It doesn't take a genius to create a video. In fact, anyone with a smartphone can create a pretty good one. BUT to create a great explainer video takes a seasoned professional. The video market is well and truly saturated, with 99% of businesses stating that they will continue to use video throughout 2017. The only way to stand out is to create a video that blows all the rest out of the water.
After making thousands of explainer videos, we've discovered that there are a couple of things that all the best explainer videos have in common. In this article, we're going to talk about what these key things are and how you can use them to make your video great.
1. A Compelling Story
All videos begin as words on a page. Correction: all GREAT videos begin as words on a page. If you fail to plan your video, it will show in the final product, and viewers will switch off and look elsewhere for the information they need. Plan your video by creating a solid script that breaks down exactly what is going to happen and when it is going to happen.
Top Tip: Before you write anything, think about the reason you're creating an explainer video. Maybe it's to raise brand awareness, maybe it's to increase sales, or reduce queries - whatever the reason, keep this at the forefront of your mind when writing your script.
When clients come to us to create a video, a lot of them think stats are the most important thing you can say or show. But they're wrong. Of course, statistics are important. That's why we use them in all different kinds of marketing collateral: infographics, reports, sales pitches. However, when it comes to video, story trumps everything. A study on the power of storytelling found that when people listened to presentations including statistics and stories, 63% of people remembered the stories while only 5% of people remembered any of the stats.
As companies, we may make videos so that we can gain from them, but as viewers, we watch videos to be entertained. The best explainer videos include the best stories, and the best stories are memorable, impactful, and connect with the viewer on a personal level.
2. Engaging Visuals
A compelling story is one thing, but video is a visual medium. So it's also very important for your video to look great! As an animated explainer video company, we're pretty biased towards animation here at Wyzowl! When working with animation, the sky is the limit. Walt Disney said it best:
"Animation can explain whatever the mind of man can conceive."
Animation gives you the freedom to make your video more engaging. If you want to set your video in outer space, you can do that:
If you want to create lots of cute little characters and then kill them off one by one in gruesome ways, you can do that too:
With animation, you can set your video in any number of places and include any number of characters and the price won't be affected at all (depending on who makes your video for you).
Your video will only be a success if it is memorable. In order to make your video memorable, the visuals used need to be an extension of the branding you use in all of your marketing collateral, including colours and fonts. Many huge companies can be recognised by just their animated characters alone. Take a look at this rooster:
Of course, it's the Kellogg's Corn Flakes mascot!
How about this guy?
It's Rich Uncle Pennybags himself! Also known as the Monopoly man.
Engaging visuals not only make your video memorable, they make it shareable, too. When creating an explainer video for your company, don't settle for anything less than amazing. Create a video that will make people say: "Wow! I HAVE to share that." It may take time to get this right. But by working together with designers that you trust to do an awesome job, you'll end up with an amazing end product. Click here to meet our in-house illustration team.
3. An Emotional Connection
We've already mentioned how important it is to make your video memorable. You can achieve this by creating a compelling story and teaming that with engaging visuals, and hopefully you will end up with a video that connects with potential customers on an emotional level.
Considering one billion hours of video are watched on YouTube every single day, your teeny 60 second video has a large chance of disappearing among the masses if it isn't memorable.
So, how do you create an emotional connection?
First you have to define your target audience. Are you aiming your product or service at professionals or consumers? The young or the old? By considering all of these factors and whittling your target audience down, you'll have a better chance of creating a video that connects with your potential customers on an emotional level.
It's worth noting here that emotional doesn't always mean tugging at the heartstrings. There are tons of ways to connect with people on an emotional level. If you're aiming your video at busy CEOs then you can connect with them on an emotional level by revolving the storyline around a busy CEO. He or she will then identify with that character and pay attention to what you're saying. Similarly, if you're aiming your video at teenagers who spend most of their time watching prank videos, make your video laugh-out-loud (LOL) funny and they will be encouraged to share it with their friends.
Creating an emotional connection is all about resonating with your customers in a way that makes them say: "This company/brand/product/service gets me."
It is an unfortunate fact that great explainer videos are few and far between. This can be caused by any number of reasons:
- The storyline was neglected
- The visuals weren't unique
- The video tried to connect with too many people and ended up connecting with none
Videos take time and cost money. So don't risk making a bad one, or even an average one. Your customers would much rather hear a story than listen to a list of your sales figures for the past six years, and they would much rather see something that's never been done before than watch some stock footage that they've already seen in tons of other videos.
If you want your explainer video to succeed then make sure it includes the 3 key things listed in this article; and, above all, listen to the professionals! Explainer video companies want your video to be amazing. They create videos day in, day out, so they know what works and what doesn't. Be sure to take their advice on board.