You’ve learned about the benefits. You know the companies that use it. Now you want to produce your own animated explainer videos.
But where should you start?
Like other forms of content, everything begins and ends with a clear message that you want to convey to your target audience. But with several elements required to work together, putting together an animated video is not as straightforward as, say, writing a blog post.
To help you get started, here’s a brief checklist of things that you need to accomplish from a trusted animation studio based in Sydney.
Start with your script
Like movies, TV shows, and commercials, your animated video will need a script. The script serves as the foundation of your video.
But before you begin writing your first draft, it is a good idea to create a brief for your video. This brief should contain a few key elements, namely your goal, intended audience, and the message you want to deliver.
At the outset, you may have more than one key message that you want to deliver to your audience. That’s okay. What is essential is to create a script that weaves these messages into one cohesive story.
In order to achieve this goal, it is worthwhile to know the three critical elements of a great story.
First, you need a hook. Although a hook lasts for just a few seconds, it is critical to engage your audience. Without the right hook, viewers may look elsewhere instead of watching your video.
Next, you need the meat or central part of the video. This part contains the main ideas that you want to show to your audience and supports the promise you gave in your hook.
Finally, you will need a call to action or CTA. This is the part where you direct your viewers toward a desirable, concrete action. It can be as simple as encouraging viewers to visit your website or buy your product or service.
Create a storyboard
Storyboarding is another technique that is heavily used in filmmaking, and using it for your own video will help you to create a tight script.
Since you will need to bring in a few people to help you in producing your video, a storyboard enables you to organize things logically and coherently. It is also an excellent tool for editing and fine-tuning your script before going to full production mode.
Essentially, a storyboard is a comic strip containing text and images. You don’t need to be great at drawing to create your own storyboard. A rough sketch is often more than enough to get the job done. Or if you want something that looks put together, you can use a slide show presenter software.
Choose a style
You’ve probably watched a few animated videos before deciding that you want one (or more) for your company. Although there are several styles to choose from, these styles can be broadly categorized into five styles.
This style is best used for explaining complex ideas, like, for example, how your product or service works. Handcraft videos capture the attention of viewers because of the dynamic effect of seeing images being moved around by a virtual hand.
Like videos, infographics combine texts and images. However, when you look at a typical infographic, it can seem overwhelming or dull due to the large volume of information packed together.
With an infographic video, you can present key stats and facts in a linear and dynamic manner that is easily digestible.
As its name implies, this style of video uses text as the primary means to convey your message. This allows you to highlight certain words while grabbing the attention of viewers.
2D videos rank as one of the most popular and familiar styles of videos, similar to the ones you see on TV and movies. Usually, 2D animation videos follow linear storytelling.
Like handcraft videos, whiteboard animation captures the attention of viewers through the dynamic use of text and images. The critical difference between the two is that whiteboard videos use the illusion of a hand drawing images and writing text.
Producing your video: insourcing vs. outsourcing
When it comes to making your animated video, there are two options that you can choose from.
If you are planning to produce animated videos consistently, you may want to put together your own team of writers, animators, music producers, and voice talents. Furthermore, you may need to invest in a few pieces of equipment, including animation software.
On the other hand, if you intend to produce an animated video as a one-off item or you do not have a clear timetable for the series you have in mind, you might fare better by outsourcing the production to an animation studio.
This allows you to keep your budget in check as you minimize your investment. Plus, you can get your video quicker without compromising quality. The studio will take care of almost everything that is needed for video production.
It takes a team
Although animated videos forgo some of the resources needed in producing a live-action video, you will definitely need a diverse number of people to support you, like a trusted animation studio, or your own team of video production professionals.
Anthony Lam is the founder of Punchy Digital Media, a creative agency that helps organisations grow using animated videos and creative visual content. Punchy has a team across Australia and Asia and has worked with clients such as Apple, Westpac and the Australian Government, running campaigns and reaching millions of people.