Explainer videos are exactly what they claim to be.
What exactly they explain is up to you. This could be anything from how your company works, to the mechanisms of a particular product or service.
You could always just write it down right? True. But moving images, real voices and music are going to attract your attention so much more than plain text.
Explainer videos are best broken down into three stages:
Stage 1 - The Planning Process
Planning is the key to success.
First of all, you need to know what it is you’re explaining. This is a part you really need to think about:
What is the service or product?
Who does it benefit?
How does it benefit the user or buyer?
When can it be purchased and when can it be used?
Where can it be purchased?
Knowing these answers helps ease the scripting process. The scripting process is probably the most important. This is essentially the message to your video. The main voice will read this message and it’s exactly what the audience will know about your product or service. In order to get this phase right, you need to take the perspective of the client and think about what it is they need to know. With this down pact, convert your service or product into a story with an introduction, complication and conclusion.
Let’s make it even easier. Consider the following two steps:
Complication: What is a potential problem your customer could face?
Solution: How does your character (customer) solve this problem with the use of your service/product?
Simple enough. Fit the purpose of your product into these two steps and you have the outline of a story. And extra aspect to add at the end of your piece, is a call-to-action. If you want people to buy into your service, tell them how this can be done and what they need to do. This needs to be as simple and direct as possible, because essentially this is what your video is all about.
We know, you’re a proud mama and have nurtured your product to the success it holds today. There’s a million things you could say about your service. But, keep it simple.
Keep this in mind as you write out your script word for word. Actually, the shorter the better. No one’s attention will last long in an explainer video. Also, remember to keep the words in line with your own brand and the audience you intend to address. Eg. A service for children will sound very different to a service or product for a businessman.
The planning process isn’t over just yet. You’ve really just started.
Next, you bring in the visuals. Draw up or simply plan a storyboard for your sequence of events. Each scene and action is matched with an appropriate picture and movement from your involved characters.
Are you thinking, this is just a waste of time? Once we start filming we have visuals anyway? Correct. But the benefits of having a pre-planned storyboard is that all your workers are now on the same page and it makes the work easier later down the track.
You’re almost there, but before you can start filming or creating, you need to find your cast. Whose voice will you use to read your script? Do you need a young female voice, or an older male voice? Are you going to have live footage or use animation? Once you make this decision, who will act as your central character or who will design your animated personas?
Stage 2 - The producing process
Okay you can get to the fun part now.
Let’s start with your voice over. This comes before any acting or animation. An animator can more easily adjust the timing of the characters mouth movement to the voice, but the other way around gets a little trickier. However, the voice is imperative. Make sure the audio is clear and of good quality. Think about it like this - visuals are used to complement the voice. So it’s all about the voice and the story the voice is telling.
To create animation, you have two options - find a professional or do it yourself. Online you could find varying animation tools that bring characters together and set the scene. However, if you don’t have much experience it could turn out a little tricky. A professional animator will not only understand the tech side of this task, but be able to help out in matching the content of your video, with the visuals and optimising the display of your product or service.
As well as animation there is a more real-life option. And sometimes live cast is the better option. People can relate to people. So if a real person is interacting with your service or product, greater relatability is generated. Do remember whether it’s real or animated, the video needs to keep with your brand and your company’s image.
Remember you’re not creating a movie, so you don’t need hundreds of people. Just a few, even as few as one or two, simple interacting with the service and demonstrating how it’s done.
Stage 3 - The editing process
If you’ve planned things well in the planning stage, things should have gone relatively smoothly in the producing stage. If you chose animation, the process is just about done. All you need to do is ensure that the audio and visuals combine in a way that makes sense.
For your live footage, there isn’t much need for numerous scenes, so putting it all together should be easy. Likewise, make sure everything flows smoothly.
Lastly, you can add in music. Music can really set the tone for your explainer video. You can evoke all types of feelings with the music. So think about it carefully. Best way to judge it - how does it make you feel. Music will also help set the pace of the video.
It’s always best to consider the music last, since now you know how it looks and how it sounds with the voiceover, it’s easier to match a tune. Remember you need to have the rights to use the music. You’re not going to be using your favourite pop song, because firstly do you even have the rights for that and secondly you don’t know how many people love or hate the song that will affect their reaction to your product. Either you can find tunes on a copyright free site or buy the rights to a simple tune. Keep word being simple.
It’s done. Your video is complete. And our job is done in explaining how to create an explainer video is finished. However, you should also consider the promoting and sharing process. Of course this video is going to appear on your company’s website, but you should also consider sharing it on other sites. This might include sites with a similar product or brand to your own company.
Also, create a marketing strategy to promote your video. There’s multiple social media platforms available for you to share your video. Your blog, Facebook Page, twitter site, Youtube, newsletter, emails and any other social media site your company promotes is capable of sharing your video.
The last piece of advice is - good luck and have fun. This whole process should have been an exciting journey. You’ve created something that represents you. Now be proud and go out and share it.