If it feels like your marketing strategy is missing something, chances are you haven’t invested in an explainer video yet. Explainer videos are a great way to maintain a steady stream of new customers as they communicate precisely what you have to offer. They show your audience how you provide solutions to their problems in an easily understandable and attractive way. That’s why these videos are in a special category of their own; they not only inform but also grab attention. They may be short videos, but a lot of careful thought and work goes into them in order to make them effective. If you’re looking to include explainer videos to your marketing mix, it’s a good idea to be aware of the production process beforehand, so that you know you’re on the right track.
Step 1: The Brief
As with any marketing venture, the first step is to know your audience and your product inside out. It’s important to be very sure what the purpose of your video is, who it is targeted to and where it will be showcased. Since explainer videos have specific messaging, and several elements including video, audio and text, it is very important to target the correct audience. Surprising as it may be, it is actually counter-productive for your reach if all of your videos are targeted at everyone in general. Video production companies usually will ask you to fill out a creative brief or ask you the necessary questions to gain information about your product and brand.
Step 2: The Script
This is the big one. The success of your explainer video project largely depends on how effective your script is. The script should include all the information that would be needed for a viewer who is just being introduced to your product, platform or service. It should then incorporate this information in an easy to follow visual format to keep the viewer engaged. Typically, explainer videos will run about 60 seconds in length, although they can be longer, running up to 90 seconds or two minutes. We recommend keeping your video short and sweet so as not to bore your viewers, but to provide them with enough information to want to take action, whether that is buying your product or service, exploring your website further, requesting a demo, or contacting you.
If you the information about your product or service cannot be explained in 60-90 seconds, we recommend making the focus of the script more narrow and consider making a series of video to expand on other topics. The script is crucial to the videos success, so don’t be afraid to give ample time to this step time since it is the foundation of every other aspect of your video
Step 3: The Storyboard
This is the first visual representation of your explainer video. It’s basically a comic strip demonstrating the actions that will take place in the video. It helps to visualize the sequence, framing and transitions of the final draft. You can also use a storyboard to get an idea of how certain colors, styles and branding will play together and make them as detailed or simplistic as you require. This rough draft outline is what the final animation, voice-overs and music will be based on.
Step 4: The Voice-Over
Most explainer videos use a voice-over to narrate the information to be explained. It is imperative to hire a professional to do this job because they will understand how to convey the right tone and emotions. Hire a professional especially if you require someone to speak the native language of a specific target audience, otherwise you risk the immediate alienation of your audience. The voice-over should be clear and professional, but not too monotone and robotic. The voice-over should also be accompanied by subtitles to ensure audience accessibility.
Step 5: The Animation
Animation is an in-depth multifaceted process, but for the sake of simplicity, let’s condense the entire animation process into one step. Animation usually begins with illustrating the characters and settings that the video will use. Every graphic element is illustrated with a consistent style and look. Then the animators will come in to bring it all to life. Using the voice-over and storyboard, the animation will set the video in motion. Professional animators can make the illustrations fluid and lively, thus bringing personality to your brand that your customers can identify with.
Step 6: The Music
While your characters and script can express an emotion, the music and sounds used in the video will help invoke that emotion in your audience. These can set the mood for your video making it humorous or subdued. It is crucial to mix the music, voiceover and sound effects properly, so that no single element of sound overpowers the other. This can make or break the viewer’s mood to purchase.
There will be slight variations that will determine how long it takes to finish an explainer video. Depending on the company and the project average production time can be 6-8 weeks. It is a creative process with necessary trial and error in order to get it right. However, if that’s too much, we can take the hard work of production off your hands and use your vision and feedback to create your videos for you!
Here’s an example of how we pull all the elements of the video process together in a playful commercial we created for Goetz Candy company: