Don’t Be Awkward As the viewer watches your video, your spoken word content will be their guide as they take in the visual information. It doesn’t matter what style you choose as long as it’s appropriate for the concept and content. Simple Video Style If you decide to go with something simple, you need to make sure of the following… Images are compelling and hold the viewer’s attention The images support the words being said Simple doesn’t always mean uninteresting. Take some time to consider what video content would help your audience understand the concept. It can be simple images, or it can be sample illustrations that will make up the animations. Choose the Right Voice-over and Music Voice and music are critical to the success of an explainer video. This matters a great deal when developing your explainer video, assuming you actually want people to retain the information and act upon it. Storyboarding and animation are very important steps when considering visual learners. When trying remember something, they will access their memories in “sound bites.” These are the types who like to talk things out. Animations will target visual and kinesthetic learners.
What do you think about this?
Video is dominating marketing these days. Every social channel is clamoring to get your video content. Video, when done properly, can capture and convert a user better than static content or even images.
Explainer videos are just that, video that explains a concept, product, function, process, etc. Where a 1,000 words might be necessary to explain a concept, a 30 second video could do it quicker, better, and with better engagement.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at some of these stats from a recent WordStream article on video marketing:
- 51% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.
- Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users.
- 59% of executives agree that if both text and video are available on the same topic, they are more likely to choose video.
- Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined.
So, what are we talking about here? Do you simply need to whip out your iPhone and record the COO explaining the functional specs of the… snoring.
Moving images with someone talking is not where the requirements list for a successful explainer video ends. A quality explainer video takes planning, creativity, and, yes, time and money.
We’ve put together 5 steps to follow for producing better and more engaging explainer videos:
- Write a script
- Choose a style
- Develop a storyboard
- Choose the right voiceover talent and music
- Animate based on final script and voiceover files
Writing Your Explainer Video Script
Start with an outline. What are the main points you need to cover? An explainer video should focus on about 5-10 main points. Any more and you risk both watering down the lesson and losing your audience. Any less and you lose value.
If you find that you cannot explain something in 5-10 points, consider doing a series.
There are two important characteristics of a well written explainer video script:
- Keep it simple stupid
- Don’t be awkward
KISS – Keep it Simple Stupid
It’s easy to write a bunch of words. It’s hard to be clear and concise. Remember, you’ll be paying someone to read this script. So, make sure it only contains the information needed to get the point across.
In his book Don’t Make Me Think (and I’m paraphrasing here), Steve Krug offers the following advice for editing web content…
Remove 50% of the words from your content. Then, take 50% out of what’s left.
Seems extreme, but it matters. The same rules apply for video script content. But, just removing words isn’t enough. It still has to be effective in explaining the concept.
Don’t Be Awkward
As the viewer watches your video, your spoken word content will be their guide as they take in the visual information. It should keep their attention, explain the concept, and be clear in its presentation.
Take your script and read it aloud. How does it sound? Is it awkward or is it clear? Try reading it to someone who doesn’t know anything about the concept you’re explaining. Does it make sense to them? It should.
You might be thinking “but, my target audience will have some baseline knowledge about the concept.” Or maybe you weren’t thinking that. Fine. Either way, assume that your viewing audience knows nothing and is incredibly distracted. That’s who you’re dealing with here.
You might want to consider hiring a copywriter to at least edit your script for content and tone.
Choose a Style
Explainer videos come in many different shapes and sizes. The most popular ones seem to be the whiteboard illustration videos. Or maybe that’s just all I see anymore.
They can be simple like someone speaking over a series of images. Or complicated with lots of custom illustration and animation work. It doesn’t matter what style you choose as long as it’s appropriate for the concept and content. And it resonates with the target audience.
Simple Video Style
If you decide to go with something simple, you need to make sure of the following…
- Images are compelling and hold the viewer’s attention
- The images support the words being said
Simple doesn’t always mean uninteresting. As long as you think about how the images support the message and test that theory with a test audience, your simple video should be very effective.
Complex Animated Videos
If you have the budget for it, animated videos can actually be easier to work with. You have the animation to further explain what your voiceover is saying.
This type of video can get out of hand pretty quickly though. Animation for the sake of animation is a huge waste of time and money. Don’t try to be cute.
Live Action Video
Of course there is the original, live action video. In other words, video of real things, whether they be people or otherwise.
Be careful with this though. If you don’t have a solid subject who looks and sounds convincing on video, you will struggle to get your point across. Take some time to consider what video content would help your audience understand the concept.
Remember, you have an unspoken contract with the viewer. They’ve made the commitment to watch the video. You need to commit to making it worth their time.
This is where storyboards can make all the difference.
Develop a Storyboard
Storyboarding is a common practice for video. It’s been around for…