A video project can feel like an overwhelming pursuit. It’s an endeavor that requires patience and a variety of talents. The key struggle with producing video for business is the balance between artistry, brand identity and reaching the target audience effectively.
With that in mind, here are some important lessons I’ve learned from the last 5 years of operating a motion graphics studio.
1.) The audience has a personality.
People that are attracted to a product likely have other things in common. They may speak some type of jargon, be in tune with specific technologies and/or be so busy that their attention span is shorter than average. The more you’re able to understand about these people, the better you can strategize your content to meet them where they are. The worst case scenario when investing in a video, is that no one ends up watching it. Don’t let that happen. Learn more about what your potential customers are thinking and strategize a video that will specifically be engaging to them, not everyone else.
2.) Storyboarding is critical.
Animating a one minute video typically takes a minimum of five days, even by an experienced professional, and trust me, you don’t want to waste their time. It’s not only expensive to make structural changes to existing animations, it can be demoralizing; draining an artist’s creative energy that could’ve been applied to other aspects of the video. This is what makes brainstorming visual ideas an imperative part of the process: to ensure you get it done right the first time. By joining rough imagery with your messaging before production begins, you’re able to decipher what type of story can be told within the time allotted. It’ll save you time, and money, while simultaneously enhancing the creativity of everyone involved.
3.) Visual interest demands attention.
The main benefit of using video as a marketing tool, is that it’s engaging. You don’t have to be a creative director to see that the way things move directly impact your level of entertainment and the likelihood of finishing a video. In regards to animation, for example, integrating elements of the 10 principles of motion design (below) will dramatically increase visual interest. It’s best to avoid static images and predictable transitions, because a stimulated audience is more likely to hear your message than a bored one.
Animated GIF by @jrcanest.
4.) Sound is half the experience.
What people hear is critical to what they’ll feel when watching your video. Tones in the voice over and music will have a dramatic effect on the overall perception of the message: is it exciting, frustrating… inspirational? This is where knowing your audience comes in handy. They have a unique worldview, and a presentation that empowers those beliefs through feeling is what leads to an effective sales tool. Sound design deserves more attention than you may think. Go out of your way to ensure it’s impactful.
5.) Effective communication is worth more than artistic perfection.
How your video is digested by it’s audience is greater than it’s artistic beauty; a concept that many freelancers will have trouble recognizing. As a collective of designers and animators ourselves, Modio has learned this lesson through years of back and forth with the clients we’ve worked with. Ultimately, it’s important to realize that what’s best for selling a product, may not be what we think is best for our demo reel, and that’s okay.
What makes a great video to you?
Really insightful. Interesting how simple these principals are — but when used together how effective and professional it makes the final product / message.