So what’s an Animated Explainer Video?
When talking of animated explainer videos I’m predominantly talking about the snappy 60-90s promo videos that explain how an online product works and gets the viewer excited about it. The purpose of such video is to educate a website visitor of what problems a product solves and how it will it make their life easier. If you think of your website is your passive marketing channel then such video is a perfect pitch, that nails a sale every time you give it.
What use cases are there for explainer videos?
- Explainer video for Tech Startups
- Pitching a concept to investors
- New feature announcements
- Optimising a sales process with a perfect pitch every time
- Explaining a complex concept (great for communications campaigns / PR)
- Public information campaigns
- Non-Profit Fundraising
- Social media content
- Internal brand presentations
How can it benefit your business?
With video content being in such demand these days there are a number of different benefits that Explainer videos can offer for your business. Here’s a few examples:
- If you have a tech startup or offer an online service, creating a video on your homepage can help explain your website visitors what you do in under two minutes and convert visitors to customers.
- Animated Marketing Videos offer great benefits when used for PR. News websites are always looking for good content that would interest their readers and a video piece accompanying a traditional press release creates a much more compelling package.
- Ad agencies can use explainer videos when launching a new digital ad campaign to get people excited about it and explain how they can participate in a competition, what prizes are available or how to play this awesome new game that’s been created. Its all about capturing your visitor imagination within the first interaction with the brand.
- Using explainer videos also works very well for optimising your companies’ sales process. Just flick an email to a number of your potential customers with a video embedded on it and sit back at your comfort knowing that it will deliver a perfect pitch for your business every time.
What’s involved in creating such animated video?
There’s a particular process I usually follow when creating animated marketing videos. Here’s the key steps of production process to give you an idea of what it takes to create one.
There are two stages to creating a video:
- Pre-Production - where we work out what the video is going to say and look like
- Production - where we actually create the animated video.
1. Project Setup
This is the boring but at the same time the most important piece of the puzzle.
Firstly for me to create a video for your business I need to have an inside-out understanding of your product and your customers, meaning the more information I have about that, the better. Typically I share a questionnaire with a client that helps us formulate a brief. Here’s what some of the questions would be:
- Who’s the target audience?
- What problem does it solve?
- What are the benefits that it offers?
- What do you want to achieve with this video?
Script is one of the most important aspects of the video and therefore shouldn’t be undermined. It’s like a blueprint for everything else that we do on the project. This is the time to be creative, to be making mistakes and trying out various different ideas.
I start out by analysing the brief and writing up a couple of concepts for what we could be saying in the video. At this stage it’s just a bullet point list outlining the structure and ideas of what the video will be about. Once we’re happy with the concept I pass it on to one of the super talented copywriters I work with who weaves these ideas into a story that viewers want to see.
Storyboards are made up of quick sketches that explain what the visuals will be when talking about one or another thing in the script. They show us the visual language of our video. Typically I create one visual per sentence so that whatever the VO is saying is being illustrated visually, but it’s more of a guide than a rule. This step is to get ideas out on the paper quickly for what this video is going to look like visually without investing too much time on designing pretty pictures that might not work in telling the story.
Here’s what a storyboards usually looks like:
Once the script and the storyboards are signed-off we are ready to roll back the sleeves and proceed into design stage. Each of the storyboard sketches are taken by the animator and designed to show how that shot will look in the final animation. Finished designs are sent for client approval. Such step by step client review process ensures they have full control over the project and we’re always working together to ensure the final product reflects their expectations
A number of suitable VO artsts are shortlisted for client’s review after they specify whether it should a male / female and VO accent (British, American, Irish). Once the client picks the VO artist they like, a recording studio and the artist are booked in for a recording session.
This is the most intensive part of the production where each of designs get broken down into individual elements for animation. In addition to animating each shot, transitions are also created to combine everything into a single video that flows from start to finish.
7. Music and Sound Effects Mix
After the animation is complete, a music track is sourced and added to it. Lastly sound effects are mixed over that to help bring animated visuals to life.
8. Project Delivery
The final step of production is to format the video as client requires so they can place it on their website, powerpoint presentation or anything else they’re using to reach their target audiences.