5 Tips to Produce a Successful Explainer Video
1. Develop a Creative Brief Before You Begin
No one understands your product better than you.
It’s important that you can clearly explain your customers’ pain points (and how you solve them) to your production agency so they can convey it in the video. Your creative brief will explain this to your agency by answering these three questions:
Who is your audience?
Every audience is different, so answering this will help your production agency define the video style that’ll resonate most strongly with yours.
knowing your audience will help you determine the tone and how best to speak to that audience: are you talking to people who are already well-versed in the broader subject matter or to consumers who are brand new to this?
What is your key messaging?
A 90-second explainer video is not the time to share all the details of the project – instead, pick just a half a dozen messaging points you need to communicate. A key element of explainer videos is that they’re short and clear – if you try to pack too much information into it, you’ll lose your audience. Always include a call to action (CTA) at the end for your audience to learn more.
Choose the right voice and tone for the video.
First, it’s essential to understand that your brand has a voice and your message will have a tone. The tone of your message in the video can be whimsical or serious or anything in between, but it should complement your brand’s overall voice. Once you choose the tone, you can then choose the right music and actors to convey it.
What is the desired outcome of the video?
It’s important to identify what you want people to do after watching the video. Should they seek more info, buy a product, or enter their email address, etc.? Whatever the desired outcome, make sure it’s clearly articulated in the brief.
2. Choose the Right Production Agency
Even the best “Do it yourself” explainer video software can’t match the videos from a professional production agency. Choosing the best production agency for your explainer video can be a daunting task, but asking yourself these four questions will help you narrow down your search.
Does the agency understand your product or service?
A strong understanding of your company is the key to effectively telling your story. Ask the production agency to sign an NDA so you can share the finer details of your product or service and then schedule a follow-up meeting to ensure they have a thorough understanding of it.
Does the agency have experience creating explainer videos?
Ask to see examples of explainer videos they’ve created in the past. Have they done them for companies in your industry before?
Does the agency have experience with your desired style and approach?
If you already have a style in mind for your video (animation, live action, etc.) share it with the agency and ask about their experience with it. If you’re not sure which approach to take, now is the time to talk it through with the production agency to find the best style for your story and your brand.
Does their proposal match your vision?
The best part of choosing a creative agency is that every production company will bring its own unique creative approach. Ask two or three agencies for proposals outlining creative, logistic, and budgetary considerations so you can choose the one that best fits your vision.
3. Stay Involved in the Pre-production Process
You’ve chosen the right production agency for the job, but that doesn’t mean you should step back from the project. Stay involved in the pre-production process with these tips.
Help identify the right creative approach.
If the concept is difficult or abstract, a graphical approach or mix between motion graphics and live action can be the best way to get it across clearly. For more simple products and services, a humorous video is often a great way to go as well.
A graphical approach:
A mix of live action and motion graphics:
A humorous approach:
Whichever route you choose, the most important factor is that the video is engaging and the message is concise.
Keep all stakeholders involved.
Although you may want to wait to share the final product, it’s better to keep any and all stakeholders involved from the start. Consistently ask for feedback throughout the process and get final approval from all levels while the video is still in pre-production. Once production starts it will be much more expensive and time-consuming to make changes.
Finalize the approach.
Your content should drive your approach, not the other way around.
When the production agency presents the final plan, feel free to ask questions and request changes to make sure it tells your story and achieves your goal. This is the foundation of your explainer video, so make sure you’re happy with it.
Collaborate on the explainer video script.
Remember that it’s more powerful to sell the benefits of your product or service rather than just the features. Don’t just say what it will do, highlight the ways in which it will improve your customers’ lives.
Another important tip to keep in mind during the explainer video script writing process is that 1 to 2-minute explainer videos are ideal, so don’t try to stuff the script with too much information or your key messaging will get lost in the noise.
Request a storyboard.
Requesting a storyboard before production starts will help ensure that the production agency thoroughly understands how to tell your story and desired outcome for the project. If the storyboard hits all of these points, your explainer video is ready for the next step.
4. Stay Involved in the Production Process
Once again, your role in creating the explainer video doesn’t end when production starts. Stay engaged in the process with these two tips!
Schedule regular review cycles.
These reviews are a two-step process. First, take the in-progress video and share it with all stakeholders. Then, combine all of your feedback into one concise document to bring back to the production agency. These review meetings are best done in person or over the phone instead of through email to make sure nothing gets lost in translation.
5. Create and Execute a Detailed Distribution Plan
Now that your explainer video is completed, it’s time to share it with the world. This is one of the most important steps in the entire process, so plan your distribution strategy carefully with this guide.
Brainstorm the best way to reach your audience.
You have identified your target audience in your creative brief, now it’s time to determine how to reach them. Are they on social media? At trade shows? Bring your video to them!
Choose measurable goals.
You can’t gauge your return on investment (ROI) if you don’t measure the outcome of your video marketing efforts. Dreaming big is great, but when it comes to setting goals, always choose realistic and achievable milestones as well.
Create a budget.
Will you distribute your explainer video on free or paid platforms? Free platforms include your owned media like blogs, social media accounts, emails lists, and landing pages.
Paid media campaigns on platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Google can help you get a wider reach but require a larger budget. If you plan to run your explainer video as a paid advertising campaign, let your production company know before you begin because it can affect licensing and other important aspects of the video creation.
Gauge your success and apply it to your next project.
Finally, take the time to record your video’s success and apply the lessons you learned to your next round of video marketing!
Follow This 5 Step Plan for Explainer Video Success!
Explainer videos can be a marketing game changer – if you do them right.
Create successful explainer videos by developing a clear brief before you begin, choosing the right production agency, staying involved throughout the production process, and executing a detailed distribution plan.