Watching an animated explainer video is almost like a breath of fresh air for an online consumer. An effective video both informs and entertains and helps summarise the key functions a business offers in as little as 1 minute. However, this doesn’t mean that creating one is simple. In order to create an effective animated video that entertains and then evokes a reaction from a visitor requires a rigorous production process.
Knowing how to create an animation that is really effective is a process that teams like ours have perfected over the years. In fact, our rigorous process is what allows our team of designers and marketers to craft the right end product for all of our clients. So, how does that process work? Let us show you…
How to make an animation video in 8 key steps
Here’s a look at how we create animated video for our clients …
1. Deep project research
The very first stage behind animated video production is to properly analyse the purpose behind making this video. This is a crucial step in the process and it sets you up for success in each subsequent step to come. Deep product research will allow you to fully understand the market in which you are trying to compete.
Start by looking at things such as …
– What is the purpose of this video?
– Where will this video be getting seen?
– Which sorts of companies do you admire?
– How do you want people to feel about your brand?
Then, and most importantly, think about where your product or service fits into the market. What makes you different and unique? Overall, this step will help you to best hone in on why you actually want the explainer video and the benefits you wish to receive after it has been made.
2. Analyzing your target audience
It’s now time to identify the types of people to whom you most want to sell your products. Not all customers are the same, but you will find that the majority fit into a broad set of similarities/traits and it’s important to identify these early on. Once you’ve done so, you can then tailor the video to appeal to them as much as possible.
Here are some questions that will help you to start analysing your target audience…
– How old are they?
– What are their biggest pain points?
– Do they respond well to logic or exciting offers?
Answering all of these questions clearly helps animation production companies like us to more carefully tweak and tailor to video. This will have a huge impact on how effective the video is and how much of an ROI you can expect to see.
3. Well thought out scriptwriting
The script is possibly the most important part of animation production. It is what guides the flow and translates the key pieces of information that the viewer will need to take away with them. There is no exact guide on how much should be said in an explainer video, but it is ideal if each point flows smoothly and you tell a carefully curated story.
Essentially, you want to guide the viewer by first highlighting the pain points that you identified in the previous step. You then want to build up why this pain point is currently so damaging to them and why it’s important that it is alleviated. You then introduce your exact product and what is so unique about your brand.
Finally, you want to deliver a clear call to action that encourages them to take the first step in working with you. Writing such a script takes time and no short amount of experience, that’s why it’s best to tweak this with a professional video creation agency such as ourselves. There is a fine line to tread in terms of clarity of message, and not appearing overly self-promotional.
4. Careful storyboarding
Now, it’s time to move onto the fun part of animated video production, putting pencil to paper and designing each stage of your explainer video. The storyboarding process allows us to create a clear structure of how the video will progress frame by frame. It allows us to tweak the design of the characters and create a look that both you and your viewers will love.
It is good to be involved here as much as possible. Making changes to the storyboard is far easier than making changes to the video once animation commences. That’s why it’s important to take time here to ensure the look that you want most is achieved. Think carefully about things such as …
What colour schemes do you most want to be used? (ideally, those that fit your brand’s identity)
How many characters should there be?
What will your characters look like?
Maybe you already have some short animation ideas for your video?
5. Professional voice recording
If you listen to any great explainer video, you will realise that the speaker has a voice that you just WANT to listen to. Selecting a person to narrate the video is actually quite a complex task as it makes all the difference in the finished product. Here are some crucial attributes any speaker must include:
– The ability to speak clearly and concisely
– A voice that is familiar and relatable to the target audience
– An air of authority and trustworthiness
Whenever producing a video for a client, we always take time to work through our long list of voice actors to find one that is just right for the video in question. So don’t worry, you will not be required to narrate the script yourself. Unless of course, you have the right silky tones …
6. The animation process
These first 5 steps all fall under what we call “pre-production”; which is everything that goes on before the actual product starts being built. But step 6 is where things start getting very exciting as it’s time to actually start production of the video. The storyboards that we produced earlier are crucial now and we will be effectively bringing these to life.
Knowing how to create animation is a skill that takes years of practice and watching the drawings come to life is an incredible experience that is exciting for both the creators and clients alike. It also requires incredible attention to detail and designers often spend hours tweaking and adjusting elements that you may think take just minutes.
We often find that, as this production phase progresses and we develop initial runs of the animation, there are ways to tweak and improve beyond the storyboards created. It is useful here to receive client feedback and make revisions to ensure animations meet everyone’s expectations.
7. Adding sound and music effects
Once the animations start to come to life, it is time to add new dimensions through the sound recordings we made earlier, as well as sound effects. Though they may seem minor, even the smallest sound effects can make or break an animated explainer video. They help in making them memorable in the long run.
Think back to those cartoons you watched as a kid (or still watch today). The playful sounds add a whole new dimension to the video and truly help make the characters real. We find that it also helps with user retention by keeping videos even more fun and interesting to watch.
8. Delivery, publishing & marketing
Once any final reviews and revisions have been made to the video, it is then time to pass the video across to the client. We tend to offer our videos in a variety of different resolutions so that you can decide which is most suitable for your uses. It is then up to the client to decide how and where they will be using their explainer video.
To get the most effective use out of your explainer video, we advise you to take suitable time to market your video to your target audience and achieve the best ROI possible. The great thing about explainer videos is that they can be used in a variety of different platforms. Namely landing pages on your website, ads for social media and embeds in outreach emails.
We are happy to offer experience and advice wherever possible when it comes to marketing your video. But the great thing is that by their very nature they are entertaining and insightful. Making them more likely to be shareable across a variety of platforms.
How long does it take to make an animated explainer video?
It is hard to give an exact timeline, as all animation processes are always different in their own ways, presenting different challenges. It will of course also be affected by how long the video itself is; the majority of our client videos are 60 seconds or 120 seconds long. We typically advise clients that the process will take between 4 and 6 weeks for a finished video.
In some cases, this is longer as more complex videos require more time in animating and finding the right voice actor. However, they can also be made quicker if clients assist with the animation steps and carry out much of the planning and preparation work beforehand. If you need an explainer video created much faster, then just let us know and we will see what is possible.
5 key benefits of an animated explainer video
Reducing bounce rate
Animated explainer videos are a fun and engaging way to get across your brand’s message. They tend to have very high retention rates as it’s much easier and more enjoyable to watch an animated video than to read endless amounts of sales script. What this means is that people stick to your website longer and are less likely to just click away after arriving.
Generating a real desire to take action
They are typically very persuasive as, if someone has taken the time to watch a full video they will have a full understanding of what you offer and why your company or product is different. This leads people into taking real and decisive action there and then. This could be buying a product, getting in contact or maybe just signing up for your newsletter.
Improving social share capabilities
People love to share great content, and embedded videos are one of the easiest things for people to share. At the touch of a button, customers can send to friends, family and work colleagues, dramatically boosting your brand’s visibility with no added effort from you. That’s why we put so much care into making our animated explainer videos both insightful but also fun, so as to make them as share-worthy as possible.
Higher search engine rankings
Ranking your website high in Google and other search engines is a fantastic way to drastically boost traffic to your site and generate more sales. Well, embedding videos is widely considered one of the best ways to help boost rankings.
Largely because search engines love content that is rich in all kinds of multimedia. But secondly, because by increasing the amount of time people stick around on your site, this acts as a signal that your content is useful and should appear more often.
Higher return on investment
What do all of these benefits ultimately lead to? That’s right, higher ROI. Compared to other marketing methods that require years to take effect and possibly millions of dollars spent, animated explainer videos have the possibility for a hugely profitable return on investment. It is impossible to guarantee exact results, but just take a look at companies like Crazy Egg who’s explainer video gave them an added USD$21,000 in revenue EVERY MONTH!
Take action today
Now that you understand the process behind how to make an animation video, hopefully, you now realise that it’s actually relatively straightforward for you, the business owner. In fact, we find that many clients leave feeling like they even have a better understanding of their own business.
Simply because this planning process answers crucial questions and allows you to craft a tailored marketing message. And, oh yeah, you also get an awesome animated video afterwards! For more information about pricing and how an explainer video could benefit you, take action today by contacting our team.