Producing an Explainer Video

If you would like to demonstrate what your products and services have on offer and promote them creatively at the same time, then explainer videos are just what you need.

Explainer videos are also great for:-

  • Boosting audience engagement levels via social media campaigns
  • Delivering staff training programmes
  • Boosting effectiveness in your internal communications
  • Increasing web conversion rates

Before you take the plunge, we have outlined for you the necessary factors which you would need to consider when producing an explainer video...

The purpose

From the aforementioned options, which one applies to you?

It is essential that the purpose which your explainer video will serve is clear from the beginning by all the parties (i.e. your marketing team, your production team or the animation studio that you have hired) concerned.

The reason this is important is because the script for your explainer video would rely heavily on the purpose that you have in mind. If the script does not match with your purpose then it would need to be revised and that could cause delays in producing your explainer video – especially if tight deadlines loom.

The Target Audience

Having your target audience – especially their demographic and psycho-graphic profiles – outlined would make it easier to tailor the explainer video to convey the messages in ways which your target audience would understand and appreciate.

For example, if your business sells products that are aimed at the elderly, but the script is written with the tones and moods that would appeal to a younger generation, then this discrepancy would mean you would have to go back to the pre-production stage, thereby delaying the rest of the schedule.

The Length

When it comes to watching online videos, internet users tend to have a much lower attention span than when watching programmes on the television.

So it is ideal to keep the length of your video around 90 seconds and if you feel you need to communicate more than this, then simply get another explainer video made.

Several studies have shown that it is better to split lengthy messages into one or more explainer videos than it is to have one that spans on for five minutes.

If you look at it from the viewer’s perspective, would you prefer a short, creative and engaging explainer video or a long one that gives you a lot of information to take in all at once?

After all, the whole point for having an explainer video is to communicate your important messages within the shortest time possible.

The Style of Animation

There is a wide range of animations style that you can choose from to make your explainer video with:-

  • 2D Animation
  • 3D Animation
  • Cartoon Animation
  • Stop Motion Animation
  • Whiteboard Animation

Of course, the style of animation you choose also depends on which is more likely to appeal to your target audience as well.

The Script and Tone

For reasons outlined above, conveying the key messages within the first 60 seconds is something that a good script should have. 
A script would comprise of:-

  • The text that would be narrated by the voiceover artist and displayed within the video itself
  • Any characters, objects and shapes
  • A storyline (if applicable)
  • Time-stamps of where the calls to action would be positioned
  • The general sequencing of all the textual, audio and visual content

You could have voiceover artist narrate a script to flesh out important points so that your audience can understand what is being communicated more effectively.

However, you may not wish to and would rather have more textual content written into the script for your audience to read as they watch the explainer video.

Either way is fine and it is up to you choose whether you wish to include a voiceover narration to go with the textual content, or not.

Another option could be to

The Voiceover

have brand characters which are created via 2D/Cartoon/3D Animation and have voiceover artists speak through them.

Again, this depends on the purpose and target audience of your explainer video.

The Importance of Calls of Action

If your business goal is to increase your sales figures, then you may wish to provide contact details that are more direct in nature, e.g. a telephone number or an email address.

If your business goal is to capture data for your online marketing campaigns, then having a hyperlink placed in your call to action may be suitable.

If your marketing goal is to increase the numbers of fans and followers in your online communities (who exist on various social media platforms) then placing hyperlinks to your social media pages may be worthwhile.

The Use of Moods and Themes

Would your script have a strong emotion or mood or a theme that would help anchor in viewers?

This would keep them engaged and be something your viewers could associate with when it comes to remembering your brand.  

Other Technicalities

Branding Details

Does your brand have its own set of colours, graphics, fonts? If so, would you like to incorporate these into your explainer video, or would you rather not?

Again, either way is possible but what matters is what is relevant to the purpose of the explainer video.

If you intend to strengthen your brand presence then you may wish to have your brand colours, etc. included in your explainer video.  

Scheduling

It normally takes around 6-8 weeks to make an explainer video and this includes all three stages of production:-

  • Pre-Production: Research, ideas, concepts, creating characters, scriptwriting, voiceover recording.
  • Production: Graphic Designing, Shooting, Animating
  • Post-Production: Sequencing, editing, finishing.

So, the more time that each stage can be given the better it is. This is because producing an explainer video is a highly creative process.

Being time-poor, may well lead to low quality work, so it is best to allow for plenty of time before your brand is due to present the explainer video to the target audience.

Budget

Explainer videos need not cost the earth and the heavens however, these are not as cheap as chips either.

One of the best ways to manage cost is to choose a style of animation that takes less effort to use to produce your explainer video but can also have the right impact on your audience too.

Most importantly, keeping communications clear and continual with everyone involved in producing the explainer video may lead to fewer problems in the long run.