Making an outstanding animated explainer video is an art form, but it need not be overly complicated. As long as you follow some best practices and keep it engaging, your animated video should earn back its cost by providing you with increased leads, better brand recognition, beefed up SEO and more sales.
To make an effective video, it’s just as important to know what not to do with your video so you can avoid mistakes that are sure to doom a video. With that in mind, here are seven things you absolutely must avoid when creating an animated explainer video for your brand.
Making it too Long
We’ve talked before about the ideal length of an explainer video and what makes it an ideal length. Some people believe in hard caps of a minute or 90 seconds, but it all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish with the video. A quick reference guide is:
- Overview/Intro to brand: one minute or less
- Explanation of process/product/service: Between two and three minutes
- Education or training: No time limit necessary, but if it’s too long, consider splitting it into a series of videos.
One thing you definitely don’t want to do is make your video too long. An introductory video to your brand shouldn’t be three minutes and explaining your products or services shouldn’t be five minutes, etc.
Say everything you need to say as succinctly as possible while keeping it coherent.
Using a Template
Customization is key to making an explainer video stand out. Every business is different and each one needs to create videos according to its unique needs. Even if your business is creating multiple videos for a series, you should avoid making them all exactly the same. Templates are undoubtedly useful for many things, but not explainer videos. Keep ‘em original and populate them with characters your customers can identify with.
Having a Jumbled Script
Explainer videos don’t have an official formula to follow, but you need to keep them coherent. This is where storytelling comes into play. Most of the time, you’ll want to introduce a character that experiences a problem that your customers also experience. Then, you introduce the solution to the problem (your product or service) and then highlight the benefits to the customer via how it helps your character. This is a good formula to follow because it will keep the video logical and move it along nicely.
Using Low Quality Visuals
If you have a low quality video, it’s going to stand out — for the wrong reasons. Professional-grade animation and a professional voiceover are essential when so many businesses are starting to use animated explainer videos. Cheap looking videos reflect poorly on the brands that use them. Don’t be one of those cheap-looking brands. Get your video professionally done. There are plenty of good business animation companies around. Oh, look, a call to action …
Focusing on Features Instead of Benefits
You have to indulge people’s selfishness with your explainer videos and that means telling them how your products/services benefit them. People don’t want to hear about the bells and whistles, they want to know how the bells and whistles make their lives better.
Later on in the buyer’s journey, people may be more interested in the processes behind your products and services and they may want to get to know your brand more, but to get them to that point, you have to start by telling them what you can do for them.
No: “Product X features this stunning new bell app with realistic ‘ding’ and an amazing whistle that can reach the highest of pitches.”
Yes: “Product X’s new bell feature summons any store employee immediately regardless of where you’re shopping and the whistle immediately drives them away if you don’t want to be bothered while browsing.”
Lacking Entertainment Value
People like to be entertained, even when they are learning. Tossing out facts and figures in your explainer video is fine, but you should balance it out with some entertaining content, too. This is where storytelling comes in. Characters and situations your customers can identify with will bump up the entertainment value of your video. If you’re in an industry that lends itself well to humor, even better. People love to laugh and if you can get someone to laugh, you are having a positive impact on them. So, don’t just explain, explain in an entertaining way.
Failing to Use a Slogan
Most brands will have some kind of slogan to help people remember them and including that in your explainer video is just as important as using your brand’s logo and color scheme. If you have your own copyrighted jingle, you can also include that. Anything that will get people to remember your brand in a positive way is worth including as long as it fits with the overall tone and theme of your explainer video.
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