How Video Can Help Businesses with their Internal Communications
We mostly think of video as a way of communicating with customers, but it is a valuable tool when communicating with employees, as well. This is especially true now more than ever as companies are not just expanding to new cities and new countries, they are also becoming more dispersed, with more people working remotely.
Because of this, traditional internal communications strategies are less relevant and employers are turning to video to keep their internal communications strong throughout the entire enterprise.
Communications firm Ragan, along with Ignite Technologies, found in their study of video usage in companies from a few years ago that 71% of businesses are using video to some extent to communicate with their employees. Nearly all of the respondents to their survey (90%) said video was either “important” or “somewhat important” for internal communications and that same amount said they expect video to play a role in a company’s internal communications strategy.
Video is not just seen as something that is a nice add-on to internal communications, it is now seen as an integral part of a business’ strategy for communicating with its employees and other internal stakeholders.
And this isn’t just true for current employees, it’s true of potential employees, as well. As the hunt for top talent continues to get more and more competitive, using video for recruiting purposes can put a company above all others in the eyes of recruits, especially for younger recruits who have grown up with online video as a part of their daily lives.
These newer generations of employees would likely balk at the prospect of reading reams of text about corporate policies and practices, but put that into video format and they’ll be happy to learn about them.
Use of Mobile Friendly Videos & Analytics
To better communicate with employees — especially younger ones — companies need to make their videos mobile-friendly. Younger employees are more likely to watch them on their phones, meaning they should be optimized for mobile viewing.
And, as companies continue to outsource to freelancers in other countries, videos should either be subtitled or dubbed into the language of the audience it is meant for. Of course, this means also using the visuals to convey as much of the message as possible so reliance on the audio is less important.
One of the key advantages to using video for internal communications is the analytics that come with videos. You may be able to tell if an employee opened an email, but there is no way to actually tell whether they’ve read it or not.
Video analytics can tell HR departments if a video has been completely viewed and quick quizzes at the end can tell if the viewer has picked up the information conveyed in the video.
Employee Training Videos
While you can’t rely on a video alone to train new employees, they are certainly a valuable tool to use in the training process. You can use them to teach the basic concepts of your business in a compelling way. Elements of the company like its structure and processes and procedures can all be conveyed via short, explanatory videos.
When done right, videos can be used to train dozens, hundreds or thousands of employees on everything from your preferred way of handling customer service to important safety rules and regulations you are required to follow.
Used in conjunction with one-on-one training, you’ll find that employees pick up concepts much quicker and easier when presented in video format. Kuehne + Nagal use animated video to train their employees on how they want their customer service to be done.
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Service & Product Explainer Videos
Businesses are introducing or updating products and services all the time, which means they need to make employees aware of these new and updated items, even before they start promoting them to the public. Videos are a fantastic way to explain any new products or services to both new and existing employees.
It’s important for a brand, regardless of the industry, to be consistent across all social media, all locations, all phone interactions and in all other aspects. To ensure this kind of brand cohesion, companies can use video to convey their brand image, company values and business vision to employees, both as a way to introduce new employees to the brand and as refreshers for existing employees.
Videos can reach across organizations like no other medium to instil a company’s core values in employees. Large organizations like franchises, that need to reach a huge audience and get them all on the same page regarding the brand can use videos to do this.
A good example of this is Grub Burger Bar. The company wanted to create brand cohesiveness across all its locations and used a whiteboard video to explain the brand’s core messages for new recruits.
Online videos in particular are helpful for getting a message out to a vast group of individuals that all need to be on the same page. Company newsletters, seminars and even webinars are being replaced by video as a means to express a unified message to an internal audience. Click here to use our price estimation calculator to see approximately how much it would cost to make a video to help your business with its internal communications. (You don’t even need to talk to anyone!)
Why an Animated Series is the Way to Go When Using Video 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.
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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!)
Animation Better Than Talking Head for Promoting New Brand Says CEO
When JobFormance CEO Jim Owens had to decide how he wanted to promote his new brand, the decision was easy: Animation.
Working in the talent acquisition field, JobFormance does recruiting, outplacement work, job coaching and career development. It primarily works with companies looking for new talent.
After seeing various whiteboard videos online, Owens and his team decided to use whiteboard animation so they could tell job candidates and client companies alike about one of their most important tools, the JobFaxReport. Having a video to explain the tool saves on Owens and his staff having to repeatedly explain it to people.
Owens said he and his team gravitated toward animation because they thought it would be good to use a different medium rather than just having a person talking in front of a camera.
“It’s a fun video and a fun way to present the information,” Owens said during a recent interview. “I’m glad I did this as a form of alternative media versus doing a live action video or Facebook Live or something like that.”
JobFormance made two different videos about the JobFaxReport. One is aimed at job candidates to explain the tool and the second video is aimed at client companies and explains how these JobFaxReports benefit the client companies
Owens pointed out that many job candidates believe that they give their resume to JobFormance, which then forwards the resume directly to a client. However, as JobFormance’s videos explain, the company performs an analysis on the job candidate to create its JobFaxReport, and that is the document provided to their clients.
The JobFaxReport is geared toward business owners, human resources managers and other hiring authorities and includes:
- a simplified resume,
- a candidate profile,
- a Peer Review of the candidate,
- a JobFit Assessment,
- a degree verification, and
- a background check.
“We want to give them more than a resume on a candidate,” Owens said. “We want to give them a JobFormance report detailing the candidate beyond the resume. They can also order the JobFaxReport for Organization Development and Coaching of current employees and finally they can order the JobFaxReport if they are letting people go. We can provide the outplaced employees with JobFaxReports to help them find new roles in the marketplace.”
Their videos are currently being used on the company’s social media channels like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, along with its website. JobFormance also makes reference to the videos in its print material with a screenshot and points people to places online they can view the videos.
Aside from a brief phone call, the entire process happened online and went about as smoothly as Owens could have hoped.
After filling out the creative brief, WizMotions wrote a preliminary script and sent it to JobFormance. Owens and his team made some minute changes to it and handed it back to WizMotions who expanded it to a full script and created a storyboard out of it.
“I felt like they really captured what we do and how we wanted to do it and how we wanted to present those videos,” Owens said. “It was really a simple process.”
Although Owens said he doesn’t have any solid numbers about the videos, anecdotal feedback has been positive. The company has more tools it wants to promote and plans to use more WizMotions videos for that, likely in the fourth quarter of this year.
“As we roll out JobFormance as a new brand, we’re going to be using the videos more and more to tell candidates about our tools,” he explained.
Looking to go beyond just a talking head video, JobFormance has worked with WizMotions to craft a pair of quick, fun and informative videos that perfectly capture the JobFaxReport tool JobFormance wanted to spotlight.
If you want a business video for your own company, click here to use our price estimation calculator to see approximately how much your video will cost. (You don’t even need to talk to anyone!)
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What Goes Into a Creative Brief for an Animated Business Video?
For any creative project you do, you’ll be required to fill out a creative brief. This could be in the form of a questionnaire or maybe an interview, but at some point and in some way you’ll need to tell the people doing the project what you want.
Maybe you have the entire video made in your head and you just want to turn that into reality, but the more likely scenario is that your company has decided that animated video would be a good idea for your business and you want to work with an expert to create a video that will have high ROI, but you’re not exactly sure which direction to go with it.
And that’s where the creative brief comes in.
It’s kind of like the roadmap to get to your destination. Before you start this particular journey, you have to know where you’re going and map out the route. Let’s take a gander at what goes into a creative brief for an animated business video.
The first thing that a creative brief will ask is for a brief description of your business, just to get the basics about your company. But, right after that are the goals of the project. It’s okay to have more than one goal (our creative brief asks you to list your top three), but you have to have at least one goal.
This the purpose of the video, the “why” of it. Is it to raise awareness? Get people to join a cause? Buy something? Do something? Knowing why you’re making the video will help with every decision related with the project, which is the reason it’s one of the first things on the brief.
This, obviously, is the “who” of the project. You need to know who you’re making the video for. Your messaging would be drastically different for highly educated adults than it would be for children, just like if you were talking to a person.
On our creative brief, we specifically ask you to describe your customer avatar. This is basically one fictitious person who perfectly encompasses your average customer. The point of coming up with a single audience member that represents your target audience is that it’s easier to craft a message for one person than for thousands or millions of people. If you talk to this one person instead of trying to talk to thousands of people at once, your message will be clearer and more focused.
And now the “what.” This is what the viewer will gain from watching this video. You want to reach your goals, but the people who view your video should also get something in return. When they’re done watching your video, they should feel like they’ve gained something, an understanding of something they were unaware of or information they can use in some way.
Knowing the consumer benefits will help you understand the other side of the “why” equation, as in why would someone want to watch this video? You might catch their attention with something entertaining, but you’ll need to give them something useful to keep their attention.
We like to know why consumers might not buy your product or service. What objections might they have to it? What are their biggest fears about purchasing it? Knowing why someone won’t do something will help you figure out ways to convince them to want to do it.
Related to this, you should also know who your competitors are and be able to say definitively what makes your offer different and more appealing than theirs. You’ll be able to highlight these differences and demonstrate how your offering is superior.
This refers to what angle you want the script of your video to take. Do you want it to tell a story from a character’s point of view or would it be better to just have a straight-ahead explanation of what you’re offering? If you opt to tell a story, whose point of view would it be best told from?
Whatever angle you decide to take, it’s always a good idea to put the benefits to the consumer first and foremost in the video. Make those benefits shine through regardless of how you decide to do it.
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Call to Action
Of course you don’t just want people to watch the video. It should prompt them to do something. Whether it’s sign up for something, click on a link, use a hashtag or something else, you’ll want to make sure you include an action they can take.
There’s no guarantee they’ll take that action, but it’s guaranteed that they won’t take it if you don’t prompt them to do it. Even something as simple as visiting a website to get more information is preferable to not having a call to action for your video.
This fits in with your audience. At least some of your characters should represent your audience, so what do you want them to look like? Do you want a wide range of ages or do you want most of your characters to be teens or elderly people?
You have to decide what ratio of genders you want, what races to depict if the characters have races, what ages, what type of clothing and anything else you can think of to describe your characters. They don’t necessarily have to be human characters, either. They could be animals or generic cartoons that aren’t really people, they just stand in for people. You’ll have to think about what’s the best way to represent your audience and your brand.
Lastly, you’ll need to think about what tone you want the video to have. Should it be serious, playful or downright zany? Just because the video is animated doesn’t mean it has to necessarily be playful or fun. It can still have a serious tone even with animation.
In fact, it can have any tone you want, but it should match your brand. Whatever you tone you choose can be conveyed through the music, artwork, characters and narration (if you have any).
Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. Any animation company you work with will have a creative brief to help you along the way. At WizMotions, we get you to fill out our questionnaire and then we talk extensively with you to get a better idea of what you want. Click here to schedule an appointment with WizMotions to see how we can help you make the perfect business video.
How to Build Better Brand Awareness with Animated Explainer Videos
We’ve already gone over how animated explainer videos help you with SEO, help you with your training initiatives and help you increase conversions, but possibly the best thing they do is raise brand awareness.
However, you can’t just slap your logo on any old animated video and call it done. You need to make the right animated video to suit your brand. Here’s five things you need to do to make sure your explainer video fits your brand.
Have a Customer Persona to Create For
You don’t make an explainer video for everyone, you make it for your audience and that means knowing your audience. One of the best ways to pinpoint who you’re making your video for is to build your ideal customer persona.
If you’ve never created an ideal customer persona before, basically it entails looking at your demographics and coming up with a few different fictional people who best represent some of your average customers.
You want to give them an age, a location, an occupation, an income level, some hobbies and any other information that you think best represents who you are targeting with your video. The reason you’re creating these personas is because your branding message will be more focused if you are talking to one person than if you are trying to talk to thousands of people. You should have more than one persona, though, because your audience will have a range to it.
For example, if you were seniors care service and you were making a video aimed at people with aging parents, that would obviously be different demographic than if you were launching a new video editing app aimed at young adults.
For the seniors care facility, you might have the following personas:
- Karl, a 56-year-old electrical contractor from Albuquerque, NM who earns $65,000 annually and who has a mother living in his home who is severely immobile
- Rachael, a 45-year-old marketing executive from Rochester, NY who earns $50,000 annually and who lives in a different city than her father, who still lives on his own and still tries to stay active
- Amy, a 61-year-old small business owner from Minneapolis, MN who brings in $120,000 per year and whose parents live in their own home, but who are slowing down due to age and aren’t able to keep up with the household chores
While the photo editing app customer personas might be more along the lines of:
- Katy, a 21 year old from Los Angeles, CA who just graduated college and is looking for her first job in the computer sciences field. She loves Instagramming all her meals
- Roger, a 29 year old publicist from Tampa Bay, FL whose ideal day off is spent at the beach
- Tyrone, a 25 year old retail manager from Vancouver, WA who loves camping and nature photography
It would be impossible to create an animated video that appeals to every customer, but by having a few who represent your average customers, you’re helping to focus your branding message in your video.
You can model the characters after them, use imagery and an overall tone that you think would appeal to them and keep your entire video concentrated on that core market. Using the examples above, the video geared toward people with elderly parents is likely going to be slower paced and have a gentler tone while the one for the new video editing app will be a lot faster paced and have an overall slicker feel to it.
Regardless of what you’re explaining, your video should target, with as much accuracy as you can muster from your data, the people who are most likely to want whatever it is you have to offer.
Use Your Colors
This isn’t to say just use colors or make your video colorful. We really mean use your brand’s color palette. Your brand’s colors weren’t just chosen at random. They were chosen for a specific reason and they help to represent your brand. Whatever shades you use, pepper the colors that best represent your brand throughout the video to put your brand’s stamp on it. And don’t forget that logo. It doesn’t need to be in every frame, but make sure you show it.
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Pick a Style that Compliments Your Brand
As different animation styles cost different amounts, this decision will be somewhat influenced by your budget, but do give some thought as to which type of animation will reflect your brand best. Whiteboard animation is everywhere now and it’s good for conveying a large amount of information in a short amount of time, but if you want something that looks a bit slicker for a simpler message, you might opt for 2D animation.
It all depends on what you want to say, how you want to say it and what perception you want people to have of your brand.
You can choose from:
- Kinetic typography
- Whiteboard Animation
- Cut Out Animation
- 2D Animation
- 3D Animation
- RSA Animation
- Graphics Animation
Choose whichever one you most associate with your brand.
Make Your Video Share-Worthy
It’s impossible to say what the next viral video will be and, therefore, it’s not worth trying to create the next viral sensation. Instead, what you can do is make your video worth sharing.
The great thing about animated explainer videos is they convey a lot of information in a little amount of time. By keeping your video short (under two minutes is a good goal) and focused on a single message or goal, you’ll make it more share-worthy.
And don’t forget your call to action. Do you want people to sign up for something? Visit a page? Use a specific hashtag? Whatever it is, let them know so they’re prompted to do it. And you can always encourage them to share the video.
Be True to Your Brand
Your brand has a brand identity and your explainer video should feel authentic and true to that identity. If your brand isn’t about being hip and slick, then don’t do that. People will instinctively know if your brand is being inauthentic, so just be honest and talk about your product, service or project. If it’s worth getting excited about, people will get excited about it if your brand comes across as genuine. Use the customer personas you created and talk to those people and you should do well.
An animated explainer video can take a brand to the next level of exposure. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a long-established brand that has a new product or service to launch, telling people about it in a compelling way is always going to be a good move as long as you stay true to your brand identity. Click here to use our price estimation calculator to see approximately how much your video will cost. (You don’t even need to talk to anyone!)