When a company decides to have an explainer video made, sometimes they try to save money in certain areas. They might choose a less costly form of animation or opt for only a minute when they were going to go with two minutes. One area that is common for people to try and save money when having an explainer video made is with the voiceover.
Is a professional voice actor necessary?
The answer to this question depends on the answer to another question: How professional do you want your video to be? Having a professional voice actor perform the voiceover work for your video will give it that extra sense of professionalism that will be lacking if you decide to do it yourself or you get one of your employees to do it (unless, of course, you are a professional voice actor yourself).
Going through the process of creating a professionally done animated explainer video and then doing the voiceover work yourself is kinda like making a delicious sundae and then topping it with an olive.
While most business people don’t have the skills to write a script, draw up a storyboard and then turn that storyboard into an animated masterpiece, they are quite willing to pay to have that done. But, almost all business people do have a voice and that’s why some of them believe they’ll be able to handle the voiceover themselves or have Alice from accounting do it.
But, just like real acting, voice acting is an art and professional voice actors have honed their skills and knowledge to be able to do it well. That’s why their voice is the cherry and not the olive. It’s not as simple as just reading a script.
Sometimes it’s not money people are trying to save, but rather time. Pulling all the elements of a good explainer video together takes time and sometimes a voiceover artist is busy and people have to wait for them to become free. But, in their excitement, some business people don’t want to wait and decide to do it themselves.
This usually ends up wasting time anyway because most people will discover that if they do it themselves, it will need to be redone. It really doesn’t take that long to make an explainer video and people are better off just waiting the relatively short amount of time. If they are in a real hurry, they can pay a higher fee to have it expedited.
It’s easy anyway, right?
A lot of people believe doing a voiceover is as simple as hitting record, reading a script and then overlaying it onto the video. But, that’s not true. It’s a skill and the fact that there is such a thing as a professional voiceover artist should tell you that. The job wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t needed. The reason commercials, movie trailers and other videos sound so good is because the people doing the voiceover work are professionals. That’s the company you want your video to be in: The professionally done ones.
Let the robots do it.
Voiceover software is available, but the one thing that software is missing is the human element. People are going to know it’s software doing the voiceover. You can’t disguise that stilted robotic speaking (yet, anyway).
Your brand, your voice
You may feel that because it’s your brand and you know your audience best and you want to make a real connection with that audience that it should be your own voice representing your brand. However, as instrumental as you are in your brand’s success, that doesn’t mean you should speak for your brand if you don’t have the requisite skills.
You may think that you can just do it a whole bunch of times until you eventually get it right, but if you don’t have any experience or skills with doing voiceover work, getting it right will be extremely difficult. Wait until you make a live action brand video and then let your voice speak for your brand.
Just use a professional
An animated explainer video has many steps and one of those is the voiceover. It’s a crucial step in bringing the entire video together and giving it that polished, professional feel that will draw in potential customers and clients, introduce them to your brand and make them want to do business with you. Click here to use our price estimation calculator to see approximately how much it will cost to have an animated explainer video done for your business. (You don’t even need to talk to anyone!)
You’ve finally procured a budget and you’re all set to begin with video marketing, but there’s just one little problem … you dunno where to start. That’s okay. You’ve taken the first step, which is to acknowledge that you need to start using video. As to what type of video it should be and what format it should be in, we’re here to help.
We put this first and foremost for alphabetical reasons. (No, really.) Animation is by far the most versatile format of video. There’s nothing you can’t do with animation, which makes it great for explainer videos. It’s one thing to say a metaphor to get people to visualize it, but it’s a whole other (and better) thing to show people the metaphor to help them with their visualization. It helps convey a lot of information about your company in just a little time.
Eclipse Office Technology wanted to convey how they help offices avoid having damaged or lost documents, but pieces of paper and computer files aren’t really that engaging. So, we personified the documents and showed them getting lost in the woods and living like hobos, getting damaged and crumpled. It’s an effective metaphor for having documents get lost or destroyed. The clouds in the video are also representative of the electronic cloud that Eclipse uses to store documents for companies, helping people visualize what the company does.
Another type of animation, whiteboard videos are often used for educational and informational topics. The visuals provide good reinforcement for your words while making the subject more interesting for the audience. It’s a bit like watching a lecture, but it’s much nicer to watch. Whiteboard animation videos are also more budget friendly than other types of animation, making them a good choice if you have a tighter budget.
This video for Kelly Roofing in Florida is a good example of how whiteboard videos can be used as visual props, so to speak, when giving a mini-lecture. The video educates people about why tile roofs don’t last as long in Florida as they do in other parts of the world.
Maybe you don’t want visualization exactly, but you still want your words to pop off the screen. That’s where you can use kinetic typography. It brings attention to the narration by putting it on screen in creative ways. If you’re just looking to highlight what is being said and you don’t necessarily need the visuals, then this could be a good approach.
Arrow Alternative Care wanted to keep the focus on its words, but also wanted those words to jump off the screen to capture attention. They went with a kinetic typography video.
For making that human connection with people, nothing really beats live action. Showing real people, especially people in your company, is a great way to get your audience to identify with your company more. You could go with a behind-the-scenes look at your company or maybe an in-depth chat with the CEO. Approaching some of your satisfied customers for live action testimonial videos can help establish trust with people. Or, creating a brand journalism type video that is framed as a news spot will be familiar with people.
Because they use real people, live action videos are adept at establishing thought leadership in a given industry. We, of course, love us some animation here at WizMotions, but we’ve also enlisted real live spokespeople like in this video.
This type of live action video shows a person’s computer screen. Naturally, it is good for training purposes or for showing off the features of a piece of software for marketing. If you can demonstrate how to use your product while also showing clients what it can do for them, you’ve got yourself an effective video.
This video for NSO explains how to sign up for insurance coverage while showing what the person would see on their computer screen as they are going through the sign up process.
Mix and Match
You don’t have to be limited by the style of video you choose. You could make a testimonial video animated or you could make an explainer video live action. Going against what is expected can actually make the video even more memorable. The video style should never stifle creativity, it should just act as a starting point.
Here is a video for Silicon Valley Bank that mixes and matches styles seamlessly. It deftly transitions from live action to animation.
No matter what style of video you choose, make sure it fits your brand and the message you are sending because style matters. All types of videos have their own unique strengths and harnessing these strengths will help you create an engaging video that will draw in viewers and convert them to customers.
Whether you choose 2D, 3D, cutout, graphic, kinetic typography or whiteboard animation, or live action brand spokespeople, WizMotions can help. Click here to get started on planning and pricing your very own whiteboard animation video.
We’re not all about business business business here at WizMotions. Sometimes we like to have a little fun, too. Seeing as how we’re huge fans of animation (and not just for business purposes) and it’s Halloween today, we thought we’d take a break from the business stuff and just enjoy some scary animated shorts.
We combed YouTube for the scariest short animations on the site and this is the list we came up with. If you think animation can’t be scary, try watching these by yourself tonight and see if you don’t end up with some serious shivers down your spine.
Horror Short Film
This probably isn’t the actual title of this 3D animated video, but that’s what it’s called on YouTube and all the credits are in Thai, so that’s what we’re going with. (Our Thai is a little rusty.) It features a little girl, some angry parents and a twist ending with a lot of effective POV shots. It was created by Riff and Alternate Studio.
Trick or Treat Stories Animated
Again, not the best title, but this series of videos with simple 2D animation is unnerving. Made by Llama Arts, there are several videos about various subjects. Scary Pizza Delivery Stories, Scary Babysitting Stories, Scary Camping Stories, etc. This one is specific to Halloween. Apparently, all the stories featured in these videos are true, which gives them an added creepiness.
This one is more disturbing than outright scary, but it still has a super creepy vibe and will give you goosebumps. Plus, it has some good action at the end. The unique 2D animation is done by David Ochs. You might not be hungry after watching it.
Okay, so we’re cheating with this one a little bit. It’s not really a scary video, but it’s well done and it is a little macabre and it’s specific to Halloween, which still totally counts. It’s done by Mike Inel and the animation is anime inspired.
This 3D animated IsArt Digital production is a creepy little number. Just when you think you’ve figured out the story, it tosses you for a bit of a loop. Another well done video perfect for putting you in the Halloween mood.
Another creepy little story about an adventurous girl and a lake that will leave you a little unnerved. This CGI animation is from the CG Bros and is directed by Richard Hickey. It’ll make you think twice before going onto a lake again.
No matter if you’re going out trick-or-treating, staying in handing out candy or dressing up and partaking in a party, have a Happy Halloween! And if you are surprised by just how much of an emotional reaction these animated videos got out of you, imagine doing that for your business (but without scaring or creeping anyone out, hopefully). Contact us and see what an animated video can do for your business.
Many of the business customers we have end up making more than one video. Usually, they make a video, see how well it performs and then opt to have another two, three or four made. But, it can be a worthwhile investment to actually plan for having multiple videos created at the same time so they can be watched as a series.
Let’s look at why companies are moving away from standalone videos and opting to make series instead.
Multiple Products or Services
Large companies almost certainly have more than one product or service. And although small companies may only have a single product or service they offer, that product or service may be complex and require more than a single video to explain it properly.
Our client Drobo has multiple products that require promoting and they’ve made a video for each one so all their products get the attention they need to be thoroughly explained to customers.
Even if you only have one service, that service might have more than one group of users, especially if it’s a service that connects businesses and customers. If your service has multiple groups of people who would be using it, then it’s better to make a video for each of those groups rather than trying to fit all the information into one video that addresses all the groups. By making multiple videos, you’ll be able to target their distribution better and all the various groups will be more engaged because the individual videos only address that specific group.
For example, JobFormance created two different videos for its JobFaxReport because the service is aimed at two different groups: job seekers and client companies who are looking to hire the best talent they can find. By making two different videos, JobFormance didn’t have to worry about trying to address both groups in one video, which could have overcomplicated it and which would have made targeted distribution difficult.
Avoiding Information Overload
Even though animation is usually more compelling to watch than live action business videos and it’s the perfect medium for breaking down complex ideas because you’re not bound by the sometimes pesky laws of physics, trying to shoehorn too much information into one video can overwhelm viewers and counteract the initial drawing power of the animation.
By having multiple videos and making the concepts in them even simpler, you make your messaging more effective. Plus, if you can get visitors to watch multiple videos on your site, it will be good for your SEO because it means they’ll be spending more time on your site. Viewers are much more likely to watch a series of shorter videos than one longer video.
Evolving with the Products and Services
A company’s products and services tend to evolve the longer the company is around. If a new feature is added to your product or you offer some kind of upgraded service, a new video is in order. To make it fit with your older videos and add to the brand identity you’ve been building, use the same characters as you did in your initial videos.
If you have a big promo coming up, why not add some oomph to your announcement with a series of short animated videos? They are super shareable and a series of videos that explain different points of the promo can more easily answer customer questions. And if it’s a regularly occurring promo, like an annual giveaway, you can even use the videos multiple times.
One explainer video is a good investment, but multiple videos in a series is an excellent investment. As we’ve found with many of our clients, it’s quite common for a company to come back for more after their initial one is completed. By planning for a series of videos right up front, you have more control over how they complement each other. Click here to use our price estimation calculator to see approximately how much an animated video series would cost. (You don’t even need to talk to anyone!)
As an intelligent business person, you already know you should be using video and have probably even looked into it by now or have already dipped your toes into the video pool with some initial forays.
But, if you’re still on the fence or you just don’t know how to spend your budget when it comes to video, this post is for you. Let’s look at how to do this whole video thing when it comes to online marketing.
360 Degree Video
In case you’ve not seen one yet, a 360 video lets the viewer be in control of where they are looking, so to speak. When viewed on a computer, the viewer can click and drag the mouse to move the viewpoint in any direction, thus allowing them to “look” up, down, left, right and all around, hence the name 360 (as in 360 degrees).
It gets even better when viewed on a phone because you simply move the phone around where you want to “look” in the video. They basically put the viewer right there in the spot where the video was taken and makes them feel like they’re just looking around.
Best uses for it
This type of video isn’t cheap to shoot and it really only works for certain things. Therefore, you need to be a bit discerning when considering its usage. 360 video is best suited for physical places that are truly awe-inspiring, like:
- Really high end real estate where the cost would be worth shooting a 360 video.
- Restaurants or retail stores that have a theme worth showing off to entice people in.
- Places that sell “Experiences” like puzzle rooms or other similar novelty ideas where seeing the space would be beneficial for marketing.
- Travel destinations that look amazing to let people know that seeing it in person is even better.
- A business that has a really unique office space could use a 360 video for recruiting if that space was truly unique.
Animated Explainer Videos
Yeah, you knew this would be on here. We can attest to the effectiveness of animated explainer videos because virtually all our clients have found them to be incredibly helpful for their marketing and promotion.
We’re not gonna sugar coat it (although we do love our sugar), animated videos can be costly, but if you treat them as an investment instead of a cost, you will see the ROI on them is incredible. The prices range from about $250 per minute to $900 per minute and that includes all kinds of animation from kinetic typography to a fully 3-D animated video.
Best uses for it
Any business that includes a process or product that is a little bit complicated and that has the budget for an animated video would benefit from having one. Sure, you could just have someone talking at the camera to explain something, but animation is much more dynamic and people will be a lot more willing to watch an animated video than a simple talking head video.
Another fantastic use for them is as training videos. Training videos can be mind-numbing at the best of times, but adding a little animation can perk up your lessons and make people want to learn.
They’re everywhere. Watching. Recording. Those little flyers known as drones are buzzing around, collecting video of all sorts of things and you can use them in your business if you have something that would look good from above.
Best uses for it
Real estate agents who have large properties to show off or even organizers who want to show the scale of the event could use drones to good effect. Since aerial shots are their forte, anything you think would benefit from having aerial footage would be good to shoot from a drone.
Facebook Live Stream
Facebook threw its proverbial hat into the video ring a while ago and brands have already been putting it to good use. We bet you’ve already learned at least one recipe or life hack from a sped-up video while scrolling through your news feed.
The latest foray into video for Facebook is their Facebook Live Stream and like the name says, these videos are live and streamed as they happen, giving viewers the unedited view of them. Being that they’re live and unedited, you should use them with some caution. At least some semblance of a script and/or plan should be written up before you start rolling. Even if it’s a Q&A or an event that can’t be scripted, it’s a good idea to have some kind of scripted introduction to let people know what they’re watching.
And don’t forget to send out notifications ahead of time so people can tune in and share it later for those who couldn’t tune in live.
Best uses for it
Companies that have expertise to share and want to display their expertise can use Facebook Live to do that. This is where Q&As come in handy. For example, if the government implements some kind of new regulation or law and people aren’t sure how it will affect them, your company can host a live Q&A to answer questions if you are in that industry. An accounting firm could answer questions about a new tax coming into effect, for example.
The other obvious use for it is to teach. If your company hosts workshops or teaches classes, Facebook Live is a superb tool to share that teaching with people who can’t actually be there.
At this point, there’s not a lot that you can do with GoPro that people haven’t already seen. GoPro cameras have been strapped onto people doing basically everything, they’ve been strapped onto animals and they’ve even been stolen by animals to create viral sensations. But, they’re still useful for the right business.
Best uses for it
GoPros work best when they’re strapped onto something that moves. If your company sells anything that people can wear while they move, you can show it off with one of these videos. Sports gear is probably the most obvious example, but as mentioned above, you’d have to really use your imagination to come up with something that hasn’t already been done.
YouTube Director for Business
This iOS app was created by Google specifically for small business owners to help them make and upload their own inexpensive promotional videos. With more than 130 templates to use, the app walks you through the making of all kinds of different promotional videos using easy-to-follow instructions. It tells you what shots you’ll require and what each of those shots should contain.
On top of that, it has voice over capability, customized text animations and it provides you access to YouTube’s soundtrack library so you can have music in your video without violating any copyright laws. All of this works to give your promotional videos a professional look and feel.
Best uses for it
Small businesses that want to get into video marketing (ie any small business), but have tight budgets would benefit from using this app because all you need is an iPhone or an iPad to use it and the results will still look fairly good.
Since someone in the company probably has an iPhone (it’s not available for Android) and the app and a YouTube account are both free, it’s a nice tool for small startups that don’t have a lot of budget to expend toward creating a professional video.
No matter how you do it, now is the time to start experimenting with video for your business if you haven’t already. Click here to use our price estimation calculator to see approximately how much an animated explainer video would cost for your business. (You don’t even need to talk to anyone!)