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Sounds a contradiction in terms doesn’t it? Choosing a creative video style in a logical way?

Isn’t visual style the domain of intuitional creativity, rather than logical choice?

Actually, no.

Or at least not as much as you think.

Picking a visual style for a video is a science as much as an art.

Here’s why.

A top modern explainer video is usually based on one the 9 main visual styles available in promotional video today.

The 9 commonest explainer video styles:

1: Stock footage & animation video

2: Animated graphic video

3: Animated still images & graphics

4: Animated characters & scenes

5: Software screens

6: Science & technology demo

7: Animated text – no voiceover

8: Animated presenter

9: Live video, such as a presenter or interviews.

You can argue there might be more than 9 visual style choices, but that’s not the point.

What you really need to do is logically figure out is which one of these 9 style choices will

– make the biggest impact in your marketplace

– win you the most business.

In other words, figure out the style that’ll win for you.

And this is a logical process.

Here’s how.

Market impact

Customers judge the marketplace from their visits to competitor & information sites.

They may visit up to 6 competitor sites in detail.

And they watch their videos.

Watching videos will play a big part in how they form their opinions over who to buy from.

What you want is for your video to effectively showcase your products & services, and win you their business, or win you an enquiry.

To do this you need a visual video style that has more impact than your 6 competitor videos.

Planning for visual impact with video

Here’s what to do:

1: Google your 3 best keywords, draw up a list of your current top competitors.

2: Watch each competitor’s video, and note its visual style.

3: Assess each competitor’s visual style, and grade as excellent, okay, or poor, ie, your opinion of how effective you think their video is.

Your list might look something like this:

Competitor Visual style Ranking
Acme solutions animated characters Looked good, have to admit I liked it
Whizzo animated graphics looked like a cheap job
Enterprise Monday animated photos clean & impressive
Howsitdone software screens looked homemade
etc etc

You can see that producing your next video using animated characters will visually put you  head-on with Acme Solutions, which maybe you don’t want, as you need to differentiate from Acme, a big competitor.

On the other hand, Whizzo and Howsitdone make poor use of animated graphics and software screens.

This suggests there’s a vacancy in your marketplace for a really good animated graphic style video with which to challenge Acme Solutions.

It also suggests that if you use an animated characters style, you’ll be going head-to-head with Acme, as you’ll both look too similar.

You can now logically decide whether to

– look different

– or go head-to-head.

This is a much clearer approach than mere guessing, as your decisions are based on actual data and assessment.

And once done, you can apply your own personal judgement, confident you know the facts of your marketplace.

Let’s quickly recap how it’s done:

1: Watch competitor videos

2: Note their visual style and rank them

3: Identify where’s there’s a style vacancy.


When deciding your preferred visual video style, don’t jump in feet first which your own personal choice, or at least not immediately.

Instead, analyze the styles used in the your marketplace.

You can use the 9 commonest explainer video styles list to help you assess which style is which.

Finish by looking for a style vacancy, a video style that’s not being used, or not being used well.

This may well be your the visual style choice for your next video.

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