How We Made an Animated Explainer Video That Gets the Attention of a Key Influencer
Earlier this year, Video Brewery shared a roundup of the best explainer videos produced during 2015. They gathered 10 of the best explainers “brewed” — as they put it — in 2015.
Our client, Access Investor Network , takes the #1 position as the best explainer video produced in 2015.
Video Brewery reached out to Aaron McDaniel, Access Investor Network’s CEO, asking for a short interview regarding the video. The interview is also published on Video Brewery’s blog.
In addition to talking about Aaron’s interview with Video Brewery, I’m also here to give you more insights into how we produced the #1 video in Video Brewery’s annual roundup article.
In response to the first question from the interview:
Q: Why did you make this video?
A: To present the Access Invest mobile equity crowdfunding aggregator app to prospective customers in a clear, concise, and clever way.
Access is a mobile aggregator for equity & debt crowdfunding deals, simplifying the user’s search for the right deals.
In other words, Access gathers crowdfunding platforms and private investment deals in an app.
There haven’t been many investment apps made by other developers. The concept of the stock market in a mobile app itself is still rather unique.
That’s why BreadnBeyond made Access a simple and attractive explainer so that the concept is easily digested by viewers.
Q: Was this your first time making a video?
A: It was the first time I made a fully animated video. We had used other ‘do it yourself’ platforms for videos in the past.”
I can confirm that there are hundreds of “DIY” animated video tools out there. They’re good and practical, I give you that.
But those tools work only for people who have at least basic knowledge of graphic design and animation.
Even if some people have what it takes to use those tools, the end result might not be as good as desired.
Not to mention that not everyone has the time it takes to make an animated video.
These DIY tools, despite their practicality, are missing some features used by “heavier” softwares such as Adobe Illustrators and Adobe After Effect, which our team use on daily basis.
BreadnBeyond, as a dedicated explainer video company, has a team of illustrators and animators who have been dealing with graphics design not only for a living but also as their passion.
That’s why BreadnBeyond doesn’t take Access’s project (or any project for that matter) for granted. We do it out of love for our drawing tablets and pens, so to speak.
The other platforms were cheaper, but the finished product didn’t come out nearly as nice, and so using these do-it-yourself sites had an adverse effect on our brand.
The next question for Aaron was rather deep and technical. But Aaron sure did know where he was going with his explainer video project when he pitched the project to us.
Q: Did you consider other video styles? If yes, why did you pick the style you did?
A: Since we are talking about investing we had to balance between making our video serious enough to show that we are a credible company, but at the same time didn’t want to make our brand appear stuffy, intimidating, or disconnected.
He knows precisely what an explainer is all about. Investing and crowdfunding really could sound stuffy and disconnected if you think about it.
Take a look at this sentence I pulled from a website in a similar niche as Access: “…identify and qualify your orders executed outside the National Best Bid or Offer (NBBO) by viewing the Price Improvement information displayed for your orders.”
Quite stuffy and intimidating, don’t you think?
We felt an animated cartoon was ideal for sharing key parts of our value proposition while also showing that our app is approachable and easy to use.
In order to grab people’s attention and to give the impression that Access is really user-friendly, Aaron chose a cartoon video.
There are many variations of animation styles you can choose from when you make an explainer video. These animation styles are highly flexible and adjustable to any concept, really.
But if you want the best results, you have to know which one suits your product/service concept best.
You should read our article, Which Animation Style is Best for Your Video? For detailed insight about each explainer video style and which one suits your company.
Q: How have you used the video?
A:The video is prominently listed on the homepage of our website since it explains what we do so well. If a picture is worth a thousand words then a video is worth tens of thousands. We also posted the video on YouTube and social media to make it more discoverable and shareable.
The decision Aaron made was on point and we’d like to give him a thumbs-up for that.
Taking a look at Access’s homepage, my first impression was “Neat!”
Another thumbs-up for the clean and tidy website design of Access. It’s definitely a smart decision to put the explainer video in the middle. I noticed it instantly when I opened up their website.
Q: Do you consider your video a success? If yes, can you elaborate on why it is successful?
A: Yes, it definitely has been a success. A key influencer in our industry said that while people message him all the time asking for advice and to partner together (most of which he ignores), he responded to us and wanted to partner together purely because of how awesome our video is!
We make our videos with skills and quality. We know it’s only a matter of time before one of our clients feel the impact of a well-made animated video.
Getting noticed by a key influencer in a niche is the ultimate goal, or a holy grail if you will, when you are producing animated explainer video clips.
Therefore, we are (and have been) trying our best to help our clients to get the holy grail of content marketing. When it does happen we feel accomplished as a B2B company.
Trusting us to produce their explainer video paid off for Access.
Our client’s happiness is our happiness as well. If Access finds the video working out great for them, it’s our pleasure to have the bragging right that BreadnBeyond, in a way, played a part in making that happen.
However, we merely facilitated Aaron’s great initiative to make his company grow more by producing an animated explainer clip.
In the right hands, an animated explainer video can work wonders. Aaron was more than good to execute the other steps along the way.
One of the best places to publish video content, whether an animated video or any other form, is social media.
It’s a bit tricky though: if you share it with the wrong audience, the effect could be adverse for your company.
We wrote an article, Tips to Share Explainer Video to Social Media, that you should check out for more information on that aspect of video content.
Q: How do you measure your video’s impact?
A: We do our best to trace video views to app downloads (customers). So far we have had hundreds of video views, many of whom went to the app store and downloaded our app.
Q: What did you learn throughout the video creation process?
A: I learned how many elements go into making a great video — the script, the voice actors, the music, the characters — and that all of them must integrate well together and focus on the same goal to be effective at amplifying the message of the video and my company.
Making an animated explainer video isn’t the hardest thing in the world though the process can be a little more than complicated.
First of all, we have to make a script that is short and interesting enough to keep the audience hooked, while explaining the product or service clearly. The hardest part is reaching an agreement with clients about the script.
People think differently. Some business people aren’t the best to discuss with, but working with Access was quite an exception.
The voice actor choice can be tricky at times. It’s not easy to find actors with the right voice to match the script AND who have years of experience working on explainer videos instead of radio commercials.
Luckily, we have skilled and talented voice actors who have been working with us for years. That makes our job much easier.
Other technical aspects such as character design, animation rendering, and music embedding are handled skillfully by our team.
Our skills didn’t develop overnight, obviously. How we got to this point is a long story of 7 years and over 2,000 projects of ups and downs.
Q: Do you have plans for creating more videos in the future?
A: Yes, both for Access Invest and future businesses. Videos are a great way to attract new customers, educate prospective buyers, and even pitch to investors.
Videos are indeed a great way to advertise your business. They have become the majority of Internet’s content and they are still rising in numbers.
Instead of making our videos alone, we make sure that our clients are involved, or at the very least, follow up with the process.
We do that to provide opportunities for our clients to improve the video we are making for them, since they are the ones who show us the way to reach their audiences.
Whether it is to attract new customers, educate audience, or pitch concept/idea to investors, the best way to produce an explainer video is to always work alongside clients to make sure their animated video projects work out the way they want it.
Q: Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
A: I was pretty well planned from the beginning (in terms of having a script and idea of what I wanted), but I wish I would have known how many video/animation/voice talent/music options were out there and how detailed I could get about deciding what I wanted. The sheer number of choices can be both overwhelming and exciting at the same time. If I had planned the details a little better I would have had my video out in the market even faster.
Preparation helps explainer video companies, a great deal in terms of time.
Aaron came to us prepared: he knew where he was going with his idea and concept of explainers.
Among the 5 key components that make up an awesome animated video, the script is fundamental.
That’s why taking time to discuss the script and plan ahead for the design, voiceover, and animation process is the best way to start off an animated explainer video project.
Planning a DIY explainer clip is not easy.
At the very least, it requires you to browse the internet for hours to find the voice actor, music, design, and suitable animation style for your product or service.
That is, if you don’t count how long it takes to come up with a great idea or concept.
On our separate interview section with Aaron, we asked him a few questions regarding the explainer video.
Q: What do you want to achieve with this video? Is it to increase your conversion rate on a specific page?
A: “With this video we wanted to explain what our mobile app was in a simple and straightforward way and get people to visit the app -store to download the app.
Not only did we post the video on YouTube/s/Social mMedia pages, but we also embedded it into our homepage so people would understand our product and download it (increasing conversion of website visits to app store downloads).”
Explainers or videos in general are very mobile and shareable across different platforms on the internet.
To optimize this potential, posting an explainer video to different websites is definitely a good idea in addition to embedding it in a landing page/homepage.
That led us to the next question:
Q: Other than on your website, where else did you use the video? (an exact URL would be nice)
Twitter and YouTube should always be on your video-sharing list.
For SaaS company that have an app store/play store listing like Access, that should be the next on the list.
The app store/play store is a big pot for a potential audience. You just have to find a way to gain their trust. Embedding an explainer clip to your app store listing is one way to do that.
With your audience knowing what they’re about to download, they might prefer your app over other similar apps that don’t provide an explainer video.
In short, you stand out among other similar apps by having a demo video.
Q: Are you doing A/B testing?
A: “Not with the videos, no, but that would be cool.”
Q: Is there any specific button or call-to-action that you want to measure?
A: “Yes. It would be great to have a call-to-action on the video page itself, but we haven’t implemented that. The call to action would be to visit the app store to download the app.”
Technically, at the end of an explainer there’s always a call-to-action.
Unfortunately, the chance of visitors watching the video until the end is relatively small. Maintaining audience retention is not an easy task to do after all.
This is why a call-to-action button is unquestionably necessary in order to boost conversion on the website.
In case visitors decide not to watch the entirety of the video, there’s still something that’ll pull them into downloading the app or making purchases.
We suggest that Access implement a call-to-action button on their homepage in order to boost their conversion.
But with an explainer video, keeping visitors hooked up with the video is doable.
Our recent explainer case study with one of our clients, we found out that our video gets 11.25% better audience retention compared to the average video within the same duration range.
Q: Could you please share some information about your website, mainly pageviews in a period and conversion rates for a specific call-to-action?
A: “Since launching the video, we on average have ~120 unique site visitors each week and 64 click-thrus to our app in the app store (so around 50%), and around 45% of those who visit the appstore actually download the app.”
That means since they launched the video, Access has 53% click-through-rate and 45% download-rate; that’s a 23.8% visitors-to-download conversion rate.
In extreme cases, free apps conversion rate could reach 30%, but noting the fact that Access hasn’t implemented any call-to-action button to their home page, this is an excellent start.
Once the call-to-action button is implemented by the folks at Access, the conversion rate might just jump through the roof.
This is not our work alone. Aaron played a big role in the production process and that definitely resulted in an amazing animated video.
Aaron and his team has invested a great amount of work in developing Access app. That’s why it is an awesome app on its own.
But we are here to help them climb even higher from where they started.
Once again, we’re very glad that the explainer we produced works well for our client and of course, we look forward to working with you!
- Don’t expect a poorly-made animated explainer video to stand out and be noticed by the biggest influencers in your niche.
- What matters most is who you share it with and where you publish it.
- When you have a great-looking video, make sure you make it worth its weight in gold by reaching out. Don’t keep it hidden.