Animated videos are one of the most effective mediums to communicate your message with your market, but where do you start with video animation marketing? Where do you get a good video made? Do you go directly to an animated explainer video production company? Where do you find the best one?
Before diving in too fast, we put together this article to give you a better understanding of how to go about producing your animated videos.
Spending time and money figuring this out can be a hassle and could result in a video that does not do your product or brand justice.
Imagine spending 3 months finding the right animated explainer video production company, only to get a video that is flat, boring, and doesn’t connect with your audience.
Beautifully animated videos are by no means needed to build your business, but when done correctly, animated videos can speak intimately to a mass audience and massively scale your business, all while saving you a ton of time and labor because of the shareability and automated nature of animated videos.
The purpose of this article is to give you a starting point, high level understanding of animated videos and the confidence to move forward with producing awesome animated videos that get results.
In this article we’ll cover the 3 most important factors of an animated video:
After reading this you will have a solid understanding of the type of video you need and what to expect when you go about having your video produced.
So what’s an “Explainer Video” and what needs to be in it?
An explainer video contains your core messaging. Visually and tonally it is “on brand.” It can live on your website and your central marketing channels. It’s what every new viewer will see when they first discover you. It will convert viewers and save you a ton of time explaining your business, hence the name.
With so many online platforms, it can be easy to fall into the trap of wanting to create a video for each platform.
But we recommend to first focus on creating one, central animated “explainer video” with a target length of 1-2 minutes.
Later on, you can create animated videos, or stand alone animations that can be produced to educate and excite viewers on any media platform. The stories can then change or be targeted to a specific buyer persona.
The animation style of stand alone animated videos does not have to be visually on brand, as these videos would be produced to achieve a specific goal.
For instance, maybe you decide to use humor to speak to 30 something males and want to produce an animated video to do so.
These stand alone animated videos could look and sound different than your Explainer video. When people watch this funny video, they connect to it and say “I’ll find out more,” then they will watch your “Explainer Video” to get your full story.
Why start with an explainer video?
If this is your first time working with animated videos, you will quickly learn that there are a lot of elements that need to be designed and animated to create a great looking video.
This investment in time and budget should go into creating a concrete video for your business and brand. This explainer video is your concrete, anchor video.
Once your video is created, you can then repurpose any and all of the graphics, characters, and sections of that video to create shorter videos or resized videos for different marketing channels.
For instance: Your explainer video starts off nailing the pain point of your viewer.
You could then use just that section to run short facebook ads to drive users to your site. This is a great way to leverage your animated video assets to fuel your marketing engine.
Planning Your Explainer Video
Similar to planning a website, your video should speak to the problems of your target audience or buyer persona.
Put yourself in that viewers shoes.
When they see that play button on your website, what do they expect to learn about, what benefits do they want to hear about, and what do you want to get through to them in less than a minute.
If you think about your video similarly as you would a website, people want to see and hear about the following things:
The Problem – Let people know you understand their issues
The Solution – You have the answer to the problem in a product or a brand that continuously works to solve the viewers problems
Social Proof – People want to know who you are and what results you have gotten for other people. Testimonials and Clients you have helped should be mixed in here
Process – Let people know how easy your solution is and give a brief overview of how things will work out
Risk Reversal – Do you have a special offer or guarantee you can offer to the viewer, maybe a trial or money back guarantee? This isn’t 100% necessary, and if done incorrectly, can sound too “sale-sey,” but a genuine offer can be enticing.
Call to Action – Specific instructions about what a viewer should do next
Now lets talk about the top 3 most important elements of your video:
- Your story – Believe it or not, the most important part of an animated video is not the animation style. It’s the story. People want to be swept away to “problem solved land.” Take them on that journey and show them why, who, and how you’re the best person or company to get the job done.
- The Voice – A great voice can be the difference between a video that converts and a video that retracts. We work with a ton of great voice over artists that can nail any tone needed, but you can also browse around some great websites that have amazing voiceover artists. VoiceJungle.com is a great site for ordering great, affordable voiceovers.
One thing to keep in mind when producing your animated videos: 80% of your viewers will be listening silently, on mute, so you while you will want to have a great voiceover artist, but you should also consider adding subtitles.
- The Style – There are a million different animated styles, but we’ve put together the following buckets to help you quickly process what different animation styles are, and what they are good for:
- 2D Animated Character Video – Basic.
- These types of videos use minimally designed, flat, and animated characters, with simple animation, to tell your story. While the characters and animation style are simple, it still gets great results/retention, and keeps the cost in check.
- 2D Animated Character Video – Hand Drawn
- Hand drawn animated videos increase the level of animation, creating smooth, blended stories. Your audience will fall in luv with these animated videos and appreciate the attention to detail and increased production quality. We recommend investing in these videos for very specific campaigns, or if you are sure that this elevated style connects with your brand messaging from day one. In other words, this type of video can get pricey, so make sure it’s what is needed before pulling the trigger.
- 2D Motion Graphics Video
- Not every video needs characters walking around. 2D motion graphics videos are great for telling your story with moving shapes, text, and transitions. This style is great for explainer videos, especially if you have to show case a UI.
- 2D + Video
- Have you seen those commercials or music videos that mix a world of live action video together with animation? We luv these types of videos! Shooting live action video and editing it together with animated elements can show your audience your creativity and show off your personality in an instant. You can expect video + animated videos to be in the “mid range” cost. It’s most likely cheaper than a fully animated hand drawn video, because you are shooting video for parts of it instead of drawing frame by frame.
- 3D Animated Video
- 3D animated videos have more depth, characters that can spin around, and limitless worlds you can create to captivate your audience. These videos are great for explainers videos, or stand alone campaigns. You can also mix 3D elements with live action video to create some incredible videos. You can expect 3D animation to be at the “top range” in terms of cost. But if done right, it’s worth every penny.
Now that you know the most important elements of an animated explainer video, and may be starting to envision the style of your video(s), lets dive in to writing your script.
While we work with our clients and write, it’s still worth taking the time to practice writing your own scripts, if for nothing else, to provide the animated explainer video production company with some foundational ideas to help create your video.
We have a list of questions that we ask our clients before we start writing any script.
You can use our list of questions in this word doc to help you generate ideas and answer all of the questions that we would want to answer in a video.
Don’t worry about hitting a specific word count just yet. First, get your ideas out on the page, then refine them.
Keep in mind, 130 words = a 1 minute long video, so you or we will eventually have to trim and condense your copy.
So that covers the basics of what you need to know before producing your animated video and getting started with animation video marketing.
We hope this post gives you a little bit of help in planning your animated explainer video.
The post production process of writing your script, picking your style, and finding the write voice is a lot of work, but the more you do it, the faster and more fun it gets. And at the end you will reap the benefits of animated video animation marketing:
- Higher retention rate
- Videos that explain your business and brand so you don’t have to.
- Videos that will show your style, personality, warmth, and dedication to your audience
- It’s a chance to stretch your brand and have fun – your viewers will appreciate it
- Simply and powerfully connect your message to your market
Have any questions about your animated video? Reach out anytime, we happily answer questions and will give you tips before you make the leap to animating your ideas.