Business animation and corporate video production have come a long way during the past few years. Just like other niches, better technology, and greater bandwidth have fueled explosive growth in the use of animation for business videos. So, what kind of new magic tricks are available to make high-converting videos? In this post, we’ll look at a few hidden secrets that a leading corporate video production company uses daily for awesome results.
Auto-captioning for each video
To understand the effectiveness of auto-captioning for videos, think about how people find video content to watch: Often viewers get their content suggestions directly from a social media channel.
Why is video such a bad experience on social platforms?
It’s because most of that content is only accessible on a fast-scrolling interface where users see a crowded field. Worse, in most cases “audio on” is not the default setting.
This means people can’t automatically hear any sound from videos without clicking on them. So, in order to stand out from the crowd, you’ll need an extra competitive advantage.
Using auto-captioning for each video is a quick way to draw more attention on crowded social media platforms. Just by showing a snippet of text in the video thumbnail, you’ll get more click-throughs.
Captioning also helps:
- Accessibility for people with hearing loss or other disabilities
- Legal compliance (accessibility laws)
- Easier translation into other languages
- Better audience comprehension
Of course, even without captioning you should already be using explainer videos with on-screen text to complement your animation, like this:
Notice how the clip doesn’t use any voiceover narration, just music. Instead of using captioning, the written text elements shown on the screen act out the entire storyline in a clear, simple way.
Ride the wave of streaming live video
The trend in corporate video production is toward using live video and streaming. Going into 2021, streaming represents about 90% of all internet bandwidth consumption. Although it used to be true that only celebrities and social influencers were “streamers,” nowadays businesses are using streams too.
Are you wondering how your own business can benefit from streaming video?
Look beyond ordinary animated explainer videos and think about your company’s events, webinars, customer workshops, and Q&A sessions in real-time.
Anything that you can show an audience with pre-recorded video can be highlighted better with live video and streaming. Best of all, simply by recording the live streams, you’ll have the same content for re-purposing across other marketing channels including audio podcasts and written blog articles.
Instead of streaming, you can also record multiple clips in a series. That way, you’ll have the advantage of faster loading on mobile devices, and the audience can watch your content at leisure. Here’s a great example of an explainer mini-series that has a marketing effect similar to streaming, but without bandwidth problems:
The individual videos show different aspects of the same HR company. Each can be viewed separately, or the audience can gain even more insight by watching all three of them in a series.
In any case, by using this technique you’ll keep viewers engaged longer.
Virtual reality (VR) meets video
Although VR technologies aren’t yet widespread going into 2021, they’re improving so quickly that virtual reality and business animation are moving toward a sort of convergence. Insiders who already use VR for corporate communications and animated videos for tutorials are finding new ways to blend these tools together for better effect.
Far beyond its roots in entertainment, animated VR is now the leading method for education and training in IT, healthcare, flight training, and other military technologies. That’s because animation-fueled VR is the only realistic way to train people to respond to stressful “real-world” situations with multiple interactive variables.
For example, have a look at this video with VR-like effects:
This type of animation effect is the best solution when you want to grip your audience, but your marketing platform doesn’t yet support VR.
Corporate training & HR tutorials
Large companies such as Walmart and other time-intensive, wage-sensitive industries use animated explainer videos with interactive CTAs and links to related content. The next big profitability trick for small businesses in 2021 and beyond is to use animated videos for the maximum range of both customer and worker interactions.
Some small businesses are already beginning to use serial explainers for every facet of the customer experience as well as the workplace interface. Large corporations have done this for the past few years, and now the cost of making serial animated videos has dropped low enough to be practical for small businesses.
Check out this example of an educational video:
It’s the first of several in this animated tutorial series. Given the high cost of human labor for teaching routine tasks, business animation is far more economical than paying “live” HR employees to train workers.
Long-form videos & serial videos
The standard length for animated videos runs between 60 to 90 seconds. That’s because short videos tend to hold attention better, at least for most topics.
Yet, long-form video can help your business carve out a niche in any competitive marketplace.
Why is a longer video better? Because it allows for a much deeper brand experience, assuming you have enough high-quality content to fill the run-time.
Have a look at this 3-minute health and wellness explainer with Spanish-language voiceover and on-screen text:
Red blood cells!?!
The average length of an explainer video is only about a minute and a half. But this clip has twice the average explainer length because its topic is complex.
Why is it so long?
Given the chatty nature of its Spanish-speaking audience, this masterpiece explainer is perfect for a scary topic like “blood.”
If you can’t afford to make long videos, don’t worry – A series of videos is good enough. As mentioned earlier, telling serialized stories on social media is the most profitable hack for corporate video companies in 2021 and beyond.
Serialized videos let you tell in-depth stories about your organization as well as products and services. As we’ve highlighted earlier, you can make mini-documentaries to highlight events and milestones within the organization.
Likewise, the trend is for successful organizations to improve productivity and efficiency by using long-form tutorials and serialized explainer videos in a logical series to demonstrate all their standard operating processes. These forms of business animation are replacing old-school “employee guides” in text format.
Cinemagraphs instead of GIFs
You’ve seen cinemagraphs before – They look like static photo images but they have animated elements moving within the picture. First developed by fashion photographers in 2011 using Adobe After Effects, this technique is bridging the gap between static images, GIFs, and videos..
Although GIFs and cinemagraphs both have moving elements based on loops, the latter is more like a cross between animation and video, since the quality of detail is much higher. Since cinemagraphs are actually photos with animation, they’re a popular choice to get attention for marketing purposes.
Even though cinemagraphs aren’t truly a video technique, they’re being used in similar marketing applications. In any case, this hybrid digital medium offers you many opportunities to stand out from competitors. We’ll see even more crossover and blending of production methods throughout 2021 and beyond.
In a way similar to cinemagraphs and GIFs, using looped videos offers great marketing magic at minimum cost. Even though looping is already a standard feature for editing and post-production effects, it’s best to plan each video beforehand to maximize its looping potential.
Of course, loops should be kept short – The point is to make the visuals blend seamlessly into the next cycle.
As you review the script before producing a video, ask yourself whether a viewer who tuned in halfway through would still understand the storyline, and get something of value. Would a latecomer who scrolled partway through your video be interested enough to re-watch it completely?
Looping seems to be most effective when used by thought leaders or social influencers to introduce sponsored products. If you think about your own niche, you can probably think of some ways to use looping to demonstrate your products and services in ways that might go viral.
Killer loops are worth the effort needed to produce them. Loops are the best “black magic” for any successful corporate video production company because they engage viewers during every precious second of run-time.
Marketing partnerships & sponsored content
Last but not least, let’s take a look at how you can leverage video content to get more sales. If you follow social media, you already know that brand sponsorships and marketing deals are an obvious trend among successful corporate video producers.
As mentioned earlier, influencers are using videos on social media to drive sales by promoting products and services. Now there’s been a convergence between social and business platforms.
So, businesses need to compete through social media as well as through websites and other traditional marketing platforms. Here’s an example of a video that leverages an international influencer, Diageo, to promote Irish-Canadian travel and immigration:
It’s quirky animation, engaging storyline, and catchy theme music are perfect for social media as well as endless looping.
When a trusted organization like Diageo sponsors video content, it gives marketplace credibility to the business that produced it.
Think about ways you can create marketing videos to leverage distributor relationships or partnerships with influencers.
More secrets behind successful business video production
Now that we’ve looked at some overall trends among the leading animation agencies, let’s focus on a few specific production tricks you can take advantage of yourself, regardless of whether you plan to DIY or hire an explainer video agency..
Read the script aloud and time yourself.
Whether you’re making videos or having someone else make them for you, it’s important to make sure the script flows smoothly. The only way to ensure the words flow smoothly is to make a test recording and time yourself.
Normal speaking rates are about 150 words per minute, which means talking quickly yet clearly. Listen to recordings of you and others reading the script.
Keep in mind that you already know your own products and services, but the audience doesn’t. Edit any words in the script that might sound confusing or indistinct to new listeners.
Listen and watch the flow of the script here:
Every word is crisp and clear, while the voiceover echoes the same information as shown with onscreen text.
Smooth storyboarding and scripting
Successful corporate videos tell a story that flows smoothly from beginning to end, as outlined earlier. The script needs to tell that story in words, based on a simple-yet-logical storyline.
Your script contains the narrative voiceover words to be spoken while the on-screen action unfolds. While you’re testing a script for run-time by reading it aloud, remember to check for awkward pauses to catch a breath and strange transitions from one scene to another.
Here’s another great example of a script that flows like water:
Although the topic is high-tech “techsperts,” its script and storyline are crystal clear.
Create your own animated video magic
Making a good video for your business is harder than it looks from a distance. So, instead of trying to learn new tricks yourself, the best way to create marketing magic is by working with a leading corporate video production company.
Thinking about producing corporate videos? We can help!