A non-animated promotional video explaining your business’s product or service. Live action explainer videos are usually best for companies selling a physical product or people-oriented services, such as a restaurant, or consulting group. Having flesh and blood people in your explainer video can create an emotional connection with viewers, as we are naturally drawn to other human faces. However, live action means you’re stuck to the confines of the real world.
The most popular type of explainer video, animation is often the preferred format for explaining services or intangible tech products like software. Some services involve few, if any, physical objects, making live action an unrealistic option. Animated explainer videos allow for more creativity, and are easier to edit or update when you want to make future adjustments.
A whiteboard video is an explainer video in which animation is hand drawn and erased on a whiteboard. This format of video has become popular due to its ease of operation and low cost, making it one of the cheapest types of explainer video to create.
You’ll notice that nearly all Kickstarter projects involve an explainer video of some kind. Really, Kickstarter explainer videos aren’t so different from a regular product or service explainer video, although they do tend to be longer. Browsing Kickstarter can be a fun way to see many examples of explainer videos.
A great script is the backbone of any explainer video. After all, an explainer video is a summarised video on how your brand, product or service works. Your animated video script needs to explain in a way that is easy to understand. The hard part is keeping your script as brief and informative as possible.
The script is where you’ll need to spend the majority of your focus. It’s best if you write your explainer video script yourself (even if you choose to hire a production company). You know your target customer’s concerns and pain points better than anyone else, and the video is where those concerns need to be addressed. What freaks out your potential customers? What confuses them about your product or offering? If you haven’t already done some research to answer these questions, now is the time to consider surveying your audience and figuring this out.
It is recommended that your explainer video script follow this general outline.
Once you have a script, you’ll need a voiceover. Some options are:
Big Mouth – A New Zealand voice talent agency. You can then enter your script and it will calculate the fee according to the number of words.
Word of mouth – Established in 1996, Word of Mouth is New Zealand’s longest running voice talent agency. They represent professional voice artists from various backgrounds; including film, tv and theatre actors, radio personalities, comedians and musicians.
Voices – An American wesbite but many New Zealand voice over artists are listed here.
There are a number of different paths you can take when it comes down to the actual creation and production of your explainer video. Options include:
There are some very talented professional video production only companies out there that can help you make a killer promotional video. You’ll have some high explainer video costs if you go this route – be prepared to shell out anywhere from $5,000 – $20,000 for a service like this. The advantage is that you’ll have video experts helping you every step of the way, and your video is guaranteed to look great.
Pow Toon: if you’re making animated explainer videos, have no animation experience, but want to do it yourself on a budget, Pow Toon is the way to go. Anyone with some basic computer skills can use this animated explainer video software. It likely won’t be a masterpiece, but it’s easy to create and free (to start at least). They even have a tutorial series to walk you through building your creation.
DIY Explainer Video with iPhone: That’s right, you can film your own explainer video on your iPhone! This awesome post from Wistia will show you how. DIY filming is a great way to create cheap explainer videos. For the editing, iMovie or Camtasia are good choices.
Experienced freelancers can provide high-quality explainer video production assistance at a much lower cost than a large production company. You may have trouble to find one easily enough that you then have to interview and run the risk of not be able to go back to them for changes later if they have decided to no longer be in business.
This involves editing the music, mixing sound effects and making some audio adjustments in order to enhance the overall perception of the video and reinforce the power of the message. Also, the background music adds emotion to the story. Have in mind that sometimes, the music and the sound effects can be as important as the video itself. Some places to get tracks from include:
Remember to read the fine print carefully on these sites with regards to what is or is not permitted under the sound file’s licensing agreement. Some are a cheap one-time purchase and royalty free, others require attribution, etc.
Measure video engagement and be ready to tweak your video. You’ll be able to see some solid data with YouTube Insight, but Google Analytics can take you even deeper, so long as you’re game for setting up nifty custom event tracking.
Imagine seeing plays, pauses, how many viewers hit the 30 sec. mark vs. 60 sec. mark, etc. Wistia has some nice analytic tracking options too, and also makes it easy to sync up Wistia and Google Analytics.
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