What Is an Explainer Video?
An explainer video is a short video where a character – either live-action, animated, or an unseen voiceover – explains and illustrates a concept, often using graphics, charts, and other visual aids to elaborate on the points being made through the narration. The cost of an animated explainer video should produce a return on investment through increased productivity and engagement.
Explainer videos are useful for employee onboarding, announcements of policy changes, introducing new products, or depictions of new tools or strategies. The end goal of an explainer video is for the audience to gain understanding and mastery through watching the video. An explainer video has the potential to head off the costs of miscommunication, noncompliance, or misunderstanding early on in the implementation of a policy change.
How can you maximize your return on investment? The answer is more than simply finding a production company that will create an explainer video for the lowest price. A video that is unclear, off-putting, hard to see or hear, and poorly structured will hinder, rather than foster, understanding,
Before you commission a video, make sure you understand your needs and how the features of the video will address those needs. That will allow you to focus on quality in the essential features without paying for non-essentials.
How much time do you need to convey key points? Do you need a lead-in or opening segment? Will the audience need to review key takeaway points at the end? An experienced production company like Bee Video Productions can establish from the outset what content is necessary and how to enhance its effectiveness during the design phase.
Production companies typically offer a range of options for illustration and animation. When considering the style of animation, consider the perceived cost as well as the actual cost of an animated explainer video in different styles. Some styles, such as whiteboard animation, are relatively inexpensive but convey a professional look.
2D animation has a cartoonish feel but is relatively inexpensive. 3D animation is more costly but potentially more immersive and engaging. Resist the temptation to cut costs by using simple 3D animations. Boxy graphics can look crude and unfinished.
Whiteboard animation is a popular and engaging style that has gained popularity over the years. The content appears as words and imagery as if drawn on a white screen. The stark nature of the black market against the whiteboard offers a simple, striking aesthetic.
The whiteboard offers a kinetic element as well. The pen moves across the screen, while the camera pans over the words and images. The voiceover and the onscreen images reinforce each other.
Motion graphics and kinetic typography are similar to whiteboard animation except that the objects appear onscreen as computer graphics, rather than being drawn in with an imaginary marker.
Whiteboard animation and similar styles should be done with care, to make sure that the words, images, voiceover, and story flow combine to form a clear and engaging experience.
The cost of casting, hiring, and recording a voiceover adds to the budget, particularly if the voiceover requires an unusual accent or unusual effects. Be sure that the voiceover is relatable and easy to understand.
Before any shooting or animation work can begin, the scope of the project, including expected outcomes, needs to be clear. This step could involve research, such as focus groups with employees, surveys, and directives from stakeholders.
Only after the needs of the project are understood and shared by the team can design and production begin. The needs assessment adds time and cost to the project but reduces the risk of failure during later stages.
At the design and development stages, the features of the video are chosen to align with the needs you previously identified. The needs assessment informs the choice of length, animation style, voiceover, and other aspects of production. At this stage, the video can be storyboarded and voiceover text created.
Production is typically carried out by the production company, and the costs reflect their labor. Shorter videos with simple animation styles will be less expensive. If the video requires a very specific voiceover style, or voiceover in more than one language, the costs for casting and recording the voiceover could increase.
Once the video and audio are complete, the production company will edit the video and add any post-production effects. If problems arose in the earlier stages, editing might be able to hide or correct some issues. If your video has many different segments or complex transitions, it might add a bit more to the cost. The best way to keep editing costs down is to be as clear as possible in the design and development phase.
For employees to see the video, it must be formatted in a way consistent with the viewing device and deliverable to the employee in some way. This could involve posting the video on an employee to an employee training page and having the employee log in to watch the video. In many cases, this will not add a great deal to the cost of the video. However, mistakes such as delivering the video in the wrong format or in a way that compromises the video or audio quality could be costly.
Each of the above steps creates costs, but they also create opportunities to control costs and use resources more effectively. A professional video production company should work with you at each step to evaluate costs and look for ways to increase efficiency without sacrificing effectiveness.
Why Choosing Bee Video Production Can Keep Costs Down
Bee Video Productions, based in Toronto, Canada, is a team of talented animators, editors, and managers with experience creating animations and live-action videos for employers, organizations, and television advertisements. We are well versed in the creative and business aspects of video production. We are committed to keeping the cost of an animated explainer video low while maximizing your return on investment.
We look forward to working with you on your next video project. To schedule an in-person consultation in the Toronto area, call (647) 625-9629 today.