Monthly Archives: December 2015

Top 10 Animated Marketing Videos of 2015

Have you noticed that animated brand videos have gotten good? Like, really good?

Even a quick glance through our portfolio will give you a good idea of just how high the bar has been set. And with major brands like Tyson, GE, and McDonald’s tapping into animated marketing videos… it makes sense that the world’s best animated video production and explainer video companies have only gotten better.

Of course, the most important thing about video marketing is whether or not it helps you demolish your marketing objectives. But quality is an incredibly important, intangible component of your video’s effectiveness. If your animated marketing videos look like your 3-year old made it – people aren’t going to take you seriously.

So in honor of incredible videos, we wanted to share some of our favorites from this year.

Here are 10 animated marketing videos that crushed it in 2015.

10. YouCaring

One of video’s greatest advantages is its ability to reach viewers on a deep, emotional level – and YouCaring does that incredibly well.

9. Autosoft Flex Connect

Classic explainer video excellence. What sets this one apart is the funky soundtrack and the expressive characters.

8. EazyCoin

This marketing video hits you with the hard facts up front, and leaves you wondering how much longer you’ll be using actual coins to pay for a bottle of Coke. The video has a B2B focus but doesn’t settle bland or boring.

7. What is Dropbox

Dropbox has been lord of the explainer video game since Common Craft made the landmark “What is Dropbox?”  This marketing video is a reboot of that original message, and it feels as fresh and engaging as ever.

6. Dupont Food

This is what design is all about! This video seems so simple – bold lines, simple white and grey color palette with splashes of red – but that’s what makes this video a stellar work of art. When an animator can make his work seem effortless- you know he’s a master of the craft.

5. Tyson Hunger Relief

Maybe it seems like cheating to include one of our own animated marketing videos in this list – but we seriously love this video! How do you tell the story of a company’s huge donation milestone without it feeling bragg-y? You make it funny, quirky, and heartfelt.

4. Big Presence

We love the folks over at VeracityColab for the way they push boundaries every. Damn. Day. They pioneered the “founder’s story” video by having Big Presence’s CEO provide the voiceover for this video. Truly astounding work.

3. Twitter: Flight School

Does this video really need my commentary? Everything about it says “WOW.”

2. Men’s Health: How a Bean Becomes a Fart

You know you love this video. The monochrome palette… the use of depth and angle… the way they take a concept like flatulence and turn it into a highly educational and engaging topic.

1. Onward Internet

“Onward Internet” was far and away our favorite marketing video this year. You’ve never seen anything like it. Until you watch a second time… and a third… and – well, you know how it goes.

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4 Elements of a Rock-Solid Video Marketing Strategy

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You could be a video marketing superhero. Picture it: With an arsenal of animated explainer videos, live-action demos, and killer vlog posts at your disposal, you offer your audience rich visual content that educates, entertains, and keeps them coming back for more.

Related: 27 Ways to Use Video Marketing You Haven’t Thought Of Yet

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

But odds are, you’re not a video marketing superhero. Maybe you’re more like a sidekick – or worse, an innocent bystander. Sure, you’ve got that slick explainer video on your landing page… maybe you even got a couple of clients to film testimonials.

But that’s it.

Don’t get me wrong – even one solid landing-page video leaves you better off than no video at all. But if you know how important video is for marketers

If you know everyone from the average consumer to a senior executive is more like to buy after watching video…

And if you know that you can send your conversion rates, SEO juice, and sales into the stratosphere by implementing video…

Then why would you stop with just one?

Maybe it’s dawning on you: You need more video. But you’re not sure where to start. You need a video marketing strategy. You wouldn’t move forward with your other marketing efforts without a game-plan, would you? Every content marketer worth their salt has a blog calendar. The same’s true for video. Before you come out guns blazing and cameras rolling, you need a strategy – a clear set of directions about where you’re going, how to get there, and why you’re going.

Ready to get started? Not. so. fast. There are 4 key elements of a strong video marketing strategy.

1. Purpose

Chris Savage from Wistia describes mission-based marketing as “creating content that furthers your mission, instead of making content that sells your product.” Content marketing has always been so much more than getting the sale; it’s about creating material that actually matters to your customers – and drives your mission forward.

Related: 3 Ways to Make a Video Your Customers Will Actually Care About

The first step to creating your video marketing strategy is to define your mission. Why does your brand exist? How are you making your customers’ lives better? How are you giving them the tools and the power to interact with your product in more meaningful ways?

Wistia’s mission is “to empower everybody to get more out of video.” Explainify’s is to help brands achieve their marketing objectives through video. That mission doesn’t restrict us – it frees us to write about a whole host of things – content marketing, scripting, video hosting, brand storytelling… But all of this content is born straight out of our mission. And our mission is the end-goal we have in mind when we create content.

CaseComplete is just one of many clients we've helped succeed! See how we helped them increase lead conversions by over 20%!

Without a clear sense of mission, content is meaningless. Your mission functions as the deep roots of your marketing strategy – the individual pieces of content are just the leaves and branches that grow out of a strong mission. Without the roots, your content will be disjointed and weak. But a clear-cut mission gives you a goal, and helps you determine what content is right for your audience.

2.  Plan

While your mission provides the roots of your video content, your plan is the framework that helps you achieve your marketing objectives. We’re not just talking about a content calendar – even though that’s important. To establish a real, actionable plan for your content, you need to ask yourself a few questions:

What kind of visual content do I need?

First, you have to figure out what kind of videos you actually need. Not every blog post should have a video, and some of your testimonials might be best as written blurbs. You need to think critically about what you’re going to produce based on what you’re missing. Don’t have a top-of-funnel explainer video on your home page? You might need one. Do you get a lot of consistent questions from customers about how to use your software? Look into making a screencast tutorial. Or maybe it’s time to create entertaining, shareable content that your loyal customers can pass along to others? Whatever you choose, it should be tightly aligned with your broader marketing objectives.

What do my customers want?

You must produce video content that aligns with your objectives – but you also need to create content that your audience actually wants to consume. What questions do they ask most frequently? What misconceptions do they have about what you do? What information can you give them to make the most of your service? You can make very specific – and very helpful – videos that answer these questions.

How will I make it happen?

After you’ve decided what kind of video content you need to make, you need to figure out how to actually make it happen. If you’re in need of a professionally produced explainer video or brand positioning piece, you’re probably better off hiring a production company to do it right. But if your biggest need is to create customer testimonials or vlog post, you could always invest in the lighting and equipment necessary to film in-house. The best part? Once you have that equipment, you can keep making your own videos for a long time to come. Plus, you can maximize time by filming a ton of content at one, then rolling it out over the coming weeks and months.

When?

Lastly, you’ve got to know when to share those glorious videos – and where. Just like you would for your blog or social media, you need to incorporate video into your content calendar. Don’t just schedule when the video will be published; be realistic about video production: How long will it take to film? To edit? Especially for in-house content, you’ll need to set reasonable expectations for the production cycle. If you’re partnering with a production company, though, you’re essentially bound to their schedule.

Adding video to your calendar is crucial. It keeps you accountable and moving forward.

3. Execution

If you’ve done the leg work to set a strong mission and clear plan for your video marketing, this should be the easy part. Now, you just get it done. Reach out to a production company. Invest in a high-quality camera. Write a killer script. Make some damn videos. And promote them like crazy.

Related: What to Look For in an Animated Video Marketing Producer

All you have to do is stay on track. Stick to your schedule! It’s easy to get distracted by other priorities, but the last piece of your video strategy is…

4. Consistency

Maybe it’s not possible for you to crank out a video every week. That’s okay! For all of you who don’t have the capability to produce videos on such a regular, there’s good news. In a fantastic talk on video marketing strategy (I refer to it all the time), Phil Nottingham of Distilled argued that consistent quality will always win out over consistent quantity. Rather than churning out tons of mediocre content, you should focus on giving your audience truly valuable material. Like I said at the beginning, a little bit of video is better than none. And a little bit of good video is better than mountains of low-quality junk.

It goes back to your mission. Don’t stress over whether you’re producing enough content; focus on making video that aligns with your marketing objectives – and empowers your audience.

Now, what are you waiting for? Start making videos that matter!

Ready for Great Video Marketing? Click Here.

4 Ways Video Marketing Helps Dominate Your Objectives

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For a long time, animated video production companies have talked about video marketing like it’s the cure for every marketing woe. As if getting an explainer video for your brand will somehow magically guarantee you a sea of qualified prospects that turn into a mountain of sales.

I’m here to tell you – that’s just not true.

Video marketing isn’t a silver bullet – it’s not going to instantly transform your entire business.

But it is a useful tool to help you amplify the results of your marketing efforts.

Related: 3 Reasons Your Customers Demand Video Marketing

That’s why you need a video strategy that’s tailored to your unique marketing objectives – remember, it’s not a one-size-fits all solution. One stand-alone explainer video on your homepage may not do the trick. In fact, that might not even be the video you need! Brands have to think critically about how video will propel their specific marketing strategies.

Time for some examples. In this post, I’ll walk you through four scenarios where video could help increase the results of the marketing tactics you’re already using – and move your potential customers further down the path to purchase.

1. Use marketing videos on your homepage when you have a high bounce rate.

Did you know that, on average, bounce rate is 34% lower on pages with video? Take ExactTarget, for example. When they added video and a branded video portal to their site, their bounce rate went way down – and time on site? Increased 100%.

Or how about when Limelight Networks implemented videos as part of their marketing strategy? Their bounce rates evaporated, and their unique visitor counted doubled almost immediately.

Limelight

Think about what this means for you. If your potential customers are staying on your site longer – and moving beyond your homepage – they have more time to learn about what you do, read your site copy, and think seriously about moving forward with you. They’re more likely to download your whitepaper, sign up for your email list, or take that first step. Whatever that looks like.

If your homepage isn’t holding your audience, then short, engaging, top-of-funnel marketing videos just might do the trick.

2.  Use an explainer video when your value proposition needs clarity.

This is a little bit trickier than bounce rate. Bounce rate is a measurable, quantitative metric, whereas customer confusion over what you do is less definable. But if your customers are calling you, emailing you, or stopping you on the street to clarify your product or service – and if your sales cycle seems longer than it should be – it’s probably time to consider marketing videos.

Collective Bias explainer video helps social influencer agency shorten sales cycle and closes more deals

I’ve written time and again about why you should already have a top-of-funnel explainer video. Short homepage videos can really shorten your sales cycle by educating your audience quickly and clearly. Research backs this up, too: understanding of your service or product is boosted by 74% thanks to the dual coding that video offers.

Related: Five Benefits of Telling Your Story with Explainer Videos

This isn’t just a chance to tell your audience what you do; it’s an opportunity to tell them why. Compelling video gives your viewers a chance to shift their perspective and buy in to your brand.

3.  Use video marketing when there’s trouble further down the funnel.

What if you’ve already got a landing page that drives conversions like crazy, and potential customers don’t really have any issues grasping your UVP? Things are good, right?

But maybe you’re having trouble further down the funnel. Maybe you’re seeing a lot of qualified leads come your way, but they seem to fizzle out – or even worse, they end up choosing one of your competitors instead! What do you do then?

Related: You’re Going to Need a Bigger Funnel: A Different Way to Think About Lead-Gen

Try targeting your mid-funnel with  informative video content that will help your potential buyers make a better purchase decision. This is when they’re considering the best course of action, so it’s critical for you to give them really, really helpful content – things like client testimonials, case studies, company culture pieces, and product demos.

Take your cue from Zappos. They wrote the book on product demo videos. And they saw a 30% sales impact when they started featuring them on their product pages! Naturally, they now make a demo video for almost every shoe they sell.

Converse

If as potential customer sees one of these product videos, that means he or she is already made their way to a specific product page. They already know Zappos sells shoes, so they don’t need to watch an explainer video; what they need is video content that helps educate them on the merits of Converse vs. Vans. And, as the numbers prove, this kind of video content makes Zappos’ audience much more like to add a pair of kicks to their shopping cart.

This makes sense, doesn’t it? When you give your audience the information they want, they’re more confident that they’re making the right decision.

4.  Make marketing videos to address FAQs.

You’ve got video marketing collateral that drives awareness, increases conversions, and ultimately makes your audience feel great about choosing you when it’s time to make a buying decision. Life is good!

But don’t neglect your customers! They need solid video content too. What if they have questions about how to maximize your product? Or what if your software isn’t 100% intuitive? Now it’s time to make FAQs, video tutorials, and more detailed product demos.

For example, IKEA released a series of instructional videos on YouTube, explaining how to build some of their most popular furniture, saving consumers time and frustration by providing them with valuable videos.

YouTube

When you create FAQs and tutorials like these, you’re able to answer the most common questions your customers will be asking – quickly and easily, with answer that’s ready-made to share. These videos don’t have to be Hollywood productions, either. If you’re a software company, even a simple screencast tutorial will do just fine.

If you take one thing away from this post, let it be this: video’s got to be a part of your marketing strategy throughout the buyer’s journey. Whatever your objectives, video marketing can lead to better results – and give your audience a greater degree of clarity and engagement as they interact with your brand.

Where to start isn’t always clear – but if you think of video as integral to your marketing initiatives from the get-go, you can build a killer video strategy that fits your specific business needs.

You just have to start somewhere.

Explainify Case Study - Video Marketing