8 Things To Consider Before Kicking Off Your Explainer Video
Whether you wind up working with us, or with a different animation company, one of the first steps to getting started on your animated explainer video will be a kick-off call to discuss your needs.
Since this is just the first conversation of many to come, it’s not necessary that you know all the answers. After all, part of our job is to work with you at discovering those solutions. But even though the right path will eventually reveal itself, below is a list of some things that might be helpful to think about before getting started with your animation provider:
The first, and perhaps most important, question to ask yourself when you are starting a video project is what your objective is. Try to be specific: you probably don’t just want to let people know about something. The more pointed and specific you can be about this, the likelier it is you will achieve your goal.
The what and how of your message should be specifically tailored towards the “who.” Is this going to be an internal video? And, if so, who will be watching? Is it all of your employees, or just a specific segment of the company?
The same principle applies to external videos as well. Are you making this to connect with potential investors? Recruits? Customers?
Once you have identified who your target audience is, ask yourself who they are in terms of age, gender, education, and income (demographics). Also ask yourself if they might have a shared temperament (what marketers call psychographics).
The length of your video will primarily be dictated by the complexity of your message. The usage of your video will also affect it: a captive audience at an event is likelier to tolerate a long video than an Instagram follower, for example. On the web, it’s wise to try to keep it short, while also getting your point across.
4. Animation Style
Different styles of animation bring a variety of unique advantages, so what this really boils down to is a question of taste. What do you like, and how do you envision your story being told, and your brand being represented?
Do you prefer a 2D environment, or is 3D a better choice? Or perhaps, what you’d prefer is something created with an RSA-style whiteboard animation technique? The choice here may not always be clear. If you’re stuck, you can always ask your animation studio partner for advice.
This is perhaps the most often ignored elements of a video, but it ends up being one of the most pivotal. The tone of your video sets the stage for how your audience will feel and, in many cases, the extent to which your message will be received.
It’s important to ask yourself: what’s the right tone to empower this message so that it will resonate with audiences? Should this video be funny? Or might a light-hearted sensibility betray a more serious message?
6. Call to Action
This is the payoff, the part where you run the ball into the end zone. This is where, if your video is effective, you propel your viewers towards some kind of action or change. A CTA could be anything from asking employees to click on a link, to persuading potential consumers to do business with your company.
Despite its phrasing, the goal of your video may not even be a “call to action.” Perhaps what you’re really seeking is just a thought or a behavior. Just remember that you decided to make this explainer video for a reason and, when all is said and done, that goal is addressed and (hopefully) accomplished.
7. Distribution Plan
How do you plan to use your animated explainer video? Video is an extremely versatile medium, so be sure to consider all the angles when putting together your distribution plan. How will your video fit into your email campaigns, at an upcoming trade show, or on social media? Different channels may require different formats and lengths, so be sure you keep your audience, and your goals, top-of-mind at this stage. You may even want to consider creating a series of videos, or repurposing your content to make your efforts go the extra mile.
Once you’ve got your video plan down pat, you need to be able execute it. Make sure you have a sign-off from your executive team, and understand how much of your budget you can invest in your animated video project. Professional explainer videos can vary in cost, so work with your partner to determine the best course of action that meets your needs, while not breaking the bank.