Dos and Don'ts of Product Animation Videos
20 Nov2014

Dos and Don’ts of Product Animation Videos

Without further ado, here is the most important “to do” of all: Include informative, simple and brief animation videos in your product marketing efforts.

A well-placed video is an increasingly important key to sales success when your business promotes its products on e-commerce websites. For example: When Lone Star Western Decor added video content to its website product page, the sales conversions increased by 300%. But simply including a video on a sales page is not enough — an effective product video requires careful planning, production and promotion.

Planning and production for your product animation sales video should reflect “best practices” in both the video and marketing industries. Begin with a thorough review of your customer — evaluate needs, wants, concerns and questions for your target customer. You should demonstrate key benefits and advantages in each product video. In today’s e-commerce world, e-consumers need to “experience” your product or service before they buy. How will they do that without an effective product video?

Your potential e-commerce customers are not the only ones paying attention to your use of video content. Google and other search engine algorithms continue to place the most relevant websites higher in search results — non-promotional and relevant videos are a major component in achieving better search engine rankings.

When creating product animation videos, many of the “basics” can be reduced to brief answers for two questions: What should I do? What should I avoid doing? Answering these two basic questions will get you off to an excellent start.

Items on Your Product Animation Video To-Do List

Here is a portion of Video Caddy’s best practices list for planning and producing effective product animation videos. As Nike suggested over 20 years ago in a successful marketing campaign, “Just Do It!”

  • Focus on your customers’ problem(s): This deserves to be Number 1 on your to-do list. Customers are frequently not aware of the problem. Convince your audience how you can help.
  • Tell your customers a story: Everyone loves an entertaining story. There is simply no better way to engage your audience than to provide a compelling story from start to finish.
  • Remember to talk about your solution: Problem-solving in a product video requires demonstrating how your product or service will eliminate a problem. You need to succinctly illustrate what the solution looks like after product purchase.
  • Develop a strong script: What you say and how you say it starts with the script. Hiring a professional reader is an important step in perfecting “how you say it.”
  • Use your brand’s style and colors: Videos provide an opportunity to reinforce branding colors and styles. If your brand doesn’t have a distinctive color palette, consider making changes before you proceed with product video production.
  • Make it short: How short? Less than 50 percent of a typical audience will watch a 2-minute video, so think in terms of 30 seconds to 1 minute when possible.
  • Establish trust and credibility with your presenter: Building trust is essential in the sales process, and having a credible presenter is a powerful way to accomplish this in a product video.
  • Support your content with animation: Animation is simply a tool for helping to educate your customers. Remember to make the product content simple and accurate.
  • Animate after positioning your product first: Make sure to prioritize the importance of your product by building the animation to fit the product and your customers and not the other way around. Showcasing your product using 3D product animation is a great way to highlight features.
  • Remember a “Play” button for your video: A “play” icon for your video will improve effectiveness. In one study, using a play button increased video views by 100 percent.
  • Add a musical background: Music can create the “mood” for your video while often increasing the number of complete-video viewers. Remember, adding a music track does not increase the length of the video.
  • Create a “short and sweet” call to action: What do you want video viewers to do next? They need their own “to do” list! Ask them to buy your product, subscribe to an email list or download a white paper.

Don’t Do It! What to Avoid Doing

Equally important to your marketing success with product animation videos is to avoid a number of common mistakes. Here are some highlights of product video tactics to avoid — regardless of how tempting some of these approaches might seem, “Don’t Do It!”

  • Don’t try to explain everything: With just a few seconds to get your point across, you must be selective in choosing what to include or exclude from your video. Avoiding this mistake often requires professional editing help.
  • Don’t use clichés or jargon: You probably use certain specialized terms and phrases in everyday business, but avoid using them whenever possible in your video. To avoid this tendency, strive for a conversational approach.
  • Don’t place your product’s features first: Instead of showing off your product first, start by focusing on problems to be solved. After persuading the audience that a problem exists, talk about the features of your product.
  • Don’t use voice-overs that are non-native: Native-language speakers help you avoid using false accents that send the wrong message. A professional voice-over is a prudent way to proceed.
  • Don’t forget good sound and lighting: Craig Wax, CEO of Invodo, a video platform provider, suggests starting production of product videos with basic elements: good lighting and good sound.
  • Don’t animate everything: You need to be selective in what product is animated. This will make it easier to keep your audience’s attention by providing more variety.
  • Don’t animate everything in the same time frame: It is easy for an audience to miss what they should be seeing and hearing when there is too much motion. Still images can also have a powerful impact.
  • Don’t use videos as your only marketing effort: Even the most effective B2B videos do not replace the need for using other sales channels and marketing strategies such as white papers.
  • Don’t be inconsistent with animation styles: Develop a consistent “look and feel” for video animation styles. Viewers can become confused and miss the sales points when styles fluctuate.
  • Don’t forget social media: You need to make your videos easy to find. You should always publicize your videos via press releases and social media.
  • Don’t use a hard-sell approach: Both customers and search engines will penalize companies for being overly promotional.
  • Don’t overdo the call to action: “Simpler is better” should serve as your reminder to keep the call to action brief and to the point.

Here is one final item to add to your “To Do” list — ask Video Caddy for advice before doing anything else!

– Video Caddy

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