The best B2B explainer videos tend to share several key characteristics, so why not use them to make your own videos more successful?
Before you can wield the secrets used by explainer video masters everywhere, you have to discover what they are and how to use them. That’s why we’ve compiled a collection of some of the best B2B explainer video examples ever made.
From the basics of structure to how to catch (and keep) your audience's attention, let’s see what we can learn from some of the best B2B explainer videos with a proven track record of success.
Explainer Video Structure
First thing's first. Before we get into the secrets of great explainer videos, let's do a quick recap of the foundational elements that all explainer videos share. Every effective explainer video ever made follows the same basic structure:
Step 1. Present the Problem
Who watches an explainer video? Someone looking for a solution to a problem, that's who. The first thing your video should do is identify the problem you're about to help your viewer solve.
Step 2. Present the Solution
If you do your job right in step 1, your audience will suddenly feel the pressing need to solve the problem you've presented. That's okay because step 2 is all about assuring them that your company has a solution.
Step 3. Explain What Makes Your Solution the Best Choice
Step 3 is about making sure your audience not only knows that you have a solution, but a far better solution than those offered by your competitors. This is where you explain the unique features or services your company has to offer and how they can make life easier for your viewers.
Step 4. Call to Action
Now that you've dangled the perfect solution in front of your audience, it's time to tell them what actions they need to take in order to get it.
The Two Most Important Elements of a B2B Explainer Videos that converts
Before we move on, we’re going to take things a step further and reveal exactly what this foundational explainer video structure allows you to achieve. It all goes back to two elements you’ll find in all the best B2B explainer video examples:
Empathy and Authority
Both these elements work together to establish trust, which is the vital element that turns leads into customers.
How the Best Explainer Videos Use Empathy to build Trust
Establishing empathy goes back to not just presenting a problem, but doing it in a way that reassures your audience that you really get it. At some point, we’ve all been accosted by a salesman who clearly just wanted to meet his quota, regardless of whether or not his product could actually help us.
Such salesmen tend to be a lot easier to turn down because their agenda is less about what they can do for you and more about what you can do for them. The companies behind the best B2B explainer video examples lead by assuring viewers that they truly do understand the issue. Not only have they been there, but it's this experience that led them to create the perfect solution.
How the Best Explainer Videos Use Authority to build Trust
Once you’ve demonstrated that you understand your audience’s problem, it’s time to convince them you have the authority to solve it. After all, your brother-in-law may truly empathise with your financial problems. But if the solution he proposes comes from his extensive viewing of TikTok videos, he may not make for the most trusted authority.
As you'll soon see, there are many ways to demonstrate authority, from mentioning your company's awards or track record to demonstrating the use of your product.
Our Pick for Best B2B Explainer Videos Examples
Example 1: The Best B2B Explainer Videos Immediately Hook the Audience
The Delegation Fail: A Cautionary Tale
To kick off our collection of the best B2B explainer video examples, let's look at one of a series of "Cautionary Tale" videos by Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, a law firm that specialises in helping compliance professionals mitigate regulatory risk.
By recreating real-life regulatory disasters in a style that mimics the movie Ocean's 11, the firm is able to establish both empathy and authority without making the whole video about the firm itself. Though the budget doesn’t appear to have been incredibly high, the firm’s use of creative editing immediately hooks the audience's attention.
A common myth these days is that viewers have developed a much lower attention span. The fact that “binge-watching” Netflix has now become a national pastime in countless countries should be enough to put this rumour to rest. What is important is that you hook your audience within seconds to convince them that its worth giving you their attention.
Example 2: B2B Doesn’t Stand for Be 2 Boring
IT-MAN solves your everyday IT-problems!
Let’s face it, cloud-based monitoring and remote management aren't the sexiest topics in the world. But in the video above, a company called Panorama9 found a way to put a fun spin on concepts that most people would otherwise find unacceptably boring.
Enter IT Man, a character designed in the same style as a classic 8-bit video game. It doesn’t take long for the nostalgia to take hold as you follow IT Man’s quest to conquer evil servers and restore order to the office once and for all.
The company brilliantly uses empathy to prove that they understand what it's like to be an IT professional attempting to juggle a demanding boss, misbehaving servers, and a load of other tasks. That's why we trust them to solve the problem by the time they present their solution.
Example 3: Keep B2B Explainer Video Visuals Interesting
Ruby - Live Virtual Receptionists and Chat Specialists
Some of the best B2B explainer video examples use visuals to help drive the action. Here’s a great example from an American company called Ruby that supplies businesses with virtual receptionists. The bright colours and artistic sets are so attention-grabbing that it's hard to look away, whether you have any need for a virtual receptionist or not.
Once the video grabs the viewer's attention, it then immediately demonstrates a problem everyone can relate to. You can't help but cringe as you watch the lawyer begrudgingly take a 20-minute phone call he doesn't actually have time to deal with.
Then Ruby comes to the rescue by telling us what we don't know - there's a company that can happily cover all those pesky calls that are constantly distracting you from your work.
Example 4: B2B Explainer Videos Can Be Inspiring
Welcome to the age of no code
Some of the best B2B explainer video examples demonstrate the power of invoking a strong emotional response. Here's a prime example from a company called Webflow.
The video first introduces the problem and does an incredible job of convincing viewers they should be a lot more concerned about it than they thought. Then, just as suddenly, it switches course and presents its product as a solution capable of changing the course of the future.
Example 5: Using Humour the Right Way in B2B Explainer Videos
Adobe - Click, Baby, Click
Want to make a video that people are more likely to share? Make it hilarious. The only thing most people love more than a good laugh is the ability to share it with a friend.
While the above example from Adobe is admittedly more of an ad than an explainer video, it's a great example of what we mean. The epic build-up is designed to grab your attention in a way that makes it nearly impossible not to stick around until you see the punch line at the end.
Additionally, it's one of the few instances in which a company manages to focus completely on empathy. By the time the video is done, Adobe has done such an amazing job of demonstrating that they understand the problem that we trust that they have the solution, even though they don't really get into exactly what it is.
Examples 6 and 7: Best B2B Explainer Video Examples of Simplifying Complex Ideas
How does Microsoft Azure work?
Not all explainer videos have to be flashy in order to be effective. In some situations, it’s actually better to keep it simple. This is especially true when the goal of your video is to explain a complex or abstract concept.
Microsoft understood this when they made the video above to explain how their Azure cloud platform works. By making the deliberate choice to keep things incredibly basic, they were able to explain the benefits of a complicated product in a way that anyone can understand.
Explainer Video for Blockchain Protocol | 2D and 3D Mixed Animation | Novum Protocol
Here’s another great example from a company called Novum Trust Order. Although blockchain has exploded in popularity over the past few years, actually attempting to understand it can make the average person feel like a 4-year-old in a university-level physics course.
Novum used this 2D animation explainer video to make it a bit easier to grasp how their product can help businesses integrate blockchain into their software and why it matters.
Examples 8 and 9: Great Explainer Videos Use Relatable Characters to Show, Not Tell
Intro to Salesforce for Small Business
Okay, so this may not initially seem like one of the most innovative B2B explainer video examples ever, but it’s important to really understand what Salesforce did here. Within seconds, we’re introduced to a character named Carl who is a small business owner.
By giving Carl a relatable set of pain points, Salesforce is able to prove to the audience that they really do understand the challenges facing small business owners everywhere. This quickly establishes trust and makes us wonder how Carl will stack up against a familiar set of challenges.
Then, rather than simply assuring the audience that Salesforce is the solution, the company uses Carl to actively show how their product makes his life easier.
Have you heard of HubSpot?
Hubspot took a similar approach in this video, which is geared towards old school offices that may not yet have a full grasp of what CRM is or what it can do. Just as the office descends to the brink of chaos, our heroine steps in to introduce the Hubspot as the answer to their collective woes.
The video then goes on to effectively demonstrate the product and how it works. This is a great example of how some of the best B2B explainer video examples make viewers feel more like they’re watching a story rather than a dry presentation.
Examples 10 and 11: Incorporating Branding in Explainer Videos
Slack: Communication Without Chaos
We all know that brand association is important, but the best B2B explainer video examples demonstrate how to incorporate it without making it a distraction.
In the example above, Slack created an entire explainer video using nothing but the lines from their own logo. The video keeps Slack’s branding front and centre while remaining visually interesting enough to be engaging.
Work, simplified. | Slack
Even if you do want to use animated characters, making your video brand-specific can be as simple as having your animator develop the colour scheme around your branding. Here’s another of Slack’s explainer videos in which the brand does just that.
Example 12: A Great Explainer Video Doesn't Have to Cost a Fortune
Meet the new Constant Contact
Here’s a simple, yet effective explainer video from the online marketing platform Constant Contact. The 40-second ad demonstrates that there’s no need to spend a great deal of money to produce a great explainer video.
Through a blend of brand-based colouring, text, and high-quality stock footage, Constant Contact is able to relay exactly what their product does without even using a voiceover. This is a particularly strong choice for videos developed for social media because many platforms mute videos by default.
Bonus Example: The King of B2C Explainer Videos
DollarShaveClub.com - Our Blades Are F***ing Great
While we've attempted to stick to solid B2B examples throughout the list, it's simply impossible not to at least mention what's largely considered the king of all explainer videos. Feast your eyes on this famous video from Dollar Shave Club.
Dollar Shave Club founder Michael Dublin shot this gem in a single day with a budget of $4,500 back in 2012. The video went viral within 72 hours of being posted, generating millions in sales. In 2016, Dublin cashed out and sold the company to Unilever for $1 billion (over €900,000,000). The video combines a multitude of tactics listed above to cement its place in history as literal comedic gold.
We hope these examples have helped give you some ideas for taking your own videos to the next level. After all, why waste time and money guessing what will work, when you can simply learn from the proven tactics of the best B2B explainer video examples ever made?
Book with title "How To Run An Inbound Marketing Campaign" and sub-header "Editable PowerPoint" and image of a laptop displaying a powerpoint checklist slide
How to get unbiased tips on explainer videos?
3 main ways for that:
- Ask a pear marketer who have very similar budget and context than yours, have a lot of experience and got good results from videos 9don't fall in the trap of getting advise either from someone who has totally different needs that yours, or has a lot of experience but no measurable success from it.
- Ask a company who sell the explainer video services, but answers honestly any question, even if it sends you away from them.
2 red flags for that:
- Those who talk a lot and don't ask you any questions
- Those who are not able to tell you from whom their company is not good option. (never trust someone who tell you he's a good a fit for absolutely everyone, this is never true).
- Ask someone who knows the topic very well, from experience and passion, but don't sell the service. That's me!
I don't sell Explainer Videos, my advises cannot be more unbiased, and we are happy to do it for free.
Why would I give you 30 minutes of my time for free? Where is the trap?
- I love video marketing, that's why I give trainings about it
- I like to help and share my knowledge
- It gives me a chance to know you, build trust with you and, in the case you would be a good fit for the services I sell, make you want to consider me for those in the future
Book a free 30-minute call with me. I'm happy to answer any question you may have to help you drive more sales from your inbound marketing.