In a previous post we took a look at how to get started creating your business video. Before you ever get there, you need to define your message. One of the most difficult steps in beginning any animation project is defining that message and keeping the video focused. Here are some process stages that you need to do to lay the groundwork for your animated marketing video or any marketing video for that matter.
Video Messaging: Less is more
Keep your message as targeted as possible, you really want to focus on one simple aspect to convey as clearly as possible in the video. We run into this all the time as our clients are passionate about what they do and easily can fall into the trap of trying to cram too much into one video. If you try to put everything into one video what usually ends up happening is the viewer get’s overwhelmed and will stop watching. Studies show that, in introductory marketing videos you lose about half your audience after one minute. Instead of putting it all into one video, use shorter, snackable video content to drive the viewer to view other value propositions your product or service offers.
Storyboard: Putting visuals to the words
A storyboard will help you to define your imagery and get your core message conveyed as effectively as possible. Usually in the storyboard process we realize that we could trim more from the scripting to shorten the video’s overall length. In the script writing process, we use a text description of the visuals for the storyboard. Then once the script and basic visuals of the storyboard are set, we create what’s called an animatic which is basically a storyboard utilizing a recorded voice over track and very basic, quickly drawn visuals. The animatic is critical to allow our clients to get a good feel for how the video will visually flow. Here’s an example of an initial animatic we created for a recent animation project for MyVR:
As you can see it’s very basic, quickly sketched out visuals with arrows to denote movement. And here is the final finished product below:
You can see by watching both the animatic and finished video that there were some elements that stayed relatively consistent to the original animatic and others things that needed to be changed completely to tell their story more effectively. While culling down your message to one key focus can be one of the most difficult steps in the video production process, it’s also the most critical to the video’s success. At least I think so, what do you think?
MyVR is a complete marketing solution software that allows vacation rental owners and operators to manage all of their vacation rental marketing in one place. MyVR allows you the simplicity of uploading your home information once, then easily advertise across the major listing sites, to local and social marketing channels, to your own customized website and Facebook Page. We created this animated demo for MyVR to illustrate how the tool helps homeowners attract more renters and makes their lives much easier. You can learn more about MyVR at http://myvr.com
We created this animation for Beyond the Bubble which unlocks the vast digital archive of the Library of Congress to create a new generation of history assessments. Developed by the Stanford History Education Group to “go beyond the bubble” by offering easy-to-use assessments that capture students’ knowledge in action – rather than their recall of discrete facts. Having George Washington take a multiple choice test to show “What would George do?” was a fun but informative way to introduce Beyond the Bubble to elementary, middle, and high school educators, faculty and administrations across the country. You can learn more about Beyond the Bubble and the Stanford History Education Group at: beyondthebubble.stanford.edu
Viewers love the video that Adelie Studios created to promote the launch of our website! It delivers important information about our materials in a funny, engaging manner. It was also a pleasure to work with Eric and his team. They were responsive to our requests, had great ideas, and did high quality work. We would definitely work with Adelie Studios again.
— Sam Wineburg
Margaret Jacks Professor of Education Professor of History (by courtesy)
Director, Stanford History Education Group
I took a look at video length for businesses four years ago in my post “How Much of a Typical Video Online Is Actually Watched?” and was wondering how that had changed in the last few years.
Some new statistics came out from Wistia, a video hosting company, who also did a similar examination a few years ago into video length. Their findings below bore out the same mantra I’ve been repeating for several years now. Shorter is better.
The above graph sums it up very clearly. In videos 0-30 seconds somewhere around 82% of your video gets watched or roughly 18% of your audience is clicking away from the video. At 30-60 seconds roughly a quarter of your audience is leaving and at 1-2 minutes over 30% are dropping off. The key takeaway here is your business video should be built to serve a specific purpose. The longer you make it, the less people will watch it to completion. So rather than cramming everything about your product into one video, break up that video into snackable content that will keep your audience engaged.
This graph sums up what the audience engagement is in videos of varying lengths. In my original post a few years ago, 10.39% of viewers clicking away after ten seconds and 53.56% leaving after one minute. What’s interesting to note here is that this number hasn’t changed much for shorter videos, but for longer videos you’ll notice the dropoff is precipitous. What this is showing, is that most of the audience is deciding in the first few seconds whether or not to watch and once they make the commitment, the engagement sort of levels off. The other dip you’ll notice is toward the end when the videos are wrapping up. This can probably be attributed to meandering wrap ups and summarizations at the end of videos. To avoid this, in addition to making sure you keep your videos brief and to the point, keep your call-to-action at the end of the video direct and to the point. In other words be direct with what you want the viewer to take for a next step whether that is to sign up for a demo, make a donation or to watch another video that takes a deeper dive into the product offering.
I’m usually not a fan of animated GIFs, but this one is pretty cool. What this is doing is visualizing that audience engagement by length of video. The solid orange line represents the average for that video length while the faded lines around it represent the engagement graph for actual videos. What the key takeaway here is just because you make a video short or long doesn’t automatically guarantee you’re going to get the results you expect. There are short videos with incredibly high dropoffs in here and there are longer videos with very high engagement. Making it shorter will increase your odds of watch to completion, however proper script writing to appeal to your demographic is critical to your video’s success. If you are primarily selling to teenagers, don’t write the script in stuffy corporate speak…make sure it speaks to them like a peer would.
The statistics bear out that little has changed since my original post several years ago. Shorter videos are still providing a higher engagement level than longer videos. If you’ve got a lot to say and your message is more complex, consider breaking it down into shorter videos that can be linked together.
Think of your video content like your website. Would you put everything you have to say on the home page of your website? No, because the end user would get bored scrolling down your one page and it doesn’t get them to interact and slowly develop that relationship with you brand through browsing your content. So why should your video content strategy be any different?
Thanks to Wistia doing the heavy lifting putting these statistics together by compiling millions of data points from videos they are hosting over the last couple years. You can read the full report on the Wistia website.
Broadridge Intelligent Fulfillment Solutions manages investor disclosure obligations from a single, integrated platform for print fulfillment, email and web. Our approach to visualizing what Intelligent Fulfillment Solutions does best, was to take the requirements every fulfillment manager is required to distribute on a regular basis and turn them into “herculean tasks”. Then we turned that person required to handle all of these disclosures into an “office super hero”…at least in their own eyes. You can learn more about Broadridge Intelligent Fulfillment Solutions on their website.
Some companies try to create a five minute video that includes their value proposition, product demo, etc. all crammed into one video. A better idea is to break that content up into ‘snackable’ bits of video content. In other words, don’t force everything you’ve got to say into one video. You’ve got about ten seconds to grab the viewers attention and about sixty or so seconds to keep it, after that unless the content is really engaging you start to see a precipitous drop off in viewership. The best idea is to break that content up into separate videos – do an ‘elevator pitch’ or value proposition, lead that video into a link to a product or service demo. From there you can link them to testimonial videos, deeper dive videos into the product/service functionality, etc.
The Law of Seven
If you haven’t heard this one before, the idea is that it generally takes on average about seven “touches” of a business to a prospective customer before a sale is made. So if it takes up to seven impressions of your marketing content to really make an impression on a viewer, why would you want to stuff all of your video marketing ideas into one video? Why not spread it out into multiple touch points for the viewer and potential customer?
Where to Start
So if you have a limited budget and can only produce one video, where do you start and what do you do first? I always recommend you start with the value proposition first. You know your clients problems better than anyone, heck you came up to a solution to those problems. Speak to that. We usually like to start with a basic formula for our clients when doing value propositions:
- Illustrate a typical problem your customers face
- Show how your product or service alleviates that problem
- End with a resolution of the problem
In May of 2005, YouTube was born and its been a rocket ride for the company ever since. They announced their birthday on their blog and included some great statistics of their growth and more extensive statistics were also shared on their media page. I figured I would grab a few statistics and fun facts I thought were the most interesting:
72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
that equates to over an hour of video is uploaded every second. In 2008 I was wrote about how staggering 10 hours of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute was. If 10 hours is staggering, I don’t really know how to classify 72 hours.
Over 3 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube
That is billion…with a “B”. That’s a whole lot of Nyan Cats.
Over 1 trillion views in 2011 or almost 140 views for every person on Earth
You read that correctly, one TRILLION views in 2011 on YouTube and 140 views for every person on EARTH. Now remember that only 32.7% of the world’s population has internet access. Which means that among the active internet users in the world, that amounts to over 440 views per person over the course of a year!
YouTube mobile got over 600 million views a day, and mobile traffic tripled in 2011
Six hundred million views accounts for about 20% of YouTube’s total traffic. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this number at least double in 2012 as mobile viewing continues to explode, particularly with the number of tablet devices continuing to flood the market.
500 years of YouTube video are watched every day on Facebook, and over 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter each minute
Video is the ultimate way to grab people’s attention online so whether that is just some ridiculous video of cute cats on up to a video branding your business, the ability to share videos from YouTube across social platforms is what makes it so powerful.
So what does it all mean?
More than ever these stats illustrate in mind-boggling terms that there is a slew of content out there. The takeaway is that to be the needle in the haystack – you have to stick out. To stick out in 72 hours of video being uploaded every minute you need to make sure that you optimize your video for search so potential viewers searching for your video can find you more easily and remember to be creative. Don’t be bland, be memorable. But be memorable for the right reasons. If you do all those things there’s no guarantee you’ll reach every potential customer on YouTube, but there’s a better chance you’ll reach more of them.
It is harder than ever to get a first page result on Google. Not only does Google continue to change how it searches and indexes, but now it is dedicating more and more of its first page to “blended” search results – displaying video, images, shopping results, etc. This can push traditional high-ranking web results down – and sometimes off – the first page.
Since you can’t beat Google, you need to join them and adapt. Although there is now more competition for fewer traditional search results, it has allowed sites with video assets to successfully achieve first-page rankings. In fact, Forrester Research found that videos were 53 times more likely than traditional web pages to receive an organic first-page ranking. So what do you need to do to your video to help your business get found through search? Here are a few simple tips to keep in mind that will optimize your video for SEO whether it is self hosted or you put it on YouTube (we recommend you do some combination of both):
Optimize the title / file name –
When you choose a title for your video, don’t just leave it as a meaningless file name to anyone but yourself. You don’t want viewers to be turned off because the title is something like “YOUR_VIDEO_FINAL_REV6.mp4″. That’s just lazy. Don’t get too clever with the title or file name either though. It’s important to pick a keyword friendly title which could help your video SEO. Think like the viewer: “If I were looking for this video, what would I type in the search field?”
Optimize Your Video URLs –
This is true of ANY page on your website, but you should always customize and optimize the URLs of pages on your site by including in them keywords and relevant descriptive terms about the page itself. To put it another way, www.adeliestudios.com/blog/tips-business-video-get-found-seo is a much better URL than www.adeliestudios.com/blog/post-2341. Obviously anything including “video” in the URL will tip off search engines that there is likely video on that page.
The related text description around your video or in the meta description code can make or break whether someone will watch your video or whether they will even be able to find it in the first place. Your meta description should be around 160 characters but the text on your page can be far richer. Describe what the video is all about and include some relevant links, information or a call to action for the viewer. Make sure to keep it simple and to the point. It’s important to use “relevant” keywords but don’t stuff the page with irrelevant keywords. You could be penalized by Google just as easily as rewarded with high rankings for good content! Make sure to not keyword stuff!
Video Transcript / Captions –
Including a transcript or captions with your video is critical to help the hearing impaired understand the content of your video, allow viewers without speakers to still under stand your video but the real benefit, is SEO. The entire transcript for your video is text and becomes a searchable and indexed document giving search engines detailed information on the topics, keywords and general subject matter of your video.
Create a video sitemap –
A sitemap is a document that tells Google exactly what is on your website and exactly where it can be found. You can submit multiple sitemaps for your website, say one for your HTML pages and one specifically for video. Hence the video sitemap. If you have uploaded a video directly on your website and it isn’t hosted anywhere else, a video sitemap will include the video’s title and description, the URL of the page on your website where the video plays, the URL where the video thumbnail image is stored, and the URL where the raw video ﬁle is stored. If you can’t do it yourself, your webmaster should be able to take care of this for you. Sitemaps are a technical entity in and of themselves but if you want to learn more about video sitemaps you can using Google Webmaster Tools.
These 5 tips are the basic building blocks of getting your video found online. There’s probably a million more that could be included like distribution, social sharing, etc. but these are the basics to getting found by search engines. The whole idea is you want to make your video as easy as possible for the correct viewers searching for your content to find you.
Animation for Mojo Motors to show how you can save a bunch money, avoid lengthy dealer negotiations, all the while staying anonymous when buying your next used car online. Working with their existing brand standards we created an animation to highlight their simple system allowing buyers to post anonymous requests and dealers respond with competitive offers.