5 Tips on How to Use Animated Demo Videos Effectively

All Video Content is Not Created Equal!I first wrote an article in 2008 “Supercharge Your Website Using Online Video”. Today, a lot of the same principles still apply. Video is...

All Video Content is Not Created Equal!

I first wrote an article in 2008 “Supercharge Your Website Using Online Video”. Today, a lot of the same principles still apply. Video is still an integral part of web marketing and web user experience. But, a whole industry has emerged filled with “online video producers” or “web video production” shops. These are basically production companies that focus specifically on web video. When online video was first a possibility cause of increased bandwidth and smaller file sizes, an engaging video was a slideshow with some cheesy background music.

Then in 2007 the Video Spokesperson arrived and really changed the way videos were viewed online. A video spokesperson was not restricted to a YouTube box or traditional player. The video spokesperson could “walk” onto your website and be a part of the design. This was truly an innovative product at the time. It was engaging, unique, and captured viewers’ attention. It was soon reduced to a commodity as every wanna-be-production guy with a green screen and a camera emerged as a Video Spokesperson related company charging $200 for a video. The actor selection was typically weak and the performances and video quality was even worse. The video spokesperson for all its criticism was surprisingly effective for a period of time. The reality is if it’s done well with a quality actor, engaging script, good quality video, and has a purpose then it can work.

But, today people don’t want to be spoken to by second rate actor, they want to be engaged. Does anyone really want to stare at a boring actor for 60 seconds as they go through a useless script? Today web visitors have gotten smarter and have a shorter attention span. They need to be hit over the head with a well-produced spot that not only has purpose.

So, we enter into the next phase! Compelling content produced by talented creative shops. Finally!!!! At DemoFlick we like to think of ourselves as “Film Makers for Websites”.

Animated Demo Videos or Motion Demo Videos or Explainer Videos. I am not sure what the proper vernacular is yet. I’m partial to “Animated Demo Videos”. All of our research concludes that the next revolution in online video are presentations that help “explain” a company’s value proposition in easy to understand terms. The art of storytelling is here! No other medium allows a company to explain their messaging in such a fun and professional way (except TV). If the messaging and animation is done effectively, the viewer of the video is engaged and will take action, more so than any other video style on the market. If the animated video is done poorly, well, we face the same dilemma as with past solutions, it simply will not work.

5 Tips to Using an Animated Demo Video on a website

1. Brilliant Scriptwriting: The script is the blueprint for the entire presentation. So, it’s absolutely crucial that you (or the company you engage with) spend time on writing a script that is engaging, informative, and interesting. Don’t be boring!!! Blankety Blank “just got easier” with Blankety Blank. Try to take a unique approach. Conversational and real works really well. Here is a great example of a conversational yet effective script: https://vimeo.com/33214790
2. VoiceOver -“ Keep it Conversational” Straight reads are dead! It’s all about the “So’s”, “Ah’s”, and chuckles. You need to keep it interesting, so it’s important to use a voiceover that is willing to understand your message, and also understands the conversational tone. There are a lot of VoiceOver artists that still sound like they are selling a Monster Truck series. Be patient, you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find quality VoiceOver artists.
3. Animation/Motion Design: This is one where there is really a magic bullet approach. You need to hire good people that understand and get the design aesthetic that you are looking to achieve. You can find people that can technically handle all the movements…but are they good designers? So, it’s really important to find a motion designer that has both skill sets. This is a rare find.
4. Background Music and Sound Effects: It’s kind of like making a cake and not adding any icing or better yet making a movie and not adding a score. The details are what make the presentation work. All the components need to work together and have a general flow and purpose. A fast paced song may not make sense for certain scripts. A professional firm should be able to handle it and make the right call on music and sound effects.
5. Video Length- Keep it brief on the home page: Keep it brief on the home page under 60 seconds. The user does not want to watch a 2 minute video on your business. You are much better off with a quick video on home page then elaborating about a specific subject once the user gets to that specific page. Leave them wanting to know more. Less is more.

For the complete list plus “The State of The Industry”…try downloading our research guide on our home page.

Hope this helps! Check back often for more great info on explainer videos, animated demo videos, and general website video tips.

Wade Koens

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