Jul 18 2011
After reviewing a website or two you begin to learn how to assess the people behind them. One of the tell tale signs of a company that’s funded is if they have an introduction video. This luxury seems to differentiate those that have money and those that are self starting. Start-ups that are founded in someone’s garage tend to get straight to building the product, relying on a few logos, screenshots, and text to describe their offering to visitors. There’s nothing wrong with this and certainly all sites should continue to include descriptions of their services. But in today’s crowded start-up world attention spans are short. With so many people vying for attention users need to know in the simplest terms possible what the product does. They need a brief video to explain it to them.
Many sites know this and so the webcam is turned on and an introduction video is produced. The result is often some guy who hasn’t seen the sun in about a fortnight mumbly describing their service. The most recent one of these I came across was nine minutes strong, virtually guaranteeing that nobody would watch it. Just because a site has a video doesn’t mean it will hold people’s interest. The video needs to be attractive, entertaining, and to the point. To create such a video takes the right tools and training, and is best delegated to a professional. One such professional is How It Works, which offers custom built animated web videos.
How It Works is a collection of illustrators, animators, cartoonists, and copy writers, each with experience in video production. They also come from a variety of business backgrounds which gives them the insight to understand the mind of the clients as well as users. Their goal is to create web animations that will successfully introduce your product to viewers, which in turn increases conversion rates.
How It Works offers many styles of video. These include character animation, text animation, mobile app video, ecommerce video, and live action video. Character animations are fun and engaging animated characters that gracefully present your offering. Text animations contain animated text along with sound effects and voice over. Mobile app videos are demos of actual mobile apps. So if you offer a mobile product you can create a quick example of how it’s used. Ecommerce videos are product descriptions that describe the benefits of various offerings. Finally live action videos integrate real people into the animation to present the product. Oftentimes a CEO or satisfied customer would be featured in these.
As with any creative solution there are a lot of different directions the video can take. To help manage this they developed a six step process to ensure the end result is to the client’s liking. These include asking questions about the product, target market, and product differentiators. Next is to develop a concept for the video. Here you pick the plot, theme, and characters. Then they create a script. This is primarily dialogue but may begin to map various scenes as well. Once the basic building blocks are in place you move on to step four, ‘the Look.’ This is when they begin to map out the scenes in a starboard. It contains rough sketches which make the flow of action clear and gives a glimpse of what the video will look like. It also introduces the color illustrations and the general look and feel of the video. Step five is when they bring everything together with animation. Here they integrate the sounds, look, and direction of the video into a flowing animation. Typically finishing audio touches are added such as music and sound effects. Finally it’s launched with the premier. Here’s where the video is delivered to the client to be posted on their site and social networks.
Creating an animated web video is a way to make your site stand out. A professional and brief introduction will go a long way to helping visitors feel welcome and quickly understanding your product. To users it’s a nice reprieve from a web overloaded with text and images. To sites it’s a way to increase user engagement and the overall success of their site.