Obviously, we here at IdeaRocket think that the best way to engage potential clients and spread the word about your business is with a quality animated explainer video. But we also understand that not every company has the budget for professional whiteboard animation. And that’s ok. DIY whiteboard animation software has come a long way in the last few years, and a DIY explainer video could be just what your boot-strapped operation needs to get off the ground, but only if it looks good.
A poorly made whiteboard won’t “save you money” if it hurts your brand and drives away customers. So to help you get started with animation for your company, we took a look at some of the most popular DIY whiteboard animation tools on the market.
Some are good, some are bad, and some are just downright ugly. Here’s your review of the best DIY whiteboard animation software for any budget.
VideoScribe — $29/month
Best Use: Education / FAQ section
When it comes to DIY whiteboard animation tools, you get what you pay for. A lot of “free” video tools are garbage (more on that below), so even though it’s tempting to make a video for $0, remember that this is a marketing tool that represents your brand. If you’re not willing to pay $30 for what will quickly become a keystone piece of content, maybe you need to rethink your business model.
The video interface is easy to use, if a little simple, and will produce passable whiteboard animation for a variety of uses. Choose from a library of stock images, set your animation points and timing, add voiceover and/or a soundtrack, and you’re all set. VideoScribe is great for education and simple technical explanations, but lacks the flexibility for creating impactful sales tools and branding videos. It’s great for specific explanations, but definitely not something you want to build your marketing strategy around.
Technical Problems with DIY Whiteboard Animation
The problem with DIY whiteboard videos isn’t the quality of the animation (or at least not entirely). No, the problem is that DIY videos often lack a clear objective, point of view, and call to action. Because of those flaws, they rarely produce the same results as a studio production.
Even “nice looking” DIY whiteboard animation just lacks all the tiny details and professional precision that today’s viewers expect from online video. If your video doesn’t meet viewers’ expectations, you’ll lose their attention. And that’s not ok.
VideoScribe is fine if you need to explain something in a very simple way. However, this isn’t a brand building tool. You can try VideoScribe free for 7 days, and pay a $29/month to create as many videos as you want. You do have to pay for some of the premium images in the templates, so be aware of that. Make a bunch of videos and cancel after one month, (they even say it on their website) or sign up for a whole year—the flexible payment options is another great feature.
- Simple, technical explanations (not sales oriented)
Not Recommended For:
- Brand Building
- High-End Products
- Convention Presentations
Raw Shorts is another DIY whiteboard animation company with decent looking videos. Here’s a sample called Whiteboard Template for Accountants:
The animation is a little hokey, but passable, and the color palette is pleasing to the eye. This video is closer to branding purposes, which is saying a lot. However, watch the video for longer than 15 seconds and you’ll start to feel your attention drifting. It’s because this video simply isn’t engaging. It has all the necessary pieces of a good explainer video, but lacks the professional storytelling touch that makes it actually engaging. This animation is animation for the sake of having a video. It’s not an actual marketing tool that you can use with confidence.
This video is good for what it is, but it’s still obviously a template. And you never forget that. The generic slogans, vague statements, and stock animation footage just drone on. Accounting isn’t exciting stuff, but this video doesn’t provide any reason to keep watching, and that’s a problem.
Best Use: Time sensitive event landing page
If you want a simple paint-by-numbers animated explanation of your business, the list of pre-made templates is a great option for adding some video content to your website. It’s easy to use, smooth, and will look just fine. If however, you’re looking to take your business to the next level, this DIY animation software comes up a little short.
The free plan includes a Raw Shorts watermark and outro, so you’ll want to upgrade to remove that. The free plan also only includes YouTube uploads, so you’ll only be able to link to that YouTube page. If you want to download the raw video file to use for your website or other marketing materials you have to upgrade to the premium plans.
- Time sensitive or product landing page
- Company Overview
- Brand Building
Apparently every company that makes terrible DIY whiteboard animation software decided that $37 was the magic number they could get from gullible creators. TTS Sketchmaker DIY whiteboard software is hilarious. They rely solely on Text to Speech audio tools, so every video sounds like it’s narrated by a stuttering robot. Do yourself a favor and watch a few. They’re awesome…ly bad.
TTS Sketchmaker is not a professional whiteboard video maker. Period.
DIY Whiteboard Animation Software: Use At Your Own Risk
Whiteboard animation is a great way to make your brand stand out, but make sure you stand out for the right reasons. A quality explainer video will drive engagement, social shares, and brand awareness. A poor whiteboard video will scare off potential customers and degrade your business. Identify why you want to make your whiteboard video, then move forward with the right tools that fit your budget.
Don’t sell yourself short with whiteboard video software that will cost your company new leads and more business in the long run.
If you’re interested in producing whiteboard animation, check out our portfolio and see what can be done with a customized approach.