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Concept Videos: A Step-by Step Guide

Is your current marketing strategy failing to capture and engage the attention of your audience? Customer acquisition is by no means a straightforward task, so why not mix up your approach? Concept is the first and most important component towards creating a successful explainer video. After all, everything begins with a great idea.

Owing to convenience and tendency to instantly go viral, video content is a staggering means of consuming academic and sales content and is sure to make you stand out from the competition.   

Insights into these video content trends are sure to help you better assess how to approach your video marketing strategy, placing you far ahead of your competitors. Video content is the way forward: not only is it entertaining, but utterly addictive.

Videos are dynamic and perpetual since they tend to have a much longer shelf life than the written word. Nevertheless, it is a medium that can be tricky to refine. For your ease with the process, we have compiled some key tips on how to create the best concepts for your future video marketing strategy.

Know Your Niche and Stick to it

As with any sector of Marketing, it is important that you stick to your brand’s niche. Whilst exploring different avenues can shed light on your Company’s capacity for versatility, you don’t want to deter potential customers’ engagement by having too much going on. 

A prime example for this technique can be found in the consistency of Bulb’s TV ad campaigns. The electrics company uses subtle animation techniques to maintain consistency and subsequently communicate their brand with impactful effect. Their color scheme of neon hot pink is an immediate attention grabber and lends to the company’s quirky, vibrant, and ultimately fun tone of voice.  

The comedic satire that makes up the scripting throughout all of the ads simply lends more to this. Given that Bulb’s mission is about making it easier and less stressful to switch to them as an energy provider, you can see how this stance, coupled with the use of jovial talking animal animations, really lends to their brand’s image. 

As well as getting the company’s message across effortlessly, the colour and animation themes offer further evidence that the brand is a ‘little different’ from many of its mundane competitors, who are often to remain with conservative and colourless graphics in their own ad campaigns. The last thing a viewer would want to see would be frantic, stressed, real-life people discussing reasons why they must switch.  

Animation is a key tool that can contribute to your brand’s voice if you are aiming for an easy going and light-hearted tone. If you’re watching an advert train during Coronation Street breaks and your screen pops out in neon pink, you know who’s coming up. Don’t be afraid to be bold and different with your concepts! Being different, visually, and linguistically, in the content you create can be scary. But taking these leaps can pay off handsomely.

Whilst it is great to experiment with different stylistic choices in your videos, its vital that the theme.

BRAINSTORM! & again! & again!

Obvious to many but brainstorming as many ideas as you can is a creative must. It is probably the most time-consuming part of the process, but it really puts you in good stead for the rest of the process.  

Keeping your brief fully in mind, spend at least half an hour by yourself brainstorming creative ideas. 

But why brainstorm alone?

Research has shown that you are likely to come up with a larger range of creative ideas unaffected by the ideas, views and concerns of others, no matter how strange they may be. Doing this step alone to begin with allows you to have a full flow of freedom with your ideas.

At this stage, your ideas don’t have to be fully conceptual approaches, but should encompass what you know about your goals, audience and core message. Grab a huge whiteboard and write down as much as you can: No idea is a bad idea. Get the ball rolling with as many concepts as you can and build from the ground up. 

In the wise words of Michael Jackson, “don’t stop til you get enough!”.  

Source: YouTube

Like this unique style of animation and want to find out more? Check out our exploration of Rotoscoping

The core value to the brainstorming process is that you keep going and going and going until you have sufficient content, covering all bases, to work with. Look for inspiration from other weird and wonderful sources and allow your mind to cross-pollinate, keeping a record of everything that you have thought of.

After the initial idea-throwing-around stage, pick a handful of ideas that really speak to you. Trust your gut. Then, flesh out those ideas into more complex concepts with a larger team. Here you can be more realistic and critical, considering which ideas stray a bit too far from your brief, or are at risk of being unrealistic to achieve.

The Power of Storytelling

The last thing you want from your video is for it to have been crafted in a sloppy, disjointed manner. It’s simple: viewers will only engage with a coherent and well-structured story.

The best thing to do here is begin with starting your video’s script. At Animation Explainers, we have an expert content creation team who will cater to all of your scripting needs, but it might help if first you could know the following:

a)    WHO is your audience?

Hopefully the answer to the above comes naturally to you if you know your brand like the back of your hand. It is of utmost importance that your concept video resonates with your target audience.

b)   WHAT is your message?

Your concept video(s) must iron out any pain points that your audience may come across. Define a problem and how your product or service will fix it. That way, your brand automatically positions itself as your story’s hero, rescuing the damsels in distress (your audience) from their troubles.

c)    WHAT is your Call-To-Action?

It’s your job to figure out where you would like the video to lead the potential customers once they have finished watching. It is all well and good having a creative concept, but if the audience doesn’t know where your product is sold you may as well have not bothered.

Storytelling, as we know, is an extremely powerful communicative device.

Marketing is becoming more social, creative, and personalised than ever before: human-driven authentic stories are thus massively impactful to the viewer even if only captured within a short space of time. Craft a focused message that abides by the viewer’s needs, more so than your Company’s marketing needs. Remember, the customer is the most important component of your strategy.

Need some further inspo?

How-to videos

These type of videos might not gain a lot of views, but they will provide a solid long-term strategy. This type of content kills two birds with one stone: allowing immediate use for the consumer while also giving you the opportunity to raise brand awareness. Make sure your how-to videos directly relate to your products and services and do not stray from the topic at hand.   

Testimonial videos

Social proof speaks for itself. When people are on the fence regarding making a purchase, they want to know how what other consumers think. Consider making a compilation video of authentic consumer testimonials in order to really enhance your brand.  DISCLAIMER: Humans are untrustworthy! Having solid evidence that your company is not only legitimate but offers great products and services is a sure way to encourage new customer conversion.

User-created content

In the same vein as testimonial videos, consumers respond favorably to user-created content. TikTok has gone BOOM in the past year, and if it has shown us anything, it’s the beauty and impact that video marketing has due to its effortlessly engrossing format. With 800 million active users (more than Twitter, LinkedIn and Snapchat already!), the platform’s target audience is mostly Millennials but is slowly creeping into other generations.

In comparison to other platforms, the app has a younger user base, but remember that Zuckerberg’s Facebook was initially a platform for students. Basically, if you haven’t yet heard of Tik Tok, you need to get to know! Otherwise you may find yourself being stuck outside of the social loop. The app’s localised content is a key feature, using local challenges and hashtags to create macrocosmic trends that wipe across the globe. Download at your own risk, since you may think you’re flicking through the app to pass 10 minutes of your time and soon find yourself three hours deep. If that isn’t an effective video content marketing strategy for the consumer, I don’t know what is.

The Animation Station

Our personal favourite – and no, we’re not biased! Using animation gives personality to your brand. It also allows you to accomplish visual feats that you can’t accomplish with a real life video. You can design loveable characters, use vibrant color schemes and gain customer engagement in a charming manner. Even adults rarely get bored of animation: we all know we still love those classic Disney movies!

Short-Form Video is the ‘Reel’ Deal

Tik Tok’s success with short-form video has led to the fun, fast and energetic style that is ‘The Reel’: the perfect marriage of information and entertainment. Highly produced video is out – unless you’re Stephen Spielberg – and the quick-action video has made its way in. Don’t get me wrong, not just anyone can create such content since it has its complexities and time consumption. If you haven’t the time, perhaps blog-style ‘vlogs’ is the way to go. Even social media messaging has been transformed by video: where GIFS can tell a story quicker than you could type a lengthy message. Where video marketing trends used to focus solely on production and cinematography, today’s video marketing is characterised by creating authentic content that people trust. Overly polished video may seem unrealistic and intimidating to the modern user. The good news? This style is much quicker and easier to create.

Educational Videos

The impact of Covid-19 has led to a huge increase in online learning and a subsequent high demand for educational video content and ‘E-Learning’. Let’s be honest, in today’s digital age, most students would prefer to watch a YouTube video explaining Pythagoras’ theorem over opening up a dusty old textbook. Videos are not only more engaging than other types of content, but more memorable: according to Insivia, viewers can retain up to 95% of a message from a video they watched, rather than a text they read.

Time to Take Action 

Now that you know how to create great video concepts that will capture the attention of your audience, you’ll be able to start making more sales, and see your business grow. Don’t be afraid, if you’re still concerned that you could do with an extra pillar of support to get you started, we’re here to help you get started in achieving your concept video goals.

 Whether you are wanting a managed approach where we take your initial idea and run with it, or you have a structured and well-prepared process you would like us to follow. We at Animation Explainers can be as hands on or hands off as you wish!

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