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3 Ways Your Small Business can Benefit from an Animated Explainer Video

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An animated explainer video is getting popular and more common to find on the Internet. Considering the fact that it does not require a lot of money to make and the impressions it leaves to viewers, many (online) entrepreneurs think that it is a great way to promote their products or services.

There are several ways in which company owners can gain a lot of benefits from an animated explainer video. They are as follows:

1. By presenting entertaining or memorable characters and events in the explainer videos, viewers can relate their own experiences with the content of the video. In that way, future customers can truly visualize how helpful the products or services are. Besides, such familiar characters and events may help you create long lasting advertisements which people may find difficult to get out of their heads.

Furthermore, the steps to create eloquent content merely consist of the following main points: a problem people normally need to cope with, introduction of the useful product or service, how the product or service help them solve the problem, and options on what to do in order to get the “help”.

2. By briefly promoting and explaining your business through moving pictures, an explainer video has made it possible to market a product or service without your sounding like a sales executive and without putting your future customers in a situation where they have to listen to you or read a pretty long text advertising your venture. In short, explaining and selling products or services through this kind of videos makes people feel amused and probably touched instead of feeling bored and being told what to do.

3. No matter what the purpose of making this kind of videos is, you can always rely on its popularity, especially when it is put on a social media or popular blogs. Whether you want to tell people to attend the launching party of your product or to increase the traffic to your website, an animated explainer video may just be the exact thing you need to catch people’s attention.

After all, the magic of this successful marketing strategy lies in its touching content and simplicity.

3 Great Animated Explainer Video Examples and Why

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Among lots and lots explainer videos on the Internet, there are these three videos which can be used as the examples of great animated videos.

How can the following videos be considered great? The answer is due to the fact that:

– the content of the videos relates to people’s general experiences

– they illustrate problems and give solutions

– they offer simple steps that need to be taken by people interested in their products/services.

First, there is this explainer video from inbenta.com.

This video presents a character who works in a company and seems to be struggling with his job duties as a marketing manager. It can be understood that as the one in charge of marketing, there are lots of things he needs to do, such as maintaining the traffic of the company website, making sure that questions asked by customers visiting the website are answered, and also promoting the company through social media. While thinking about the solution for his problems, he finds out that there is inbenta.com, a website that can assist him maximize the website search to respond to his customers’ inquiries, create an effective SEO strategy that enables future customers to find the company website more easily, and answer questions via e-mails, Twitter and Facebook. At the end of the video, viewers are encouraged to sign up to get that magic help in case they experience such similar problems.

The second great video is the one promoting dropbox, a program which enables people to back up, access and share their data anywhere.

This video uses a simple, daily life story as an analogy to effectively describe the problem and explain how dropbox works as well as the benefits people can get by simply downloading and using the program.

In the third place is the video by ZenCash.

ZenCash Explainer Video from Demo Duck on Vimeo.

Although there are only lines of sentences and phrases, and simple drawing in the video, it efficiently depicts a problem that companies, especially the small ones, generally experience when dealing with customers’ late payment. And that is why ZenCash has come to the rescue by providing services to remind your companies’ customers about their invoices. Should a viewer be interested in that kind of services, s/he needs only to join ZenCash.

3 Best Explainer Video Software

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When there is a will, there is a way. When you have such a strong will to produce an explainer video for your business, then there are myriad explainer video softwares available on the Internet, ready to give you a way to help you make your dream explainer video. However, among those numerous options, there are indeed three different softwares which can be considered the best.

Here they are.

1. Pow Toon

This software will be suitable for beginners with basic computer skills. That is due to the fact that it is simple to use (in fact, this software is very similar to PowerPoint) and it offers series of tutorial videos.

The budget for using this software can also be adjusted. It is your call whether to become a regular member or a premium one. Being a premium means more features, music and images as well as higher quality videos, for which you only need to spend around $20.

2. GoAnimate

This software combines simple screenshot and sophisticated editing options, which allows you to use pictures from various sources and edit them in any way possible. If you do not feel like looking for pictures or creating ones, there are actually a lot of characters and properties to choose from. In short, GoAnimate makes this video creation process easier and enables you to create a video that goes with your creative flair.

On the other hand, it may require you to be patient to listen to a tutorial recording and spend quite a lot of time to master the software.

3. Adobe After Effects

If you are a computer savvy and have passion and enough time to learn something new, this software might be the best for you. Despite its complexity, this software offers a huge number of features, options and effects. A novice with no video making experience probably needs a number of tutorials before finding out the way to make the best of this software.

However, once you master the software, you can make a sophisticated explainer video, which is, in fact, worth the learning process.

So, which one are you going to pick?

What makes a good animated explainer video?

Animated Video, Explainer Video

An explainer video is undoubtedly a new effective marketing strategy to promote your company’s products or services. If you are thinking of creating one, the animated version may be your best bet, especially when you are trying to sell non-physical objects or services. Also, you may want to read the following paragraphs as they present all important details you might need to consider before you start making the video.

First of all, you need to decide the target of your audience. Once you have set the group, you need to know their age, income, location and gender in order to figure out what kinds of advertisements that suit them best.

Secondly, it is the script that needs focusing on. No matter who the audience is, the bottom line for a good script is that it has to be made based on what people want or need. To be able to explain your company and its products in a way that people desire and can understand, you can follow this simple guideline:
1. you describe the problem that people may be having
2. you propose the idea that the product or service you are marketing is the solution; at this stage, your product or service is introduced and the important details of either the product or service are presented.
3. finally, you provide a way for your viewers to get such a helpful product or service.
Remember, though, that an explainer video has to be concise. To be more specific, there should be only 150 words in one minute. More than that number of words means that your audience will not have enough time to absorb the message you are trying to convey.
If you find it difficult to promote your product briefly, it will be a good idea to hire a professional outside the company to help you define what is really important to be put in the video.

Thirdly, other than the words written and spoken throughout the video, another most significant factor is the content of the video. So as to grasp the audience’s attention and get them to remember your products or services for a relatively long time, the content must be something that your viewers can relate to. You can do this through songs, entertaining or memorable characters and events. Do not forget to make sure that both the visuals and audio of the video content are delivered in high quality. However, should you find producing such a video a challenging job, you can try using an animated explainer video software available on the Internet.

Last but not least, some choices of what people can do to buy your product or service should be provided. Whether it is through clicking on a subscribe button or signing up for free trial, the point of this last stage is to turn the video viewers into your customers.

The benefits of Animated Explainer Videos

Animated Video, Explainer Video, Video Marketing

What is an animated explainer video?
Explainer videos are short videos used to introduce a new idea and business concepts and provide answers to some of the most common questions about them. It can feature a highly diverse mix of creative elements, including typography, images, illustrations, voices or animations. These videos often introduce a product before it’s even ready to be released, being used as a way of generating interest and a customer base before it hits the market. They are intended to be concise and clear introductions to an idea, providing vital information for those it targets.

What are the benefits of animated explainer videos?
These video formats have a decided advantage over the textual explanations that have been so common up to this point. These videos function on the concept that a picture can convey far more information than words in a similar time frame. Research shows that the average internet viewers attention has to be captured in the first 8 seconds, or you’ve likely lost them. Explainer videos are designed to capture their interest and provide vital information in the shortest time frame possible.
Further, explainer videos are often used to transmit information about your video in other media, and can transmit that information in three vital ways. Videos are often more enticing to the viewer, and so will get the attention of your potential customer much faster than a wall of text. Second, there is very little opportunity for those showing your video to provide their own interpretation, making sure that the message you want to transmit is the one that gets portrayed. Third, by making it easy for reporters to talk about your company, it will increase the likelihood that they will use your video and get your information out there.

Why are animated explainer videos so important?
There are a lot of benefits to explainer videos that have been held up by the tracking data used to explain the efficacy of varying techniques. The most prominent and clear indicator is that they increase conversion rates by anywhere from 14 to 51%. Companies that have used this form of information exchange have seen increases on average of 19%, and they are particularly good at capturing the attention of smartphone users, who have been shown to research a product before doing so. Given that text is often hard to read on the smaller screens of todays devices, video bypasses this by providing them with a visually attractive presentation that grabs their ears and their eyes.
It doesn’t matter what form of business you run, companies such as Virgin America have utilized explainer videos to present such things as safety precautions used on their flights. Red Cross has used this to leverage their donation campaigns, emphasizing the importance of providing funding to the Red Cross over such things as Christmas gifts that are only a fleeting improvement.

Explainer videos take place of all the most recent innovations in marketing technology to grab hold of the interest of users and get your companies information out there. The days of text based provided information are on their way out, users want a way to see what and who it is they are purchasing from, rather than relying on the cold wall of text to drive their purchases. When you want to get noticed, and you want to stay on the bleeding edge of marketing, you want to take the time to create an effective explainer video and let the world see and hear what you have to offer!

Six Ways to Spy on Your Competitors

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Hi all,

I hope each of you has had a wonderful holiday season and are ready to rip into 2014 with vigor and enthusiasm. I know we are!

So today, I wanted to talk a little about “spying.” The word itself has negative connotations but really it’s a tool every business should be using to further improve all of our understanding, our ventures and our bottom line.

OK, so the first question is: “Why would I want to spy on a competitor’s web site, anyway?” Glad you asked.

To put it simply, to improve your market share. Your competition most likely won’t tell you how they are pulling in customers using well-conceived and well measured internet marketing, email marketing, and conventional marketing strategies.

There are dozens of reasons and rewards for effective, intelligent market research. You could spend lots of money, and lots of time trying to gather relevant information about the websites your competitors are using to generate their revenue, but luckily there are a few free or low-cost options online for helping you sort through their methods.

First you’ll want to identify truly successful competitors. You’ll want to scout out businesses similar to yours that appear to be successful, then determine whether they really are. Look on Reference USA or Manta.com to find out how many employees and how much gross revenue is coming in. Business consultants will tell you that a healthy ‘yardstick’ ratio is roughly $100,000 gross revenue per employee. Much more revenue per employee is much better.

How to Learn From the Web Sites of Your Competitors

When you have clarified what you want, and identified successful competitors doing something at least sort of like what you want to do, it’s time to do research on (spy on) what is working for them.

How do you know what other web sites are doing to reach qualified prospects?

Here are some helpful sites, and a short description of some of the things you can learn from them about the web sites against which you are competing for the attention of your prospects:

  • Alexa.com: Ranks traffic as compared to other sites, source of traffic, and why they visited the web site. Free introductory membership, then cost of $9.99 to $149.99 per month.

Owned by Amazon.com Alexa started in 1996 and tracks over 30 million web sites.

  • Quantcast.com: Launched in 2006 and based in San Francisco, Quantcast is an advertising company that claims to offer the most in depth measure of demographic, lifestyle, and geographic information to Internet audiences in the world, tracking over 100 million sites. Real-time advertising campaigns are supplied to a variety of clients, publishers, and advertising agencies.
  • Opensiteexplorer.com: Started in Seattle by a mother and son team in 2004, this site tracks SEO strategies and the effectiveness of the efforts to deliver excellent ‘domain authority’ results, meaning the entire site, and not just the main page gets good search results. This is extremely important for good ‘organic’ site rankings. The first 30 days are available as a free trial; then monthly membership costs range from $99 to $599.
  • Google Alerts: You can track any website, article, blog, video and more with this free service, and may view search results as you type them into the site, and can also determine how often Google Alerts will report to your Email account when new information related to your query appears. You can even set up alerts to be notified when someone is talking about you online. Get notifications of coupon codes, job postings, current events, and more. Cost: free
  • SocialMention.com: Monitors over 80 social media sites, and provides such insights as:
    • strength: the likelihood that the brand or person etc. is being discussed online
    • sentiment: the percentage of social media ‘mentions’ that are positive vs. negative or neutral
    • passion: measure of how likely people who ‘mention’ your brand, person etc. will do so multiple times or make repeated mention
    • reach: measures the number of different and distinct people mentioning your brand, etc. as a percentage of total mentions
    • TweetReach.com: Seven monthly plans range from free to $2,500. This tool can track the entire ‘Twitterverse’ to reveal how far tweets may reach, how many of your clients or brands are active, and what is being said.

By now, you know that the amount of information available to help shape your business marketing strategies is significant. There is much, much more. You are encouraged to consider your goals first, and then choose the information resources that are likely to be most relevant to reaching and surpassing the business objectives that will meet and exceed your business – and life goals.

Feel free to share some of your methods below.

Thanks all and here’s to a peaceful and prosperous 2014!

April and the PA Team

How Can I Get More From The ‘Call to Action’ Buttons On My Site?

Conversion Tips, How To Get More Customers, How To Get More Traffic, Marketing Tagged , , ,

Hey Guys I thought for today’s post I would talk about how you can get more out of the ‘call to action’ buttons on your site. A very niche topic I know.

So if you have a website, you most probably have a ‘call to action’ button somewhere. Some examples include buttons that have the words ‘Submit’ or ‘More Information’ on them.

A lot of the articles I read always talk about what color button you should have on your site (i.e. should it be red, or green or even orange).

But I am yet to read anything about what the button should actually say, which is much more powerful in increasing conversions when compared to finding the best color.

Anyway I digress. So you’ll find a lot of call to action buttons out there will say things like ‘submit’ or ‘see our prices’, but in my experience this is the worst thing you can write on your button when creating the text for your button.

It’s a mistake as these words invoke a value-taking action and not value-giving action.

To get the most out of your buttons, you want each button (where you’re asking the user to take an action) to be value-giving. For example having a button say something like ‘Get Your Free Consultation’ is infinitely more powerful as it’s promising to give something to the user.

The result of implementing just this minor change can be huge as there is a shift in the onus of who has to take the action and make the effort and everyone would rather receive something rather than be asked to do something.

A great example of a website that has a really great call to action button is called yesware.com. The call to action is great and the button is clear, orange, and above the fold.

So have a look over your site and just see what your call to action button is asking the visitor to do, and if you are asking them to take an action as opposed to giving him value, make the change and enjoy the increase in your conversion rate.

What type of companies can benefit from animations?

Animated Video, How To Get More Customers, How To Get More Traffic, Marketing, Sales Video Tagged , , ,

 PA had a potential client call our company this week and we had to turn the project away as his company just wasn’t ready.

So straight off the bat – getting a video to put on your website isn’t for everyone.

If you are not driving traffic to your site or at least have a strategy for getting people to your site, an animation is just not for you.

In broad terms, to have a successful website, you need to first follow the formula of website success which is traffic x conversion = website glory.

Just focusing on getting traffic, or just focusing on conversion will lead you to get ok results, but you will never blow away your competition. You need to focus on both elements to really get to a high level.

So who exactly can a video help out?

Video can really make a difference when you are already driving traffic (or plan on driving traffic) to your site.

Once you are driving traffic, video then becomes a really powerful a tool and bit of a no brainer as video has shown time and time again that it can boost conversion rates, sometimes by number up to 197%.

So the impact can be huge and the ROI is awesome.

But if you are still in start-up mode or only getting 10 clicks a day, first figure out the best way to get traffic, then worry about what you will do with the traffic once you get it.

How To Write An Effective LinkedIn Ad Title

How To Get More Customers, Marketing Tagged , , ,

Hey Everyone,

I hope everyone has had a good week and business is going well.

Last week I did a post about how you can use LinkedIn Ads effectively if you are in the B2B game.

After the post went up I got a few emails from people asking me about what they should write in the ad itself in order to get the most bang for their buck.

So I thought this week I would share my thoughts on how you can script your LinkedIn ad copy.

With regards to writing your LinkedIn ad copy the most critical thing you want to keep in mind is the actual group you are targeting.

For example, let’s say your business sells a new content management system to website owners.

The first step you want to do is finding groups in LinkedIn that are full of people that own websites. A simple search in the groups tab with the keywords ‘website owner’ will reveal literally dozens of different groups you could target.

The next step is to then select the group that has the most members. You want to do this as this will help you get the most impressions and give you the best possible chance to get more clicks.

So onto how you should draft your ad copy.

When drafting your ad copy, you always want your ad to speak to the typical person in the group.

For example, a great headline you could use when targeting a group full of website owners would be ‘Are You A Website Owner?”.

Simple I know, yet people hardly ever do this.

A title like this works for 3 reasons.

The first reason is the title of the ad is in the form of a question. When a title is in the form of a question, the ad automatically becomes more engaging because you trying to enter into a dialogue with your prospect as opposed to just telling them something.

The second reason is that the title is relevant and targeted. A person that is a member of  a group that is run specifically for website owners would see the title of this ad and feel as though the ad is speaking directly to them.

The last reason the title of an ad like this is effective is that each word in the ad title is capitalized. This has the effect of allowing the words in the title to stand out more and opposed to just looking like a single block of text, which is what happens when everything is in lower caps or in even caps.

So guys I hope this helps answer some of your questions and I hope everyone has a great week.

Are LinkedIn Ads A Gold Mine?

How To Get More Customers, Marketing Tagged , , , ,

Hi Guys,

I thought today I would write a post about Linkedin Ads and how you can use them to really get your business some awesome, qualified leads.

At the outset, I just want to be clear that Linkedin Ads are not for everyone.

If your business is B2C, then this post isn’t for you (I will do better next week ☺), but if you are in the B2B space – listen up.

I think Linkedin Advertising is the most underutilized, yet most profitable B2B advertising platform there is.

Why?

I thought about this for awhile and the only answer I could come up with is that I think that the majority of people just don’t know how to effectively use it… yet.

I think this ignorance will change over the next 3 years, but at the moment, it’s really great as it’s not insanely competitive (unlike adwords, SEO or facebook)

For Premium Animations we find that our ROI from Linkedin is about 10x that from google adwords or SEO and it boggles my mind that more B2B companies are not yet on the band wagon.

Anyway , I digress.

So onto some practical tips.

How can you use Linkedin Ads to start getting some awesome qualified leads for your business?

The key to being really successful with Linkedin Ads is leveraging these Linkedin Groups.

What do I mean by this?

It’s simple. When setting up your ad campaign, one of the options you have is the choice of selecting the different types of groups that can see your ad.

For example, lets say you want to advertise to real estate agents. When setting up your ad, you simply search for a group that is run by and has members that are real estate agents (there about one million of them) and add them as a target market.

It’s really easy and straight forward, yet many people overlook the power of leveraging these groups when setting up their campaign.

Another great way to get more from your ad is by having a picture of a person in the ad. Preferably a female that is smiling (as I have found this to get the highest click through rate (CTR).

If you simply add a picture of a graph or your company’s logo, you’re throwing money down the drain as it just doesn’t grab your attention.

At PA, we have gone as far as testing Blondes to Brunettes (with each ad having the exact same ad copy). Blondes have about a 10% higher CTR. ☺.

So guys if you have a B2B company, test out linkedin ads by adding specific groups that reflect your target market and then add a nice picture in the ad of a woman smiling and you will do really well.

Like what you see? Let’s get started »