In today’s times of E-commerce when either it is a B2C (Business to Consumer) or a B2B (Business to Business) selling model, companies give a lot of priority to how they present themselves. The most result oriented effective online marketing mechanism is using short videos what are called explainer videos on the company’s website and any other place online wherever there is a mention and discussion of the product, merchandise or service offered.
The basic underlying principle of increased conversions is the finding that a video on the company’s website increases conversion rate by 20%. This concept of storytelling explaining an organization’s purpose of existence right through vision to sales with help of animated videos has now been in use for about half a decade. It is important to know what the qualities of good explainer videos are that will help sell, or increase sales from what it is now among other competitors.
And apart from the aesthetics it is also important to know how and by which effective styles should these animated videos be created which will facilitate to aptly portray the products or services on offer. It is all about conveying the information intended to the potential partner or customer in a short crisp yet intriguing manner.
Some of the feel-good factors that should be present in explainer videos
1. Clean soothing visuals which will enhance its overall quality
2. Content that will be short and to the point
3. An engaging storyline that will make an emotional connect with existing and potential shoppers of the brand
4. Ability to sustain viewer interest that they do not ward off until viewing the animated video in full
5. Provide demo or how-to videos that explain working of a product or service so that viewers get the actual feel
6. Maintain increased share ability rate by having a fun-element or humorous presentation
Provide a solution from the brand’s end if a probable problem is discussed so that the brands look like a viable product
7. Provide a call to action facility at least at the three fourth or towards end segment so that you sustain customers and add to conversions
Before we decide which animation style suits the business, first let us briefly understand what the commonly used animation styles are for explainer videos. It is good to be innovative but sometimes it holds its own risks especially if you are trying out a new style and if you are among other established competitors.
Primarily the animated video styles projects three parameters:-
(1) details of the merchandise or service on offer
(2) either the simplicity or the complexity
(3) visual appeal
Any company while creating an animated video for themselves should analyze who their audiences are, what they want to convey, what their clients expect and what is the budget in hand. These factors will help relay proper direction to the animation video creating vendor or to their in-house creative team and avoid confusion. Generally there are more than 14 video animation styles in use; here we try to touch upon some of the most commonly used ones.
Common animation styles that may be used in explainer videos
Whiteboard animation is a simple and straightforward method to explain a complex concept. It is content created live on a white board in front of the customer (audience).This method can be best made use of in training and demo videos. Its purpose is to educate the audience first than be flashy in visual appeal with lot of color or cartoon like animation. The ability to be informative and convey a concept easily gives this style the preference of usage for demo purposes than most other styles, especially for conveying new ideas, or products.
Motion Graphic style gives life to a whiteboard animation which may be rather dull or with static content. It adds more color and animation with various font type and sizes. So end result is that there is animation on an Infographic. Even the finest details can be easily presented that a trust is formed around the brand. This animation style will see its best results when audience being addressed are a serious gathering and you are trying to demo a complicated idea in a simple manner.
Moving text or Kinetic Typography is a method of presenting text with music and other images as multi-media stories. The moving text is made possible by setting a timer to its movement. As images may also be accompanied with the text it gives an idea as if it is a cartoon. Though there is text in major part of video it is in a better shape than a pure text based content. Depending on how creative the video type is combined as text and multimedia, a call to action among its viewers may be established. There may not be voice over or narrations.
Cartoon style is the best animation style for any B2C business type as it needs to establish an emotional connect between the brand and the consumer. Cartoons bring back a whole lot of childhood memories along with attaching a moral value to the product being sold. There is nothing like a winning factor if it can relay a moral value. It is a very powerful and convincing style that is used for explainer videos. If the consumer is assured of the product just by the cartoon, they do not think twice to buy when there is a need. This style can be easily adapted to any story line or script and are very flexible.
Silhouette animation style uses character animation figures in a shadowy profile. Though this portrayal of the character makes it look scary, it can still be used. There is not much difference compared to cartoon type video except to the color combination of the character on screen. Either basic colors or at company brand colors may be included.
Cuttoon style is a go-between whiteboard animation and cartoon style. It is as if the whiteboard character has a hand or stick and display to explain concepts so the dull flow gets a colorful illustrious presentation style.
Live Action as the name suggests involves actual people in action captured by a camera as if in a movie. It is an expensive animation style if professionals are hired. Companies can try this option if they have a team to shoot and pose and the budget to bear the equipment cost. It does have the real thing feeling though, as viewers will see live action and can relate it to a similar situation in their life as well. The urge to try or buy the product may be more hence.
Screen Capture is the animation style which explains working of an application or website screen by screen showing navigational steps. This is best used as a tutorial and explainer. The only condition to fulfill is that UI of the app should not change frequently else the original video turns meaningless.
3D Animation is a striking modern animation style for products that has not come into production yet but is sort of an explainer envisaging how it will be. It can show the spatial motions representing geographical and structural movements. Product designers and architects use this best to show a full image of the design.
Stop motion was the first video animation style that came into place and continues still. It is a creative video form which means any type of figure maybe used, right from modeling clay, fruit or paper.
Product types which can use some of the above video animation styles
1. Whiteboard can be used for marketing complex IT solutions, computer software, networking and security solutions , education and tutorial products, computer accessories, spreading awareness of government’s mission, non-profit organizations and social service schemes etc.
2. Motion Graphic animated videos are best used by start-ups or small business to introduce their new products or business ideas to promoters, partners or consumers. It is equally helpful for product ideas which may be otherwise complicated to explain like working of industrial machines, spare parts fixing of automobiles, working of software applications made for any consumer behavior segment etc. Consider a picture editor app hosted on cloud that collects how many ever pictures you upload to your user login on the app, it edits segregates and arranges your collection into albums based on a certain logic or customized rule allowed by the software and provided by you. Motion Graphic style can be used to explain how this app works by showing stage by stage in animation.
3. Kinetic typography is a video format which is best utilized for products and ideas where statistics and facts need to be communicated to audience. Since it is a hybrid format of video presentation it sustains audience attention easily. Pepsi was one among the first companies to have used such an idea in its marketing strategy. It is also used widely for animated videos created for educational purposes. Sometimes entertainment industry use this method like releasing the lyrics of a music video first in a kinetic typography format before the music video is officially out. It is presented as a teaser to gain viewer attention.
4. Cartoon style is a style that can be tried to bring in more adventurous and fun to the story concept . Humorous elements, sound effects and color can aid in bringing this change and creating expressive characters. If the product is a little higher on the sensitive side or gauged for authenticity by consumers, this style may be used with apt cartoon characters. Example, FridaBaby baby products advertisement explainer video.
So these were some of the essential tips one should keep in mind to effectively use explainer videos to pass sensitive narratives specifically meant for certain audience groups.