How Much Does an Explainer Video Cost?

Aug 20th, 2016 | Insight

When going through the motions of developing a marketing campaign, you may be getting to the point where graphics just aren’t cutting it. You may have a million ideas of the imagery needed to grasp your audience’s attention, or you may not have a clue at all how to attract the right people. When motion graphics become the next step in your visual endeavors, you want to determine the right look, and of course the price tag that comes along with it.

At first, it can be overwhelming to see the price of some motion graphics, as they can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars well into the thousands, depending on whether you want one to three minutes of video. Quality can range from the low end stick figure drawings shown in the classic whiteboard style, all the way to full character animation. The time it takes and the quality of the design are both major elements in determining the price of your video.

While spending less on your video could help get something up on the homepage of your site sooner rather than later, this tends to be a temporary solution. While going with a cheaper company, or using a service such as Fiverr may seem like a viable solution, the result is often a less than ideal product that may lead to an undesirable outcome. Providing a great product that is under represented by a bad quality video can send your clients to the next site on their search result list. For a lower end video, you can expect to spend up to $500-$3000 per minute of video. At this rate, you can only hope that your dollars are going to feel well spent.

Investing in a higher class video, which includes a full range of motion, characters, and visual stimulation, you can expect to spend closer to $3500-$7,000 per playing minute. With this, you can expect the quality you will see to be much more reflective of the price invested. In this price range, time will be spent creating complex vector designs in each frame of the video filled with dazzling imagery in both text and illustrations. Hours are invested in finding the right colors to go with the graphics in order to develop each of the elements accurately and figure out the right motion graphic to portray the image. Adding dimension to a 2D field takes time and patience, but is well worth it in the end.

In a time where people are shown videos more readily and frequently, it’s time to step it up and put your business at the forefront of your competition. Give your company the best visual representation you can today and see the immeasurable benefits it can yield for years to come.

Interested in getting a personalized, budget-sensitive, free quote on your next project? Contact us today!

VMware Content Collaboration

Aug 17th, 2016 | Project Spotlight

VMware is one of our longest lasting clients. We’ve worked on numerous videos, webpages, business portals, and more. The goal of Content Collaboration was to combine VMware’s most useful resources for team collaboration, mainly Socialcast (a communication platform for all of the professionals in a company), with Airwatch’s file and video sharing software into one useful package. After working closely with their team and crafting the perfect phrasing and scripting for the project, we were able to emphasize what this Collaboration Bundle was capable of. The final product was a successful sales landing page and explainer video that has gained many new sign-ups for the service.

Check it out at:

6 Questions to Ask When Creating Effective Explainer Videos

Aug 15th, 2016 | Insight

Explainer video, promo video, sales or corporate videos...the terms go on and on to describe what you might be looking for. You want a video that can capture your audience’s attention and explain everything you need to say in a short amount of time. Does your video look professional enough to match your company’s profile? By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to make sure your motion graphics video is having the greatest impact.

1. Who is your audience?

Ensuring that the right people see your video is critical, and you are the best asset in making sure that happens. Is your video being created for a tradeshow, a sales landing page, or is it going to greet new visitors on your website homepage? If your audience is coming from a very specific niche in your industry, it is important to determine the best use of acronyms and industry terms throughout the content of the video. You don’t want your viewer to leave with more questions than they came with. Are you marketing to consumers or other businesses? What will make you stand out above your competitors? By knowing your audience and their needs, you should come to the table with all the answers they need showcased in your stunning visual representation.

2. How long should your message be?

Although you have a lot to say about your product or service, making a 5-10 minute video explaining every detail may negatively impact the message you are trying to sell. Naturally, you are invested in your product or service, but it is important to keep in mind that your audience may require a bit of convincing. Depending on your target, whether B to C or B to B, our typical advice is to fit your message into the 60-90 second range. Most viewers can easily digest a sales pitch or company overview in this short (but sweet!) amount of time.

3. How long will your video be relevant?

Will your video stand the test of time? It is essential to make sure that you get the most ROI from your explainer video by future proofing as much as you can. It is important to be aware of all your competitors have to offer and to share this expertise amongst your target population. If this video piece is part of your company image, you want to ensure that you seem on top of the game, and avoid becoming antiquated. Dropbox and Crazy Egg have successfully crafted explainer videos that have lasted as much as 3 years, while a typical Adobe product video will only last until the next update.

4. Do you need music?

Through analyzing the questions above, you should be able to pinpoint the tone you would like to set in your video. Sometimes a long-winded explanation of server systems could be a bit droll, and leave viewers itching for the back button. However, adding in a lighthearted ambient tune can make your video seem more welcoming and engaging. On the contrary, if you know your video will be silent with mostly text on screen, it may not be something you need. These are all options to be considered.

5. What kind of voice will represent you?

The right voice actor is key in highlighting your video. A poor quality recording can taint the message you are trying to get across. It is always better to find actors or actresses that put the time and effort into providing a high quality track. Finding the right age or gender of a voice actor can help determine the direction of your video. You may want to ask yourself, “are we aiming to prove that our product is a showstopper, or do we want to settle for mediocre”? That is what will set you apart from your competition.

6. What do your visuals say about your objective?

A cheap video is easily identifiable. Poorly animated, poorly drawn graphics can be telltale signs of outsourced cheap labor. Low budget products are difficult to pitch to an audience. You want images that scream quality, rather than leaving your viewer laughing at you...not with you. A key component is to know the appropriate style of graphics. Whether it’s character animation, or iconography with edgy text transitions, the limits are endless!

Pabco Gypsum Drupal Website

Jul 20th, 2016 | Project Spotlight

Establishing a lasting relationship with a client can yield benefits far beyond the one off project. Getting to know your clients on a personal level can help promote a team comradery which can lead to a deeper understanding of what our clients need and establish a personal touch to what we develop. Our relationship with the PABCO Building Products family has proved to be a valuable experience for the growth of our company and each of their subsidiaries.

What began as a normal contact form request quickly progressed as we met with their marketing and design cohorts for the Newark division, and soon came to realize that their team had big plans for developing a site that would stand out strongly within the gypsum industry. We soon realized that our plans for building custom tools equipped with editing capabilities would require a strong CMS and experienced developers. Using Drupal as our main platform for designing and maintaining the site, our team was able to create tools that assembled numerous product spec docs, and calculated the LEED qualification of a new building among a number of other great features.

As many of our clients come to us with the need for high security sites, we encourage our clients to have the site hosted by Pantheon, which is one of the most secure serving companies today. Being used by the White House itself, this service option is something we encourage all of our clients to use. Ensuring our clients security comes second to none, at Rail and we aim to deliver long standing sites that will defend against any potential intruders.

At the completion of our first project with PABCO, building out, we were able to continue on with this exceptional team. Other sites that have been developed out of this relationship included PABCO’s parent company, PABCO Building Products, Sacramento based PABCO Roofing, and Quietrock.

View the live website at:

Should your site be developed in a CMS or straight HTML?

Jul 4th, 2016 | Insight

When planning the development of your new website there’s one important question to start with, do you want your site to be easily edited after delivery? If for instance you want a simple landing page or you’re creating a full site with content that won’t be changing again for a long time, this can generally be handled with a simple HTML build. This is always going to be the cheapest option, since the backend setup will be the quickest. If you find that there are going to be a lot of changes in the future, such as a constantly updated project or product gallery, a CMS might be a good choice for you.

The benefits of a CMS are endless, but will depend upon your needs. New, user friendly Content Management Systems have been developed to make a basic design easy to create, but are filled with many limitations. Basic sites without complex tools can be made using template-based CMSs like Wordpress, Wix, and Squarespace (to name a few), but when faced with the flexibility of custom code, these sites may not offer enough.

Having your site developed in a CMS like Drupal, normally can offer the greatest solution to your needs. While this may be a bit more costly, there are virtually no limits to what can be shown on your site while offering editing capabilities to your team once it has been launched. Supported by Bootstrap, designers know how to design smart with a wireframe that helps translate your desktop page design into a mobile-friendly view. Tools can be built and managed with ease by developers to avoid trouble for company employees when they’ll be managing content.

If you find yourself leaning toward a splash site or a few simple pages, but feel you might need a blog to represent your company, it might be best to have two separate entitles. Google’s spidering can make the best out of you having two domains as well, making your site/company seem more relevant in the grand scheme of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Then all of your basic editing needs for a blog can be hosted on a site like Wordpress’s interface and all edits can be managed internally.

Having a CMS is essential for any organization that will have frequent updates or any site needing complex tools. If you’re feeling competent in developing your own site, take a shot at trying one of the remedial building tools, or contact a team that can manage all of your needs and make a site that can be built strong and reliable.


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