Common Pitfalls in Creating Explainer Videos and How to Avoid Them

There are many styles of video. Your job is to determine which style of video you are looking for and which one will get your message across the best. Explainer Videos are among the most popular right now.

What are Explainer Videos?

Common Pitfalls in Creating Explainer Videos and How to Avoid Them 1
Photo by Slidebean on Unsplash

Explainer videos are short online marketing videos used to demonstrate, display, or explain your company’s product or service. These videos are everywhere nowadays.

This can be a good or bad thing. With the surplus of explainer videos out in the world, especially with the rise of TikTok, audiences are getting tired of seeing similar, cookie-cutter, videos that just explain a product, with mediocre animation and storyline.

There is no doubt that online videos are great assets for a business. With that being said, there are right and wrong ways to go about creating these types of videos. There are three common mistakes that can really hurt an explainer video.


The first common mistake made when creating explainer videos is that you haven’t carefully thought out or strategized how you’re going to put together the video and where in their sales funnel you intend to use the video. Boston video production agency Skillman Video Group’s CEO and Creative Director Christina Skillman says that typically in your sales or marketing processes, the higher up your prospects and leads are, the shorter your video content needs to be.

Sales Funnel

The other aspect of strategizing your video is planning out where you want your video to be shown in your sales process. Are you informing the viewer for the first time? Are they repeat customers, and you want to introduce a new product to them?  Or are they an enterprise-level company, and you need to sell them to you or your business?

It is something that is different for everyone, and it’s just something to really think about before you can start strategizing the rest of your video.


If you don’t have a firm creative direction in place, you will end up wasting a lot of time shooting multiple takes, or you might keep changing your mind, which, at the end of the day, may not lead to a cohesive piece.

It is very important to manage your time because, as the saying goes, time is money.

There are multiple ways to strategize all aspects of the video. Do research about the style of explainer video you’re trying to create. There are live-action explainer videos, animated explainer videos, and even the classic whiteboard explainer videos.

Live-Action Explainer Videos

Live-action explainer videos are great for businesses that sell an actual product or a people-oriented service—like restaurants or stores!

By having actual people in your video, you allow the audience to make an emotional connection to the characters. This is because we, as people, are naturally drawn to other people.

Animated Explainer Videos

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The animation explainer video is actually the most popular because you can do so much more than live-action. You’re not stuck in reality; you can animate anything you really want to.

Another plus, besides the ultimate creative freedom, is that you have the option to go back and update the video with less hassle than if you needed to update a live-action one.

This type of explainer video is great for intangible objects or services, especially software.

Whiteboard Explainer Videos

It’s exactly what it sounds like, a whiteboard. You have probably seen this video many times in the past. It is very common among companies that may have a lower budget and cannot afford to create an entire live-action or animated sequence. The way effective whiteboard explainer videos work is that there is a camera stationed directly above or in front of the whiteboard. The actions are quick, and there are many cuts in the video to cut out all of the drawing time.

Viewers don’t want to sit there and watch the process of drawing. They want to see the product. That’s why there are so many cuts in this type of video. Viewers love the fast drawing, and they can easily piece together the content in between the shots.

LengthCommon Pitfalls in Creating Explainer Videos and How to Avoid Them 3

The second most common mistake made when creating an explainer video is the length. Too many people try to go into every little detail about every little thing, ending up around five or even ten minutes long. That is way longer than it should be. The magic numbers are 60 to 90 seconds. This allows for many things.

It lets the audience stay focused, which increases the odds they will like the video and even go further and look into purchasing it. 60 to 90 seconds also lets the creator get their point across faster. Although this short amount of time does not allow for many topics to be discussed, the point of an explainer video is to sell one thing. It is better to have a sole focus on one item and get the product out to more people than to have many topics covered in less detail, leading the viewers away from your site.

Keeping it short and sweet is what’s effective. Looking back at that TikTok example, the reason it skyrocketed in popularity is that the videos were entertaining, short, and relatable. These are all characteristics that you want your video to have.

Creative Elements

Last but by no means least, the third common mistake we will touch on today is the fact that people don’t put enough thought and intention behind the creative elements of their animation. You have to put yourself in the shoes of your audience. If your content doesn’t meet your target audience, you’ll shoot and miss.

If you want to go after big companies, your animation needs to look like you can play at their level, and don’t underestimate the importance of the creative elements. Creative elements are not one-size-fits-all, and there’s no right or wrong answer.

This type of content is wonderful. People love it, and it’s very popular because it’s effective.


There are great marketing tools out there, but you need to avoid those three common pitfalls in order to get the biggest return on your investment. Here is a video to quickly recap what you just learned!

Please contact us at [email protected] if you have questions or are looking for production companies in Boston to get started on your very own project!