Illustration of the cost of producing an explainer video

How Much Does It Cost to Make an Explainer Video?

Some energy topics can be challenging to explain in an article or infographic and require a more in-depth, engaging format to communicate the complex information. Video content is a great way to grab your customer’s attention and make the intended message easy to understand. But as it turns out, producing an explainer video isn’t that simple.

An explainer video can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $45,000 to produce. Yes, you read that correctly. Where your video content will fall in that range depends on several aspects of the project, from the type of video to who produces it.

The Video Production Process

To better understand why an explainer video could cost that much, let’s break down the phases of the production process.

  1. Every explainer video begins with a topic and in-depth research, followed by a script and storyboard.
  2. Next comes the search for and selection of one or several actors who will record the voiceover narration or appear on screen.
  3. Production on the video itself begins, with videographers and their crew directing live-action or animators putting things in motion digitally.
  4. The shots are assembled and placed in order. Any errors are corrected, and the video takes its final shape.
  5. Finally, a sound designer will balance the spoken words, sound effects and music to finish the video.

The complex process and varied tasks require different skillsets from multiple team members. Writers, animators, illustrators, directors, videographers, sound designers and more have a hand in creating the video, while a production manager handles the communication between all parties to ensure the client’s expectations are met throughout production.

Factors That Affect the Cost of Explainer Video Production

  • Depth or complexity of the topic
  • Visual style
  • Number of sets and scenes
  • Video length
  • Project timeline

Considering the topic, what types of videos are most successful with your customers and your marketing goals can determine which choices you should make and how much your explainer video may cost.

Visual style

Considering various video styles is essential, but it’s important to remember that they differ in the types of concepts they can explain and how labor-intensive — and costly — they will be to produce.

Animated and live-action explainer videos are incredibly effective, and there are multiple types to choose from. Let’s break down a few of the most common options.

  • The most basic video style, whiteboard animation, is often the cheapest option, but it is genuinely engaging for a limited number of energy topics.
  • The next step up, 2D animation, may seem simple, but the clean and clear design is anything but basic.
  • 3D-animated videos add an extra dimension — literally — to your video content, but the additional cost may not be worth it.
  • Live-action videos are another excellent option for explainer videos, but hiring actors, reserving locations and completing additional post-production steps can increase costs.

Video length

Though it may seem that a longer video will cost more than a shorter one, that’s not always the case. The basic production work required — and the number of team members involved — will be the same whether a video is 10 seconds long or a full two minutes. A longer video typically has a lower price per second than a shorter video, but it’s important not to get carried away.

Best practices suggest that website videos shouldn’t exceed two minutes, while social media videos should be between 30 and 60 seconds long. Questline Digital Benchmarks data found that Facebook posts that fall in this range get 200% more likes, comments and shares than text-based social posts.

Remember that a five-minute-long video may technically give you more bang for your buck, but it won’t be nearly as effective as a concise explainer video a customer can get through in half the time.

Focus on Value with Expertly Crafted Explainer Videos

It can be easy to get caught up in the cost of an explainer video and forget about the purpose: creating engaging content that communicates energy topics or explains a service’s benefits to your customers. Questline Digital can help you accomplish this goal without adding more stress to your plate. Our experienced team will take care of every step of the process, from research and scriptwriting to shooting, editing and final production. Or, you can choose an existing video from our ready-to-use energy content catalog.

Explore how Questline Digital can help you create high-quality, engaging explainer videos for your customers.