Do you need an explainer video for your new idea?

Do you need an explainer video for your new idea?

Aside from our consulting work, we’re pretty excited to be working on a new business idea.  It’s still in the prototype stage but I’ll be providing more details in the future.  In addition to development, we’re also focusing on marketing and gathering feedback.  For anyone who follows TechCrunch, Entrepeneur, or similar sites which focus on startups, a common marketing approach is to have an explainer video on the landing page.

What’s an explainer video?  It’s basically a video which explains the value of a startup’s new service to potential customers.  An explainer video is even mandatory on sites like Kickstarter before a project can begin to be funded.  However, is an explainer video mandatory for a startup?  Many landing pages use a simple carousel or even just plain text.  In the end, I guess it’s a decision that a founder(s) has to make.  For our new idea, I think a video is the best way to sell our new service to anyone who visits the landing page.

I started looking into what’s required to create a video and especially the cost.  I contacted a few companies and basically, with help from the production company, you will need to:

  1. Create a script.
  2. Create a storyboard.
  3. Review and approve 1 or 2 style frames for the visual style.
  4. Review the first video.
  5. Approve the final preview.
  6. Request the video file format (mp4, flv, avi, etc.)

Now the big question is how much does this all cost?  From looking at sites for various production companies and by requesting quotes, an explainer video may cost between $3000 to $16,000 USD.  The wide price range is due to the different types of videos, animations, and overall duration.  Definitely not cheap especially if your startup is being bootstrapped with your own savings.  However, if you are planning to go with a video, simply search for “explainer video” and you’ll get a list of companies back.

Mike Chow

A 18+ year veteran in the IT industry with a penchant for 80's video games, science fiction, cute small animals, and binding it altogether with the Dark Side of the Force. I'm a co-founder of Atmist Inc. and have helped many researchers, non-profits, and private companies with web-based and mobile solutions.

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