B2B brands are always looking for an effective tool they can use as part of their digital marketing strategy. They want an easy way to reach potential customers, engage with them, and get them interested. They are looking for functionalities like, for example, educating their employees about a new HR or leave policy.
Looks like an explainer video can get the job done and then some more. In fact, a study by Renderforest found that 82% of B2B businesses use explainer videos.
What is an explainer video?
An explainer video is a short web video used to quickly explain a company's product or service. It is generally less than two minutes in length and typically uses simple language, graphics, and animation to help the viewer understand what the company has to offer.
Best explainer videos are those that provide details about the product or service in an easy-to-understand format, driving viewers to take action and improving conversion rates.
Should you hire an external video production service?
An explainer video company can provide professional quality, time-savings, and creative ideas to make sure that your video is successful. Here are some advantages of hiring an external video production service:
- They have the necessary experience and expertise.
- They can save time and costs.
- They provide professional-quality videos.
- They can help you reach a wider audience.
- They have access to creative Ideas and professional equipment.
Top 13 Mistakes people make when ordering an explainer video
So, you have decided that you are going to engage external explainer video services. A good choice no doubt but the key to getting what you want is by providing your inputs.
To produce the best results, you should avoid making the following mistakes:
1. Not working with professionals
Self-motivation can be hard to achieve without the accountability of working with professionals since it requires setting goals, making plans for achieving them, and pushing oneself to succeed. Working with professionals helps:
- Hold yourself accountable for your goals and not be complacent and simply forget about the goal entirely.
- Keep you on track by providing regular reviews of progress, setting expectations and deadlines, and giving valuable feedback on performance.
- Create external pressure that helps build motivation to stay focused and committed to achieving your goals.
However, failing to properly vet the animation company you are hiring could prove costly. Use this checklist to make sure the company has an extensive portfolio and a good reputation:
2. Not planning adequately
An often overlooked mistake when ordering an explainer video is failing to plan. You can avoid it by:
- Putting together a proper plan of attack that includes a clear concept and the message you want to convey through the video.
- Determining the scope of the project and the budget before requesting a quote from an animation company without which you run the risk of going over budget or not getting the desired results.
3. Not understanding the target audience
When developing any project, it is incredibly important to study the target audience. Without this knowledge, messages can be misconstrued and a product may not meet the needs of its intended consumers.
The following factors are necessary to successfully reach the intended consumer base:
- Understanding the target audience by researching demographics such as age, gender, race, and income level. It also includes understanding their interests and motivations.
- Finding out what motivates the target audience to purchase products or use services to deliver an effective message that resonates with them.
- Analyzing the target audience to make informed decisions about pricing strategies, communication methods, and promotional methods.
Watch this video example about how to create a buyer persona.
4. Not knowing the purpose of your video
Before commissioning a project, take some time to consider what message you want to convey. Make sure your video is tailored to that goal for the following reasons:
- Not doing so may result in you ending up producing something that fails to connect with viewers or fails to adequately convey your message.
- It will help you make better decisions when it comes to selecting a concept, writing the script, and choosing a voiceover artist.
- Without a sense of purpose, your video will lack direction and won't be as effective in converting viewers into customers.
- Last but not least, having a clear purpose helps viewers know what to expect from the video, which can help increase engagement levels with potential audiences.
This explainer video example from Peoplevine, a Premier Membership Platform is clear about how it wants to promote the brand. Their thought process has been translated into action in the video.
5. Not understanding the formats
Choosing an animation concept that does not match your message or target audience can result in a video that fails to engage viewers or generate conversions.
Think about what kind of story you want to tell, who your target audience is, and the type of animation style you want to use before you start the production process.
Explainer videos come in many forms—from 2D animation and live-action to kinetic typography and motion graphics—and choosing the right format is essential to engaging your audience.
It's important to familiarize yourself with the different video formats because:
- Your explainer video will get the attention it deserves if you choose a format that resonates with your viewers.
- A wrong format can lead to an ineffective video that won't be seen or shared.
This infographic tells you about different types of explainer videos and their popularity:
6. Not providing enough creative direction
Inadequate creative direction can be a significant issue. Without adequate guidance, direction, and insight from the top, teams can flounder and ultimately produce work that fails to truly meet their audience’s needs or engage them on an emotional level.
- Using explainer videos that lack direction and are not tailored to target audiences can result in unfocused marketing. This can lead to minimal engagement and poor returns.
- Looking at it from the designers' perspective, lack of creative inputs may confuse them about the project objectives, resulting in unsatisfactory work.
This explainer video example created is from Intercom, a business messaging platform that guides viewers through a well-structured narrative about the product.
7. Not paying attention to the script
Even world-class visuals do not help if your script is weak and directionless/
There's a reason a beautiful animation won't save a poor script—people care more about how your product or service can help them than they do about the technical features.
To get the script right:
- Ensure that the words are clear, concise, and attention-grabbing.
- Emphasize the benefits that people will get from using your product or service, as well as any other key points you want to make.
Here is a product explainer script template you can use:
8. Not creating the right hook
The hook in scriptwriting is a line or phrase that grabs viewers' attention at once and makes them consume content all the way to the end.It can also be compared to an opening statement made at the beginning of a speech.
It can be tempting to try and cut corners to save a little bit of the budget while creating an explainer video, but one mistake that you absolutely cannot afford to make is skipping your hook. Here is why you should use them:
- An explainer video has less than 5 seconds to hook someone. Without a good hook you may end up losing potential viewers.
- A perfect hook will capture your audience's attention and make them want to watch the rest of your video.
Here is an animated explainer video example created by Explainer Video Hero for NASTEL, an Integration Infrastructure Management (i2M), that wastes no time and comes straight to the point with a couple of relevant pain points.
9. Not creating storyboards and project timelines
Creating detailed storyboards and project timelines is an essential part of the pre-production process for any creative project.
- Storyboards: They are a visual representation of the sequence of events that need to occur in a project and provide a roadmap for its development.
- Project timelines: Timelines set out tasks, resources, deadlines, and milestones that must be met to complete the project successfully.
Not creating these two documents during pre-production can result in:
- Everyone involved in the project is not aware of what needs to be created, when it needs to be done, and who is responsible for each task.
- Miscommunications or misunderstandings about what needs to be done, leading to confusion and delays in completing the project.
Watch this video that explains how to draw storyboards.
10. Not limiting to a single theme
Handle one thing at a time; focus on your company's core features and USPs and make sure they are clearly communicated and explained in the video.
- Your explainer video will help you reach your goals if you are focused.
- Keep in mind that the length of the video matters, so keep it short and sweet.
11. Not allocating enough production budget and time
Not budgeting enough for the production of the video can have serious ramifications. Without an adequate budget:
- A production team may not access the necessary materials such as equipment and professional personnel required for highly complex tasks involving several stages.
- Additional costs such as post-production work may not be taken into account, resulting in a financial strain on the project or even complete failure if there is no room to accommodate those extra costs.
- The companies might be forced to hire mediocre voiceover (VO) artists. A good voice over artist should not only sound professional, but also capture the audience's attention and convey the message clearly. The voice over should also be in sync with the visuals and the story.
So, what does an explainer video cost? A top animated explainer video company like Explainer Video Hero offers explainer video services through remote video production. Their explainer video pricing is as follows:
- $2,000 per minute for Animated Explainer Videos
- $1,000 per minute for Live-action Explainer Videos
12. Not being consistent with branding
Branding is an important part of any company's identity because:
- It helps customers associate the business with its products or services.
- It makes a brand focus on conveying one clear message to potential customers by featuring uniform elements such as logos, colors, and fonts across all its marketing efforts.
Inconsistent branding can be detrimental to a business because it breaks down customers’ trust and confuses them and makes them less likely to recognize the company and stay loyal.
Watch this short video on how to create a brand identity:
13. Not testing the video before launching
Launching the video without testing it first is definitely a mistake. It is important to test them to ensure that there are no technical issues and that the video plays correctly.
- If the video does not play correctly or looks off, viewers will be less likely to stay on the page and watch until the end—or worse, might not watch it at all.
- Not testing could result in the video being ineffective, leading to a huge waste of time and resources spent on creating it in the first place.
Here is a checklist that you can use for the purpose:
The conclusion to be drawn from the list of top 13 mistakes to avoid when ordering an explainer video is that taking the time to plan and understand your goals is paramount.
Before hiring a video production team, knowing what you want clearly and concisely will save you time and money.
By avoiding these top 13 mistakes, you can create a successful explainer video that generates excellent ROI.