How hard can it be? You get someone to draw it for you and that’s it, right?
Well, not exactly. There’s the script writing, and listening to different voice over artists, and choosing an illustration style, and approving each step of the process… Let me tell you, it’s a whole process. It can be a painful one if you don’t know what you’re doing, or it can be easy-breezy if you do – or if you hire someone who does.
Let’s say you’ve opted for the second option. Because you’re probably not a video producer, and you don’t have time to learn about production just to create this one video. You have a business to run, and you want someone you can rely on and who can take you through the production process without too much fuss.
Now that you’re happy with your choice of a video production company, you might think that all you need to do is show up. The reality is that these people cannot read your mind. You have to be involved. Because you know your customers best and you know your target audience best, you are the one who has to be involved in the process. The production company is there to help. You are the star of your show.
Before your first meeting with your project manager, you have to gather all the relevant info. You have to know who your audience is and what the biggest problems are that they face when using your product or service. Some production companies may ask you to give them an oral presentation on why you need an explainer video and who your target audience is. Others might have you fill out a Q&A form first, and hop on a conference call afterwards to discuss it.
You got the ball rolling and the actual production process is about to start. The first step should be writing the script.
The script is a crucial component of an explainer video. You can have the best visuals, flawlessly animated amazing illustrations whooshing across the screen, but if you have a crappy script that doesn’t deliver your message or solve your customer’s problem, you basically have nothing.
Make sure your script is focused on one message and do your best not to cram every bit of information you can think of into it. You don’t want to confuse the viewers, you want to help them. Keep in mind that there is a correlation between length of the video and the number of words a professional voice over artist can say in that time and not sound rushed. Of course, nothing is set in stone, but a script for a 60 second video typically has around 180 words, a 90 second one 250 words, and a 120 second around 300 words.
The Voice Over
If, for some reason, your customers expect to hear directly from you, you could record your own voice over. You’d have to be careful to produce a high quality recording though. That means that there shouldn’t be outside noises or breaths recorded. You’d have to be mindful of your pitch, pace, and tone.
On the other hand, your simpler and safer option would be to hire a professional. A project manager will most often give you a bunch of demos to choose from. When you find some voices you like, you’ll get samples of your script to help you pick the one that’s right for you. When you hear your script read by the artist, you can request a change of pace, tone, words to be emphasized, or pronunciation.
There aren’t any tricks to help you make a choice, but, and I cannot stress this enough, always go for the native speaker. People pick up even on the slightest hint of an accent. You want your customers to feel safe and trust you. Hearing a non-native speaker might have the opposite effect.
This is the stage when you start seeing how your script will be represented visually. Even though you might only see simple stick people at this point.
You can request that the illustrator do a certain style you like and have seen somewhere online, or you can choose a style from their sample illustrations catalog. When you see the actual design of your characters, you’ll have a better idea of what your video will look like at the end of the production process. This stage does take a bit longer, but you want the illustrations to be perfect, so you really shouldn’t rush it.
This is something that also takes a bit of time. It is when the illustrations come to life. The sample video is created in which the illustrations move, and you can even hear the voice over in it. It’s looking good and you’re only one step away from the finished product.
The Music and Sound Effects
Music and sound effect complete the video. They set the mood and give the video emotional depth. I guess you can even say they add more color to the video. Background music improves the viewer’s experience and has a positive effect.
And you’re done! Your video is now ready to be seen by your target audience. You can share the video in many different ways – on your website, on social platforms where your brand is present, or you can even use it as a part of your email marketing campaign.
If you’d like to learn more about explainer videos, go ahead and download our ebook!