10 Questions Help You Plan a Better Animated Explainer Video
Animated explainer videos can help promote your business. They can spread awareness, show customers what you do, and share your story. Brands like Dropbox and Venmo have used these types of video to catapult from obscurity to household names. But a great animated explainer video doesn’t just happen. It takes planning. Asking the right questions from the beginning can help you avoid costly mistakes and create a video that works toward your marketing goals. Let’s get you thinking in the right direction.
1. How Are You Going to Use Your Video?
Animated explainer videos can work on a variety of different platforms. Your social media, website, and email marketing might all benefit from a quality animated explainer video. They can even be useful offline! A video can help your trade show booth stand out or add an extra dimension to presentations. You might share it via:
- Your Homepage
- Dedicated landing pages for new products or seasonal promotions
- Social media platforms
- Your Facebook page
- Displays for trade shows and other in-person events
- In-store displays
- Television or OTT ads
- YouTube pre-roll ads
- Sales pitches and presentations
- Email blasts
Knowing how you plan to use your video can help guide your production process. A video for a trade show booth or presentation might need to be short and visually arresting with strong audio to grab attention in a noisy convention hall.
On the other hand, a social media video can be more intimate and should rely less on audio. The truth is, most mobile users watch videos with the sound off. If you make an explainer video with an intricate soundtrack but don’t include any text or subtitles, it probably won’t perform well on social media.
And of course, homepage and landing page videos should direct users to perform a specific action on your website. The kind of explainer video you need all depends on how you plan to use it.
2. What Is Your Video Objective?
In other words, what do you want your video to do? You might make an animated explainer video to:
- Educate customers
- Improve your SEO
- Increase conversions
- Get email signups
- Increase awareness
- Boost engagement.
You might want your video to do more than one of these things, but it’s a good idea to have one primary goal in mind. That way you can design your video to meet that goal. It’s also a lot easier to track success if you know what metrics you’ll be measuring.
Repipe Specialists wanted to use the video below to educate customers. Their ultimate goal was to get more customers to contact them for plumbing help. So the script, graphics, and on-screen text, all work toward that goal.
You can think about video objectives based on where your customers are in the funnel. Are you trying to reach people who don’t know about your product, people who know you but haven’t yet converted, or existing users who need to know your product better? Your objective determines your script, tone, voice, and messaging, as well as video length and story.
3. How Long Should Your Video Be?
In most cases, your animated explainer video should be between 15-120 seconds long. That’s it. Several studies have crunched the numbers and the data is clear: attention rates start to drop after 60 seconds, and take a nosedive around the 2-minute mark. If you think you need more time, you’re probably trying to do too much in one video.
Look at what Mido Lotto manages to accomplish in just 30 seconds. They have a clear value proposition, some social proof, and a call to action.
Prioritize your key selling point and make it interesting. If you have multiple points to make, you’re probably better off making multiple videos.
4. What Problem Does Your Video Help Solve?
Speaking of your value proposition: What benefit does your video offer your customers? It should present information or a resource to solve a real problem your customer has. That might be the need to keep up in business, fixing a leaky pipe problem, or saving time while buying lottery tickets.
Your video should define the problem you solve and highlight what differentiates you from your competitors. Your video is a chance for you to literally show your customers how easy their life could be…if they only had what you’ve got.
5. What Are Your Customers’ Common Objections?
Your explainer video is an ideal opportunity to answer common questions or objectives from customers. Talk to your sales team early in the pre-production process so they can tell you what’s troubling customers. Every time a customer asks a question or lodges a complaint, they’re giving you information on how to improve your product to better solve your target customers’ needs. Listen to them. Some of the best videos come from FAQs and customer complaint forms.
6. What Is Your Brand Personality?
This one is more important than you think. If you’re a B2B arbitrage investment firm, you don’t want a cuddly teddy bear pitching your state-of-the-art algorithms to potential clients. Or maybe you do. Your video should match your brand personality to avoid sending the wrong messages to potential clients.
7. Do You Have A Visual Style And Logo?
If you already have a distinct brand identity, feature it in your animated explainer video. Bring your mood boards, hex color codes, and defined palettes to your first production meeting. This explainer video is going to be an integral part of your website. It might even be the first thing visitors see. Make it a good representation of your brand.
Some of our clients have used their explainer videos to discover a new visual style. Others have incorporated the characters and concepts we create into rebrands and redesigns. Whichever way you go, make your video a part of your larger branding and it’ll be more effective for years to come.
8. Who is your audience?
Are you selling B2B or B2C? Who are the decision-makers in your target audience? Think about where your customers live, what they look like, and what other brands they might be engaging with. With a clear picture of your customer in mind, you can create characters and stories that speak to their experience.
For example, the video below is clearly aimed at business leaders. The script, character design, and music are all designed to appeal to this specific audience.
9. What Is Your CTA?
What do you want people to do after they’ve watched? Design a path that leads from your video to the goal you’re trying to achieve. Then give viewers a single, clear action to take. This could be clicking a link, visiting a website, or buying now. The right video CTA can improve your video’s conversion rates and ROI. What does “right” mean? It means you’ve chosen a CTA that makes sense for the video you’ve created, and you’ve given viewers plenty of reasons to take action.
10. Are You Ready?
An explainer video can be a big investment. Ideally, you’ll be able to use this video for months and even years. If you’re on the verge of brand refresh or another major business shakeup, now might not be the best time to make an explainer video. You’ll need some time, a budget, and answers to the questions above. Once you’ve gathered all that, it’s time to find a video creation studio that can help you make a quality explainer video.
Making Your First Animated Explainer Video
Making an explainer video is hard. Don’t be discouraged if your branding, marketing, and animation goals are still a little murky after reviewing the above list of questions. In our experience, the scripting process often helps companies successfully develop and enhance their vision. If you need some help, reach out. The video creation experts at IdeaRocket have made hundreds of high-quality videos. We can’t wait to work on yours.