We all have an important message we want other people to hear.
It might be a product or service your company provides. Or a bit of content you feel is particularly awesome and wish more people would engage with. Maybe it is simply a cause, one that you feel passionate about and want to bring awareness to.
Whatever your message is, you probably already know that whiteboard animation is the ideal way to convey it effectively. Otherwise, why would you be reading tips on how to do it right?
So, instead of boring you with the details of why they are so compelling, let’s dive right into it and inspect 4 essential bases you need to cover to make that amazing whiteboard animation video your business needs.
1 – The Script
Before we start, let me just say that this subject can get really complex, very quickly. And others have already covered it in greater detail than I can allow myself in this brief piece.
So, instead of just echoing, I would rather give you a useful checklist. A recipe, if you will, of all the marks you should be aiming to hit when working on your video’s script. Keep in mind that the script is where it all starts. It works as the skeleton for the whole project. Fudge the script, and the rest falls apart.
Take your time, and make sure the script is top-notch before moving on to later stages of the process.
Now, onto that recipe:
- Structured:Whether we’re talking Citizen Kane, or Sharknado 5: Global Swarming, most stories can be analyzed under the three-act structure prism. Design your script in a way that covers the “What” at the beginning, that is, the issue you are addressing. Then move on to the “How”, which is the way your product/content relates to that issue. And finally, cover the “Why” they should choose your brand above all the others tugging at their attention.
- Short: “Brevity is the soul of wit.” The shorter your video is while still conveying your message, the more effective it’ll be. For marketing content, any script requiring more than three minutes to play might be too long.
- Clear: Avoid making much ado about nothing. Make sure whatever content remains in your script is absolutely essential for your message to get across. Cut out anything that doesn’t fall into this category.
- Purposeful: Lastly, as you work on your script keep in mind what you want your audience to do once the video is over. Strong reasons make strong actions, so make sure to craft a powerful Call-to-action by its end to increase the likelihood of the outcome you are after.
Keep these four aspects in mind as you develop your video’s script and you’ll have no problems moving on to stage two, the storyboard.
2 – The Storyboard
If the script represents the skeleton of your whiteboard animation video, the storyboard represents its soul. It takes the content you’ve refined on your script and elevates it.
These types of videos work as marketing tools because they make complex subjects rather approachable, and a lot of that starts with the storyboard.
Effectively using the clean, cartoony-style graphics that have come to be synonymous with this type of content is essential for a good video. The storyboard is where you experiment to get them right.
The goal of the storyboard is to create a sort of comic strip detailing the graphics you are going to flesh out as your video’s visual content. It forms the basis of your visual guideline for later on.
Now, this type of animation has a few conventions that should be kept in mind as you work on your storyboard. The whole appeal of whiteboard videos is to give the sense that someone is drawing the graphics as they tell you the story, so digital panning and transitions should be used sparingly at the most.
The imagery content is paramount, as you need pictures that both, illustrate the script content as well as entertain visually.
Lastly, try to condense camera actions, drawing animation details, and the script in single unit blocks so the whole thing is easy to follow and understand. Making the whole process easier later.
Once you have the perfect script and its refined storyboard, you have the two most important elements to create that animation. However, before you leave, I’d also like to briefly touch upon two other elements that can turn a good animation video, into an amazing one.
3 – The Viewer
Whether you want to showcase a new product, or simply explain a complex service your company provides, the ultimate goal of a whiteboard animation explainer video is to convert viewers.
Maybe you want them to follow your brand on social media, subscribe to a channel, or lead them to your online content. Whatever it is you’re after, knowing who your target audience is, and understanding what they want is essential to get the results you want.
Sit down and work on a short profile for your ideal viewer/customer.
Try to get a sense of who they are and don’t limit yourself as you describe them. Age, demographics, education, income, location, preferences, hobbies, etc. Don’t be afraid to get too specific here.
The idea is that you build a fairly clear picture of the type of customer you are after, and let that imaginary person inform the rest of the process.
Use that customer profile as you work on your script’s word choice, on your storyboard imagery and on your animations selections. It will synergize with other elements and take the final product from great, to amazingly effective.
4 – The Length
Lastly, let’s talk about length.
It is definitely one of the most prominent FAQs I see in the industry. After all, even though you might not know the right length for your type of video, everyone knows that length can make or break any type of content.
Spend five minutes on the internet looking up the subject and you’ll encounter a lot of – fairly varied, sometimes contradicting – information. Some suggest 2 minutes, others, 30 seconds. Some focus on the first 8 to 15 seconds, citing is where you convince the viewers to see the whole thing.
As much as I’d like to give you a definitive answer, the truth is there isn’t one. It really depends on a variety of factors. From the type of viewer you’re after, to the type of information you want to showcase.
Now, even though I can’t give you a definitive answer, I can certainly give you a few guidelines that will make choosing the length of your video a lot easier:
- No matter what, whiteboard animation videos work best under 3 minutes in length.
- If you are after social media shares, brand awareness buildup, and your topic is simple to understand, 30-second videos are ideal.
- For more involved narratives, entertaining explanations, and higher chances of keeping the viewer watching till the end, anywhere under 90 seconds should do it.
- For those business ideas that are more complex, need to cover in-depth features, and are mainly informative in nature, it’s ok to go over 90 seconds.
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into making that perfect whiteboard animation video your company wants. But following the points detailed here makes the whole process much more manageable and effective.
Keep in mind that the quality of your video directly reflects that of your product and brand, and there are plenty of professional video production companies online that can take care of the process for you to ensure a flawless result. Allowing you to focus on steering the project’s general direction and quality, without getting bogged down by the details.
Whatever route you take, rest assured that these types of videos are the ideal way to convey information to your audience, and you chose well by going with them.