Insider Tips for Creating Animated Explainer Videos

Insider Tips for Creating Animated Explainer Videos

Forget dry product descriptions and monotonous voiceovers. Animated explainer videos are here to change the game by bringing out the emotional core of your message. They’ll be your means to forging a connection with your audience that goes beyond facts and numbers.
An animated explainer video has the power to:

  • Create a story
  • Introduce a new product or service
  • Stay in your audience’s mind
  • Show the “why”s
  • Answer audiences’ questions
  • Be useful in all stages of customers’ journey
  • Later be used more creatively

So, are you ready to animate your business?

Then keep reading because this isn’t just another blog post on explainer videos. We’ve poured our years of experience and creative passion into these pages, but not just that. We’ve also used expert insights and articles to share the secrets to creating animated content that truly gets results.

But first, let’s review some of the obvious (and not-so-obvious) benefits of animated explainers.

Benefits of Animated Explainers

In 2024, people are more inclined to consume bite-sized chunks of information than ever before. But that does’t mean skimping out on quality or added value.

If done well, animated explainer videos can create the middle ground between short and valuable content. It is then that animated explainer videos will help you stand out in a crowded marketplace.

From simplifying complex concepts to forging a deeper connection with your audience, these pocket-sized assets are often more than what they seem. Explainer videos are especially useful for their eye-catching visuals and engaging narratives, making them an invaluable tool for businesses of all sizes.

Use this medium’s innate characteristics well and you can put a spell over viewers and ensure your message gets heard. How can you do that? Your answer awaits below.

Clear Communication

Animated explainer videos are not just eye candy; they’re also powerful tools for effective communication.

By using visuals, they simplify and clarify information, making it easier for viewers to understand and retain. In fact, a study by Wistia found that 90% of viewers can recall the main points of an animated video, compared to only 50% for text-based content.

Language Barriers? Not a Problem

Animated explainer videos have a global reach that traditional marketing materials can only dream of. Their visual nature transcends language barriers, allowing you to connect with audiences worldwide without the need for subtitles or translations.
Research by Wyzowl revealed that 87% of businesses found that animated explainer videos helped them reach a wider audience.

Brand Storytelling

Did you know that a study by HubSpot found that 72% of marketers believe that video storytelling is an effective way to connect with customers on an emotional level?

Animated explainer videos offer a unique opportunity for businesses to use storytelling, which is almost always to their advantage, and create a deeper connection with their audience. A narrative that showcases your brand’s values, mission, and unique selling proposition can resonate with viewers and stay at the top of their minds!

Make Your Brand Unforgettable

An animated explainer video gives you the chance to create something out of nothing at all. Memorable characters, cute graphics, and catchy music can create a strong brand identity that sets you apart from competitors.

Even if you have not decided on a visual identity for your brand yet, this is your chance to start creating one! And yes, there’s actually a study that says 89% of businesses reported an increase in brand awareness after creating an animated explainer video. (source: Vidico)

Seven Insider Tips to Create Animated Explainers

#1 All Starts with Script Writing

Before getting excited about picking an animation style (or several), remember that the idea comes first. Any sales team, SaaS platform, and e-commerce business can agree that giving coherence, shape, and meaning to “the idea” has the power to make or break the project.

And the script is where that idea first appears.
Your animation explainer video’s script is not just a collection of words. Just as an architect creates blueprints for a building, a scriptwriter crafts a roadmap for the video. It outlines the narrative flow, character interactions, and key points to be conveyed.

As animators, we’ve witnessed firsthand the power of a well-written script. These little roadmaps come in especially handy when working with external creative teams (like ourselves). It helps us align every frame, character movement, and visual element with the intended message.

#2 Storyboard, Storyboard, Storyboard

If the animated video’s script is its blueprint, then the storyboard is the sketch.

Creating and refining storyboards allows animators to visualize the video’s flow, identify potential issues, and make adjustments before the animation process even begins.
Once you get to storyboarding, it’s time to:

  • Break down your script into scenes
  • Use visual cues (like arrows and action lines) to convey emotions and transitions
  • Choose a consistent color palette and style
  • Add annotations for sound effects and background music
  • Use clear and consistent symbols to represent key elements like characters, objects, and scene transitions
  • Collaborate with the animation team to review and refine the storyboard as needed
  • Get help from storyboarding software and AI tools.

Storyboards

#3 Keeping It Short & Sweet

Long-winded videos can quickly lose viewers’ interest. It’s like trying to force-feed information down someone’s throat.
Actually, a study by Wyzowl, a global research and consulting firm specializing in video marketing, found that the average watch time for explainer videos is approximately 1.5 minutes.
That doesn’t mean your animated explainer video can’t be longer. You can tweak your explainer video’s length depending on several factors like:

  • How complex the topic is;
  • Who your audience is;
  • What industry you are active in.

Look into audience feedback to gauge the video’s impact and identify any areas for improvement.

#4 First 3-6 Seconds Count

In the fast-paced world of digital video consumption, the first few seconds are critical for capturing viewers’ attention and establishing a lasting impression.
Research also shows that 76% of viewers decide whether or not to continue watching a video within the first 10 seconds.
This means that the opening moments of your explainer video can literally make or break everything. It is here that you’ll know whether viewers will engage with your content and ultimately convert or not.
To make that first impression count on your animated explainer video, here are some tips from Picotion:

  • Start with a bang. It could be a literal bang or a metaphorical one, like a hooking image or animation that instantly grabs your viewers by their collar and demands their attention.
  • Ask an intriguing question. If adding over-the-top imagery doesn’t suit your brand or the purpose of your animation explainer, you can always grab your audience’s attention with a question.
  • Instantly (and briefly) show how your product or service solves a problem or enhances viewers’ lives.
  • Avoid cluttering the opening with too much information or complex visuals. You want them to take action, not to be confused.

#5 Character Design: The Heart of Animation

Characters are your animation explainer video’s heroes. They are, after all, the ones who connect with viewers on an emotional level, make them laugh, cry, and empathize with their struggles. You don’t even have to have characters to have…. Well, characters.

Here’s what we mean: your explainer video’s character could be the app you’re explaining, the product you’re selling, or a service you’re providing. They don’t necessarily have to be human or even mascots, they just need to have that character.
Backstories, interaction with other elements and beings, and emotional expressions can strengthen this “character.” You can also find inspiration in art, literature, film, and everyday life. Observe people’s mannerisms, expressions, and interactions to create authentic and relatable characters.

Don’t limit yourself to traditional character designs. Experiment with various styles, such as caricature, realism, or stylized animation, to create a unique and memorable visual identity.

We also suggest that you work with a team of talented animators, designers, and writers to bring your character concepts to life. A collaborative approach means you’ll fool-proof your characters and ideas by using guidance from industry experts like Picotion. See here to find out more about our character development services.

Crafting Memorable Characters A Design & Development Guide

#6 Don’t Sleep on Motion Capture Explainer Videos

As we’ve already mentioned in our blog post about explainer videos, motion-capture animated explainer videos can make a lasting impression like no other!

Mocap explainer videos also bring some benefits as part of the package:

  • Authenticity and Relatability. These animation videos feature real people and real-world scenarios.
  • Human Connection. In simple words, more natural interactions between characters = more empathy.

Note that mocap explainer videos aren’t really practical for all purposes like 2D or 3D animation can be. But when they are practical and efficient, they’ll be perfect for a memorable campaign or even a hybrid on-site interactive animation.
See Picotion’s Motion-Capture services to learn more.

#7 Keep Your Animated Explainers Mobile-Friendly

Many of you are probably reading this blog post on your mobile phones right now. Undoubtedly, you expect whatever page you visit to have legible and easy-to-read typography, a responsive design, and touch-friendly navigation.
It’s only natural that mobile users demand the same from your animated explainer videos.

Mobile viewers have shorter attention spans and are usually on the move. Meaning your animation explainer has to:

  • Be captioned
  • Have high-quality audio and visuals
  • Have compelling visuals
  • Be easy to navigate
  • Tell a story
  • Be short
  • Have interactive elements, autoplay, and fullscreen mode.

This seemingly simple step can easily be overlooked amidst all the rush of creating a good animation explainer video. So put it down on your to-list right now to have the video reviewed and tested for different screens before finalization.

#8 Captions Matter as Much as Voiceover

We’re all aware of the power and importance of voice-over. But did you know that a study shows 92% of viewers watch videos without sound on their phones?
In 2024, you have to be prepared to have your animation explainer video played completely on mute. Yes, it’s heartbreaking, but optimizing your explainer for silent viewing is the only way to deal with this new trend.
And even if your viewers decide to play the video with sound on, having captions on hand makes their experience that much more engaging. Subtitles and captions can:

  • Keep viewers’ attention
  • Enhance video’s accessibility
  • Make information easier to stick
  • Expand your reach
  • Boost engagement

If you have the resources for it, we also suggest you provide captions in different languages.

A Final Word

Animated explainer videos have truly changed the way businesses communicate their message and engage their audience. Their ability to captivate attention, simplify complex concepts, and forge a deeper connection with viewers make them an indispensable tool for marketing success.
Whether you’re introducing a new product, showcasing your services, or simply establishing your brand identity, animated explainer videos can help you achieve your marketing goals with a memorable impact.

 

Author

content writer
Sadaf Roshan
Copy Writer

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