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Everything You Need to Know About Making an Explainer Video Series

By May 24, 2021October 21st, 2022Whiteboard Animation

You’re excited to turn your big idea into an animated explainer video! So excited that you accidentally talked to your colleague about it for an hour, built a 50-page presentation about it, and are still thinking of things you’d like to include in your video. It might be time to consider an explainer video series.

Many of us can get pretty passionate about what we do. Part of our job at Next Day Animations is to help you get over “the curse of knowledge” – that is, to help you focus not just on the incredibly interesting details, but on the very basic overview of your topic, often from the perspective of a newcomer. Sometimes all you need is an expert partner to help you turn your 50-slide presentation into a 1-minute video. (Not sure how long your video should be? We have thoughts on that here!)

But sometimes, it’s simply not possible to achieve your goal in one or two minutes. There are multiple approaches to the service you provide, or many uses for the product you’ve designed, or more than one way to engage with the cause you’re championing. That’s where a series of videos can showcase and explain your topic better than just one video.

Signs that a video series may be right for you:

1. You have more than one target audience:

If you’re struggling to narrow down your target audience, you probably have more than one. Each audience might benefit from their own video, tailored to their worldview and what they care about most. 

For example, if you’re selling an energy-efficient lighting system, you might have one video that addresses the needs of commercial clients – like building managers – and another for residential clients – like homeowners.

2. Your topic is complex:

If your topic is complex and nuanced, you might want to break it down with more than one video. Maryland Fair Funding knew that explaining tax codes to the general public wasn’t going to be easy, so they took a multi-pronged approach by making four separate videos to make the bigger point that tax codes needed updating.

3. You have a lot to share:

Explainer videos are often like movie trailers: The goal is to get your audience interested enough to buy a ticket to the show (i.e. take the next action). 

But maybe your goal isn’t conversion – maybe you’re training or educating, or the critical information simply can’t be summarized within two minutes. A series will allow you the space to give each individual topic the time it deserves for clarity… without trying to smash it all in!

 

So what makes a good video series?

A video that’s part of a series should generally be able to stand alone, and work as part of the series. A series is most effective when there’s some repetition of content – so that if people watch more than one video the content sticks with them – but a good variety of images and messaging to hold an audience’s attention.

Depending on how and where you’re sharing your content, you probably want the videos to look and feel the same, so that your messaging is consistent.

Here’s an example:

The series, ‘Be a Good Relative’ is made up of four videos created with our friends at the National Council of Urban Indian Health, an organization “devoted to the support and development of quality, accessible, and culturally-competent health services for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) living in urban settings.”

The mission was to tell four unique stories about the importance of vaccines and wellness, and we partnered closely with NCUIH to develop a script, imagery, and music that spoke authentically to different audiences within the Urban Indian community. The video above speaks specifically to young adults.

It was our goal that people saw themselves represented in these videos, because when we connect with stories, they stick with us. Thoughtful storytelling is a tenet behind every video we make.  You can learn more about our commitment to thoughtful storytelling here.

 

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