You are on a mission to set your brand digitally. Website's ready. You have to have that homepage animation up as soon as possible. But you do not want to blow up another thousand bucks on a templated garbage video like last time you hired someone from a random marketplace. Ah, the agony!
From my 10+ years of experience, I have seen many of my client's videos with almost no views. It's not that the design of the animation was terrible; a few of the homepage videos were impressive to see.
They tried boosting the video in social channels and end up getting tons of views but no conversion. In desperation, they started to hire consultants, SEO agencies, social media gurus, and many more. They end up paying thousands for a viable solution.
You want to have your explainer video animation perfect. It has to tell your brand's story, explain what benefits you are providing to the audience. It must capture your audience's attention so that they can remember your brand and visit your site to convert even after a month.
It is unnecessary to spend an excessive amount of money to make sure video somehow increases product sales. You can easily save thousands of your hard-earned dollars and still get a better result.
I find the root of the problem lies when you pick an incompetent "video maker" to do the job, but few tricks can fix this issue.
Suppose you pick an incompetent animation production company. Chances are they will put all their 'illusions' on your pocket, not on your 'potential customers' where they should focus.
The reason is simple here, lack of consistent viewership. First, let's find out why your video gets almost no views.
In today's world, the viewers have tons of content to consume. No matter how pretty your animation video looks, your audience will bounce to somewhere else if the script has zero research done in the first place.
Any ad animation scripts in 2021 needs to have search engine optimized.
Your homepage video animation must follow a script that uses organic search terms. It is because search engines nowadays can understand what your video is about. If people are not searching for any phrases that your video has, you will get no views.
Hence, the first rule of thumb is to pick an animation production company that emphasizes research before writing a script.
Pro Tip #1 of the day!
Unless you know how to find search phrases of your business or brand yourself, ask the animation production house to find it out on your behalf. Most of the good ones will do that before producing the script.
Suppose everything is done right in the script. Then, around 51% of the organic searchers will find your helpful video and look into your offering.
Now, if you hire an SEO agency to find all the key phrases separately, they might charge you around $800 to $1000 quickly. Where selecting the proper animation studio, you can bypass hiring gurus to help you with keywords.
Benefits over features
I have seen countless animated videos focusing on features only. For example, let's say your product is a brand of tea. Your animated explainer video shows the chemicals present in the tea. How old your brand is, what great packaging it has for 2 minutes, and then ends it with your logo. What do you expect to see in the result?
Suppose your video is creatively made and put few thousands on boosting your video over social channels. In that case, you will see views, but the footage converts no sale.
It is like dumping all the data on your customers' brains but never motivating them to take action to try the tea for themselves.
Due to focusing only on the features of your tea brand, you missed out on how it can benefit your customers. Will it make them feel energized? Will it give them to find themselves refreshed? Your animated video must answer questions like these.
A perfect animation production house must analyze your target customers and relate to your business model. Even if you have some of the features, you want to shout out loud. However, the game is all about how you have portrayed the benefits of selling your product.
Hiring a consultant is a good idea. You learn new things and see your business from a different perspective. Still, to produce a killer animated explainer video for your brand, you get to have that expensive consultation session for free.
An ideal animation production company will have a straightforward workflow of how to deal with their clients. They tend to follow a rooster that produces a result based on their previous positive work experience.
Comparing an individual artist with not understanding how to position your product or service into the market will only force you to flush more dollar bills down the toilet. It doesn't matter how many hours of consultation you had with that artist.
A good rule of thumb is to find out an animation production house that asks you some basic information about your business and do the rest of the actionable tasks by themselves. It doesn't mean that they will go radio silence until the final deliverables are ready. On the contrary, they will surely contact you once they need your approval or clarifications.
Establishing the ECP model
The "emotional connection pathway" is one of the most scientifically adored models. It directly measures how you can convert your customers to spend up to 70 times more than what they usually spend on your brand.
This proven method is hugely helpful for an animated brand storytelling video. You can put it everywhere online and make a drastic improvement on your sales and marketing department.
The perfect animation production house will assess your business and offer a brand that can create emotional impacts on your audience's minds. It eventually forms a pathway for them to convert from a brand-aware customer to a fully connected customer.
A fully connected customer will purchase your product or service, spending from 35% to 75% extra what they would spend on your brand yearly.
Ditching the templated videos
Many startups put brandings last, rendering all budgets allocated on product development. So they tend to go for the dreadful 'cheap' alternatives for producing a template video running out of budget. It gives uses the worst branding experience as nothing would be aligned and force audiences to bounce.
Every time a visitor bounces out from your site or social channel is losing a potential lead. Prolong the effect of losing leads will cost you thousands in no time.
Of course, you need a product or service that stands out of the crowd - not without establishing your digital brand, in any case. So if you pick a perfect animation production company instead, they steer clear from any templated bs. Instead, they will produce you an animated explainer that is 100% aligned to your branding.
You may ask what a templated video is. It is a generic animated content which uses the same visual elements such as characters, props, colors, motion graphics for hundreds of time. You may find them plentiful on the internet. They all look the same except for the logo at the end.
They are so dangerous for marketing your brand when users see no similarities between brand elements used throughout your web page, social channels, and product demo. So, naturally, they conceptualize your brand as a scam.
A great animated explainer video is not about a script glued to a voiceover and some stickman figures. Instead, it is a great canvas where you paint the bigger picture. It worth a thousand words and have the sheer power to inspire, motivate and emotionally move your audiences to convert.
Moodboards before storyboards
Hiring an individual artist will prompt you to provide your storyboard separately. They will not supply you with a mood board. It breaks the collective brand alignment and layout cohesiveness. Ultimately the result will be a poorly animated video with no clear direction to convert the audience to customers. Nevertheless, it will cost you thousands extra to outsource.
Any great animation production house will provide you with a mood board. It is a board with different types of visual art styles that pleases your eyes. It is crucial since your vision has to meet the explainer videos art style.
After selecting a suitable mood board, the artists will match it with your existing brand elements. It is important to note based on the mood board, companies often set their brand elements.
The work of storyboard only starts after the selection of the visual art style, not before that. Then, story artists start putting in detailed panels that contain elements that appear on the screen for your audience.
Pro Tip #2 of the day!
You can ask your production company for animatics. Animatics is a video cut that puts all the storyboard panels and plays all the voiceover audio on top. It will give you a much clearer vision of what will show on the screen and for how long.
Once all the panels are ready, the studio will send you the result. You can verify and check if things are in proper order. 10 out of 10 times, a good production house will get it right.
Aesthetics and timeliness
It is the last thing you should worry about; any animation production house is serious about its timeliness. After all, you're only to release the due invoice once the job finishes. However, visual aesthetics is something to consider.
If you have your brand set up with all the essential branding elements, such as the logo, copy, color bible, font, character, icon sets, that's great. If not, you can rely on a good animation production house to set all these vital elements. Nine out of ten times, you will be pleased by the result on the first draft.
In the world of arts, there are no suitable designs for animation. Therefore, it should always follow brand guidelines. Any excellent animation house will ask for an art bible and branding guidelines from you as soon as you hire them.
Pro Tip #3 of the day!
You are free to ask your production house to make you a branding guideline. However, it may cost you less if you do not have one to have it produced from elsewhere.
As long you have a well-researched script, a compelling voiceover, and a detailed storyboard, you can expect to have a fruitful and visually-pleasing animated video at the end.
Selecting an individual artist from random marketplaces might cost you three to four times what a full-fledged production company can offer. In addition, you do not need to run back and forth for hiring voiceover, storyboard artist, concept designer, scriptwriter, and animators. This process is also counterproductive as none of these individuals will sync up for cohort.
Conclusion: Serious business takes serious branding decisions, and setting up the right brand strategy pile up the overall cost fast. In the digital marketing department, one can save much money by picking up the perfect animation production firm.