With every passing day, more and more of the content that you love online is transforming from text and graphics into video presentations. In fact, it’s almost impossible to find a landing page these days that doesn’t greet you with a video. Some of them are genuinely informative and will offer the visitor a call to action. Others are some cheap production where the provider of the next get rich quick scheme tells you how he is going to change your life, provided you’re prepared to listen for the next 50 minutes – oh, and good luck trying to click away from the page without a zillion pop ups telling you that you’re walking away from the opportunity of a lifetime.
What’s amazing to me is that many of these people have not worked out what any sensible visitor will do next. Say the name of the company was Andy Smith’s Million Dollar Club – the very next thing we will all type is Andy Smith’s Million Dollar Club scam and wait to see what comes up. Little tip – if the entire first page of your chosen search engine is filled with testimonials of how it is not a scam – IT’S A FILTHY STINKING SCAM!!!
Fortunately, a lot of web explainer videos will run to less than 90 seconds, and will give a non sales presentation on what that company can do for you. It’s like advertising, only better, because the viewer has actually chosen to watch what’s on there, rather than having their favourite show interrupted by something that they cannot fast forward because they’re watching it in real time – yes people do still do that, so stop judging.
The most popular form of web explainer video is animated. It makes sense, because it means that you don’t have to hire actors, camera operators, sound recorders, a director, catering truck and so on. Incidentally, if you did send a catering truck round to my studio, I suspect that I would love you forever, so keep it in mind.
After deciding to animate, you can then choose to hire the services of a professional animation company or you can take the bold step of using any of the wonderful free animation tools available on line. A word to the wise though – if you’re not willing to pay for a premium service, your viewers may well feel that your video looks an awful lot like many of the other videos that they’ve seen, and very few of us like to work with a company who so obviously cuts corners.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t try it – you may discover a new skill as an animator, offer yourself as a consultant and find a whole new stream of revenue coming your way. However, if you’re visual skills are anything like mine, save yourself the agony and pay someone to do it for you.
Regardless of the visuals, what you will need is a voice over, and again, this is one area where cutting corners really will work against you. You see, whilst your video has the same desired effect as an advert, there are subtle differences in the way it needs to be voiced. Your voice over must not sound like a sales person – he or she needs to provide a sense of empathy and understanding – like a friend recommending a good film or a wonderful restaurant. Enthusiastic? Yes. Sales like? Absolutely not.
Right now, I’m pleased to say that I am working on my very own explainer video. Trust me, doing a voice over to explain that I do voice overs is a weird experience, but I’m sure that the whole thing will turn out well. Whilst it’s still in production, feel free to take a look at some of the other videos that I’ve narrated in the past in this montage: