Explainer videos are a common educational tool and most of us have probably watched them at some point. An explainer video (or edumercial) is simply an animated video that uses a voiceover to explain a topic, while animations and diagrams help to support the explanation and make it clearer. They are often used by businesses to explain the basics of a product or service, and they are also perfect for use in an educational setting.
Explainer videos are so effective for learning because they make it a lot easier for people to grasp complicated subjects. People learn in different ways and some people prefer a visual element to help them wrap their head around an idea, while others prefer to have the idea explained to them in clear language. An explainer video does both, so the majority of people find it to be an effective way of learning.
Research has shown that visual elements have been shown to improve the retention of information. Information learned from visual content also tends to stick in the long term memory better, which is very important. Our capacity for storing short term memory is very limited compared with our capacity to store long term memories. When learning something new, it is important that we store it in our long term memory or we will not retain the information. Explainer videos are an effective way to ensure that information is stored in the long term memory, rather than the short term memory.
Using an explainer video also helps to improve engagement because people tend to respond better to visual stimuli. If you are trying to explain a certain topic and you present people with a large wall of text, they are likely to switch off or skim through the text without really taking it in. But when you introduce a visual element, the content immediately becomes more engaging, so focus levels are increased and people pay closer attention, so they learn more and retain more of that information. This increased focus and information retention is a result of the emotional reaction that visual stimulus causes. Visual memory is processed in the same area of the brain as our emotions, so when you use images and videos, they create an emotional reaction and activate the area of the brain that stores that information at the same time.
How To Create Your Own Explainer Video
Now that we have seen the amazing benefits of using an explainer video, you may be wondering how to create your own. The process is relatively simple once you know what you are doing and you have the right tools. Read on to find out about the six steps for creating your own explainer videos.
Write the Script
The first step in any explainer video is always the script. The script is the foundation that you will use to build the rest of the video, so it’s vital that you get it right. Your explainer video should be to the point, covering all of the basic information in a way that is easy to digest. The biggest mistake that people make is getting too technical with the script and overloading the viewer with too many complex terms that they don’t understand.
Always keep the audience in mind and remember that the script should be written for somebody that has no prior knowledge of the topic. This can be tough if it is a subject that you are an expert in because you assume a base level of knowledge that the audience doesn’t have. In some cases, it may be better to have an outsider write the script because they will understand how to present the information in a way that everybody can understand. Clarity and professionalism are important when writing the script, but you should also have a bit of fun with it.
Adding a bit of humor and lightheartedness is a great way to make the video more engaging and make it stand out. Also, consider the story that you are telling in writing the script. People remember stories much more than facts.
Create or Curate Imagery
Once you have your script and you are happy with it, you need to find the animation and images to make up the explainer video. You can either create your own animations from scratch, curate diagrams and animations from elsewhere, or use a combination of both. When creating or curating imagery for an explainer video, the golden rule is to always keep it simple. Your animation should support the voiceover and help the viewer to understand, but if it is too complicated and you fill the explainer video with too many complex images, it distracts the viewer and makes it harder for them to follow the voiceover.
Start by going through your script and drawing a basic flowchart up on a whiteboard. This will help you to break down the script and decide which key points need to be supported and explained using imagery. Once you have a clear plan, you can start finding images or creating your own.
Simple graphs or infographics are a great way to visualize the information that you are giving and make it clear for the viewer, but you should avoid giving lots of extra information that is not covered in the voiceover because they will struggle to absorb different information from both sources at once. There are plenty of places to find good quality infographics online, but you can easily make your own.
Record Your Voiceover
Now that you have your script and the images to go alongside it, you need to record the voiceover for your explainer video. Professionalism is key here and if the sound quality is poor or the delivery is bad, that will ruin your explainer video and people will soon switch off. If you want to create a professional explainer video, you need to invest in a good quality microphone to record your voiceovers. There is no need to buy the most expensive one that you can find, but you should invest in a good mid-range one.
You should also consider hiring a professional voiceover artist to record the script for you instead of doing it yourself. It is harder than people realize to deliver a professional voiceover and if the script for your explainer video is recorded by an amateur, it really shows. Voices is a great platform where you can find professional voiceover artists to record your video.
Next, you need to animate the video and put your images in place. You should already have decided which images coincide with which parts of the script, so this will be your basic structure. Each major point should have a visual metaphor or simple image to explain it and make it clearer to the audience. During the animation stage, it is a good idea to use color to highlight certain words or pieces of information, so the images move along with the voiceover and the audience knows which information is the most important. Keep your animations simple so they do not distract the audience from important information and they are easily followed. When moving from one animation to the next, it is important that there is a logical flow. If you find that there is not a logical flow, you may need to go back to your script and rearrange things. Each animation should build on the last and if things jump around too much, the audience can quickly become confused. If you find that you have too many animations and images in one section, you should consider breaking it down into a few smaller sections for added clarity.
Synch Audio and Animation
Now that you have a voiceover recorded and your explainer video is animated, you need to bring the two elements together to create the finished product. It is vital that you are accurate when synching the audio and animation or your explainer video will be very confusing. The animation should only remain on screen while the voiceover is discussing that specific piece of information. If one moves faster than the other, the viewer will be forced to absorb visual information while also trying to follow the voiceover, which has moved on to the next piece of information. At this stage, you may need to adjust some of the animations and change the length so they match up with the voiceover. When you are synching the audio and animation, you should consider adding some music. When used in the right way, music can set the pace of your explainer video and make it more engaging. However, it is important that you don’t choose anything that distracts from the voiceover or the animation.
Some Simple Tools for Creating Explainer Videos
If you want to create a professional explainer video, you need to use the right tools. The good news is, there are plenty of simple tools that you can use to create explainer videos, even if you have never made one before.
Toonly is a very popular tool for creating explainer videos because it’s so simple to use. The user interface is very intuitive and you don’t need to know anything about coding or video creation to make a great explainer video. You simply drag and drop elements into the picture and then add animations. There are plenty of pre-built scenes and animations to use as well, so you don’t always have to source your own images.
If you are looking for a free option, Moovly is one the best. It’s a great piece of software that has a lot of features, especially compared with the other free options out there. It has a similar drag and drop interface to Toonly, so anybody can create whiteboard animations and explainer videos without any prior experience. You can easily manipulate and move images and synching up the audio and video is simple as well.
Vyond is a more expensive option but it offers more customization options than Moovly or Toonly. In some cases, you can make do with the simple animations that other platforms offer, but if you are trying to create something specific and you need to customize animations, Vyond may be the better choice. It also has a feature that allows you to upload a script and generate a voiceover, but it does sound a little robotic so you should only use this if there is no way to find a voiceover artist to do it for you.
Animaker is a good middle ground between Vyond and Toonly, especially if you are looking for a slightly cheaper option that still has a lot of the same great features. Although Animaker’s user interface is a little slower and slightly more complex, and a few of the features are missing, it is a lot cheaper. If you have time to play around with it and you want to save some money, Animaker is perfectly good enough to make some great explainer videos with.
Many people consider Videoscribe to be the best whiteboard animation software on the market right now. It’s a great intuitive tool that comes complete with a library of high quality images and sounds that you can use in your videos. The user interface is simple to use and you can create good quality explainer videos in a very short space of time. The price is also very reasonable, considering the features that you get.
If you invest in one of these great whiteboard animation tools and follow the steps outlined in this article, you can start creating your own amazing explainer videos right away.
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