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Product Videos vs. Explainer Videos: How Do You Decide?

May 26, 2023 3 min read301
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When it comes to enhancing your marketing strategy, video content can be a game-changer. But with so many options available, it’s important to understand the differences between common video types—and why you might choose one versus the other. Enter: product and explainer videos.

These two video types are especially useful for brands, but they’re often misunderstood. Many people believe product and explainer videos are somewhat interchangeable, which isn’t quite correct. Not sure of the difference yourself? Let’s dive into what sets the two apart and which one you should employ for your marketing goals.

Product vs. Explainer Video Definitions

First things first, what exactly are product videos and explainer videos?

Product videos are videos that highlight your product’s features in action. They’re designed to show off what your product can do and how it solves your customer’s problem. They also aim to generate interest, build trust, and ultimately drive sales by showcasing your offering as a no-brainer solution. 

Explainer videos have a slightly different purpose. While product videos focus exclusively on the product itself, explainer videos typically highlight a product, service, or business idea. And while there is a bit of an overlap, you can think of explainer videos as having a broader scope than product videos.

Explainer videos are also commonly used to break complex topics into easily digestible information. For that reason, explainer videos often feature animations or motion graphics to illustrate key points. In the marketing funnel, explainer videos are most often used to educate your audience and raise awareness about your product or business. 

With those definitions out of the way, let’s explore some use cases that favor one type over the other. 

Product vs. Explainer Video Use Cases

As you decide which video type to use, you’ll want to start with a clear understanding of your specific objectives and target audience. For example, if you’re launching a new product or want to emphasize its unique features, a product video would be a great fit. By showcasing the product in action, you can create a compelling narrative that resonates with your audience and drives them to take action.

You can also think about the differences in terms of the marketing funnel. If you’re targeting top-of-funnel marketing goals like brand awareness, explainer videos will be more effective. They’re great for introducing new technologies, educating your audience about your industry, and generally introducing viewers to your brand.

Product videos are more effective if you’re targeting bottom-of-funnel marketing goals like conversions. They’re especially useful for e-commerce websites, where they help customers decide if a product is the right fit for their needs.

Both product and explainer videos are commonly shared on social media, embedded on websites, and sent as sales collateral to drive deals forward. In those cases, it’s up to you whether you’re aiming to set general expectations about your brand and product(s) or highlight product features more specifically.

Keep in mind that both types of videos can complement each other in a well-rounded marketing strategy. For example, you could start your campaign with an explainer video to educate your audience about the problem your product solves. Then, incorporate a product video that showcases your offering in action, highlighting its unique features and demonstrating how it addresses that same problem. 

Using both types together allows you to capitalize on both of their unique benefits—and it saves you from stressing over the choice between them. 

Final Thoughts

While product videos and explainer videos have a lot in common, they ultimately serve different purposes in your marketing strategy. Understanding the difference is the key to making an informed decision and getting the results you want. 

When in doubt, you can always consult with a production team like Lemonlight to better understand your options. We’ll work with you to understand your goals, and we’ll recommend the ideal video type for your specific success metrics. Whether that leads you to a product video, an explainer video, or something else entirely, we’ll point you in the right direction! 

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