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How Explainer Videos Are Made and What They really Cost?


An explainer video can be an incredibly powerful way to market your business online.  They’re engaging, informative, highly shareable, and often lead to higher conversions on your website.

How Explainer Videos Are Made

But when businesses begin looking at the process of making their own explainer video, something often stops them in their tracks:

The price!

The average 90-second animated explainer video takes 4 – 8 weeks to produce and can cost between $2900 and $6,900.  This comes as a surprise to many.  So, in order to help people understand the process and costs a bit better, below is a sample timeline that describes each step in greater detail, and breaks down the related costs.

Planning and Scripting (5 days)

Before a production studio can perform any creative work, they must first understand your business.  This generally means review of your website and sales materials, and may involve a questionnaire aimed at figuring out exactly what the purpose of your video is and how best to achieve it.  Through discussions, brainstorming sessions, and more, the video company will gain a general sense of what your video should be like.

From there, the scriptwriter creates a first draft of the voiceover script for your review.  A bit of back and forth then takes place while both sides suggest revisions to tighten up the script, ensure that it includes necessary information, and “feels” like the correct voice for your business.  After this back and forth is over, a final script is agreed upon.

Voiceover (3 days)

Now it’s time to select a voiceover artist.  A production company often has a wide variety of artists for you to choose from, and has audio samples for each one so that you can hear the differences and select the right artist for your business.  These professional speakers will then read and record the script, striving to produce a voiceover that is clear and engaging to listen to.

Storyboards, Illustrations, and Graphics (15 days)

This step is probably what you thought of when you first imagined the video production process, and now you’re finally here!  It’s time to envision the video.  After discussions and brainstorming, artists will prepare graphics and a storyboard for review.  A storyboard is a sequence of drawings that show the general visual direction of the video, and will help you decide what style works best, without requiring animators to create an entire video at the outset.

There are many visual styles used in explainer videos.  The most common are:

• Motion graphics – where simple, concrete images are shown and manipulated to create a dynamic sense of movement.

• 2D animation – where drawn characters and objects come to life.

• Whiteboard – where an artist’s hand is seen drawing and manipulating images.

Once a general visual style and storyboard are approved, it’s time to move on to full animation to fill in all the gaps and help the video come alive.

The Ultimate Guide to Explainer Videos download

Animation (4 days)

At the animation stage, artists create all the visuals for your video, stich them together, and make them move.  The goal here is to enhance the information contained in the voiceover, keep the viewer’s interest, and ensure that the video makes an impact.  During review, some changes may be necessary to get the right look for your business and tell your business’s story properly.  After everything is in place, it’s time to put it all together.

Sound and Finishing (2 days)

If the voiceover were the only sound playing in your video, you would miss a big opportunity to deliver a memorable experience for the viewer.  For that reason, an audio engineer will add sound FX and a music track to create a full video that uses all available tools to make an impact.  After all sound is finalized, a video editor then mixes everything together, renders the visuals, and creates a final video file that is ready for uploading to your website, YouTube, and any other outlet you choose.

Congratulations!  Your video is done and your business now has a major weapon in the war for your target market’s attention. 

As you can see, a diverse array of professionals were involved in the creation of your video, including project managers, creative directors, scriptwriters, voiceover artists, graphic artists, animators, sound engineers, editors, and more!  For this team of collaborators to create a high quality video takes time and skill, and as a result, the cost of a video reflects the significant amount of energy and resources spent on it.  Given the returns obtained from a well-produced video, however, countless businesses keep coming back, time and time again, to one of the most engaging marketing tools available.

For more information about creating a video for your business, click here!

If you’d like to learn more about explainer videos, go ahead and download our ebook!

The Ultimate Guide to Explainer Videos download