6 Free Visual Content Creation Tools You’ll Actually Use
We get that sometimes a full blown animated explainer video might not be the right choice for your business or brand. You might not have the budget for a professional animated video or the time and energy to work with a studio to produce the perfect video. And make no mistake about it—high quality professional animated explainer videos take time and money. But just because you’re not in the market for a video doesn’t mean you can’t get serious about creating stunning visual content for your sales, marketing and social media teams. Here’s our guide to six of the best online visual content creation tools. Most of them are free, and the ones with a membership are worth the price of admission.
Your Ultimate Explainer Video CTA Guide
Video marketing without a clear CTA is like fishing without bait. Or a hook. Or a rod. In the desert. You can’t catch fish without the right bait. If you’re lucky enough to grab people’s attention with your high quality explainer video, you have to immediately direct that interest toward the next step in the process — conversion — with a strong, clear call-to-action (CTA) that gets results. Make better videos and get better results with our complete video CTA guide with 7 simple steps to create an effective video CTA, 3 different types of video CTAs, and 5 common call-to-action mistakes to avoid.
Video Email Marketing: 4 Ways to Use Video in an Email
Despite all the cool social media platforms, fun apps and hot new sites the most effective marketing tool around is still your boring old email account. People check their email every single day, which means that email is still one of the best ways to share your new explainer video and increase exposure for your brand. For the longest time video and email didn’t mesh, but that’s all over. Video email marketing is easier and more effective than ever. Here are the four best ways to get your video into everyone's inbox and why video email matters now more than ever.
Video SEO: 13 Ways Video Boosts SEO
A great explainer video does more than just explain what your company is all about. Online video boosts your SEO so that your site gets more links, more views, and better results for the keywords that matter most to you and your target audience. And it gets better, once people click over to your site, your explainer video improves other SEO metrics like dwell time, bounce rate and CTR so that your website stays on top of the Google pile. Video is the ultimate one-two punch for any SEO strategy. Video gets your site to rank for competitive keywords and video keeps people around for long enough to engage with your high quality content (which Google loves). Here are 13 ways video boosts SEO and why video SEO is so important for your brand, your conversions, and your company growth.
6 Easy to Use Video Metrics That Actually Measure Results
You've written the script, created the graphics, and made your explainer video. You even host your video on the homepage of your site (way to go), and you’ve launched your shiny new video on every video platform from YouTubeFacebook. Congrats! Now the hard work begins. It’s time to track video metrics and tweak your video to see what works and what doesn't. Measure the success (and failure) of your online video with these 6 video metrics to create better custom audiences, more effective landing pages, better CTAs and increase engagement rates and site-wide conversions.
11 Easy Ways to Optimize Your Mobile Video
In 2016 mobile video accounted for more than 50% of all online video views. Half of your potential leads likely encountered your brand for the very first time on their phone—probably while they were doing something else. Mobile viewership of everything from micro-content to longform documentaries is on the rise, and even “paired viewing” (watching video on desktop and mobile devices simultaneously) has become the norm. Is your video optimized for this massive audience to create the most engagement, hook the most leads, and get the biggest possible ROI?
“What’s Your Hook?” A Video Marketing Guide
Hands down, the best way to reach people online is with video. People love video because video is easy to watch, engaging as all heck, helpful (hopefully), and most importantly—you can watch it on the go. Video is perfectly positioned for mobile devices, and make no mistake—buyers have gone mobile. Mobile users don't have time for massive blocks of text. If you're not there with a video to answer their concerns, you're not part of the conversation. There are plenty of fish in this new digital sea, but to catch the right ones you need the right hook. Explainer video is your hook.
5 Interesting Ways to Use Landing Page Video
Online video is one of the most versatile sales and marketing tools in your arsenal. You can use an explainer video as a tool to build brand awareness, as a pitching resource for your sales team, as a way to increase clicks to your company email, or even for live events and conventions. However, the number one reason to make an animated explainer video is of course for your company website.
Why Landing Page Videos Increase Conversions
Attracting visitors to your website is essential for the growth and longevity of any business big or small. We’ve already shown (at length) why landing page videos are such a great tool for increasing your SEO and search ranking for keywords that drive more people to your site, but that’s only half the battle. How do you convert these visitors from passive voyeurs into active leads (and then ultimately into customers)? Again, one of the most effective conversion tools is an explainer video.
The 13 Best Startup Videos of All Time (Animated & Live Action)
Every startup, needs an amazing explainer video. They just do. From Kickstarter campaigns to Silicon Valley venture capital funding rounds, your new business needs a concise, interesting way to answer that looming question everyone will ask when they hear about your shiny new idea: So what? The best startup videos answer that question in seconds.
How Long Should Your Video Be: Optimal Video Length
Length matters, especially when it comes to online video. The optimal video length varies from video to video. Different hosts (YouTube vs. Facebook), and unique video marketing objectives mean that the ideal length for your video will fluctuate—but not by all that much. No matter who you are or what you're selling, the hard, fast answer to, "How long should your video be?" is, "Short."
Whiteboard Animation: The 12 Best Whiteboard Videos from 2007-2017
When whiteboard animation burst onto the scene over ten years ago, most people thought it was a fad. Yet even in the digital age of 3D animation, CGI, VR, and even augmented reality, the unmistakeable clarity and simplicity of whiteboard videos continues to engage millions of viewers, year after year. We've been making explainer videos for over a decade, and whiteboard videos are still popular for one simple reason—they work. So to help you better understand the power of whiteboard animation, here are our favorite picks for the best whiteboard animation from the past 10 years.
A Video is Worth 1.8 Million Words
How much is a video actually worth? It’s a simple question with a difficult answer. A quality explainer video is expensive, but a single explainer video can also launch billion dollar businesses (like Dropbox). Measuring the impact of video is tough because every video is a moving target with different objectives, audiences, and metrics. However, Dr. James McQuivey might have found an interesting way to think about the value of online video.
Vertical Video Guide: Facebook, Snapchat, Aspect Ratios & More
If you’re an online video purist, you probably hate vertical video. For years, portrait mode videos have been a sign of low quality production, but that’s quickly changing. In 2017, mobile devices surpassed desktops as the main way people watch online video, and mobile viewers want more vertical aspect videos. Thanks to user generated content and quality branded videos on Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram, vertical video has gone from an unforgivable sin to mainstream media staple practically overnight. Embrace the madness and learn how to make vertical video—and mobile video—work for you with this complete vertical video guide.
Video Marketing Ideas: 6 Ways to Promote Your Explainer Video
People want to watch video. We search for videos to help make purchasing decisions, we watch reviews, and according to Cisco, “video content will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic by the end of 2017.” A great video is simply the best way to get more eyeballs on your site. Here are 7 Video Marketing Ideas to share your explainer video with the world.
Which Industries Buy Explainer Video? [CASE STUDY]
Is an explainer video right for your business? The short answer is: Yes. Explainer videos are incredibly valuable marketing resources for startups, Fortune 500s, and everything in-between. People like explainer videos because they’re concise, helpful, and interesting. The right video can help grow your reach, inbound leads, engagement rates, SEO strategy, and even conversion rate. But is an explainer right for your industry? We looked at our client list to find out.
How to Use Gifographics: Animated Infographics
In internet years, GIFs are ancient. Even in human years, they aren’t young – GIFs turned thirty this past June – but they’re still the life of the online party. The internet community is obsessed with creating and sharing these animated images. So how can you and your business capitalize on one of the web’s most popular devices?
How Much Does a DIY Explainer Video Really Cost?
Professional animated explainer videos can cost thousands of dollars. That's a fact. This intimidating price tag can make cheaper video options—like DIY explainer video and freelance animators—look appealing. But this isn’t a chili-dog deal from Groupon—this animated explainer video is going to be a huge part of your business' sales and marketing strategy, and lead generation tool. You explainer video is a big deal, and you get what you pay for. Before you settle for a DIY explainer video or budget animation studio, take a look at some of the hidden costs of making a budget explainer video. If you're not careful your "cheap" video might cost you more time, money, and future income than you think.
Online Video Trends: A New Kind of Animated Explainer Video
Mashable’s new social media optimized “Reels" videos are changing the game, Disney is launching their own streaming online video platform soon, and Hyundai may have made the best brand building video in a hundred years (you’ll get that joke later). This week’s online video marketing roundup is a big one with tips and takeaways on the current state and the future of online video for animation and beyond.
The Perfect Storm: What Drives Viral Videos?
Not too long ago, it took years of hard work and determination to make your company a household name. Today, with the help of the internet, you can achieve viral fame overnight. Having your brand video go viral can propel your company to the forefront of home pages everywhere and give you valuable exposure to a much larger audience. While it’s impossible to predict what will go viral on a day-to-day basis and there is no secret formula, there are things you can do to give yourself the best chance possible to go viral.
5 Reasons Why Video Is More Effective than Text
Video marketing isn’t easy, but when done well there’s no better way to convert viewers into customers. Over 70% of marketers claim that video produces more conversions than any other content. That is because video is more engaging, more memorable, drives more traffic, and holds almost every other advantage over text.
Micro Video Content: The Future of Online Video
The future of marketing really is video. Video results already encompass more than half of all internet searches, and mobile video views overtook desktop devices in 2017 as the dominant form of online video. People want video on the go, which means they want micro content. Transform your video marketing strategy with micro video content and catapult your brand into the future.
The Current State of Online Video: 2017
We’re halfway through 2017. It’s time to get up to date on the current state of online video. Gaming is changing YouTube, European viewers are more important than ever, and Netflix is making a grab for anime streaming viewers. We talk rebranding, video SEO, and even include a free script template to get you started making your own online video. Video marketing is constantly on the move—find out how you can adapt in this week’s Friday Roundup.
Steal This Script: Free Video Script Template Download
Staring at a blank page sucks. Trying to cram all the great features of your product or service into a 60-second video, complete with captivating images and smooth animation is worse. We get it. That's why we’ve taken some of the work out of the animated video process by giving you an easy to use, free download of our A/V script template to help you get the ball rolling on your next video project. Seriously, steal our script template. We want you to.
Video Marketing & Emojis: The Friday Animated Video Roundup
Animated video is still one of the best ways to reach your ideal customers online. How you create you video marketing strategy is another matter. Track the right video metrics, create custom audiences, incorporate influencers, and maybe even try using emoji. It’s 2017—video marketing is doing some interesting things. Learn how to make your animated video work for you.
4 Facebook Video Metrics You Should Be Using
Get to know Facebook Insights a little better and discover the 4 Facebook video metric tools you should be using to track your video and increase the reach, engagement, and ROI of your next Facebook video. Here’s how to make Facebook video metrics work for you.
10 Best Ways to Help Your Video Promotion
You just got done creating a fantastic video that you can’t wait to share with thousands of potential buyers. You want to make sure that it’s seen by a broad audience but you’re not quite sure how to achieve that; this is where promotion comes into play.
A Guide to Translating Video Content
Companies today have not only a globally distributed customer base but a globally distributed workforce too. With such a broad swath of demographics to cover, it can be hard for businesses to reach an audience with so many different backgrounds and keep the same level of engagement. With only 27% of web users speaking English, translating your video content into another language – or multiple – is a smart way to reach a more global audience and stand out from the competition.
8 Simple Ways to Optimize Facebook Video Ads
You already know that Facebook video ads are an affordable, scalable way to reach a huge pool of highly targeted potential customers. One Nielsen study tracked over 300 Facebook video campaigns and found that “73% of them had a significant lift in ad recall, and the average lift between test and control groups was 86%.” Great. Facebook video ads work. The only question is—How do you make a great Facebook video ad?
Four Elements of a Great Video Narrative
The phrase “video narrative” is intimidating. It conjures up Shakespearean drama, and script meeting anxiety, but the deep dark secret of corporate video production is that a narrative can be as simple as you want. “Jack and Jill went up the hill...” is a 10-part mini-series rife with drama just waiting to happen.
YouTube Pre-Roll Ad CTA Guide
YouTube pre-roll ads might seem like traditional video marketing—they’re certainly disruptive enough—but YouTube is not television. While advertising on the largest video platform in the world can raise awareness, the cost-per-view (CPV) of premium targeting options and intense competition for viewers’ attention prohibit many startups and smaller companies from making effective pre-roll ads just for the sake of “awareness.” Get immediate ROI on your YouTube pre-roll by defining measurable objectives with a CTA that funnels viewers exactly where you want them to go.
The Best Video Host for You and Your Business
Choosing the right video host can make all the difference in making your video marketing campaign shine. Video hosting services are what enable users to upload and share their content on the internet in a secure and reliable way. Obviously, going straight to internet giant YouTube and uploading your video there is the first thing that comes to mind, but there are good reasons to use other services.
YouTube Pre-Roll Ad Targeting: How it Works and What it Costs
YouTube pre-roll ads are an easy, cost-effective way to reach your ideal customers. To get started advertising on YouTube, you just set your daily budget in Adsense, upload your video, and boom—you’re in the advertising business, right? If only it were that simple.
Digital Billboards Have Gone From a Novelty to a Mainstay
One of the most traditional forms of marketing and advertisement has seen a remarkable revolution over the past decade. Out-of-home advertising, which includes billboards and other displays that reach consumers while they are away from the comfort of their home, has finally caught up with the rest of the world and gone digital. This has created a new home for animators to collaborate with out-of-home advertisers on exciting new ads.
YouTube Pre-Roll Ad Length: Timing is Everything
No one wants to watch a YouTube pre-roll ad, but if you create a short, engaging, self-aware ad you might just increase engagement, boost brand loyalty, and even get a few conversions. Imagine that—a pre-roll ad that gets results.
How Whiteboard Animation Changed Online Video: A Brief History
Even if you’re not in sales, marketing, or the startup world, you’ve seen at least one whiteboard animation. These hand drawn animated videos are everywhere—and for good reason. Whiteboard animation is an amazing way to explain complicated topics, state of the art products, and disruptive services in just a few minutes. Even better—people actually like watching whiteboard videos.
6 Ways to Optimize Your B2B Video for the Long Tail
Explainer videos are great at building brand awareness, describing a new product, and even as real world selling tools at meeting, conventions, and live events. However, the main reason to make an animated explainer video is to drive traffic to your website and spread the word about their business. And while a compelling script, appealing characters, and strong CTA, are essential for an effective video, none of that matters if you don’t achieve the kind of reach and engagement that a high quality video demands. Luckily, that’s what long tail B2B video marketing is for.
Gorillaz: The Future of Animated Video
Animated video is just flat out engaging in ways that live action simply can’t match. And animation is coming to media in ways that you can’t imagine. Case in point, the new album, Humanz, from animated super band Gorillaz.
4 Examples of Great B2B Video (and how to make your own)
I know the phrase “corporate video” sounds about as exciting as a homeopathic root canal, but it doesn’t have to be that way. B2B video can be fresh, innovative, and engaging. In fact, B2B videos have gotten down right awesome over the past years, raising the bar for what corporate video marketing can do. Engage and persuade your clients and potential leads with high quality animated explainer videos. To prove it, here are 6 of our favorite corporate videos, and some guidelines for what makes a great B2B video.
7 Great Explainer Videos that Don’t Say a Word
We love explainer video voiceover. The right accent, inflection, and tone add trust, brand awareness, and persuasive power to any animated explainer video. However, sometimes the best explanations don't require a single word. Shifting viewership habits and the rise of mobile video has created a new breed of explainer videos without words. Here's how to make a great silent explainer video and 7 examples of great explainer videos that don't say a word.
LinkedIn Video Marketing: The Best Place for Online Video
The first thing most businesses and startups do when they make an animated explainer video is put it online. You created your video to reach as many of your potential customers and clients as possible, so you want to maximize this new video marketing resource—and that’s awesome. The best part about an animated video is that you can market it in a million different ways.
Interesting Video Marketing: Kobe Bryant, LinkedIn, and Scale Models
At its core animation is all about innovation—that’s partly why animated explainer videos are such an appealing way to share fresh ideas, launch new businesses, and explain all the features of state-of-the-art products. However, like most video marketing, it’s tempting to get locked into one way of sharing animated video.
How to Build Brand Awareness with an Animated Explainer Video
One of the best ways to launch a new product or jump start your business is with a high quality animated explainer video. Animated video helps your website rank better in Google search, keeps customers on your site for longer, streamlines the sales and pitch process, but the one thing animated video does better than anything else is build brand awareness.
How to Choose the Style for Your Animated Explainer Video
An animated explainer video is one of the most effective ways to raise brand awareness, increase engagement, supercharge your SEO, and increase conversions. People just plain like animation, and explainer videos are getting more popular every year. However, there’s a lot more to animation than just cartoons—especially when it comes to your business.
Why I Didn’t Watch Your Video: Crappy Audio
What does it take to make a great explainer video? You need a tight script, likable characters, and a story people want to watch. However, the most important part of a truly great explainer video production might not be the "video" part at all. To make a video that gets results, you need great audio.
How Much Does an Explainer Video Cost?
You're thinking about making an explainer video, so naturally your initial concern is about explainer video price. "How much does an explainer video cost?" you ask. Good question. We won't beat around the bush:
The price for a high quality explainer video is between $5,000–$35,000 per minute.
Event & Convention Video Best Practices
A compelling convention video starts with a great idea. Keep your video focused on the one thing you want attendees to take away from your convention and let that idea guide your introduction, music, energy, and ultimately your CTA. Here's our guide of best practices for making a great convention video.
Trade Show Video Best Practices
Last week we posted an article outlining the guidelines and best practices for creating a great convention, event, corporate training, sales pitch, or trade show video. That primer was full of practical tips to help your animated explainer video standout in a crowded, loud, competitive real world space. Now it's time to take a deeper look at a few great examples of successful (and not so successful) trade show explainer videos and the four steps you need follow to make your trade show video a hit.
Explainer Video Best Practices: Trade Show, Sales Pitch, Conventions and More
Animated explainer videos are a fantastic way to hook new viewers, explain a complicated product, or build hype for your startup (sometimes all three!), but not all explainers are meant to live on your website or YouTube channel. Video can be a simple, powerful real-world tool for everything from pumping up an industry crowd at a trade show to priming a boardroom of executives for your next sales pitch—you just have to know the rules for using explainers in the the real world.
Education Industry + Whiteboard Animation = Results
Over the past few years, IdeaRocket has had the pleasure of crafting explainer videos for a number of educational institutions. From high schools (like Langley and Clintondale) to universities (like Harvard and Johns Hopkins), we've worked with members of the education industry to create whiteboard animation videos. Why whiteboard animation? Because it gets results. Here's why...
The Unique Powers of Whiteboard Animation
A couple years ago, a psychologist by the name of Richard Wiseman conducted an interesting experiment. Curious about the impact of whiteboard animation, he arranged a test of memory in which participants (there were about 1,000 total) were shown one of two video clips:
Surround Your Video with Goodness (Titles, Descriptions, Thumbnails)
You know how, on special occasions, we get dressed up and put our best foot forward? Well, when it comes to getting people to click on your explainer video, the same logic holds true. From the thumbnails you select to how your video is described, there are little things you can do to dress up how your video is framed for the viewer.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Hi5 (explainer video)
When hiring personnel, we’re all looking for superheroes. But as most of us have learned from experience (as well as a decade of Marvel movies!) superheroes don’t always get along. Getting talented employees to collaborate can often be a challenge. But as we’ll see in our PICK OF THE WEEK—an explainer video for Hi5, a brand that assists companies conduct co-worker reviews—there might now be some effective solutions to help solve this problem.
Billion Dollar Explainer Video?
Last week, Unilever spent $1 billion to acquire the stylish, grooming startup Dollar Shave Club. Founded only five years ago, Dollar Shave Club has already attracted over 2 million members to sign up for their monthly razor-providing service. There are several reasons why their disruptive business model has been successful—some of which we'll touch upon below—but certainly one key for the company was their incredible, introductory explainer video. An explainer that was viewed over 23 million times! So today we're going to break down what made that video so effective.
10 Excellent Examples of Branded Content for Virtual Reality
Last Thursday, The Wall Street Journal published a story that wondered if branded virtual reality content was the next great frontier in marketing. The article cites a few examples from the Cannes Film Festival where "VR was a popular talking point among ad agency executives, tech companies such as Samsung...and online services such as YouTube" as well as some recent deals (like AOL's gaudy acquisition of the VR production company Ryot) that seem to point in the direction of this being the case. Not just because of those deals and examples but because branded content for virtual reality can help marketers achieve that elusive holy grail: engagement.
Internet Trends 2016 (Part 2: Video Marketing, Messaging and More)
As we mentioned yesterday, venture capitalist Mary Meeker has been giving an annual talk on the state of the internet every year since 1995. What started as intriguing presentations has now become must-see material for those in Silicon Valley. That's because, over the years, Meeker has shown a prescient talent for identifying digital trends. For example, since 2010 the Digital Growth Funds she helps lead has bet early on numerous breakout hits; an impressive list that includes Twitter, Spotify, slack and many more. In short: when Mary Meeker speaks, people listen.
Internet Trends 2016 (Part 1: Changing Demographics, Evolving Brands)
Nowadays, every business has some kind of online presence. Whether it's a website, an app, social media channels or another type of digital footprint, it's just not possible to thrive without an online presence. That's why staying up to date with digital trends can be a valuable asset to us all. Which brings us to Mary Meeker...
PICK OF THE WEEK: How OnHub Keeps Your Wi-Fi Fast (Explainer)
At home or at work, Wi-Fi connectivity plays a big part in our daily lives. But what if I told you that your Wi-Fi experience could be even better? Faster? Smoother? More consistent? Well that's exactly what OnHub promises to deliver. And to help get the word out, they've created a fun, flashy, motion graphics explainer video in How OnHub Keeps Your Wi-Fi Fast that we've selected as our PICK OF THE WEEK.
6 Bands if They Were Startups
Joining a band was once the holy grail of coolness. In a time when "seed funding" only referred to money set aside for growing weed, young people convened in garages and basements to bend out-of-tune guitar strings and hope for the day a cigar-smoking record executive would hand them a jumbo jet on which to tour the world and abuse groupies.
The Next Big Thing
Here in 2012, we have seen many waves hit the internet shore: portals, internet commerce, search, social media, daily deals, cloud computing. Each of these waves have created billions of dollars in market capitalization, as well as many failed companies that never caught the peak.
When Products Splinter
A couple of talks in the copious TED collection make a fascinating counterpoint. In the first, Malcolm Gladwell tells the story of Howard Moskowitz, who brought choice to spaguetti sauces. The take-away is simple: people have a diversity of tastes, and by creating a diversity of products rather than a median product, we can make more people happy. Obvious? No! says Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice. He says consumers have too many products to choose from and that it causes a paralyzing anxiety.
20 Must-Have Online Collaboration Tools, Apps, and Programs
At IdeaRocket we collaborate with many of our freelancers remotely, so we're constantly investigating online collaboration tools to see which are the ones that work best for us. Since many other businesses have to collaborate remotely with employees, clients and contractors, we thought we'd share what we've discovered.
Follow Your Marketing Bliss
Many years ago I remember seeing Joseph Campbell on television giving some advice to young people: “Follow your bliss,” he said. Well, I couldn’t disagree, but I did have some reservations. This was probably spiritual advice, I thought. I had to suspect that a lot of people who followed their bliss winded up cold and hungry.