If you are thinking about making an explainer video for your business, one of the first things that will likely come to your mind is, “how much does an explainer video cost?”. The short answer is that these videos can cost anywhere from a few hundred bucks to thousands of dollars.
A lot of people may be a bit disheartened to hear that, but the truth is, there are several factors that affect the cost of an explainer video. However, one thing to note is that, instead of worrying about the actual price, you should prioritize the value you are getting.
For instance, you can probably get an explainer video made for only around $100. But it is highly unlikely that it would meet the standard of quality you have set for yourself and your brand. Whereas, if you hire a professional full-service video and animation studio for the job, then you are guaranteed to get a decent outcome at least.
5 Factors That Affect the Cost of An Explainer Video
The reason why explainer videos are so expensive is that a lot goes into producing just a single video. So, let’s take a look at all the different factors that contribute to the total cost of an explainer video.
1. Type of Explainer Video
The cost greatly depends on the kind of explainer video you want to create. You can choose from several different types of explainer videos for your project. From our research, we have concluded that there are 9 types of explainer videos that are the most popular. They are:
- 2D Character Animation
- Motion Graphics
- Kinetic Typography
Assuming you are hiring a professional animation studio, to make a minute-long 2D character animation video, you will likely need to spend anywhere between $4000 to $9000. The main reason why 2D animation explainer videos are relatively more expensive than other forms of explainer videos is because it involves moving characters and figures.
Although this animation style may seem quite simplistic, when done correctly, it can leave a long-lasting impression in the mind of your audience.
However, if you are okay with not having a moving character on-screen, then you can go with motion graphics which can cost between $2000 to $4000 for one minute of content. This price primarily depends on the complexity of the project.
If you want to include a lot of intricate details, then expect to pay more. Overall, motion graphics is a great choice if you want to showcase infographics. The advantage of this form of the explainer video is that they are highly flexible, where animators and illustrators can portray information as per your requirement.
Similarly, whiteboard animation is another great option to consider. Here, an author’s hand draws out different scenarios of a story over a white background which is accompanied by narration. This style of the explainer video is the most affordable as it costs around $1000 to $5000, which again depends on the intricacy of details you want out of it.
You have a plethora of different styles to choose from depending on your preference, project requirement, and budget. If a particular style is too expensive, then you can pick one that is more affordable. But this leads to the question, what determines the cost of these different types of explainer videos? Read on to find out!
2. Video Length and Details
The length of an explainer video can significantly impact the cost. In other words, the longer the video, the more expensive it will be. Luckily, it has been discovered that shorter explainer videos are more effective than longer ones.
That is because, if the video is too long and has a bunch of information in it, it’s more likely that the viewer will lose interest or not be able to keep up. As a rule of thumb, keeping the video between 30 to 90 seconds is ideal, as anything longer than that may not perform as well.
But now you may be wondering, then how come some 30-second videos only cost around $1000, whereas, for others, it’s more than $3000? Well, that is because the level of detail that is present in an explainer also plays a huge role.
For instance, a basic 30-second 2D animation video with a single moving character will cost substantially less than one where there are several characters, changing environments, and different objects. That is because if there are more characters on-screen, then the illustrator and animator will have to add more intricate details and motion to each frame, which requires a lot of time and effort.
3. Production Cost
Speaking of time and effort, making a fully-animated explainer video is not an easy task. For a single video, it takes the combined effort of several different creative departments that need to work together in harmony. Here is a basic rundown of how an explainer video typically gets made:
- Research: The first step for any high-quality explainer video is to do some proper research so that the creative team can fully understand the product, business, niche, and industry. The team would then visualize the best way to deliver the company’s intended message to the target audience.
- Scripting: After the research phase, the team would then sit down to write a script for the video. This phase involves creating the storyline and narrative, which usually involves collaboration between the writing team and the animation team.
- Storyboard: Once the script is ready, the illustrators make sketches of all the elements of the video, which include what characters to put in, what environments will be created, what kind of motion will be present, and so on.
- Voiceover: Next, the voice and narration for the video are recorded by a professional voiceover artist. However, in some cases, voiceover is not required, which can help cut down costs.
- Design and animation: Now that all the elements of the video content are ready, it is time to put them together. The animator breathes life into the different aspects of the video by creating seamless motion amongst all the characters, objects, environments, etc. Moreover, the animator also adds transitions and special effects to the video.
- Sound design: Last but not least, the sound engineer incorporates a variety of different types of audio into the animated video, such as the voiceover, background music, and audio effects. Sometimes this step also requires the audio specialist to create certain sounds from scratch.
There are a few other facets that can have an impact on the overall cost of production, such as tone, emotion portrayed, color scheme, etc. For instance, if you want your explainer video to portray a complex range of emotions, then it will likely be more expensive.
4. Quality and Customization
It should go without saying that if you want your explainer video to be the highest quality possible, then you can expect to pay a pretty penny for it. But quality is such an abstract concept to measure. And to a degree, it is also quite subjective.
So, how can you determine that? Well, you can start by checking out the video production studio’s portfolio and its previous projects. If you see that the studio has a pedigree of creating quality content, then you should definitely reach out to them. But do keep in mind that if you want a top-notch explainer video, chances are that you will need to give the studio an adequate amount of time.
Furthermore, if you want to customize the video to be exactly as you envisioned it, then that can raise the price too. Making revisions and edits can take up a lot of time, resources, and money from the studio. Hence, you will need to compensate them accordingly.
The shortest turnaround time for these kinds of projects can take anywhere between 2 to 6 weeks. But if you provide a lot of feedback and revisions, then this turnaround time can even exceed a couple of months. In summary, if you want a completely customized video that maintains a high level of quality, then you will need to allow the studio to work at its own pace.
On the other hand, if you are okay with having just a standard explainer video, then you can significantly cut back on the delivery time. Consult with the studio to determine the best course of action.
5. Reputation and Expertise
When looking for someone to make your explainer video for you, generally, you have two options that you can choose from: either hire a freelancer or a full-service video production studio. You can also choose to do it yourself, but then you wouldn’t be reading this article.
It is highly likely that you will be able to find a freelancer to make your video for a lot cheaper than an actual studio. But the probability of you getting the quality you are looking for is very slim. That is because, in most cases, freelance animators use stock clips or reuse templates, which can potentially lead to copyright issues.
In comparison, you can rest assured that a video production studio will produce original, custom-made animations specifically for you. And even if you do manage to find a freelancer who does great work, there is no guarantee that they will be able to take on your project.
There is also the matter of expertise to consider. The primary role of an animation studio is to create professional-grade video content for its clients. These studios consist of teams who are specialized in the field of making video production. That is not the case with freelancers.
Now, there can be an argument made that there are plenty of freelancers who are experts in making explainer videos, but the opposite can be said as well. You do not have to take that chance when hiring an animation production company.
Finally, the reputation of whoever you are working with also plays a role in the overall cost. You can gauge how dependable a video production studio is by just looking at its portfolio, reviews, and previous clients. This is not always possible to do with freelancers, so working with them may end up being a gamble.
It is also important to note that studios that have a clientele filled with industry-leading brands are likely to be a lot more expensive than other studios of a similar caliber. Prioritize checking out their portfolio to see if they have worked on similar projects as yours as well as client reviews to get a clear idea of what people generally think of them.
Are Explainer Videos Worth It?
It has been estimated that a whopping 95% of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service. And among them, 81% of people would buy the product or service after they were done watching it.
So, yes, explainer videos are definitely worth it. The cost of making an explainer can seem a bit daunting to some, but the pros outweigh the cons. Think of it more like an investment that you can reap the benefits from for years to come.
In conclusion, there are several factors that can affect the cost of making an explainer video. Depending on the style, length, details, complexity, customization, quality, reputation, and expertise, you can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $10000. Luckily, you have the ability to pick and choose what you want out of your video, which can either increase or decrease the price. If you are after a very simple explainer video, then it won’t cost more than a few hundred bucks. But if you want the best of the best, then you can expect to pay several grand for it. The choice is up to you!