Tips for Creating an Animated Explainer

A literal animated explainer; a confident salesman greets his clients with open arms.

Animated explainers are a fun, alternative medium that your viewers will genuinely enjoy.

If not done correctly, audiences can find explainer videos rather dull so how do you ensure you retain their attention right the way through? That’s right, make it an animated explainer!

In case you haven’t seen, an animated explainer is a short video that shows how your product/service works, how to order from your business, or anything else you feel will improve the experience for all consumers. Sadly, we see many businesses making the same mistakes with these videos every single day so we’ve decided to compile a list of the very best tips!

  1. Short and Sweet

    Ever heard this phrase? When it comes to animated explainers, it applies more than ever because people don’t want to be sitting there for ten minutes watching a video. In fact, they won’t do it because they’ll have clicked away instantly after seeing the video length. If you can keep the video to within 90 seconds and have a high-quality script (more on this in a moment), the audience will find it much easier to remember your brand as well as the message.

    According to a recent survey, only 50% of viewers stay past two minutes after clicking onto a video. Therefore, shorter videos are king and we’ll also throw the word ‘simple’ into the mix too. In the opening section of the video, you describe a problem. From here, you suggest a solution, explain how it works, and then point people in the right direction to learn more or make the purchase; it really is this simple.

  2. Plan Your Script

    ‘It’s fine, I’ll just wing it and see how it goes’ – if you’ve ever said this, it’s time to rethink your strategy because your script is everything. If you need to outsource this task to somebody who has no connection to your brand or products, feel free to do so because it’ll be worth it.

    If you choose to go it alone, take a few moments to discuss your target audience and what you want the video to achieve. Once you couple this with the right tone and any call-to-actions you wish to include, you’ll be well on the way to a successful video. After writing the script, have family members and friends read it through because these outside perspectives provide you with a good insight into what potential viewers will think when watching the end product.

  3. High-Quality Animated Explainer

    If somebody clicks on your video and discovers muffled audio, guess what they’ll do? In truth, it’s exactly the same as you would do in the same position because our time is finite. Therefore, you should be investing in high-quality audio to run alongside the animation. If your budget will stretch, we recommend hiring professional voice actors who’ll take your script and transform it into a piece of art.

  4. Features Aren’t Important

    Ok, features are important…but not within a 90-second animated explainer. With your limited time, it’s much more important to be talking about WHY the viewers need your product. By listing features, the viewer doesn’t know whether these are good or not because they don’t have the data to compare with other products on the market. Once you tell them the benefits of using your solution, you’re suddenly providing a resolution to a common problem.

    If we use a toilet cleaner as a simple example, it’s redundant to discuss how it went through extensive testing in the world’s most advanced factory and contains ‘enter ingredient with long name here’. Instead, you want to be addressing the problem of the toilet getting dirty within hours of cleaning. Then, the video explains why they need your solution because it keeps the toilet looking cleaner for days and weeks.

  5. Add Some Music

    If you start your animated video with silence and continue in this manner, it makes your video seem serious and, dare we say it, boring. With some light music in the background, you suddenly seem friendly and this is before the voiceover even comes in. Instantly, it gives an insight into the character of your business rather than having somebody talk over silence; ever heard the phrase ‘silence is deafening’?

  6. Enjoy the Process

    If you’re worrying because the video quality isn’t as good as you hoped, stop panicking for just a moment. In the past, we’ve seen plenty of standard animations be accepted by the audience so long as there’s an entertainment factor. To promote this, we advise you have fun with the process and allow yourself to escape the normal business persona you use on a daily basis. If you can’t do this, put somebody in charge of the project who can.

    If the person is genuinely having fun, this will rub off on the script, audio, music, and every other factor. Once smiles are on faces, people stop and take note.

  7. Launch Correctly

    Finally, all that’s left is the launch and you can still go wrong here so plan carefully. Firstly, decide where you want the video to be uploaded whether it’s YouTube, Vimeo PRO, Brightcove, or social media. From here, make sure there’s a copy on your website and that you’re advertising the video frequently!

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