How to make an animated explainer video

An animated explainer video can help you create high-impact messages and engage your audience in ways no other medium can. Here are some tips on how to create an awesome animated explainer video.

Here's A Successful Animated Explainer Video

Animated explainers or “cartoon explainers” are those cute short video clips you see on company websites that tell you what particular companies do well. Explainer videos are a great tool for enhancing your brand, building audience engagement, and converting prospects into customers.

Here's an animated explainer video made with PowToon by Convertible that has over 20,000 views:

Cartoons - The Power to Explain

Harnessing the power of cartoons for your explainer video can help you create high-impact messages that speak to visitors (prospects) in ways virtually no other marketing medium can. Why? Because:

  1. You’re communicating via a channel they’re conditioned to associate with fun and childhood (and most definitely not business and sales)—so their guard is down and they’re massively more receptive.
  2. The added level of abstraction allows them to focus on the message rather than petty details, so they can actually evaluate the real benefit.

If you’d like your audience to take note of what you have to say, there are few better ways than creating a cartoon to convey your message!

Here's an animated explainer video made with PowToon by CleverCommuter that has over 37,000 views:

How long should your explainer video be?

YouTube research shows that the average viewer’s attention span is 63 seconds. This is the time you have to get your message across—and the first 7 seconds are the most crucial! That’s when you have to convince your viewers to actually continue watching.

Our research indicates…

  • Best cartoon length: 63-92 seconds
  • Critical start: 7-10 seconds

How many words should your script have?

Clip Length Number of Words
30 seconds 85
60 seconds 160
90 seconds 230

The maximum optimal length for an animated explainer video is around 90 seconds. You should always aim to “hook” viewers within the first 7 seconds (as this is when they decide whether to continue listening or not). Sure, you could just introduce your brand at the beginning...but you risk losing your viewers in the process.

Here's a 16 second animated explainer video made with PowToon by Comfort First that has over 61,000 views:

How to Create an Awesome Explainer Video

To create a short, punchy animated video, you only need two things:

  1. A compelling short story about the product or service—this serves as our animation script.
  2. Turn this story into an awesome animated video clip using PowToon!

Written by Daniel Glickman and Janis Raisen at PowToon.