Humans are storytellers. It is one of the oldest traditions we have. Before modern methods of record-keeping, storytelling was how we survived–how we preserved knowledge, taught, and shared memories–and it continues to be one of our primary sources of entertainment. And everyone has a story. Just ask the thousands of people who attend the Scottish International Storytelling Festival every year.
Good marketing strategies make use of stories that will stimulate an emotional response and drive a customer to act, whether that action is signing up, making a purchase, or volunteering. At Ydraw we specialize in telling stories through short animated explainer videos, whiteboard animation, 3D animation, and more. We know we can help you tell your story, but first let me tell you Y.
Of all the ways to tell a story, drawing might be one of the oldest. Just think about ancient hieroglyphs and cave drawings. That’s how people communicated! If that is not a compelling enough reason, here are a few more.
Say More With Less
Have you ever heard that a picture is worth a thousand words? Well, so have we. That is why we know that animating a short video to tell your story can help you say more in less time. That’s great news considering it only takes about a minute for an audience to stop paying attention. In fact, if you don’t have them locked in after 5 seconds they might just move on, but more on that later. However, with animated videos you are not just getting one picture, you are getting several.
Plus drawing has the potential to break down speech barriers and tell a story even without words. That is how powerful they are. You can maximize the short amount of time you have to get your message across by showing your audience what you are talking about, not just telling them.
Enchant Your Audience
How many of you know someone who will sit there for hours watching 10-second videos on Tik Tok? Their eyes glaze over and they can’t seem to tear themselves away because there is something trance-like about watching those videos. That is how easily you can hypnotize your audience with a simple video.
Whiteboard animation in particular is excellent at captivating an audience from the first frame. This is because the viewer is watching things being drawn right before their eyes. As a result, their whole mind is engaged in the process while they listen to the information being shared and are visually stimulated with constant motion. Much like anticipating the punchline during a comedy routine, the viewer is waiting for the whole picture to be revealed and is held in suspense. When the image is complete there is a sense of relief.
Videos also have a high chance of going viral. In his book, Contagious Jonah Berger talks about “the science behind why things catch on,” and it is full of advice on how to create content that has the potential to ‘go viral.’ The technological age we live in makes it so easy to share a video that they can receive millions of views overnight. So when you have animated explainer videos as part of your marketing strategy you increase shareability and reach a larger audience.
The chances that you will go viral are higher if you have a catchy script and fun artwork. Shakespeare wrote, “the eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen…” to describe how our individual senses come together for a more complete experience. Food that looks good, smells good, AND tastes good is way more enjoyable than food that just does one of those things. In the same way, hand-drawn visuals will complement a well-written script to give you that viral effect.
So now you know Y. What about how?
Explainer Video Basics
The most infuriating thing about every tutorial on how to create a great explainer video or how to write a killer ad script is their number one step. Inevitably it will be something like, “start with a great hook.” Yes, that’s swell advice, thanks…now how do I do that? Well, after some research and a bit of trial and error, here are the basics. Some guides may add a bit more fluff, but these points are found in each one.
Create A Fantasy (AKA Tell A Story)
We’ve all seen enough advertisements to know exactly what it sounds like to be sold something. How thoroughly can a teenager tune out an adult or a husband tune out a nagging wife? That is how easily we tune out advertising all the time. Instead of using boring, overdone ad copy, insert your brand/product into the story people are living out every day.
Taking the idea of telling a story one step further, into creating a fantasy, ups the stakes. Most people at a fundamental level are focused on their own survival. Will your brand or product help them get a promotion? Look better to a potential mate? Be healthier or more fit? Show them a fairy tale and position yourself as their guide, helping them look good or accomplish their goals. They will want to buy into whatever you are selling naturally. Create a fantasy they will want to see played out.
Misery Loves Company
Think about every great movie or comic book villain. What are they trying to do? Make everyone else as miserable as they are! Usually, their backstory is some woeful tale about why they are so full of hate, because it is true: misery really does love company. So when it comes to wooing new customers, sympathy goes a long way.
Chances are you already know some key pain points your clients are suffering from. After all, you created a product or service to fix their problem, right? When you start your video by sharing in their distress, you let the viewer know that you understand how they feel. Then you can comfort them with your offer, and empower them to become the hero.
Don’t make that common mistake. In this story, they must be the hero, not you. This will create a more compelling reason for them to interact with your brand.
Include A Call To Action
One thing you should never do when creating video advertising: exclude a call to action. The audience needs to be told how to obtain your offer, and no it is not because they are dumb. Marketing students have been told for years that “people are dumb, and you have to tell them exactly what to do.” Really, it has much more to do with being lazy.
If you have produced a quality video then you’ve sold the audience by the end of it. The viewer knows that they want whatever you are selling, but they want it to be easy to get. If you don’t make it easy to obtain whatever you are offering they will move on. Some kind of click here, buy now, or call today ending to your script is vital. Make it easy for them and they will flock to you.
Yes, of course, it is important to have a hook, but there is no format for how to do that. A great hook depends on your audience and other variables. First, do the groundwork of figuring out what story you want to tell, then trust the process. A hook will come. It should never be the first step or you might just get stuck there.
There Is No I
You probably want one of these videos for yourself right about now, but deciding to create a video like this is a huge undertaking. So, if this all sounds like a pretty tough nut to crack, don’t worry: hiring us gives you a team of people who know what they are doing. When I first started this job, I thought there was no way that I was going to be able to pull it off. My coworkers kept reminding me that I was part of a TEAM and that it would take time to learn everything, but they would help me along the way.
Here is a peek at our process. Right off the bat, we get to work diving into the story that you want to tell and begin scripting your video. You might already have a script you want to work with, but don’t know what to do with it. Our writers will help you spin it into gold. Then we hook you up with the perfect voice actor to bring that script to life. While the voice actor works their magic, our artists will begin illustrating your project and recording it live. Editing comes last. This is when our genius team pieces together the voice-over and the recorded illustrations with a little bit of digital magic to unveil a work of art: your video.
Still not convinced? Check out some of our work and you’ll see what I mean.
Businesses all have a story and it should be told.
When you tell your story people will relate to your product or service.
We are breaking it down on what types of stories you should be sharing with your customers in this weeks episode of Moron Monday.
If you missed last weeks episode, you can find it here.
Hey guys. What’s up? Jace over here at Ydraw.
Today we’re going to be talking about one of my favorite subjects. We’ve been trying to push this down companies throats for years now, and I just thought I’d sit down and break it down for you guys so you know why stories matter.
Here are six stories you should be telling your customers. We have another blog that has seven, but I put two together.
I’m going to go over these and then, at the end of this video, I’m going to show you guys what we did for Ydraw. We just created a simple video to show you step number one, a history of our business case.
So let’s run through these real quick.
Very first thing, every company should be talking about their history. They should be telling the stories of how their company got started. And that does matter.
Think about the story of Apple, we all know it.
Think about the story of Tesla, about SpaceX, about Facebook. Zuckerberg…young… didn’t know what he was doing, built a billion dollar company. We all get pulled into the stories, and majority of companies don’t tell their stories.
So it’s important that you go out there and tell them how you got started.
HOW YOUR PRODUCT/SERVICE WAS DISCOVERED
Next is how your product or service was discovered. What did you do to figure out your product or service?
Now, you can combine these a little bit, but people want to know….how did you discover your product or service?
And by doing that, what happens is, they’re like, hey, I was in that same guy’s shoes.
I was looking for the same solution to a problem. And if you tell people how your company came about or how the problem was discovered, then they’re more likely to buy into your business.
And remember, what all of this does is it gets multiple touches so people want to do business with you.
People do business with those who they like and trust. And all these stories get people to like and trust you so that they’ll give you money.
Back in 2011 explainer videos where the hot thing, everyone went out and got explainer videos because they were told that’s what they need, but they didn’t realize there was a bunch of other stuff that needs to go with it.
So they would have a great explainer video, stick it out on YouTube and hope they get business but it didn’t happen that way.
But a good explainer video is simple. You need to do a strong opening, a headline, problem, solution, and call to action.
That should be your formula because it just shows, here’s the problem, here’s how our product solves that problem, and then it gives them a call to action.
You’ve produced new video content, created a buzz, promoted the living crud out of it and shared it on social media but even optimizing the title and description still didn’t get you the views that you were hoping for.
What went wrong?
One of the biggest challenges facing anyone in marketing is figuring out how to break through the noise to reach your customers.
While great video content is crucial, perhaps there’s something simple you may have missed:
Captioning your videos can have a HUGE effect on how successful they are. This is true for movies, TV shows, social media videos, training content, and any other kind of video you might record or share.
Why are subtitles so important?
1) Not everyone watching your video can hear it.
2) Subtitles improve comprehension
3) Some people actually prefer watching videos with subtitles even if they don’t have to. (My teenage daughter is like this; I have to turn off the captions on Netflix every time after she watches something. Every. Dang. Time.)
4) Viewers are more engaged. As more people are producing high-quality video content, social networks like Facebook have made it easier to post and share videos on their platforms.
But do you know what’s the most annoying thing about scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram feed? When the air of silence is violently stabbed by the blaring audio from the video you just scrolled over! This is why social platforms have made ‘mute’ the default volume setting for videos that auto-play. As a result, many users are likely to watch your video without actually turning on the audio.
Captioning videos can help guarantee your viewers get the message, even if they don’t actually listen to what you have to say.
Beyond making your videos more accessible, captions keep your content competitive within the social media landscape and can even boost your SEO!
Everything you’d ever want to know about subtitles and eye tracking software can be found here.
Did I read that entire article?… um… no (totally skimmed it) but what I CAN affirm is that if I’m awake in bed next to a sleepy spouse, eating lunch in a crowded restaurant, riding the bus, quietly not paying attention in church or a number of other moments where I’d choose silence; a video with subtitles will capture and keep my attention when a non-captioned video would just get lost in the upward scroll of oblivion.
Test it out for yourself.
Take a marketing video you’ve already produce and slap some captions on it. (If you don’t have caption-slapping abilities… Ydraw can do that for ya in a jiffy!)
Then launch that video into social media cyberspace and see what happens when your watchers become readers.
Teddy Roosevelt has been quoted many a time, “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” And this goes especially for Marketing to Your Audience!
You see, you CAN begin your marketing by sharing your giant Pedigree* of Success, your giant Rolodex* of clients that come at your every beck and call, and your impressive collection of Vintage Star Wars action figures, boxed in mint condition. BUT THEY DON’T CARE!
Okay…maybe the Star Wars figures, I mean especially if they have that one Rare Boba Fett*…
My point being, don’t make your first impression with your audience ABOUT YOU. In fact, you may consider, minimizing the mention of “you” to the smallest amount possible. Your marketing NEEDS to be about THEM.
The Mom who is exhausted carrying around a giant purse that contains everything known on the periodic table of elements. She wants to know that you care about her and her plight, when you sell her your amazing, mega-organizational handbag.
Spend the time in your marketing, connecting with her. Show empathy for how hard it is to carry that overgrown purse. Use humor to help her have a chuckle about it because she knows how impossible it is to find that lip gloss when her chapped lips are screaming for moisture, and the kids are clawing their way to find a granola bar in there too. She will totally think to herself, “Been there done that!”
By doing this, you will establish a relationship with your audience, in this case the Moms of the world. Now, they’ll care to listen to YOU! You have their attention because you relate to each other, on an emotional level. You are selling a relationship BEFORE you sell a product or service. So now, proceed to show some of the cool features of this “Heavenly Handbag” and again relate those features to them.
On a side note, keep your features explanation brief. They don’t need to know the process of “cutting and stitching every nuanced detail” that you researched; they just want the HIGH LEVEL facts that relate to them. This will keep them EMOTIONALLY engaged in your marketing.
In the case that you do spend time talking about YOU, make sure it’s to show how you relate to them. The purpose of sharing this piece of you is to connect with them, and not to gloat about you or in any way make you seem superior. If you don’t connect with them, be on their level, share their emotions, they will see right through you and go elsewhere for a solution to their need.
So…QUICK 5 POINT RECAP
Marketing is about THEM
Sell a Relationship
NOW, get your groove on and practice that Electric Slide together! It’s all about the relationship, and your audience will respond to you once they know that you care about them.
*Pedigree – Pretty sure it’s some type of dog food.
*Rolodex – The Stone Age variety of a contact list on your smart phone. Geesh, writing all those cards sucked.
*Rare Boba Fett – A Boba Fett figure that was designed exclusively as a cereal box mail-in item in 1979. It was advertised with a Rocket firing backpack, but the actual production firing rocket was made stationary, as it was deemed a “choking hazard.” This figure is still highly sought after by collectors and has fetched upwards of 20K at auction.