So you’ve decided to create an animated video to explain your company’s products and services. You think you know how you want it to look and what it should say, but before you get started, take a look at these tips for making your explainer video the best it can possibly be.
1. Have a Plan
Animated explainer videos are a hot trend right now, but don’t jump on the bandwagon to make one just for the sake of making one. Before you begin, be sure you have a plan: What are the goals for your video? Where will you post it? How will you measure results? What do you want to say? A plan increases the chance of your video giving you a return on your investment, rather than just being something “cool.”
2. Develop a Script
The script is arguably the most important part of your video, since it sets the foundation for the rest of the video. Start by creating a creative brief that outlines what you hope to accomplish with the video, the most important points to cover, and the problems your product solves, and use those notes to drive the script.
3. Pay Attention to Timing
People have short attention spans, so you don’t want your video to be too long. At the same time, you don’t want it to be so short that it doesn’t accurately explain the concept. Ideally, videos should run 30 to 90 seconds, but it’s okay to go a little longer if necessary. Just remember that the purpose of the video is to pique your audience’s interest, not tell them everything. Focus on getting them to take the next step.
4. Choose Music Carefully
The music you select for your video sets the tone, so be sure it matches the script and the animation. Also, the music shouldn’t be what viewers notice first about your video; in fact, if they can’t remember the music after watching it, all the better. It should be in the background and enhance your script, not distract from it. Try several different tunes with your video to find the right one.
5. Choose the Right Animation Style
The style of your animation sets the tone for the video as much or even more than the music and script, so you need to choose the right one to support your message. A whiteboard animation, for instance, is best suited for simple explanations, while 2-D or 3-D animation are better choices when you have a more complex topic or want to show more detail; i.e., bring viewers inside of a product that they otherwise wouldn’t see.
6. Test Videos
Nothing is worse than investing thousands of dollars into a video only to find it doesn’t engage your audience. It’s better to use an inexpensive animation creator to develop your video, which will allow you to test different versions until you find the video that resonates with your customers. It’ll also allow you to see early on whether the animation style you decided to use still works before you get too far into the project.
7. Choose the Right Tone
It’s important to match the tone of your video to your audience and the product you’re selling. For instance, a funny or whimsical video is probably not the best choice when you’re selling financial services to older adults. That doesn’t mean you have to be serious or dull, as the very nature of animation allows you to be a bit more casual, but understand your audience and develop your script to appeal to them.
8. Include a Call to Action
What do you want people do after watching your video? Don’t make them guess. Include a specific call to action (“Click here to join!” “Subscribe to our newsletter today!”) and make it easy for them to complete the desired action. You’ll increase conversions, and make it easier to measure the results of your video.
9. Focus on Benefits and Solutions
Many explainer videos focus too much on what the product or service is or does, and not enough on how it benefits customers and solves their problems. In other words, people don’t care that your app lists 3,000 Italian restaurants. They want to know that it will show them the perfect restaurant for their date and make it easy to get a table. Tell customers why they need your product.
10. Have Some Fun
Finally, remember: This is animation. By it’s very nature, it connotes fun, so loosen up and be creative. Have fun with it, let your unique voice be heard, and give your customers insight into your brand story.
If you keep these tips in mind while developing your video, you’re almost guaranteed to get results — and your customers will keep coming back for more.