How could I use one?

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If you’re not sure where you could use a Whiteboard Animation, but you know you’d like one, here are 10 questions to get you thinking…

  1. Do you have testimonials or feedback you have gathered from your clients/customers?
  2. How about a case study? These can be very powerful when told as whole a story, rather than just adding to any statistics you already have.
  3. Have you got an event coming up?
  4. A special offer to broadcast?
  5. A brand new product?
  6. Do you have any research that supports your product/service, that you would like to communicate to your audience and potential buyers?
  7. What’s your story?  Could you substitute copy for a video on your ‘About Me’ or  ‘Home’ page?
  8. Are your employees engaged with your brand, mission and values?
  9. Do you have any results or statistics you need to communicate to your workforce or clients?
  10. Have you a presentation coming up that would benefit from a bit of variation to keep your audience engaged?

I hope these questions inspire some ideas!

Who is ‘Animate That’?

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I am Emma.
I created Animate That as a way to help smaller businesses and entrepreneurs create great videos without the headache of a MASSIVE bill!

I work in another company too, and when I investigated the possibility of buying a Whiteboard Animation for their marketing, I couldn’t believe some of the prices! (Let’s just say they were out of our league). So I changed tack and started to look for a software we could use to produce our own. I then learnt how to create Whiteboard Animations myself.

I know, from speaking to other business owners, that we weren’t the only ones feeling the strain of the inevitable catch22 of running/starting up a business – spend money to make money, make money to spend it… I felt it increasingly unfair that great people and businesses were missing out on competing with the larger brands/companies simply because they had smaller budgets, when their services/products were just as good, if not better. I decided to start producing Whiteboard Animations for these people – and the rest, as they say, is history.

Can I do it myself?

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One of the questions I get asked a lot is "Can I just do it myself?" - the answer is Yes! Of course you can.

There are now a number of Whiteboard Animation Software companies out there who provide everything you need to get going on producing your own animations. Creating your own animations is a very cost effective way to produce the content you need, especially if you are looking to release lots of videos throughout various marketing campaigns, you have an education product or you want to use them to celebrate particular holidays or special days throughout the year with specific offers - e.g. Valentines day, Mother's day, Halloween etc...

The software I use is great, it's very reasonably priced (which is partly how I manage to keep my prices down for my clients), and - I think - very easy to use. I understand that there are now some online options where you can create animations quickly (and sometimes for free!) but I have never used them, so I can't comment on those.

Another great way to use Whiteboard Animations - again, especially if you are going to produce them yourself - is to generate animated testimonials as, and when, you receive them. The animated element draws the audience's eye to the positive words people are saying about you and/or your business on your website (for example), or when they are scrolling through social media.

Whiteboard Animation software is used by thousands of companies and individuals across the globe, so if you are looking to produce your own, one of my top recommendations would be to also invest in some custom images for your business, or at least a bundle of images from an external artist/company - just so your animations stand out against others who are using the same software company - you're not just using their library images. This also gives you more options, so you can be a little more creative!

The software I use is Videoscribe - click here to find out more*. They have a free trial for 7 days, so you can have a go and see how you get on. If you have any questions about the software at all, please let me know - I'd be happy to help.

*Just in the interests of transparency this is an affiliate link, it does not affect the price you pay, I just receive a small commission if you decide to purchase from SPARKOL.

Storytelling – A Great Communicator

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"Stories are great, they help people imagine they are in the same situation" - Pat Flynn

As I mentioned in an earlier post, storytelling is one of the best forms of communication. We, as humans, have always bought into and learnt from stories.

If you have a story to tell, there are people out there who will want to listen - and Whiteboard Animations are just one of the tools out there that you can use to deliver your story to your audience. My partner in crime, Sarah Archer, writes all the scripts for my clients (those who request them) and she is something of an expert on this subject. Here's an extract from the show notes of one of Sarah's Podcast - The Speaking Club - episodes (No.5) where she introduces her audience to the importance of storytelling...

"Stories have been with us since before language was invented to pass on history, learning, to keep order and to keep us alive, and they are as important today as they ever have been. For Speakers, and anyone who is selling…whether that’s a product, an idea, a change or any solution to a problem…being able to tell stories that create an emotional connection with your audience will get you results.

I’ve spent years studying and writing stories, and have used them extensively, as a comedian, a speaker, a business woman, and as an international playwright. In this episode, (the first of a few I’ll be doing on storytelling), I want to share why I believe stories are so critical to business and speaking success. I also give you the essential ingredients great stories must have and practical examples of these in films, adverts and copy so you can see how they work."

Hear the podcast, and see the rest of the show notes here!

How could a Whiteboard Animation work for me?

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Whiteboard animations are an incredibly versatile communications tool… here are just a few examples of how you can use them:

  1. As a teaching aid to explain difficult concepts, or big ideas
  2. To show potential customers how your product or service could work for them
  3. To promote a big event, product launch, or charity drive
  4. For presentations to investors, or colleagues
  5. In order to deliver your message effectively to employees
  6. As a fun birthday, christmas or family gift

and there are many more...

I believe that one of the best attributes of Whiteboard Animation is that they provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate the value you offer without over selling, because their primary purpose is to explain what you do. A well written and cleverly animated explainer entertains, as well as informs, and this engages people, and as a result they’ll feel more positive about your company and will want to find out more.

Storytelling is one of the best ways to communicate, it always has been, and Whiteboard Animations are a great way to tell your stories in a very engaging way, more on storytelling in another post... (teaser!)

What is a Whiteboard Animation?

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In a nutshell, Whiteboard Animations are - I would say - in-between a 2D cartoon animation and a moving mind map... okay, so they aren't that easy to describe in words, but I can show you an example here:

They are typically succinct videos that explain an idea, promote a product or service, build brand awareness, help position your brand or communicate your brand's unique personality. Longer videos are used too, education videos are very popular because of the increased information retention compared to a talking head video. [There's a good article on this here]

There are many different styles for Whiteboard Animations, which is good to keep in mind if you're considering how you might use one in your business. Just a couple of examples would be:

  • A traditional mind-map, with the focus topic in the centre and additional information/explanations around the outside.
  • An animated poster, where the elements of a printed poster are animated as they appear to create the overall image.
  • Frame-by-frame, which is probably easiest to describe as an animated Powerpoint presentation.
  • Sketchnote, where the animation is sketched alongside the narration in a way which is more like free-association.
  • And many more...

However you want to use one, they are fantastic for engaging an audience.