Everyone wants a viral video. In fact, that’s what most of our clients ask for when they come to us. But, when it’s time to look at our Art Styles page – many clients panic and think,
“What if I choose the wrong one?”
That’s why we are going to talk about the difference that art choice can make to your video and a few things to think about when choosing yours. Because although we pride ourselves on working with the most talented artists in the industry – that doesn’t mean that every one of them is the best choice for your project.
Let me tell you a short story.
Once upon a time, a client named Booz Allen came to us for their first whiteboard animation video. They are a serious, respected firm with very serious, important clients. Even though this video was internal, they wanted it to be serious, professional, and aspirational.
But, there was just one thing.
Their Scriptwriter had a gut instinct – what if we juxtaposed the informational tone of the script with a fun, unexpected art style like Calvin & Hobbes to create a surprise effect?
Well, Booz Allen decided to go with Semi-Realistic instead. Here’s the first scene from the first set of images delivered by their choice of artist:
This works. It gets the job done. However, Booz Allen isn’t in the business of just getting the job done. So, they made the command decision to switch artists (for a small fee).
Here’s the first scene again – with the exact same script – rendered in the Calvin & Hobbes style:
Now THAT’s memorable!
Just using a different art style brings the script to life in a completely new way.
In fact, this style was such a huge hit –they have made dozens of videos since in this style.
This is a perfect example of how the right art style can truly elevate a project.
So, what should you consider when choosing the art style for your project?
Here are 3 things to consider:
What is the tone of your script – what feelings does the voiceover evoke? And, what do you want the mood to be of your video? Some examples might by light-hearted and humorous. Other scripts are heavy, covering more serious subject matter. Or, maybe you just want an approachable, informational tone. For example, this video we made for Volunteers of America was designed to be beautiful, moving and inspiring. Using our YPaint style, the images are digitally revealed and we incorporated an animated fine line connecting them to support this vision:
ELEMENT OF SURPRISE:
Now, just because your tone and mood are serious – doesn’t mean your art style has to be! By using an unexpected pairing, you create the element of surprise! Examples of this could be the Booz Allen video – which pairs a fun, youthful art style with serious internal subject matter. Or, take a look at this video for the marketing company, Ribyt. They used color to create an element of surprise, by staying all B&W except for their brands green.
Another way to create an element of surprise is to use a mixed-media approach, by combining different types of video footage. In this case, Vital Smarts used a mixture of live video and whiteboard animation:
Sometimes the right art style is the one that will appeal most to your audience.
Ask yourself, “What would my target consumer want to see?”
After all, you’re making this video for them, right?
That’s exactly what our client, Wilson Electronics, had in mind when we created this short, one-scene video in our Cartoony style to capture the feeling that people have when they realize their cell phone signal hasn’t been working:
Be willing to think outside the box when choosing an artist!
The right art style will pair perfectly with your script and grab the attention of your audience.
We love working with our clients to discuss options, send samples, and help guide you to choosing the perfect art style for your project.
At one point or another, each of us have had that gut feeling that defies the facts and numbers. When everything looks right on paper but for some reason it just doesn’t “feel” right.
So where does that feeling come from?
Contrary to what you may be thinking, it actually comes from the BRAIN!
Simon Sinek, a British-American author and motivational speaker, does a great job explaining this in his book called “Start with Why.”
He talks about the two parts of your brain
The Neocortex or “the what” and the Limbic or “the why”
The Neocortex being responsible for our rational and analytical thought and language and the Limbic being responsible for our feelings, behavior and decision making. He also talks about how our Limbic brain has no capacity for language.
What this means is the part of our brain that DRIVES BEHAVIOR, our Limbic Brain, doesn’t even understand the vast amounts of information you are throwing at it. It just hears BLA BLA BLA!
So how does knowing all this, help make better videos?
Studying the human brain helps us understand what motivates our audience leading to lifelong business.
Like Simon mentions, when we first communicate the “why” and get our viewer believing what we believe, we establish an emotional connection. After that connection is formed, it doesn’t really matter what we have to offer them or how we have it because “people don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it.”
You can explain to your viewer till your blue in the face what all of the facts, features, benefits and details are of your company but at the end of the day, if they don’t trust you, they aren’t going to click on your website or set up that free consultation or even think about contacting you.
So before smack your viewers in the face with 7 million reasons why your company is exponentially greater than your competitors….
Ask your self WHY you do what you do. Ask yourself if you actually need all that nitty gritty, technical jargon in your video. Ask yourself if you are selling a product or selling an idea.
Understanding the role of the emotional unconscious and how it plays a role in the decision-making process of your audience is critical in making your video successful.
Remember…. “People don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it.”
One gets his answer immediately. The YouTube campaign is based on exact information that you can see right in your Analytics and Adwords accounts.
What you do in 1 state can be one is all 50, and the views and click will be in proportion to your test states. The law of average is sure. When you expand, you will be spending your money on absolute certainty.
Let’s do a quick recap before we check out whats new.
TrueView ads provide a way for you to drive traffic and sales on YouTube. Businesses who run YouTube ads often see a big lift in brand search and traffic.
You have to know what you are doing.
TrueView ads can be skipped after five seconds—so it’s important that your video is done correctly and will capture attention in the first 5 seconds. Unless you’re optimizing based on action or reach (more on that below), you only have to pay for these ads when the viewer watches 30 seconds or more, which makes them a pretty safe bet for advertising on a budget.
TrueView ads have two formats, In-Stream ads and Discovery ads. Here are the differences:
It was in BETA but now my accounts have this new feature.
“Soon you’ll be able to reach people on YouTube who recently searched for your products or services on Google. For example, an airline could reach people on YouTube who recently searched Google.com for “flights to Hawaii.” We call this custom intent audiences. Custom intent audiences can be an effective way to move undecided customers to action using the persuasive power of video. To get started, all you have to do is create a keyword list for your video campaign in the new AdWords experience.”
Here’s a simple video tutorial where you can see how to set up a TrueView For Action video campaign.
TrueView For Reach
If you are looking to build brand awareness and increase market penetrations, you may want to look at TrueView for reach.
I would not recommend it because I think TrueView for Action are better.
I know they are better.
YouTube Video Ad Reach Planner Tool
One of the big problems with YouTube ads are the unknown. They lack transparency but they are changing. Google has launched the do Reach planner tool.
“Starting today, we’ve made it easier to answer questions like these by introducing Reach Planner, a new tool in AdWords. Now, for the first time, advertisers can forecast the reach and frequency achievable on YouTube and across Google’s video partners, in over 50 countries. This resource will simplify the planning process by providing unique reach across devices, for all core audiences and video formats.
Please for all things practical get on this and start running ads. If you need help, that is what we are here for. Contact us and we would be happy to create a killer YouTube Ad to help you drive more traffic leads and sales.
Things are changing in the video industry and Ydraw is changing with it. We have a couple of new styles of explainer videos that are going to blow your mind. lol
Curtis and I (Jace) spend a lot of time thinking about and discussing new ways to tell our customer’s stories. All we care about are your results. We want your videos to be successful. Just the other day, we were sitting in Chipotle going over the traditional story telling script style. Is it still effective?
For those who don’t know, a traditional style script starts off with a powerful headline, identifies the problem, gives the solution, and ends with a strong call to action. This has been used for years and it does work, but we think there needs to be more.
Explainer Videos and Stories.
Whenever I speak at conferences I like to open up with a story. There is something about a good story that gets my presentation started off on the right foot. We are not using them enough. So let me show you ways you can incorporate a better story into your new explainer video.
Video 1: Upgrade to a Testimonial Video
When a future customer is listening to your message, they want to know what you can do for them. They are hoping that you can solve a problem they’re experiencing in their life. Whether that problem is a simple want or an immediate need.
To often clients go way overboard on the features of their product or service. Features tell, benefits sell. A video that focuses on features does not perform at the top of the funnel. Feature based videos should be used at the bottom when a future customer has already looked into you business.
Make sure you write that down some place. It will change your business… 🙂
We decided to ask the question…If we were going to make a purchase, what kind of video would we want to see?
It would need three things:
1. Prove the product or service can solve my problem
2. Be very convincing (social proof)
3. Have a story behind it
Obviously we have all seen video testimonials before. They work! But a lot of them are lacking creativity and forget to focus on the actual story.
So here is what we came up with.
Have an actual customer tell their story (video testimonial), create graphics and images that show the story, and wrap it all up with emotional music.
We all get tired of boring educational videos. Unless they are creative, fun, and engaging.
Effective storytelling can be a great way to education an audience and persuade others to your point of view. A long lecture isn’t too convincing because they feel opinion-based. Which can be polarizing.
But a careful blending of rhetoric and facts woven into the right story can change minds.
We have done a couple of these styles of videos in the past, but we kind of took this educational explainer video to a whole new level.
If you’re in the market for a new explainer video that will persuade your audience the right way, then give us a call.
How Getting Your Audience Into a Story Can Increase Revenue
The weekend is almost here!
For most, weekends are times to relax and unwind from the day-to-day stresses that are part of a productive week. They are characterized by events, busier roads, packed restaurants, increased movie ticket sales and red box rentals.
One of the most popular activities is to sit in a cool dark theater and be consumed by actions on the big screen and surround sound.
What makes going to the movies so popular? Why do people line up, sometimes for hours, to sit and eat over-priced greasy food in a room full of strangers and spend about two hours watching something that is not real?
Because–everyone needs a break once in a while!
Taking a break is not only enjoyable but imperative to maintain a healthy life balance and mental state.
One of the best ways to take a break is to get lost in a story.
People are naturally drawn to stories because they provide a quick and easy temporary escape from pressing deadlines or situations.
Whiteboard storytelling is so attractive because it plays on the human tendency to pause and get wrapped up in a story.
Here are 7 reasons whiteboard storytelling can help you build your business.
1-Whiteboard Storytelling Gets Past the Infamous 9 Second Attention Span
How long is your attention span? Maybe a better question is, do you have a smart phone? Followed by “How long can you go without picking your smart phone up?”–be honest here.
I admit that unless I’m on a date with someone I really like, I will check or at least think about checking my iPhone at least every 45 minutes–and that’s only if I’m in the middle of something important like a work meeting or if I’m at a movie theater where I can subtly peek in my purse to see if something earth shattering has come across my tiny iPhone screen once or twice. Otherwise, it is conveniently at my side where I can be alerted the instant someone reaches out to me.
I think I can safely say I’m not alone in my iPhone dependence.
We live in a society where we are blessed to have access to almost any information we want in the palms of our hands. It’s a blessing but also a curse where we are constantly bombarded with so much, that we have become almost expert at weeding things out quickly.
In Jace Vernon’s article Today’s Double Down Audience he mentions that recent studies show online viewers have an attention span of 9 seconds! And that’s only if they come across something they find interesting enough to pause and actually take a real look.
Think about it. Think about how you scroll through your Facebook feed or Instagram, scanning what your thousands of friends find important at that particular moment and how you mechanically show your virtual approval with “likes”. Think about what goes through your head as you settle on a YouTube video to watch.
Now think about how you would react to a video set up as a story. Chances are you do pause.
Then you see a hand quickly drawing a concerned looking man and you wonder what he’s worried about. You watch intently as the hand draws a house on the screen..and then…FLAMES coming out of the house! OH NO!! You feel anxious for this poor cartoon man as you sit glued to the screen long enough to see that happily, in the end, the angst on his face is replaced with peace and satisfaction because ABCD Insurance had his home repaired without a hitch.
Your attention span went from 9 seconds to about 90 because you got involved in a story.
2-Stories Distract Us From Noise Around Us.
I just illustrated this point a little with the man and the burning house. Your focus was on learning the outcome of the firey disaster despite other things that are always in the background or just a click away. You were distracted from those distractions long enough to zero in on one story.
Author Jonathan Gottschall wrote, “The human mind is a wanderer by nature. The daydream is the mind’s default state.”
Stories help us focus on one thing and, in most cases, we enjoy it! The mind can still be in that “default state” and sometimes even learn something in the process when it is drawn into a Once Upon a Time kind of setting.
It’s human nature to appreciate being taken away from our distractions and escape into a story. Even a sad or frightening tale is enough to temporarily remove us from our current reality and give our brains a break from all the other noise that is constantly present.
3-The Brain Connects with Patterns, Pictures, and Stories
With so much information being thrown at us to process, the human brain copes by using past experiences to categorize things into little boxes that it can understand and relate to. One way it does this is by connecting patterns, pictures and stories to the new information provided.
In one of Ydraw’s favorite references, the book, Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath provide two different explanations of what a pomelo is on page 53 to illustrate how people use past experience to understand new information.
“Explanation 1: A pomelo is the largest citrus fruit. The rind is very thick but soft and easy to peel away. The resulting fruit has a light yellow to coral pink flesh and can vary from juicy to slightly dry and from seductively spicy-sweet to tangy and tart.”
“Explanation 2: A pomelo is basically a supersized grapefruit with a very thick and soft rind”
Chances are you’ve never tried a pomelo. Explanation 1 is very detailed, but “spicy-sweet” could describe anything from sweet and sour chicken to cinnamon bears to, what it is really similar to which is a grapefruit. With Explanation 2, you have a better idea of what to expect when you prepare to bite into a refreshing and tangy pomelo–because chances are very high that you’ve actually tried a grapefruit before.
With this example, you are able to take something you’re familiar with to better understand something you aren’t.
A primary goal of your whiteboard video is to get your audience to see themselves successfully utilizing your product or service.
Where on average, you have 30 seconds to 2 minutes to get your point across, you don’t have the luxury of putting in all the nitty gritty details necessary to do justice to what you are trying to promote.
Give your audience metaphors or situations they can relate to so you don’t have to recreate the wheel.
With whiteboard storytelling, you can portray a scenario general yet specific enough that your target audience can use past experiences to see and themselves in the story you present. Mission 1.. accomplished!
4-Stories Appeal to Senses and Emotions
Imagine a video like this:
Scene 1: A triangle tent is drawn and then a campfire next to it. Dark blue pops onto the screen around a bright yellow crescent moon and a couple stars. The soundtrack is crickets, the crackle of fire and distant singing to an out of tune guitar.
Scene 2: A griddle is drawn with two strips of bacon and two eggs sunny side up. The soundtrack is sizzling and popping and a faint sound of a brook in the background.
What did you experience when you read that?
Could you smell the bacon cooking and did it make your stomach growl? Could you smell the pine trees, crackling fire and taste marshmallow from the s’mores you consumed before curling up on the cold hard ground? Could you smell the nylon tent mixed with bug spray?
Did your heart lift and sink because your Grandpa John, may he rest in peace, loved to sing around the campfire and play his guitar that was never in tune? Did you feel the cool mountain air, the warmth of the rising sun and a rush of freedom that came from being away from the office for a few days?
My guess is, even just reading the scenes helped you experience some sort of flashback or emotion. I did while writing it! Though I just explained a fraction of a story, it is set up in a way where the mind can fill in the blanks with past memories and experience. The escape into a story already exists right there!
Storytelling in detail that appeals to the senses will almost always conjure some kind of emotion. Senses and emotion go hand in hand. For example, when I hear the song “Return to Pooh Corner” or smell Irish Spring soap I instantly get teary-eyed because those things trigger subconscious memories of my dad who died when I was young.
People buy into things that trigger the right emotions.
Narratives are everywhere–and as a marketer, that’s a very good thing–since narratives that appeal to the senses and emotions really do sell!
5-Storytelling Influences People’s Actions
In most cases, if someone stops on a video, they are curious about something in the description (so you better use the right key words and title–more on that another day). They are watching your video to help them make a decision, generally about putting their money and/or time into something new.
Reason 5 is a compact way of reminding you that when people hear stories that trigger emotions they will act one way or another whether it be clicking off your video or clicking the link under your video for more information.
Keep the story interesting enough that they will want to know more and ACT on your call to action.
6-Facts Tell Stories Sell
You’ve got seven seconds to sell your audience on watching more of your video. This is not the time to bog them down with facts–start with a story!
By now you should have an idea in mind of what kinds of characters and what your basic plot will be for your video.
You’re not even close to being done..
Seriously–you need more than one “story” in your video.
What I mean is that besides the main narrative, you also need sub-stories, like a line about how your business started. You definitely need testimonials from outsiders who briefly share their experiences with your company. Testimonials are like mini one liner autobiographies.
Don’t go overboard but definitely, add more for your audience to chew on with a mini “story” or two.
Save your bulleted facts for your website; let your stories sell you and your business.
7-People Like to Share Stories—So Why Not Your Video?
Finally, another primary goal is for your video to get watched..and get watched a lot!
People love to share stories, particularly if those stories make them smile, laugh, or shock them.
Where word of mouth is the most trusted form of advertising, make sure your video story is the caliber that your audience will want to spread the word about by sharing your video.
In closing, I just want to remind you that whiteboard storytelling can be fun! Stretch your brain and come up with relatable stories that will keep your audience captivated and give them a great and lasting impression of you and your company.
I just gave you the WHY of using whiteboard storytelling; check in next week for tips on HOW you do it!
Thank you for your time. I hope these 7 Reasons Whiteboard Storytelling Builds Business have given you something to think about as your business continues to grow!