There's a reason why animations are so popular, and it's because they're great at explaining complex topics simply and succinctly.
There's even a special name for them - explainer animations (inventive, huh?).
If you want to let your target audience know why they should use your product or service, and do it quickly, you should consider an explainer animation. Here are some of the best examples around, along with the key tips that make them so effective.
1. Mint - Keep it simple
Like most types of video content, explainer animations are best when kept short and simple. Your audience is meeting your product or service for the first time, so this isn't the right place to go in-depth.
Instead, give your viewers a quick overview of what makes your offering different and how it'll help meet their needs. That's exactly what Mint, the money managing service, did. Their explainer animation doesn't cover all the specific and powerful things you can do with the service, although it does give a great initial explanation of why you need it in your life.
You'll have plenty of time later to get into the nitty gritty of extra services, add-ons and subscription types. Explainer animations are all about generating that first spark of interest that will compel your target audience to find out more and convert into leads.
2. ZenCash - Emphasise the pain point
The best way to get your audience interested in your product or service is to explain how it will solve a problem of theirs. That's what pain points are - problems that need to be fixed.
All the explainer animations in this post emphasise the particular pain points they're trying to fix, but ZenCash is a great example because the pain point they're solving is bigger than most. Specifically, ZenCash helps small businesses to track down clients that don't pay on time - a universally unpleasant task.
The animation begins with this pain point. It reminds viewers how much they dislike chasing late payments, setting the stage for a solution to come along that will relieve their problem. Using pain points in your video content when your goal is to gain new sales is a very effective way of explaining to your target audience why they need your product or service, on both a practical and emotional level.
ZenCash has since rebranded and changed its name, but this explainer animation remains outstanding regardless.
3. Panorama9 - Be visually interesting
The great thing about explainer animations? Because they're animated, there's really no boundary to what your video can look like. You can use whatever visuals you need to help explain your product or service.
One surefire way to keep your target audience engaged in your explainer animation is to use some really interesting, quirky visuals. In this example from Panorama9, who offer IT management services, they took an unusual idea and ran with it. What if being in IT isn't much different from being in a demanding video game?
Not only is the metaphor perfect for Panorama9's target audience, but the gorgeous visuals back it up by emulating the look of old 8-bit games. The video itself could probably be made shorter while still getting its key points across. However, it still manages to maintain its audience's interest by being so fun to watch.
4. CrazyEgg - Show your product or service in action
You won't always be able to do this, but showing your product or service itself during your explainer animation can help push potential customers towards purchase.
CrazyEgg offers heat and scroll map services for websites. In their explainer animation above they preview these services at work. By showing their target audience exactly what they'll get for their money, the company succeeded in removing that aspect of buyer uncertainty from their viewers.
Particularly when you're selling an online service (and it may be a complicated, technical service), it can be useful to give your audience a view of just what that service looks like in use. Usability is important, and by answering that question you're one step closer to a closed sale.
So those were some key tips you should follow when planning your own explainer animation, plus the examples that use them best.
Keep them in mind, along with your target audience and core message, and you'll be well on your way to creating an explainer animation that will let your audience know exactly why they need your product or service (and compel them to become customers).