Animated Video Production

Why Professional Explainer Video Matters

Shawn Forno 08.24.2017

Most of our potential clients are fairly far along in the research process of the buyer’s journey before we ever speak with them. They have a good sense of the animation look and style they want, at least to some degree. It’s not hard to Google “whiteboard video” or “CGI explainer videos” and look at some pretty impressive professional explainer video portfolios. Heck, here’s our animation reel to save you some time.

What’s interesting about this initial conversation is how good clients are at picking out the professional video from the DIY chaff. However, while it’s easy to spot quality, it’s tough to produce it. Professional explainer videos come at a premium, and one common objection to the price tag is that less than perfect videos—sometimes even from big name brands—are everywhere. What’s the harm in going the budget route to save our marketing budget? The harm in making an amateur video, is that you get amateur results. When’s the last time you ever bought something after watching a video like this?

Just like you, your potential customers instantly recognize a great video—and a crappy one—when they see it. And they won’t stick around to watch the bad ones. Quality is self-evident. When it comes to online video, you only have seconds to prove that you’re worth watching.

The Buyer’s Journey: You Get What You Pay For

If you’re still tempted to go the budget DIY explainer video route, you might not realize exactly what’s at stake when you make a bad, or even just an “average” video. A budget explainer video is almost worse than nothing at all, because it aside from deceptive production costs, the final product leaves a bad impression that can cost you thousands in lost business.

A recent Verizon Digital Media survey of 1,000 adult internet users, shows the “average time spent viewing video across all devices declined by 77% when the video quality dropped.” This drop off is even more stark on mobile devices and with pre-rolls and other video ads. Poorly made video, for any reason or any objective simply isn’t ok anymore. DIY whiteboard animation used to get the job done back in 2010, but there’s simply no excuse for a bad video on your website today.

Your Video IS Your Brand

professional explainer video

There’s a feeling that social media and “authenticity” have replaced professional explainer video production techniques. Production values and a carefully written scripts are a thing of the past. Live video is king and influencers are all you need, right? Not if you want to see long term SEO results, generate more leads, bump engagement, and get those conversions—whatever that looks like to you and your company. Your video is a flagship investment in your brand. Make it worth people’s time. Tom Falcone, VP Digital Media Relations, puts it simply:

Every aspect of an advertisement, from the actual content, to the music and the video quality itself, communicates something about the brand that made it. Even if your creative is top-notch, a low-quality video can easily suggest something less-than-perfect to potential customers.

Viewers won’t tolerate a bad video, even if it gets the gist across. In fact, they’ll judge you twice as harshly because they’ve seen what your competitors are doing, and just like you, they know quality when they see it.

Whiteboard Video: Not a Passing Fad

A little over a decade ago, RSA-style whiteboard animation disrupted the way we make and watch online video. Heck, online video was barely even a thing back in the early 2000’s, and viewers were happy to have something to watch. Most early explainer videos were simply about communicating information. Heck, whiteboard animation practically launched Dropbox—the first legitimate cloud storage tool— and other companies like UPS and Dollar Shave Club jumped on the explainer video train to explain their businesses as quickly as possible. People loved it back then, but today’s viewer demands more.

Another recent study of millennials between the ages of 26-34 found that “75% of millennials would “give up” on a video stream within four minutes” if the quality was “subpar.” That’s longer than most explainer video run times, but the message is still clear. Explainer video can reach viewers (even those pesky millennials), but only the good stuff can make a dent anymore. The bar has been raised. Slick new explainer videos are popping up online for companies in every industry across every sector from HBO show openers to the next new fitness app.

Yes, we’re in a new age of online content creation. Content matters, and the right video can build a brand or launch a campaign, but the laws of branding still apply. Expertise matters, and quality shines through.

Professional Explainer Video

If you present your product or service in a cheap way, that just tells people that you’re cheap. No one is fooled by a video like this:

Prospects know what looks good, just like you do. We see this struggle from the production side all the time. While it’s tempting to go with cheaper, quicker options, viewers won’t applaud your “authenticity” is it looks terrible. Yes, professional video costs a little more, but your brand is your greatest asset. Invest in making it look as valuable and viable as possible.

Shawn Forno

Shawn Forno is a massive Studio Ghibli fan who does content marketing. In that order. Find his other writing and extensive travel blogging here.

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