet. In this blog, we discuss ways for determining whether a video series is the right choice for you, which it may be if you have a complex topic that is hard to distill briefly.
  • Collaborate with skilled professionals: the CEO of Regex is quoted in this Forbes article as saying ‘cheap videos are all too common and don’t reflect well on a brand.” Think carefully about what elements of your project you can do yourself, versus which might pay off in the long run with the choice of hiring an expert.

Ready to find out more about our video production services can enhance engagement for your mission?

Get in touch today: (202) 747-0404

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