Videos and motion graphics have become an integral part of many successful marketers’ content strategies. In fact, according to a 2019 survey, 95% of video marketers believe video has helped viewers better understand their product or service. The report also found that explainer videos are the No. 1 type of video marketers create. This points to just how powerful video marketing can be — when executed correctly.
Further, in the past year, educating audiences was one of the three most-cited goals of marketers, according to a Content Marketing Institute report. Long story short, educating and explaining is now a key responsibility of all marketers. Our customers want to understand their world and make informed decisions about what they buy. So, instead of the hard sell, more organizations are sincerely developing and sharing useful educational content — whether it’s about how to use their product or about a broader topic of interest in their industry.
At Killer Visual Strategies, we find that explainer videos and motion graphics can be powerful for our clients’ organizations. Let’s take a look at the key elements of a successful explainer video.
A Clearly Defined Goal
If you haven’t identified what goal your motion graphic or video is trying to achieve, you won’t be able to make any of the other decisions that follow.
For instance, if your goal is to show how to program the car stereo system your company sells, you may subsequently conclude that the best format for your project is a live-action video with animation overlay (animated labels and data related to the sound system). You might also decide that the video can be several minutes long, if it’s necessary for the explanation.
But if your goal is to attract a broad audience of people who love cars, you may choose to create a highly stylized motion graphic with quick transitions and stunning illustration. You might also decide to keep it under 60 seconds.
A Clearly Defined Target Audience
Just as you need to know what you want your video to achieve, you also need to know who you want it to reach. The age, geographic location, interests and other features of your target demographic will determine everything from the tone of the motion graphic to what channels you choose to share it on.
After all, how can you explain something to an audience when you don’t know who that audience is? You need to understand what they need and want before you can deliver.
A Visual Strategy
Now that you’ve collected key information on the fundamentals of your project, it’s time to develop a visual strategy — not just for the video, but for its deployment and for any related marketing assets. A visual strategy can encompass analytic and creative decisions driving the visual expression of your brand as a whole, or it can direct a particular content marketing initiative. In this case, we’re dealing with the latter.
Your visual strategy is a plan designed to ensure that your video and its deployment achieve your goals. For instance, your visual strategy will likely include outlining a visual language for your campaign. This visual language will determine the color palette, design style and other visual characteristics of the assets you produce based on what will be most appealing to your audience and what will fit your goals.
Your strategy will also determine what medium you’ll choose for your video (more on that in a second) and where you’ll distribute it. For instance, if you want to post it on a variety of social media channels, you’ll need to plan ahead, since each has its own dimension specifications and video length limitations.
And finally, your visual strategy might incorporate other assets you create to promote and drive traffic to the video. These could include short-form animated videos and GIFs, mini infographics or social media micro-narratives, or a custom landing page for the video.
The Right Medium For The Task
When it comes to explainer videos, there are three basic mediums you can choose: live-action video, motion graphics and live-action video with animation overlay. Which option you choose should be largely driven by what type of information you’re sharing and how your audience prefers to receive that information.
Motion graphics are fully animated videos that can span an array of design styles, from business-to-business (B2B) and professional to humorous and relatable. They’re ideal if your topic doesn’t lend itself well to live-action video. Maybe you’re dealing with a product or service that just doesn’t photograph well, like a computer chip or something for which little good footage exists, such as microbiology or medicine. Or it could be that your topic is just too complicated when seen in photography, and you want to simplify the explanation by simplifying the images you share.
Live-action video, meanwhile, is great if you’re selling cars or vacation packages. But that doesn’t mean a little animation wouldn’t help. Especially in an explainer video, incorporating animated data visualizations, labels, icons and illustrations can help readers understand and interpret the video they’re seeing. If they’re trying to learn something new, this makes it easier for them to follow along.
If you take these four considerations into account, you’re sure to produce a more targeted, goal-oriented explainer video. That means more engagement — and maybe even more customers. So give it a try. How can an explainer video help you achieve your business goals?
This content was originally published here.