Confessions from a Project Manager

Here at Ydraw, we work with amazing people every day, from all over the world, to create awesome videos.

Our completely custom videos are perfect for companies, because we can create EXACTLY what they need. From the scripting, to the choice of art style, to your voiceover selection, to our custom music composer, everything is tailored to our customer’s needs.

Since each video is entirely unique, it requires both parties to be equally invested and provide timely feedback. COLLABORATION IS KEY! This can be both a blessing and a curse.

One of the biggest challenges we run into when creating videos is understanding each parties’ roles in the project. We rely on the client to provide the information needed for us to understand their product or service, and in return, ask our clients to trust us when it comes to creating the best content for them.

Sometimes clients will focus in on one minor detail that has little or no impact on the overall messaging of the video, and can eventually lead to an experience or end product that isn’t so spectacular.

For instance, have you ever looked at a word so many times that you convince yourself it’s spelled wrong? The more your stare at it, the weirder it looks… even though it was right from the beginning. This can happen when creating content.

When creating videos, we notice this problem in the artwork phase. For example, a client will get so hung up on the color of “Mary’s shirt”, and before you know it, they’ve convinced themselves that their ENTIRE video is a failure, because absolutely NO ONE is going to understand or even watch the video, if her shirt is red, and NOT blue…

Sounds dramatic… but we see examples like this happen with our clients often.

We completely understand that these projects, these videos, are as important as your first born child! You have a lot of pressure to produce an amazing product, but it’s imperative to remember to step back and focus on the overall message of your video.

So if the color of Mary’s shirt isn’t the most important part to creating a successful video… then what is?

The message!

First, you want to establish your message. Keep it clear and concise! Second, ensure that your content helps to portray that message.

 Don’t know where to start? The good news is that Ydraw can do it all for you!

(and don’t worry.. if you want Mary’s shirt to be blue, we’ll make sure it’s the prettiest blue you’ve ever seen.)

Code #282 – Mr. Important

“Hello, my name is Mr. Important the CEO of Important Products… but the true important person is you!”

Uh wrong… Can you believe this guy?

He has officially lost us within the first line.

Code #282: If you want your audience to believe your product is important… focus on them and their needs, not on yourself.

This code is very important when creating successful content.

Don’t be Mr. Important.

Don’t Fall Victim to the Social Media ‘Scroll By’

Has this ever happened to you?

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:

Subtitles.

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.

http://refractory.unimelb.edu.au/2015/02/07/kruger-szarkowska-krejtz/

 

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.

 

Written by: Lesa Thomas

How To Keep Your Audience Interested Through HUMOR!

What makes things funny? Our own sense of humor isn’t always funny to the guy sitting next to us. So, let’s look at a few simple principles used in Improv to make your video funny to all of your audience!

First and foremost, there is TRUTH in COMEDY! The funny comes from the experiences we have all had in our lives. Think about sitcoms, why do they work? They take something so simple, like everyday life and exploit it. The ups and downs of dating and heartbreak or fighting for that perfect job, only to find out that it isn’t so perfect. But where does the comedy come from?

The funny comes from the unexpected. The moments of truth. It comes from showing not telling. We have all been there…the time in the grocery store when two people are having a conversation in public and you can’t help but listen, even though you know the topic should have probably been left at home…yeah that stuff.

So let’s take a look at this funny scenario….

We see two shadowy figures digging holes in a graveyard. It’s dark, but we can see that there’s a body behind them. It appears that they are covering up a murder! The scene is quite grim and creepy… so how is this funny? The car lights flicker on and we get a better look of the situation… only to reveal…two clowns? Okay, now this is way more terrifying, but their must be more to the story… so as we get closer, we overhear…

Clown 1:“Look Stan, all I’m saying is I’m sorry she left you. You deserve better!”

Clown 2:“You know Joe I just don’t understand, I did everything I could to make her happy.”

Clown 1:“Hey, you know,  it’s okay if you want to cry. It’s just us brother.”

Clown 2: (in tears) “Life is just so unfair! But hey how’s the wife and kids?”

Clown 1: “They’re real good. Sally just started walking…”

The conversation continues as they are digging a shallow grave wearing their clown costumes. So, we know they are clowns, we know they are friends, and we know what happened…but they don’t have to tell us that they murdered this guy. We just know! If we focused on the body, or what happened the scene would drag on, the audience would get board with details and information that they don’t need.

This scenario leads us to the truth of comedy…Relatability!

Think about how you feel when you pop bubble wrap.  Did that put a smile on your face just thinking about it?  How about when you scoop peanut butter from a freshly open jar, yeah there’s that satisfaction face. See how easy it is to relate? All you have to do is capture a moment when someone has used your product in such a way that it brings a clear feeling to your audience.

Just remember that comedy is subjective, but so is being bored out of your seat.  By using these tried and true principles of Improv Comedy, you can help your audience laugh at the unexpected, learn about your great product/service and keep them interested and wanting more.

So, let’s get out there and take a fresh approach to comedy, and whatever you do, if you see two clowns walking your way…RUN!

The Many Benefits of Whiteboard Explainer Videos

The Many Benefits of Whiteboard Explainer Videos

Video Marketing is seen as one of the most effective ways for brands to reach new prospects and engage clients without having to break the bank. While there are plenty of different formats to choose from, one of the quickest ways to implement this marketing strategy is through “Whiteboard Animation”.

The reason whiteboard animation is so praised by the marketing community comes down to two factors: 1-ease of production and 2-higher conversation rates. We’ll dive into the details below as to why whiteboard animation has been so successful over the years, and how to effectively incorporate it into your marketing strategies.

What is Whiteboard Animation?

I’m sure by now you’ve already seen these videos whether you have been surfing YouTube or scrolling down your Facebook Newsfeed. Essentially, whiteboard animation are the videos that “draw out” an image while a voice over explains what is going on.
Whiteboard animation focuses on ‘one thought per frame’ and advances the storyline with a heavier emphasis on the voice over than on the graphics. This doesn’t mean that the graphics are less important, it simply means that the voice over is responsible for a lot of the storytelling.

For the most part, brands like to utilize a ‘hand graphic’ that is drawing out the picture while the voice over occurs. This is implemented to give it a ‘motion graphics feel’ while not requiring the same effort to produce.

Cost Efficient Means of Marketing

Due to the fact that it requires less effort to produce these types of videos, the associated price tag is significantly lower. While you can get whiteboard explainer videos for as little as $50 USD per 30 seconds, or in some cases even cheaper, it is important to look for the best deal that provides both cost efficiency and quality.

Nonetheless, compared to other video formats, whiteboard explainer videos are definitely the most cost efficient means of marketing. For brands that have a limited budget and would still like to utilize video within their marketing campaigns, whiteboard animation is definitely the most cost effective manner to achieve this.

In addition, the timeframe required to create these videos is significantly shorter, meaning that you can have your message polished and ready to be presented to the masses much more quickly.

High Engagement with Simple Imagery

Another fantastic benefit of whiteboard explainer videos comes down to engagement. As opposed to Motion Graphic-oriented explainer videos, whiteboard animation guides the eyes of the viewer to specific points.

When the image is being revealed within the video, only portions of it appear at a time in the attempt to convince the viewer that the image is being ‘drawn’ out. This achieves two things:

1. It triggers the curiosity factor in your prospects who will continue to look at the video while the image is being revealed.
2. It keeps them engaged and more susceptible to your marketing message. Since the V.O. is pretty much giving meaning to the imagery, people are more inclined to sit through the entire presentation and the images tend to have a greater impact as a result.

Visual imagery is one of the best ways to captivate your audience, allowing them to be receptive to your message and helping drive up both engagement and conversions.

Ease of Production

As mentioned, the production of whiteboard explainer videos is much simpler than other mediums such as Motion Graphics or Real Footage. This is due to the fact that you are essentially working with ‘still images’ and applying minor motion to the frame to give it that dynamic feel.

In most cases, production companies will create a visual storyline with a set of images based on the V.O. script. Each frame will have one major idea attached to it represented in the form of a picture. While the voice over in the frame explains the point, the ‘animation’ will be drawn onto the frame to reinforce the message.

Each new frame will reveal another image and the voice over will guide the viewer through the storyline. Once the visual story has been established, it comes down to synchronizing it with the voice over.
This is the main reason whiteboard animation is so cost efficient, where a savvy video producer would be able to create a compelling video in a much shorter timeframe. It also requires a lot less processing power to create these videos meaning less expensive equipment is needed.

Where to Utilize Whiteboard Explainer Videos

Whiteboard animation serves multiple purposes, from selling, adding depth and value to your brand and of course, ‘explaining things’.
For the most part, brands utilize whiteboard animation as an introduction to their product or brand. These videos are mostly implemented on landing pages, home pages and of course for mass marketing on platforms such as YouTube and Facebook to name a few.

When utilizing it on your homepage, you can exceed the industry standard of 90 seconds. For the most part, the 90-second rule applies to videos when its purpose is to reach new prospects, however when prospects lands on your homepage, they have already developped an interest in your brand or company website, so exceeding this ‘rule of thumb’ is permitted.

You would rather provide them with a 2-3-minute video that gives them a deeper understanding of what you do than 90 seconds where they could still be kept wondering exactly what it is you do.

When we talk about Whiteboard Explainer Videos for marketing or selling, you’ll want to keep it below 90 seconds. This is due to the fact that your video needs to compete with other videos, and keeping it short has shown to increase engagement and conversions.
Depending on your need, you will adapt your whiteboard animation purposes accordingly.

Key Take Aways

Whiteboard animation has become a staple in the video marketing world due to the fact that it is cost efficient, easy to produce and still maintains stellar engagement and click through rates. If you find yourself on a tight budget and still want to get into the world of video marketing, then Whiteboard Explainer Videos are definitely a great starting point.