You are likely familiar with the term whiteboard videos when it comes to online marketing. These simple videos are effective, fast to create, and are enjoyed and viewed by your viewers. Sometimes they can go viral and get you a LOT of attention. That is a good and desirable outcome in our business!
This is why I thought a post on animated videos would be helpful for everyone. Just because you have heard of these does not mean that you know how to put them together or understand where they come from. I myself was in the dark when it came to creating them not that long ago and such a post would have been VERY helpful.
This article will help you understand what lies behind these wonderful little short videos, and also will help you start creating these yourself if you have not done so before. It will help you understand how to edit them to make them more effective, and it will provide some free and low cost alternatives for you to get them done quckly.
Before you know it you will be a creative genius!
Let’s get started…
WHAT ARE WHITEBOARD PRESENTATIONS (VIDEOS) AND ARE NOT
What they AREN’T is an interview using a video based medium, as you see above, but certainly whiteboard animated videos can be every bit as effective as interviews, which you see a screenshot of above…
Whiteboard presentations are in actuality animated stories that use cartoons and storyboards. You can use such videos in many parts of your online marketing program.
To name just a few places they are useful…
(1) Offline sales videos to potential clients,
(2) Marketers use them to generate leads from offline businesses to help them get more customers and sales, or
(3) Advertizing and promoting your own or your affiliate products.
They also can be used successfully for other marketing, educational, or tutorial purposes. This is why they are something you need to know about!
Truly they are such a simple way to get more attention for your program, and that is why you really need to consider getting familiar with them, and then start using them.
The two main whiteboard animations you see used are the time-lapse or the stop-motion style. There are many different types of whiteboard animations you look at, but these two are most prevalent. In our marketing world you will see the time-lapse used most often, Webinars can use the live versions and work effectively as well
So let’s take a look at some examples…
Above is an example of a whiteboard animation, courtesy of WikimediaCommons. It was donated to the public domain by its author, Jace Vernon.
Nothing fancy, but effectice, even just as it is…
Other examples can be found right on my site from some posts I have me that included video:
Example one – CLICK HERE
Example two – CLICK HERE
So how did these things come to be used in our world today? Let’s explore this just a bit…
Do you remember your school days? The teacher or professor would get up next to the chalkboard and draw out schematics, layouts, diagrams, or crude pictures using either a black or white chalkboard.
The reason that professor used this tool was that it presented the information visually to his or her students…
It was another way that teacher used to trigger the brains of the kids so they would soak up the information presented. It was much easier to get the students to understand concepts using that chalkboard than if they were simply provided verbally or through textbooks
For example, think about all those math courses you were forced to take. Imagine how much harder it would have been to get through the class and the problems if there was NO chalkboard to diagram and lay it out to visually see what the teacher was talking about.
You can make use of this great tool in the same manner for your online marketing in selling, teaching, advising, reviewing, etc. This visual media will have that same helpful affect on the viewers as you were receiving so long ago in school.
Such animations can make it much easier to explain certain concepts to your viewers than traditional videos.
I want to introduce you today to tools that help you create these highly effective animated videos, providing some tips along the way, so you too can publish your own high quality animated videos, even if you have no experience.
So let’s get going…
USES FOR WHITEBOARD ANIMATED VIDEOS
We mentioned a few general ways to use these type videos above, now let’s drill down a bit to expand on the uses they can have in your online marketing business…
- Advertisements – Whiteboard videos can make great commercials. They can be used for your television commercials, your online PPC commercials, etc. These ARE being used by the big boys, I have seen them used by companies like insurance businesses, courier mail services, even shoe companies.
- Marketing – Whiteboard videos are great for story-telling or explaining something to your prospects. You can also use whiteboard videos for many marketing purposes, such as video sales pages, uploading to YouTube, on your web site, etc.
- Education – As we mentioned above and what you likely already know, whiteboard animations have been used for many years for in the educational setting. This is, after all, where they started, and they remain a viable tool for teaching, whether in a bricks and mortar setting of a traditional school, or in this new world of internet and the many and varied teaching settings you can find with a simple search. Because such animated videos are based on the whiteboards used in classrooms by teachers and professors so long ago, and right up to today to explain lessons, we know they DO work.Youcan create the same type of story telling scenario in your video, but without having to stand in front of the camera yourself necessarily, a strong plus for some people that may be camera shy!
- Entertainment – There are times when the purpose of such an animated video is to entertain. They do not ALWAYs have to have a purpose, rather they can serve to relax an audience or get them primed to be ready to learn when the REAL teaching begins! Also another aspect may be as part of a marketing campaign, you are trying to entertain to get the video to become wildly popular and viral, generating a special situation that you can then monetize.
THE TYPES OF WHITEBOARD VIDEOS AND PRESENTATIONS
Just as with the multi-use animated videos have, there are also many different types that you can select from when you create them. Let’s talk about some…
This is the somewhat traditional (and actually it is the original) form of whiteboard presentation. The “talking head” style, offers an individual person or a cartoon character, to the side of or as a part of a whiteboard scene, and this person or character either makes a presentation, or is an actor in the presentation.
NOTE: This style is used not only by us online marketers but is generally also used by teachers in their classes, executives making presentations to their company, offline businesses promoting their products or services to potential customers, people making presentations to groups of people, and by online marketers selling or promoting their products or services, etc.
Here is an example of a more traditional talking head style presentation:
And here is an example of a teacher using a whiteboard:
Cartoon – Cartoon characters that are lifelike and have cartoon like settings as backdrops can make for great animated video presentations in almost any marketing segment, and these can be effective even in traditionally sort of “stuffy” niches like attorneys, doctors, health, or etc. Viewers interested in these niches may find a that cartoon video approach is refreshing, entertaining, and informative if it is done professionally. Animated vidoes do not have to be funny, they can be effective while addressing a serious subject…
NOTE: A little comedy CAN help lighten the mood of any presentation, but is NOT absolutely necessary.
Here are a couple of examples of whiteboard cartoons:
This one has gone viral, with OVER 13,000,000 views!
Educational – This is the kind we use most often in the marketing world…You may or may not appear as your tell the story, teach the lesson, or explain the topic to viewers, and voice over and music are often included to help make the product more engaging to the viewer…
Here is an example of a more traditional educational whiteboard presentation:
Now let me show you an example that I recently prepared and used for one of my posts here:
Doodle – This is another type of video used often in online marketing. The props include mainly just a hand drawing and writing, with audio and a voiceover to add ambience and effectiveness.
Here are some examples of doodle presentations:
Yet another example…
- Stop Motion – A stop motion whiteboard animation can be similar to any other style of presentation, however it is basically done one frame at a time instead of filming continuous video. Basically, single frames are developed using photographs or graphics and then animated together like a cartoon.
Here is an example of a stop motion presentation:
Note that you can make an animated video like these are you can create a combintion that will be unique to you and your intention for the video. Use your imagination!
That brings me to the next stage…How CAN you create such artistic masterpieces that will blow the socks off the viewers? Well read on to find out!
HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN WHITEBOARD VIDEOS
There are many tools and software available in the market today, and the price ranges from free to quite expensive on a monthly basis.
They all generally can do the editing and creation tasks you need, some better than others, so it is up to you to decide what is important and then try the ones that fit your requirements.
Generally they all will run on Mac or PC based operating systems, and they are web-based in some cases, and come as a downloadable sotware that resides on your hard drive.
If you do an appreciable amount of video creation, I would suggest an offline program that does not rely on your internet connection. The last step in creating a video ready for publishing is called rendering, and that takes a good bit of time already, and having a slow server somewhere out there in the internet can slow it down even more…
Let’s take a look at the typical process of creating and editing a video and then I will give you some sources, starting with the ones I use at the top and working our way down.
VIDEO CREATION TYPICAL PROCRESS
It starts by logging in or loading to up your preferred software. Once you are logged in, or the program is loaded and ready to go, then you simply:
- Click on a “Make a Video” tab found on your dashboard screen
- Select the theme, normally there are many to choose from, with a focus or a template often available for a theme, consisting of a series of shots or animated slides that when edited to include information on the subject of the video and then rendered provide a professional looking video quickly.
- Some offer monthly new theme packages, or vaults of grpahics, themes, and tools to enhance your video creations. These may be annual fee-based or perhaps a monthly fee. .
- Normally all the tools come with some tutorials that show you how to use their program. Each has their own set of guidelines but in general once you have learned one system, you can switch easily to another, the learning curve is sharp…
The tutorials normally outline the basic process, which, for the whiteboard animation video we are interested in typically goes something like this:
- Choose a theme.
- Choose your characters or special slides.
- Edit or add any text or pictures you will use to the template slides.
- See a sample rendered video to make sure you are moving towards the intended end product.
- Do a voiceover using a prepared script so you can align the background voice with the slides and animation sequence.
- You can use your own voice, the text-to-speech function if this is built in, or you can outsource this.
- You can add background music to the video in addition to the voiceover, this helps to create the mood for the viewers subtly.
- When you are satisfied with the video final version, and have checked it 2 times to make sure there are no errors in speling, that the voice and slide sequences flow smoothly,
- If you added background music, check to make it is not too loud or soft,
- You then hit the render button, and the software makes the slides into a final video, and in the format you may need.
The process is very quick and easy, and with the tutorials, it makes it very smooth and fast to get your first animation created and rendered. At that point it is ready for publishing on a hosted site and available for your use elsewhere, i.e. in your posts, your video sales letter, in your video gallery, etc.
VIDEO CREATION TOOL OPTIONS
This is one of MY favorites to use, and I do seem to be creating something or other 3-4 times a week without fail, It is a low cost one time investment, and you can get monthly themes if you choose.
I have a review of this software on the site where you can find out more, please click on the link below:
This is a very simple and effective tool that simply works, It does not have all the bells and whistles that you will find with some of the other video creation tools, but I find I can often get to where I want to be with this tool faster than some of the others that are more complex and offer a gazillion options…
Explaindio Video Creator 2.0
This is highly effective tool that starts as a basic package of the software itself, and then you can buy a whole bunch of packages and upgrades that will enhance its capabilities a lot.
I will be providing a review of this program, it is in progress now and I will post the link as soon as I have it finshed and published. I like to test a program if at all possible so I can better evaluate its effectiveness.
EXPLAINDIO VIDEO CREATOR AND APPS & UPGRADES REVIEW
===> CLICK HERE (to be published)
In the meantime , you can look at the sales page and see all the options for this handy video creation tool here:
EXPLAINDIO SALES PAGE ===> CLICK HERE
As mentioned this video creator tool has a large array of useful options, apps, and add-ons that you can purchase depending on your needs and pocketbook…There are a total of 50 different combinations over and above the basic software!
I have a version of this and have started to use it to do some things that VideomakerFX cannot do such as add special effects to the finshed videos to gain added effectiveness of them.
GoAnimate has been one of the most popular whiteboard cartoon creation tools available for the general user, less so for the internet marketer. It is powerful, and offers a wide range of built-in resources including backgrounds, characters, etc. but at a hefty price compared to other cheaper options…
PowToon is similar to GoAnimate and has considerably cheaper pricing than GoAnimate, but their templates aren’t quite as varied. If you are just starting out, I would recommend playing with either of these options, then try some other possible free or low cost solutions.
VideoScribe is a simple easy to use tool for creating stop motion style animations that uses hand drawn text and graphics. They have a stock hand, as you will see used in other softwares, that has a Sharpie marker. This hand draws or writes in text whatever you choose to add to your video, plus there are other animation effects available to help make it more unique. There is an option to add a photo of your own hand holding whatever instruments you’d may want have shown.
You can see some samples here: http://www.sparkol.com/home
There is a good set of tutorials available on YouTube here:
OK, now you have read about some options (there are more, do a quick Google search to get even more) to get you started if you do not yet have any software that can use, so next let’s talk about some general tips and hints to use as you start tapping into your creative genious…
TIPS TO CREATE EFFECTIVE WHITEBOARD VIDEOS
I have annotated just a few helpful tips and hints for you here to make it a bit easier to getting to publishing effective and entertaining whiteboard animated videos.
Some of these tips apply more towards talking head videos, while others apply to screencast style videos, but there are those that will apply to both genres…
Have a look…
1. Use Effective Lighting – If you are recording yourself using a whiteboard for adding drawings or text , make sure that there is enough light that you AND the whiteboard appear clearly to the viewer. Check to make sure the lighting that you select is not casting glares or dim spots that may affect the viewer’s eyes or what they can see. Check this AHEAD of your recording the session.
2. Make Sure the Whiteboard Is Totally Visible – Think about the viewer when you are recording your video. Many people stand directly in front of the whiteboard, covering up the information from the viewers. Stand to one side or the other when you are speaking or pointing out something on the board to viewers. Practice this ahead of time so that it looks natural and feels natural for you.
3. Plan For and Use Audio – If you add sound to a whiteboard presentation you add another element that will trigger the viewer’s brain to capture what is being said. Think of Hollywood movies that ALWAYs use sound to emphasize portions of the movie…Subtly it sets the mood and the expectation. If you create a video with NO sound at all, it will cause the viewer to think there is a problem with their speakers. I would recommend a combination of vocals from you with a dash of music in the background as may be appropriate, because a music clip you include matching the feel of your video presentation will make a huge difference. There are alternatives to using your own voice if need be, Go to Fiverr or a similar site and get someone to do it for you if need be. Just provide them your script, and you can create your video following their narration, and still end up with a very professional product.
4. Don’t Go Cheap On Equipment – The newe phones available make it possible to create a very high quality video without a lot of extra cameras, etc. but if you are going to be doing a LOT of video creation, it just makes sense to get some equipment that will more easily do the job. Use the best camera and microphone you can afford, and do some checking to see what will work that is within your budget. Bottom line is that no matter how good or useful your information may be to the viewer, if the picture quality or the aiudio is less than stellar, the viewer is not going to have a good experience and may even not view your video all the way to the end. Don’t let that happen! Think ahead and test your setup…
5. Talk On An Even Level With Your Audience – Do not try to raise your level of expertise by lowering the viewer’s level of expertise. If you use terms like “You wouldn’t understand this…” or “This is a complex subject we will not go into today…” or similar, what you are doing is insulting the viewer’s intelligence or knowledge. Obviously they are watching for a reason, so your job is to talk using words and terms they can understand and relate to. Talk for beginners without pandering. Keep it simple and natural, as if you were having a face to face meeting or conducting a class. Explain things thoroughly and use words and expressions that they will understand and relate to…You are building rapport, not showing how smart you are!
6. Consider Using a Graphics Tablet – If you happen to be doing a screencast tool for your whiteboard animated presentation, in lieu of a mouse or trackpad use a graphics tablet. You can get a serviceable tablet for around $50 to $100, and this small investment will pay itself off quickly if you plan on doing even a few such whiteboard animated videos. The tablet makes anything you may draw or write look much more professional…
7. Use the “5 P” Rule – This is a simple mantra that I have used for years to prepare for anything I am involved in. It stands for Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Follow this rule and you will project a much more confident aura to your viewer, because you have the confidence of knowing that you have planned everything through, and addressed any “what ifs” that may arise. Plan and practice, have plan B, in case something unexpected happens, and just recheck everything multiple times before you record. Note that if the event is not live, you can edit out bad spots, so I would just continue on if you do have a mistake or two while recording, later you can remove these blips.
8. See What The Competition Is Doing – Check out some of the videos that others are publishing. What are the strong points, the weak points, what areas could they improve upon? Incorporate your findings into your own creations to make them better than theirs! Also look especially closely at those extremely successful marketers…See how they flow through their video, make some notes and practice your video presentation emulating what they are doing.
9. Focus On A Few Points – One common mistake tha