Tips & Tricks

Animated Video Creation: 5 Tips for Success

Oct 5, 2013


Whereas creating an animated video with tools such as Moovly is simple and straightforward, a captivating, successful animated video usually requires a more systematic approach. To create an engaging animated video, you’ll need to immerse yourself in a creative process, just like when you create a new slide presentation from scratch or write a new blog post: it not only requires inspiration and creativity, but a structured process might be helpful and effective.

Here are 5 tips to create a successful, powerful and captivating animated video.

1: Prepare your project

Some people tend to open their content creation tool and start adding visuals and words immediately: their story grows while they play with the visual elements. Chances are that this is not the most effective way to get the result you want. Unless you have your story fully prepared in your mind, you may lose a lot of time editing your work, redoing parts or even deleting sections that took a significant amount of time to create. You also risk coming up with a story that lacks structure, logic or clarity.

Creating successful animated content is a lot like preparing a delicious meal in your kitchen: the success of your meal depends greatly on your preparation. You’ll need a recipe. You’ll need ingredients. And you need to know your guests: who are they, how many are they, what do or don’t they like…

Likewise, you should ask yourself a couple of questions before you start creating of your video:

  • Why do I need this video? What do I want to achieve with it?
  • Who will watch this video? Why should they be interested?
  • How will I use this video? How will it be delivered or presented to my viewers?

Thinking about these questions and having the answers ready is a first but very important step in your preparation.

2: Determine your target audience

You’re making this video with a particular audience in mind: your customers, prospects, students, colleagues, website visitors, members – whoever makes sense in your particular area of activity or business.

However, your video can’t be everything to everyone, so narrow your audience down, and make sure you know why you select this as your target audience. Some examples of well-identified target audiences:

  • This video targets visitors of my website who have never heard of my products or services
  • This video targets existing customers who have problems with a particular feature
  • This video targets senior adults who want to learn new software

Preferably, select only one of your possible target audiences and make the best possible video for them. If you are worried about missing other audiences, you can easily make multiple, different video versions about the same topic, but aimed at different target audiences.

Once you’ve determined your target audience, try to answer the following questions:

  • What do or don’t they already know about my topic?
  • What is their level of knowledge or skill in this subject matter area?
  • What style or kind of language should I use to explain this topic to them?

If these questions have multiple answers, you may have to make another selection: focus on the group you want to reach first or which needs your video the most.

3: Refine your objectives

Knowing why you need this video is usually pretty obvious: you want to explain your topic to people who don’t understand it yet. You want to inform people about the features and benefits of your products or services.
You want to get a message across. However, don’t keep your objectives too general. Again: your video can’t be everything to everyone.

Refine your objectives, set specific goals for the target audience(s) you selected. What exactly do you want them to learn, to understand, to get?
Narrowing down your objectives means you will be able to focus better on your message and how to get it across in the best way possible.

4: Write a script


Once the target audience and the objectives of your video are clear in your mind, you can start preparing the content of your video. Most explanation videos have a voice-over that narrates the story.  In that case, your script is primarily your voice-over text.

Writing a script is a creative exercise: use your preferred text editor and try to tell your story as if you would live, in front of your selected target audience.

You probably have a preferred video length in mind. Depending on language and reading speed, an average voice-over artist reads 120 to 160 words a minute. So if you have a 2-minute video in mind, your script should not exceed 300 words.

5: Turn your script into a storyboard


When your script is ready, you have a voice-over text that will be the backbone of your animated video. Now you have to illustrate that story with pictures, animations, keywords and other meaningful objects.

Just one more step before opening your favorite animation tool. Try to make a list of the visual cues you would ideally like to use to support your story. Sketch your scenes on paper and determine how best to organize the visuals and the words, and which animations you want to apply to them.

While creating your storyboard, you may realize that certain sentences in your script are better said in a different way. Or that you still have to get certain visuals, such as a product image, a screenshot or a short video recording. No worries: that’s why scripting and storyboarding are useful.

Bonus Tip

Once again: your video can’t be everything to everyone. If you need to get more messages across or reach other audiences with animated videos about the same topic, just make more versions of your video.

Video creation tools such as Moovly allow you to easily copy your animated video for editing, at no or only little added cost. Adapt your video as many times as you want, make different versions or translate your video in any language you want.

Adapting or updating animated videos today is as easy as editing text documents or slides without having to be a specialist multimedia artist.

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