Digital marketing trends are ever changing, but one thing seems to stick around; video content. Your target audience loves videos. So much that one-third of our collective online activity is video streaming.
Video marketing is the top focus of every brand marketer today. Social media networks are constantly rolling out new features and functionalities to optimize video content. Video is the prized tool, and whiteboard animation is one of its most popular and engaging formats.
Whiteboard animations are a collection of images that are arranged in video style. An artist makes the drawings and lines up the images in an order that tells a story. These drawings are illustrated on a whiteboard or whiteboard-like surface. Most times, an audio narration is also included to provide context and help the audience understand the story better.
Here’s an example of a whiteboard animation video from Cognitive, who produces the RSA Animate series of videos:
Viewers enjoy whiteboard animations because they are visually stimulating. The artist creates a fast-paced story using drawings. The eyes of the viewer follow each change, so the artist can bring their attention to important elements. The very nature of whiteboard animation makes them powerful marketing tools. Don’t agree? Here’s what research evidence says.
When people watch whiteboard animation videos, they have the potential to retain up to 15% more information than if they were watching a regular video. Professor Richard Wiseman, a psychologist and best-selling author, was able to prove this with his study.
Wiseman’s study was conducted using two videos and 1,000 subjects. He created a video recording of him teaching a topic in a regular online lesson style. Then, he got a member of his team to create a whiteboard animation of that same lesson. The research subjects were divided into two groups and showed the two different videos. After watching, they were presented with surprise tests.
The results showed that the viewers who got the whiteboard animation video were able to retain 15% more information than the others. While this may seem like a small margin, it’s a big leap in marketing. If you’re looking to create awareness about your brand, launch a product, or make sales, a 15% increase could be all you need to boost your return on investment (ROI).
The simple but direct nature of whiteboard animation makes it even more engaging for viewers. Most of the content we consume provide more stimuli than our brain can process at once. Sometimes, we’re even processing two things at a time (like using your phone while watching a movie).
Whiteboard animation is simplified but fast-paced. To follow the story and fully understand it, you have to look closely. A few seconds away from the screen and the entire board could be a whole different picture. This method makes it important for the viewer to stay focused on each change on the screen as it happens. The result? They receive more information than would have been possible with a regular video.
Do you know why you’ll sit through a 30 second Twitter video captioned “Watch till the end!”? It’s because your mind loves surprises. The 2-3 seconds of surprise at the end of that long clip are enough to give your brain the dopamine release it craves. So you won’t hesitate to click on such videos. Whiteboard animations have the same effect.
The rendering on the whiteboard changes so often, painting a picture and giving us a clue of what’s to come. Our brain loves this, which makes it easier to pay attention to the videos. Not just passive attention, but active where-is-this-going attention.
People make more decisions on emotions rather than logic. Research by a Harvard Business School professor has shown that 95% of consumer’s decisions are made subconsciously. On the subconscious level, we are guided by how we feel.
The most effective way to connect to your audience is emotionally, and whiteboard animation makes that possible. When your content makes people happy, they may choose to share it. When you communicate sadness, they empathize or share a connection with the issues presented. When you are motivational, they become receptive to a call-to-action. You can either tap into how the audience is feeling, or elicit the emotions you would like them to feel.
With whiteboard animation, you don’t have to find (and pay) the best actors to represent these emotions. A skilled artist, along with expert narration, is all you need.
When people consume interesting content, they remember things without even noticing. Remember Prof. Wiseman’s study? The audience would not even be aware that they are storing new information. This benefit is important for brand recognition and recall. The next time a viewer has a problem that your brand can solve, guess who they’ll think of?
As impressive as whiteboard animation seems, is it useful every brand? From our experience creating whiteboard animation videos, I would say yes – they could easily be included in any marketing strategy.
Animation videos are flexible and can be made using different styles and tones. They could be created by any brand ranging from an online education platform to a mom and pop store. Animation videos are not compulsory for marketing, but they could be very beneficial.
There are certain content requirements which could make whiteboard animation a necessity. Here are some examples.
Most people may not want to receive a lecture, even when they’re interested in the topic. Educational videos also run long or may be divided into several sessions. That’s a lot of time to watch an instructor just talk into the camera. Whiteboard animation videos are a creative solution to this problem.
While the lecture or narration remains largely the same, the screen could come to life. The animation could be used to present graphical representations of what the instructor is describing. Not only is this an interesting approach, but it also helps people who are visual learners.
Have you found yourself explaining the same thing over and over again to clients and potential clients? Sometimes, people need more than a landing page to grasp the full picture of what your brand offers. They could also need help with using a complex product or service. That’s a lot of talk time for you and your team. You could eliminate that work with an whiteboard explainer video.
An animated explainer video is perfect in this situation. As humans, we can’t relay the same amount of information every time we speak on a topic. We could forget some essential parts or even leave out things because we’re in a hurry. Your video will always have the perfect presentation with the right amount of information for the audience.
Whiteboard videos are created presentation style, which makes them optimized to share a lot of information. The use of both narration and illustration could cut a regular video down to half its length.
Remember that your audience is constantly being bombarded by stimuli from their devices. They may be interested in your content, but they can only stay interested for so long. Animation videos can help to keep them intrigued while quickly communicating what is needed.
Your whiteboard animation should provide some value for your brand. Whether you choose to make your whiteboard videos yourself or prefer to outsource the job, it is important to know about these elements. While vetting your animation companies, you’ll know what to look for in their portfolio, and the right questions to ask.
Here’s a guide to the elements required for a top-quality whiteboard animation video.
The beauty of a good animation video is in its simplicity. When creating anything for marketing, it is important to keep both your visuals and your words simple. Your message should be able to ‘stick’ in the mind of your audience with little to no effort on their part.
Use colors and drawings effectively. Avoid overpowering visuals that will deter your viewers from getting the message. Build on each section of your animation one at a time to help viewers follow the story easily. If your video seems a bit too fast-paced to you (the creator), then it definitely will be to the audience. Ensure that in the end, the intended message can be received easily.
People love a good story. More importantly, people always want to know how a good story ends. Storytelling is a powerful tool in marketing. Stories keep people engaged and more receptive to what you’re telling them. The effects are even better when the story is relatable.
The purpose of your animation video should not just be able to gain the attention of the audience. It should also be able to maintain their curiosity. Build your story with strong characters and insert conversation where needed. You can also introduce conflict, whether internal or of interest to two or more people. Weave a story around the information you intend to share. A good story should keep your audience engaged until the end.
Although whiteboard animations are known for their minimal white and black designs, a little (or a lot of) color won’t hurt. Using color, you can give your videos a vibrant appeal that attracts and engages the viewer. The best approach is to use colors sparingly but always use vibrant, appealing options when needed.
Colors are also important for product imagery. Animation does not represent your branding, products, and services the same way an image would. Colors are great to help your audience make that connection with your real-life offerings.
Colors can also be used to draw attention to certain parts of the message. Since the board (and most of its content) would be in black and white, a hint of vibrancy will essentially act as an eye magnet.
Your whiteboard animation can take any emotional angle you find appropriate for your message. You may choose to relate with your audience’s emotions or spark an emotion of your own within them. Regardless of your choice, always ensure that there is an emotional angle.
Appealing to your audience’s emotion will make it easier for them to identify with the story being told. Humans feel first, then think after. The audience’s response to your animation video will be based on how you made them feel. There are so many emotional angles to choose from. You can create happiness, cause nostalgia, surprise your audience, build trust, and so on.
Creating representation for your target audience is important. It is quite hard to create videos that are for every single person with an internet connection. Most videos have a target audience. To connect with them better, you can create your whiteboard characters using your audience persona.
An audience persona is a fictional profile that has the characteristics, needs, problems, and more of your target audience. This profile is usually developed using market research and data about existing clients. Representing your target audience will personalize your message better. Your audience will see their pain points in full display, and realize that your brand understands their needs. This realization may encourage them to pay better attention to your message and establish trust in your brand.
Avoid causing breaks in your visual narration. Each scene should lead to/blend with the next seamlessly. Remember that while you have the full vision in your head, your audience does not. Any sudden moves and they may lose the plot.
Your style should make it easy for viewers to follow the story. They should watch as it is drawn and takes shape. Yes, you will have to clean the board a few times, whether digital or traditional. Just avoid breaking your story into too many fragmented pieces.
Keep your drawings interconnected, but don’t crowd the board. When done right, your audience should have no problem following the visuals.
An interesting video without a call-to-action is just that; an interesting video. Call-to-actions are important to your user journey. They answer the question of “What next?” after they are in contact with your brand. For example, if you create a video for your educational platform with the intent to get new users, you need to make that obvious.
Include a message that acts as a prompt for your viewers at the end of the video. Your call-to-action could be to subscribe to an email list, watch another video, share the video, download a lead magnet, and so on.
Your call-to-action should be as organic as possible. Your audience already receives countless marketing and sales messages every day. They’re tired of being told to buy. So your call-to-action should not be a blatant sales pitch.
Instead, use words and visuals that encourage them to take advantage of the solutions being offered. If they recognize the value in your offerings, they’ll take the needed action.
Whiteboard animation videos are more realistic when the drawing hand is visible. The whole point is that an artist is illustrating a story in real-time. If there’s no hand, then your video is just a mashup of lines and color appearing out of nowhere. Whether you use a traditional board or design software, maintain the appeal by including the drawing hand.
If you’re ready to include whiteboard animation in your content creation and marketing strategies, then there’s just one challenge left: choosing the right animation company. Animation videos require precision and high-quality, so such projects can’t be given out to just anyone. You want to be sure that your vision is executed in a way that matches your brand image and value.
Here’s what to look out for when choosing your whiteboard animation company.
Whiteboard animation videos can be a powerful addition to your marketing efforts. They are very versatile and can be used at different points of your customer journey. They have also been proven to cause better retention in the audience than regular videos. Integrate whiteboard animation videos into your strategies to deliver tailored messages, expand your reach, and meet marketing goals.
At Speed Drawing Video, we’ve helped hundreds of companies tell their stories using whiteboard animation. Our team consists of highly talented writers, illustrators, animators and voice artists who specialize in creating engaging stories, representing them in animation and delivering the best narrations. Interested in working with us? Contact us today for a free quote and consultation.
Contact us today for a free consultation and quote. We’ll help you craft the perfect video to get the results you need.