How to make a 30-second explainer video that engages: tips, costs & examples

Dec, 21, 2023
Senior Account Executive


In today’s fast-paced world, capturing the attention of potential customers has become increasingly challenging, especially considering the ever-dwindling attention spans. However, there is one marketing tool that has emerged as a game-changer: the 30-second explainer video. 

The significance of 30-second explainer videos lies in their ability to effectively engage and retain the attention of audiences, particularly Gen Z. Born into a digital age characterized by information overload and constant distractions, members of Gen Z possess an average attention span of a mere 8 seconds (Mind the Gap: Not so Fast: Three Realities Busting the Gen Z Attention Span Myth, 2024). This limited window of opportunity necessitates marketing content that is concise, visually appealing, and straight to the point.

In this article, we’ll guide you through everything you need to know about the 30-second explainer video. Here’s what you’ll get from this article: 

  • benefits for your business that a 30-second explainer video can bring;
  • tips on how to make a 30-second video;
  • the average cost of a 30-second explainer video.

So, let’s dive into the world of concise storytelling and unlock the immense potential of the 30-second explainer video. 🙂


  1. What is a 30-second explainer video?
  2. Benefits of a promotional 30-second explainer video
  3. Essential steps for producing a 30-second explainer video
  4. 5 Tips on how to make 30-second explainer video
  5. How much does it cost to make a 30-second explainer video?
  6. Conclusion
  7. Our experience

What is a 30-second explainer video?

Though explainer videos aren’t new to the market, many brands use them without knowing their true meaning or purpose. There are many styles of explainer video including:

  • Cutout;
  • Motion graphics;
  • Frame-by-frame;
  • Whiteboard;
  • 3D.

If we’re talking about a 30-second explainer video specifically, there are some differences to highlight. So, let’s dot the i’s and cross the t’s of what a 30-second explainer video is and how it benefits your business.


🥕 Why hiring voice actors for explainer videos matters?

🥕 Choosing a suitable video style 

🥕 Typical mistakes when ordering the first video 

How long does it take to make a 30-second video

For professionally crafted animated videos, it typically takes from 2 to 6 weeks to make 30-second videos. Producing a 30-second live-action video usually takes around 2 to 4 weeks. 

Of course, various factors influence the production timeline of a 30-second product video. The specific type of video, whether animated or live-action and the content’s complexity significantly impact the required time.

Here’s a breakdown of the average time frames for each type:

Animated Videos:

As mentioned, the production process typically takes longer, from 2-6 weeks, due to the need for conceptualizing, storyboarding, character and scene design, animation, and audio integration. 

The complexity and level of detail involved play a role in determining the specific duration.

Live-Action Videos: 

Live-action videos involve pre-production tasks such as scriptwriting, location scouting, casting, and shoot planning. The actual filming process is followed by post-production tasks like editing, sound mixing, and adding graphics or visual effects. 

Generally, it takes around two to four weeks to make a 30-second introduction video, considering the various stages involved.

Note that these timelines are approximate and can vary based on factors such as the availability of resources, the expertise of the production team, and the number of revisions or iterations required during the creative process. 

Thus, it’s important to choose a skilled video production team to ensure the timely delivery of a high-quality 30-second video.

👉 Why do you need a 30-second explainer video?

It’s a common question from our clients: “Why do I need a 30-second explainer video?” With 7 years of experience in video production, we have defined 2 main reasons you may need this type of video.

First, all explainer videos aim to raise the conversion rate at the first 3 stages of the sales funnel. A 30-second explainer video works best for the top of the sales funnel. So, if your marketing goal is to raise awareness, a 30-second explainer video is a way to go! It increases the overall interest in your product and teaches the audience more about your business.

Secondly, an explainer video shares the what, how, and why of your product or service in a short form. It’s hard to put all this information into half a minute. That’s why a 30-second explainer video is more promo-focused. It simplifies the main idea of your business by giving enough detail to be precise but not confusing. 

The key thing here is to start with ‘why’. For example, if you’re launching a product on Kickstarter and need to get support from people, a 30-second video clip isn’t enough. You need at least a 1-2-minute explainer video to tell your story. If your goal is to raise the audience’s interest in a wooden sofa, a 30-second YouTube ad works perfectly. So, keep the goal in mind and always ask ‘why’ first. 

To sum up, a 30-second explainer video is a clear message of what your business is about and warms up the audience to you and your business

Discover the video possibilities within your budget

👉 Explainer video length: best practices

Does length matter? With video content, it sure does. At Blue Carrot, we believe that length is not the critical factor that makes a video effective. We always focus on the client’s goal and create a relevant story that transfers key messages. That should be the primary factor of length determination.  

To help you figure out when you should make a 30-second explainer video, let’s take a look at different business goals you may have: 



📍 Catch people’s attention

30-second video

Warm up the interest

Raise awareness

Give an overview of your business

📍 Explain how the product works

1-2 min video

Show the value of the product

Give the feature set of the product

📍 Educate on a topic

3-5+ min video

Explain how to use product/features

Most often, the later you are in the sales funnel, the longer your video should be. Here’s how long should a marketing video be. But if you’re hesitating between short-format videos that are between 30-120 seconds, choose the length that is enough to deliver your message. From our experience, user engagement doesn’t change significantly in this case. 

The later you are in your sales funnel, the longer your video usually is

The exception is different types of social media platforms. Some platforms set video length limits that you need to follow as well as trends on different platforms. Here is the optimal video length for popular video (Gillespie, Chr. “How Long Should a Video Be in 2023 | Vidyard.” Vidyard, 2024) distribution channels you may take into account:

Benefits of a promotional 30-second explainer video

As we already figured out, 30 seconds is enough to shape one clear message your business wants to send. It is also enough to raise the conversion on the awareness stage of the sales funnel. What are other benefits of explainer videos under 30 seconds? Read the list below to find out more:

✅ Increases social media engagement

A 30-second explainer video clip perfectly works for most social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter. People on these platforms are accustomed to watching videos that are under 30 seconds long (Aldredge, J., “How to Make Your Social Media Video the Perfect Length.” Vimeo Blog, 2021)

✅ Works for App Store & Google Play

If you look at the videos on the App Store or Google Play, you may notice that most of them are promotional. A brand tries to provide a short and clear explanation of its idea, and the best solution is to put the main information into a 30-second explainer video.

✅ Raise awareness 

30-second videos are perfect if you need to create brand awareness. This is the first stage of the sales funnel, where your goal is to catch the attention of your potential users and stand out from your competitors. As a result, generate additional traffic to your webpage, shop, etc. 

✅ Works well as Ad video

It’s a common case when you open a video on YouTube and come across an ad. It usually takes 5-15 seconds until you can skip it. This is how short videos work as ads to promote your business. 

✅ Saves money

Video cost depends on several factors, like the number of hours a team spends on the project, complexity of the video, and length. The creation of a 30 seconds video usually costs less but keep in mind that it may take 80% of the budget required for a one-minute video. 

Essential steps for producing a 30-second explainer video

Crafting an engaging and impactful 30-second explainer video requires careful consideration and planning. Here are some insightful tips to help you choose the right information and create a video that captivates your audience from start to finish:

Keep your script short

If we could give you only one piece of advice on how to make a 30-second promotional video, it would be to limit your script. While it may seem challenging to convey your message concisely, prioritizing clarity and quality over quantity is crucial.  Keep your script to approximately 80 words to fit within the time frame. Remember, it’s better to have a captivating 80-word script than a lengthy video that goes unnoticed.

Keep your script sweet

Make your script direct, simple, and to the point. Focus on communicating essential concepts, such as explaining the problem, presenting your solution, and highlighting the benefits. By leveraging powerful visuals, you can supplement the details that can’t be covered with words alone.

Keep it clear, concise, and engaging 

Strive for clarity, conciseness, and an interesting approach. The key difference is that you provid valuable information rather than relying solely on catchy jingles or superficial brand promotion.

This is how to make a 30-second commercial video a voice of your brand. 

Create and stick to a storyboard

Storyboards are invaluable when working within a limited timeframe. They ensure efficient use of time and help communicate essential information in each frame. Avoid leaving any frames without meaningful content. The storyboard serves as a blueprint for the video, ensuring that every detail contributes to the overall message.

Designing an effective 30-second explainer video is undeniably more challenging than creating a longer one. Every second counts and every detail requires careful consideration. 

👉 By following these steps and thoughtfully planning your storyboard, you can optimize the limited time available and create a compelling video that leaves a lasting impact on your audience.

5 Tips on how to make 30-second explainer video essential steps for producing a 30-second explainer video

There’s no quick and easy step-by-step guide on how to make a 30-second advertisement. Instead, it’s important to craft the message correctly and make sure your video drives people to take the target action.

It’s not an easy task. To help you, we’ll share a couple of tips on how to make an engaging 30-second video that keeps your audience hooked from the beginning all the way to the end. These insights are not merely theoretical concepts but are based on real-life cases and the latest industry experience in 2024.

1️⃣ One video = One message

You have just half a minute, and there’s no need to tell everything about your brand or product during this time. Set the goal, craft one clear message, and pack the message into a short 30-second video. Your main focus is to warm up your potential customer’s interest and make him/her follow you. 

Take a look at our latest case for PageLynx. It’s a perfect example of delivering one message in one video. 

2️⃣ Idea first

Without one strong idea, the 30-second video may fail no matter how astonishing the animation was. Invest your time in brainstorming with the whole production team. Use this time to generate all the possible ideas, come up with insights, and picking the most powerful and clear idea. 

3️⃣ Catchy visuals

The idea builds a story; the visuals add movement and color to the story. So, using 30-second explainer animation, dynamic characters. Note that it also leads to an increase in video costs.

Here’s a good example of an explainer video that catches attention.

4️⃣ Clear CTA

We have mentioned that a 30-second explainer video should drive people to take the desired action. The best way to do that is to shape a clear call-to-action message. It can be “Follow us on Instagram”, “Download our e-book”, etc. Keep in mind that it must be an easy action as it’s just the top of the sales funnel. 

Check out the one with a very clear CTA at the end:

5️⃣ Format customization

Adapting your 30-second explainer video to different sources of content is essential. Change size formats, cut the length, or adding subtitles leads to a better conversion rate and engagement. Customization is all about making the custom 30-seconds explainer video suitable for a specific content source and audience. 

For example, here’s the short 30-second explainer video sample of a 90-second video. 

Another 30-second explainer video examples customized for two different content platforms:

We’d be glad to create a video for you to fuel your marketing

How much does it cost to make a 30-second explainer video?

👉 Explainer video cost estimation: key factors

The cost for a 30-second explainer video usually stays within $1,600 – $3,500. This price varies, depending on the complexity of the video, the number of hours a team spends on the project, and other factors such as voiceover, music licensing, etc. We have already answered the question “how much does an explainer video cost?” If you want to better understand how 30-second explainer video cost is estimated, we have defined key factors:

Task distribution

30-second video production can cost less if a client takes on some of the work. For example, they can assign scriptwriting to an in-house team. 

Animation style

The level of animation is one of the key budget-defining factors. Higher animation level means higher movement intensity/density, smoother movements, more natural moves, dynamic transition, morphing objects, etc. Read more about animation styles in our article

Video length

We have mentioned earlier that, in general, the longer your video, the lower the cost of each additional minute. But keep in mind that for short-format videos, the price can be almost the same as for a one-minute video.


It goes without saying if you need to launch your video marketing campaign quickly, it adds extra dollars to the final invoice. You most likely need to scale the team and pay several workers to parallel 30-seconds explainer video production processes.

Additional requirements

Specifics matter, especially those concerning requirements like concept, style, script, music, and other aspects of your 30-second explainer video. If you create a music video, you spend more on hiring a songwriter and singer. 

Need to discuss your e-learning project?

👉 Ways to optimize the explainer video cost

If you plan to use 30-second explainer videos in your communication for the first time and therefore don’t even know approximately what budget is needed, here’s a small recommendation. 

Start with the financial or other results you expect after integrating video into your marketing campaigns

Calculate your ROI based on marketing experience and then estimating how much your video production and distribution charges may take. If you’re not satisfied with the comparison of ROI and final check, you can hire the production team with the optimal price and quality. Read more about explainer video pricing

Blue Carrot is located in Eastern Europe, which is the most comfortable destination for several reasons: lower prices than in Europe or US/Canada, but similar “western” artistic eye, plus suitable time zones.


When it comes to a 30-second explainer video, there a couple of things we need to consider. You have just half a minute, and your goal is to warm up the interest in your business during this short time. Use this time to establish a relationship with viewers, so they want to listen to you. 

Crafting one clear message is essential at this point. So, don’t try to put everything on the table. Instead, focus on the main goal of the video and reach it. Keep your script short and concise, create a professional storyboard and find a reliable video production company. 

Wondering how to choose a video production company that suits your needs? Check the article. 

With 7 years of experience in animated explainer video production, we know everything about explainer video and know for sure how to make it reach your specific business goal. Contact us if you need any consultation on explainer videos or if you’re looking for a partner to help you create high-quality videos!


🥕 Boosting sales for AUKA app with our minimalistic video 

🥕 Stylish video for promoting DreamCo agency 

🥕 Increasing landing page conversions with our video for Scrathpay startup

Our experience 

Blue Carrot is an animated video production house with expertise in all types and all stages of the animated video production process for various purposes – from marketing to education. We have cut our teeth creating 30-second explainer videos. You may check our 30-second and longer video cases here.  

🔹 Here is an explainer video created for Nutritionista – a health app:

🔹 Here’s the painted style explainer video case for Scratchpay – an innovative payment service:

We believe that only close collaboration with clients leads to success. That’s why we encourage clients to take part in the creative process and, as a result, receive not just a communication tool but a creative product to meet their needs.


How much does it cost to make a 30-second video?

The cost of producing a 30-second video can vary greatly depending on factors such as complexity, style, animation, and production quality. However, it typically ranges from $3,000 to $10,000 or more.

What's the best format for a 30-second video?

The best format for a 30-second video is typically MP4, as it offers a good balance between video quality and file size, ensuring compatibility with various platforms and devices.

What should be the content of a 30-second explainer video?

The content of a 30-second explainer video should focus on presenting a concise and compelling message that addresses the problem, introduces the solution, highlights benefits, and includes a clear call-to-action.

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