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storyboard used to plan an animated explainer video

11 Questions Help You Plan a Great Animated Explainer Video

Animated explainer videos can help promote your business. They can spread awareness, show customers what you do, and share your story. Brands like Dropbox and Venmo have used these types of video to catapult from obscurity to household names. But a great animated explainer video takes planning. 

Asking the right questions from the beginning can help you avoid costly mistakes and create a video that works toward your marketing goals. Let’s get you thinking in the right direction.

1. What Is Your Video Objective?

In other words, what do you want your video to do? You might make an animated explainer video to:

  • Educate customers
  • Improve your SEO
  • Increase conversions
  • Get email signups
  • Increase awareness
  • Boost engagement

You might want your video to do more than one of these things, but it’s a good idea to have one primary goal in mind. That way you can design your video to meet that goal. It’s also a lot easier to track success if you know what metrics you’ll be measuring.

Repipe Specialists wanted to use the video below to educate customers. Their ultimate goal was to get more customers to contact them for plumbing help. So the script, graphics, and on-screen text, all work toward that goal.

You can think about video objectives based on where your customers are in the funnel. Are you trying to reach people who don’t know about your products or services, people who know you but haven’t yet converted, or existing users who need to know your product better? Your objective determines your script, tone, voice, and messaging, as well as video length and story.

2. How Will You Use Your Animated Explainer Video?

Animated explainer videos can work on a variety of different platforms. Your social media, website, and email marketing might all benefit from a quality animated explainer video. You can even use them offline. A video can help your trade show booth stand out or add an extra dimension to presentations.

You might plan to share it via:

Knowing how you plan to use your video can help guide your production process. A video for a trade show booth or presentation might need to be short and visually arresting with strong audio to grab attention in a noisy convention hall.

On the other hand, a social media video can be more intimate and should rely less on audio. The truth is, most mobile users watch videos with the sound off. If you make an explainer video with an intricate soundtrack but don’t include any text or subtitles, it probably won’t perform well on social media.

3. How Long Should Your  Animated Explainer Video Be?

In most cases, your animated explainer video should be between 15-120 seconds long. The data is clear: attention rates start to drop after 60 seconds, and take a nosedive around the 2-minute mark. If you think you need more time, you’re probably trying to do too much in one video.

Look at what Mido Lotto manages to accomplish in just 30 seconds. They have a clear value proposition, some social proof, and a call to action.

Prioritize your key selling point and make it interesting. If you have multiple points to make, you’re probably better off making multiple videos.

4. What Problem Does Your Video Help Solve?

Speaking of your value proposition: What benefit does your video offer your customers? It should offer information or a product to solve a real problem your customer has.  That might be the need to keep up in business, fixing a leaky pipe problem, or saving time while buying lottery tickets.

Your video should define the problem you solve. It also needs to differentiate you from your competitors. Your video is a chance for you to literally show your customers how easy their life could be…if they only had what you’ve got.

5. What Are Your Customers’ Common Objections?

Your explainer video is an ideal opportunity to answer common questions or objections from customers.  Every time a customer asks a question or lodges a complaint, they’re giving you information on how to improve your product to better solve your target customers’ needs.

Some of the best videos come from FAQs and customer complaint forms. So talk to your sales team early in the pre-production process to gather these insights.

6. What Is Your Brand Personality?

This one is more important than you think. If you’re a B2B arbitrage investment firm, you don’t want a cuddly teddy bear pitching your state-of-the-art algorithms to potential clients. Unless, of course, you do.

High quality video can come in many forms. Whether you choose whiteboard video, 2D or 3D, or motion graphics, your choice sends subtle messages about your brand. You want to create animation that matches your brand personality.

If you already have a distinct brand identity, feature it in your animated explainer video. Bring your mood boards, hex color codes, and defined palettes to your first production meeting. This explainer video is going to be an integral part of your website. Make it a good representation of your brand.

Some of our clients have used their explainer videos to discover a new visual style. Others have incorporated the characters and concepts we create into rebrands and redesigns. Whichever way you go, make your video a part of your larger branding and it’ll be more effective for years to come.

8. Who is your audience?

Are you selling B2B or B2C? Who are the decision-makers in your target audience? Think about where your customers live, what they look like, and what other brands they might be engaging with. With a clear picture of your customer in mind, you can create characters and stories that speak to their experience.

For example, the video below is clearly aimed at business leaders. The script, character design, and music all appeal to this specific audience.

9. What Is Your CTA?

What do you want people to do after they’ve watched? That’s your goal. Design a path that leads from your animated explainer video to the goal you’re trying to achieve.

Your CTA should be a single action viewers can take right now. This could be clicking a link, visiting a website, or buying now.

The right video CTA can improve your video’s conversion rates and ROI. What does “right” mean? It means you’ve chosen a CTA that makes sense for the video you’ve created, and you’ve given viewers plenty of reasons to take action.

10. What is Your Budget?

Make sure you have a sign-off from your executive team, and understand how much of your budget you can invest in your animated video project. Professional explainer videos can vary in cost. Pricing depends on which explainer video production company you choose as well as video style, length, and complexity.

Do some research to establish a reasonable budget and shop around to find the best animation company for your needs.

11. Are You Ready to Make an Animated Explainer Video?

An explainer video can be a big investment. Ideally, you’ll be able to use this video for months and even years. If you’re on the verge of brand refresh or another major business shakeup, now might not be the best time to make an explainer video.

Wait until you have your brand guidelines set. In the meantime, you can start answering the questions above. Then, it’s time to find a video creation studio that can help you make an animated explainer video.

Making Your First Animated Explainer Video

Making an explainer video is hard. Don’t be discouraged if your branding, marketing, and animation goals are still a little murky after reviewing the above list of questions. We’ve seen how the scripting process helps businesses develop and enhance their vision.

The video creation experts at IdeaRocket are pros at animated explainer video production. If you need some help, reach out.

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