This is a roundup of 20 explainer video software solutions that can help you create compelling animated videos and improve your marketing. For your convenience, we’ve divided them into five groups, from live-action video tools to animated video software. Share them on social media or bookmark this article to revisit any time.
What are Explainer Videos?
An explainer video is a short video that focuses on explaining a product, service, or concept. It’s typically used in online marketing to demonstrate how something works or what a company does. It can be made as a live-action video, a cartoon with animated characters, or an illustrated whiteboard story. Companies often place them on their websites or social media channels.
No matter what type of explainer video you want to create, a well-made, high-quality explainer video can help promote your business, entice customers to try your product or service, and boost conversions.
What Makes a Good Explainer Video?
A good explainer video should communicate your message to the customer clearly and give them an understanding of your mission, product, or service. It lets them know what you offer and how this can be of value to them. To be effective for your business, an explainer video should:
- Address a customer’s pain points.
- Focus on the benefits for the user.
- Show a product or service in action.
- Explain a new feature or your unique service in simple terms.
- Follow the KISS principle (keep it short and sweet).
- Be entertaining.
- Use humor when appropriate.
The best part is that you don’t need to hire a video production studio to make an explainer video that will work. When armed with special tools and with your audience in mind, you can create effective explainer videos on your own. Let’s dive into the types of software that will help you with that.
Live-Action Explainer Video Software
Live-action explainer videos are real-life situations with live people. They can simply be talking-head videos with annotations or short movies with a plot.
To create a live-action video, you’ll need a camera and video editing software. Some of the holistic tools we’ve compiled use three options at once: they allow you to record, edit, and share videos. Check out our shortlist and find a solution that meets your requirements.
1. iSpring Suite
A full-fledged studio for creating live-action videos in the familiar interface
iSpring Suite is PowerPoint-based authoring software that includes tools for creating online courses, quizzes, and conversation simulations, as well as a professional video studio. Though the toolkit is more focused on producing eLearning content, with the iSpring video studio, you can also make explainer videos. You can make a screencast, record a webcam video right in the tool, or take a ready-made live-action video and enhance it with images, infographics, PowerPoint slides, and captions. The studio also makes it easy to mix videos and support them with music or a voice-over.
As an option, you can create a presentation explaining your product or service in PowerPoint and turn it into a video with iSpring Suite. This tool preserves all PPT effects and transitions.
Cost: $770/year. Free 30-day trial →
A robust tool for creating video tutorials quickly
OS: Windows and Mac
Camtasia can be helpful both for screen capturing and webcam recording. It also provides basic editing options for polishing videos. As with iSpring, you can use a webcam or a ready-made recording for your explainer video and make it more engaging by adding eye-catching titles, annotations, effects, and more. To support a video with music, you can choose a track from Camtasia’s library of royalty-free music or upload your own audio.
Cost: $299.99. Free 30-day trial.
Rapid video creation for marketing needs
OS: Windows and Mac
Soapbox is a Google Chrome extension that enables you to quickly and easily record, edit, and share videos. To create an explainer video, you can make a talking-head style recording with your webcam and complement it with text, images, slides, and other videos.
Cost: There’s a free limited plan. The paid version starts at $300/year.
4. Adobe Premiere Pro
Best for professional video and film editing
OS: Windows and Mac
Adobe Premiere Pro is a leading video editing toolkit used by professionals for creating films, video clips, and documentaries. You can also use it to make explainer videos. To do that, you need to upload a previously recorded video and do some editing. The tool kit enables you to do more than just basic editing, including compositing, layering, tilting, motion graphics, and sound design. You can also edit the footage in any modern format – from 8K to virtual reality.
Cost: $239.88/year. Free 30-day trial.
Explainer Video Slideshow Software
Video slideshow software is typically easy-to-use apps that allow you to create a video by combining photos and ready-made clips. They usually come with basic video and photo editing tools so you can enhance your slideshows.
Here is an example of an explainer slideshow video:
This review covers quite a few programs that can help you make explainer videos in a snap.
Best for creating social media videos with cool templates
Animoto is a tool for creating video photo slideshows with music for marketing purposes. You can create explainer videos simply by dragging and dropping your own images and video clips into pre-built templates. The tool allows you to quickly adjust colors, fonts, music, and more to customize your video.
Cost: From $8/month (annual billing). Free 14-day trial.
A huge collection of stock videos to pull from.
Wave.video is a simple but robust video-making solution with the largest stock video and image library – around 300-million videos. You can use a ready-made template or upload your own video clip and customize it by adding text and logo, setting custom colors and fonts, and applying branded video filters. To make your explainer video even more engaging, you can also add stickers and GIFs.
Cost: There’s a free plan. The paid version starts at $24/month (billed as $281/year).
Best for easy video creation and customization for corporate needs
With Biteable, you can turn your photos and videos into a beautiful explainer video. This online tool offers hundreds of ready-to-use templates. Depending on your audience and brand, you can choose between tech, professional, humorous, and a host of other styles. To personalize your video, you can add pictures, text, and music, and integrate your brand colors.
Cost: Has a free version. The paid plan starts at $19/month (yearly billing).
2D Animation Explainer Video Software
Animated explainer videos illustrate a product, service, or concept using moving graphics. With graphic elements, you can create a memorable story and explain abstract or complex concepts. See how iSpring did this:
Here’s a list of the top animated explainer video software that will help you create engaging content that will stand out from the crowd. Go ahead and pick the right tool for your animation work.
A decent tool for creating videos with characters
Vyond is a fast online tool for creating animated videos with professional output. It has everything you need to tell a compelling story beautifully and visually with an explainer video. The software offers an extremely rich library of pre-made scenes, characters, objects, and audio tracks. To make your video even more engaging, you can use dialogue, lip-syncs, and realistic movements.
Cost: From $49/month or $299/year per seat. Free 14-day trial.
A video creation tool for corporate use with many animation styles
Powtoon is a comprehensive online platform for visual communication that allows you to create various types of video content. It has a strong animation tool and hundreds of templates and characters for creating animated videos without specific skills, external help, or overspending. Among the animation styles that Powtoon offers are cartoons, infographics, sketches, and whiteboard doodles.
Cost: There’s a free plan. The paid version starts at $19/month (annual billing).
Animated presentations for enterprises
Animaker is online animation video-making software with drag-and-drop functionality. With 6 different video styles, including infographics, 2.5D, and typography, and 120 different types of animations, it lets you create beautiful explanatory videos. The app is home to a big collection of characters, charts, and icons, as well as sound and visual effects, which can help you spice things up. With Animaker, you can create vertically optimized videos that fit right on a mobile screen.
Cost: There’s a free plan. The paid version starts at $10 (annual billing).
A platform for creating animated marketing videos
Wideo is another web-based app for creating, editing, and sharing animated videos in an intuitive manner. It offers 100+ templates that are fully customizable, over 1,300 images, and 50+ music tracks. If you don’t want to use the standard objects provided in the library, you can use your own.
Cost: From $19/month (annual billing). Free 7-day trial.
Specially designed for explainer video animation
OS: Windows and Mac
Explaindio is a robust tool that allows you to bring together 2D and 3D animations, sketch elements, and full-motion videos. You can easily create explainer videos by combining pre-made text animations, animated scenes, fonts, characters, and audio tracks to get the look and story you want.
Cost: From $37/month.
13. Cinema 4D
Animation software for professional use
OS: Windows, Mac, Linux
Although Cinema 4D is widely regarded as a professional software for 3D animation, it also allows you to create 2D animations with more control. The Sketch and Toon tool applies flat shading with a single click and helps your graphics appear in 2D. Cinema 4D has a gentle learning curve and provides an extensive library of preset scenes, materials, and objects.
Cost: $59.91/month (annual billing).
Whiteboard Explainer Video Software
Whiteboard videos are a particular type of animated video in which pictures appear to be hand drawn on a whiteboard. The script is presented as a third-person narration or a use-case that supports the story that is told through the drawing. This is a good example of what a whiteboard animation looks like (Yum Yum Videos):
We’ve compiled the most popular tools that can help you get started making your whiteboard animation videos quickly. See which one meets your needs!
14. Sparkol VideoScribe
Professional-looking sketches are now available for beginners
OS: Windows and Mac
Sparkol VideoScribe lets you create hand-drawn, animated explainer videos with no design or technical know-how. With the large built-in library of images and an easy-to-use timeline with drag-and-drop functionality, you can make videos in a snap. VideoScribe also has a great audio library, with around 200 tracks to choose from.
Cost: From €13 per user/month (annual billing). Free 7-day trial.
Automated creation of whiteboard doodles
A hand dragging different elements across the screen and swiping them away, supported by a voice-over, is exactly what you’ll see in videos created with MySimpleShow. This is a simple online tool with a unique explainer engine. Just choose a storyline template for your topic, write a story, and the software will offer you a selection of characters, objects, and animations that you can use to build your video.
Cost: From $79/month (annual billing).Free trial.
16. Raw Shorts
Intuitive animation software for creating video sketches for free
OS: Web-based, Mac
Raw Shorts is an online whiteboard animation software with a drag-and-drop interface. You can create an explainer video even if you have no animation skills simply by choosing ready-made templates, graphics, and characters, and adding media and text. Raw Shorts stands out from other tools for its specific transitions and animations that can be applied to each element beyond just the “drawn by hand” classic whiteboard style.
Cost: There’s a free pricing plan. The paid version starts at $39/month (annual billing). 7-day free trial.
Automated customizable doodles for every niche
OS: Windows and Mac
If you want a cool explainer video with marker or pen drawing sketches, you can create it yourself with Doodly. To make a video, you can use doodle images drawn by Doodly’s professional graphic artists, or upload your own images. The tool will automatically draw the image for you. You can also record your voice-over audio directly within Doodly and sync it to your sketch with ease.
Cost: from $20/month (annual billing).
Interactive Explainer Video Software
Interactive videos give the viewer the ability to interact with the content itself and even control it as if playing a video game. They can click on-screen objects, answer questions, and even buy products, all within the video. This totally transforms the viewer’s experience by making it more fun and engaging.
See how Maybelline New York uses interactive videos to show how its products can help women look more attractive. This is more than just an explainer video, since it not only explains how the product works, but also teaches customers how to use it properly.
Here are three software tools that will help you create a fully immersive experience for your customers.
A tool for making eCommerce interactive
WIREWAX is a cloud-based video platform with broad interactivity capabilities. You can use hotspots, branching, 360-degree experiences, camera switching, slider views, and more in your videos. WIREWAX uses unique artificial intelligence technology that automatically makes the people, products, and scenes in the video clickable and touchable.
Cost: A single-use plan – $8 per video. The paid plan starts at $999/month (annual billing).
A full-fledged platform for video creation, hosting, and broadcasting
Kaltura Video Portal is a cloud-based tool that allows turnkey video creation and management for corporate and commercial use. It enables you to easily create, edit, and enhance videos with various interactive content and activities. With Kaltura, you can add clickable elements, hotspots, and branching structures to your videos to put the user at the center of the experience and let them choose the path of their content.
Cost: Upon request. A free trial is available.
Interactive video creation and performance analysis
HapYak is a SaaS video platform that can help you create explainer videos with an active, lean-in experience. You can layer interactivity on your videos by adding hotspots, links, polls, calls to action, shopping carts, and more. The tool comes with a built-in analytics feature that tracks clicks across all the sites where your video is hosted.
Cost: upon request.
8 Pro Tips for Creating Winning Explainer Videos
These 8 tips apply to both live-action and animated explainer videos, and can be helpful for you.
- Understand your target audience. Choose the tone that will address them best.
- Develop your script with care. It should consist of an opening, a climax, and a close with a punch. Don’t make it wordy – up to 160 words will be sufficient for a 1-minute video.
- Add a human touch. Create a main character or film an actor/speaker to make the video more credible and engaging.
- Make a storyboard. This is a sequence of brief sketches that will display how you imagine your future video and help to plan the scenes.
- Pay attention to the rules of shot composition. Use the Rule of Thirds to position the primary subject correctly and capture the viewer’s attention.
- Choose a suitable location or setting. Place the product and the characters in the setting where the audience expects them to be: a clinic, a kitchen, a classroom, or an office.
- Work in a quiet environment. A small place with no echoing and undesired noises, as well as a clip-on mic for actors or narrators, will make post-production sound editing easier.
- Ensure that both light and color are sufficient. They should manage the attention of the audience and not be distracting or overwhelming.
All the tools covered in this article are great for creating explainer videos. Pick any of these tools and experiment with the trial version, or start out on the free plan to get a feel for the app.
Have you used software to create explainer videos? Let us know in the comment section below.