You’ve hired us to create an animated video for your company. You’re excited to start digging into the scripting and share in our creative process. Rest assured, we want to make a great video just as much as you do, so what can you do to team up with your animation company to get the best results?
Be Clear On Strategy
Strategy is the foundation of the video, so it’s best to think it through thoroughly. Ask yourself these questions:
- What business objectives would you like to achieve with this video?
- Who is your audience? (Think about demographics – age, gender, education – but also psychographics – the personality profile of your targeted viewer.)
- Is there a call-to-action you want to include at the end of the video?
- How will you distribute the video? Will it be shown at an event? Live on your home page? Be sent out in an email blast? Shared in social media? Or (probably) a combination of the above? All these factors affect how we deliver your message.
Be Clear On Branding
How do you want to project your brand to the public?
- Do you know your brand promise? What do your buyers expect from you?
- What is your brand personality and voice? Is it serious and buttoned up, or playful and funny?
- Does your brand have a visual identity? Are there any colors or fonts associated with your brand? Visual tropes or elements?
We are team players and want to be part of an effort that will present a seamless vision of your company to the world.
Involve Your Stakeholders Early
If you are head of a start-up, it’s likely that you will make the decisions, or maybe you and one other person. But if you’re part of a large organization, you’re likely to have a number of stakeholders who will want a say in the video. It can be disruptive to any process when stakeholders jump onboard after the ship has left port, so if there’s anyone that might want to have sign-off, bring them in early. If their availability is too scarce for them to be involved in every detail, at least get their sign-off on the script.
It is quite possible that shepherding a video project through a large organization might be more of a challenge for you than making the video is for us. That’s why we have written a whole post providing some tips on how to best do it.
Appoint A Point Person
Taking notes from several people at a time is frankly problematic for us, especially when the notes contradict each other, or trickle in at different times. That’s why it’s always a good idea to appoint a liaison whose responsibility it will be to consolidate feedback and coordinate reviews by your team. If your people aren’t good about getting back to you in a timely way, consider setting up review meetings so that you can resolve differences of opinion in a timely way.
More Time Equals More Love
We understand that business doesn’t stop for anyone. You may well have a website roll-out or event that you’ll need your video for, and we will certainly work with you to meet your needs. But if you can afford to give us some extra time, we will use it to lavish extra love on your piece… and it won’t cost you a cent extra.
Go Soft And Hard
As a Creative Director, not all my opinions are strongly held. Sometimes I give what I call a soft note to a creative on our team, meaning they can take it or leave it… or perhaps address the concern in a totally different way than what I suggested. Other times I know exactly what I want and I give a hard note, meaning it’s something that I require. I’ve found this to be a useful way of getting the best out of creative people. It allows artists to keep a sense of ownership and spurs them to find better solutions. If this feels right for you, use it! Let us know which are your weak inklings and which are your strong convictions.
Don’t Hold Back
You’re probably going to have some ideas about both your message and the aesthetic choices your animation provider makes in communicating that message. Don’t hold back on either! On the former, you know your message better than anyone, so you are the authority there. As for the aesthetics, appreciate that we are artists who have spent most of our adult lives thinking about things like storytelling, color, line, and timing, but at the same time, remember… if we didn’t welcome viewers’ reactions to our work, and take them into account, we really wouldn’t deserve to be called professionals. So don’t censor yourself! And don’t worry about our feelings… we aren’t fragile.