If you’re looking to make a video that shows or teaches a potentially complicated device or idea, then you may want to opt for a whiteboard animation. A whiteboard animation is a classic form of explainer video that uses the setting of an individual illustrating something on a whiteboard alongside high-quality animation in order to explain a complex idea.
Whiteboard videos are a fantastic way to appeal to more than just your specific target audience, and they’re extremely effective. In fact, research has found that people are thrice as likely to share a whiteboard video compared to a talking head video and also have a much higher chance of remembering the video’s contents. Whiteboard animations are also twice as likely to lead to viewers purchasing and/or recommending the service or products advertised or mentioned in that video.
But without proper execution, a whiteboard animation can fall flat. Here are some tips to keep in mind for making a high-quality, appealing and effective whiteboard animation.
Animate Your Characters
There are few things more engaging for a viewer than watching a character coming to life onscreen and becoming more than just a static whiteboard image. This allows your video to feel more personal to them, and in turn become more memorable.
The magic of animated characters is that they get to become representations of those watching, portraying the buyer persona you aim for. A viewer will see themselves more clearly in a character that can walk, talk, and do a lot of the things they can. When a consumer can relate to and empathize with a character, you create a more engaging and convincing video. In fact, a survey by Nielsen found that advertisements that show real-life situations and allow for higher relatability resonate the most with audiences.
This is important to keep in mind because characters are a big part of ensuring a continuous and easy-to-follow story. They help keep your story straight and well put-together. Animating your characters in a whiteboard video is a good way to make the usual non-moving whiteboard style that many whiteboard videos continue to use a little more fascinating for the viewer.
Tell A Story
Keeping viewers watching your video till the end is extremely important, especially because a whopping 20% of viewers will click off of any given video within the first 10 seconds. To keep an audience engaged and avoid too much viewer abandonment, you’ll want your whiteboard animation to tell a story that keeps watchers hooked.
Storytelling is a key part of marketing and advertising. It makes a video feel more human, connects better with an audience, and is difficult to resist following when done correctly. In fact, 92% of viewers want businesses and brands to tell stories with their ads.
Storytelling invokes a feeling in humans known as neural coupling, which is what happens when a person links the media they consume with personal experiences. This emotional response then triggers the release of dopamine, which helps viewers remember more of what they see. Find out more about the brain’s response to storytelling here.
Having difficulty coming up with a good, simple story that gets the message across? All good stories, even marketing ones, should have three main parts: the introductory setup where the theme and main character is introduced, the conflict or confrontational stage where the main conflict or problem that needs to be solved is revealed, and finally, the resolution stage, where you reveal the solution to the aforementioned conflict or problem.
Remember to put more focus on connecting with the audience, not with selling your product or forcing your brand on them. With a good story, that will come naturally.
An engaged audience will be carefully watching the story to see what comes next, so you have to deliver to those expectations in order to keep their eyes on your animated video. Whiteboard animations already do this naturally because the viewer literally watches a story being formed before their eyes, building and mounting anticipation.
You need a continuous narrative to ensure that your video packs the most punch and delivers the most impact. This means doing things like erasing your whiteboard after every single scene can lead to a disruption of the natural flow of the story you’re telling, and this can cause an anticlimactic, broken narrative that can become boring or lose the interest of an audience. Even a split second’s lag or change can cause a viewer to abandon the video and move on to something more interesting.
Whiteboard animations are supposed to contain interconnected and continuous drawings. A story with too many pieces has a higher chance of falling apart, so utilize your whiteboard space as much as possible and keep transitions short and few and far between.
An explainer video is meant to provide information and educate. That’s the whole reason they’re called explainer videos. Whiteboard animations have always been famous for their ability to teach complicated topics and make them easy to understand for audiences from all walks of life, and that’s what viewers want - 68% of consumers consider informational or educational videos to be the most valuable.
While entertainment is a crucial part of a successful video, you should never forget that educating your audience is your biggest goal. In fact, an entertained watcher is much more likely to learn and retain information than a bored one. This is why both entertainment and education work hand in hand with whiteboard animations and you shouldn’t neglect the educational side of them. You can find great examples of whiteboard explainer videos that teach and educate on the YouTube channel of AsapSCIENCE.
Perfect Your Script and Read It Aloud
Your script is the foundation for a fantastic video, so it has to be perfect. In a whiteboard animation, the script has to be written so it sounds like it is being casually and naturally spoken to the viewer. This means it has to have the perfect voice narrating and explaining what’s happening on screen.
After you write your script, read it aloud and experiment with tone, inflection, emphasis, and even speed to see what changes need to be made. An awkward, stilted, or mechanical-sounding voice will fail to engage watchers, no matter how cutting-edge the actual animation is.
In a nutshell…
Whiteboard animation is a fantastic tool for explainer videos and making engaging marketing content that will encourage consumer interaction and generate leads. In our next entry, we’ll talk more about whiteboard animation - specifically, how to balance the traditional aspects of them with more modern creative liberties. When done correctly, a video of this sort will have relatable animated characters, an interesting story, a good continuous narrative, an educational message, and a well-written script with a well-done voiceover. This leads to less viewer abandonment and can aid in much higher click-through rates on your videos.