There are several reasons that people give for not yet leveraging video in their marketing. “It’s too expensive,” “I don’t have time,” or “I don’t want to be on camera,” are just some of the most common excuses.
While these are valid considerations, ultimately it’s highly beneficial to overcome these temporary obstacles and learn how to create engaging video programming for your business. However, if you are struggling to get a video up on your site then there are ways to create this content without any of those roadblocks mentioned getting in your way.
Animated or “whiteboard” videos that explain or introduce your product or service can be a very effective tool for your business. They can also be very affordable and fairly easy to produce.
1. Create a script or outline with the main points you want to communicate about your business, product or service. Keep it simple. There is no need to list ‘everything under the hood’ in your video as that information can be found later on your website.
Think in terms of the visitor coming to your site for the first time. You need to quickly and in an engaging way communicate your message to your audience. There might be technical features of your service that you are really proud of but the end user really doesn’t care about or need to know.
Some of the best explainer videos tell a story and include the viewer in that story. They present a problem and then offer a solution (your service!). Think about exactly who your audience is and appeal to them on an emotional level. Making notes on the vibe of background music or colors to be used (bright and bold? or subtle and pastel?) can help craft the overall tone of the video.
You want to keep your video short, around 60 seconds to 3 minutes and include your main message within the first 30 seconds. Communicating your message this early will help answer the top question in the minds of new visitors- ‘What am I looking at?’ and keep them from clicking away due to confusion.
2. Consider storyboarding out what you want your explainer video to look like shot by shot. This can be especially helpful if you are working with a team and need to show them what you have in mind. Here’s a short primer on storyboarding over at Dummies.com
3. The idea here is to make this entire process as simple as possible and get your first marketing video ready to post today! Below I have gathered my top five online tools to assist you in the creation of your marketing video.
This service allows you to easily create whiteboard or scribing style animation videos. They offer a free 7 day trial so you can test it out before you buy and then with the Pro account (about $24 a month) you can export full HD videos.
PowToon is an online drag and drop animated video creation tool. Using pre made graphics, and animations from different style libraries you can create an animated explainer video in just a few hours. They offer a free version to get started but you will have to upgrade (starting at $19 a month or $5 per export) to lose the watermark. Here is an overview of the service:
Similar to PowToon, GoAnimate is another popular online tool to create animated videos using a variety of premade characters, props and backgrounds. Commercial plans start at $25 a month but they also offer a free option to test the waters.
Another online animation tool, Xtranormal uses virtual actors and cameras to turn your ideas into 3D mini-movies. This offering is less targeted at creating business videos but could definitely be used for that if your audience would respond to the look. They have a variety of collections to pull graphic assets from but most of them tend to suggest a comedic vibe.
This a very cost effective do it yourself method where you purchase a template and plug in your text, pictures and videos using Adobe After Effects. This does require some skill at using After Effects and some templates are designed better than others. For example, the whiteboard template I used for creating my explainer video at sociablevideo.com was fairly easy to customize because I stuck to the exact amount of text and images already included. The hand animation adjusted speed to fit the edited sentences which may have been slightly different in length. Further customization would have been beyond my After Effects skill level and taken a lot more time.
*Linked with affiliate links which I will rarely do but I feel confident these are quality products. I have not personally taken these courses but I have previewed the free videos and have seen many good reviews. His company also makes some really engaging demo videos so I can safely say he knows what he is talking about!
Now that you are armed with some very affordable explainer video creation tools don’t delay in taking advantage of them! Dive in today and see what you can create. Don’t worry about your explainer video being perfect (although some planning is a good idea), you can always go back and fine tune it later. Remember to feature it “above the fold” on your website for maximum exposure!