You already know that making an effective explainer video is not a one-step process. While every stage is equally important for a good explainer video’s conception, the best explainer videos all have one thing in common – A great video concept!
The fact remains that whether you’re a small-time startup or a multinational video production company, you cannot start making an explainer video without a solid explainer video concept.
You could have the best camera crew, an expert animator or amazing music. But if you don’t have a concept that kills, none of it matters. Why? Because a good video concept is the backbone to creating a killer explainer video.
Alright, that’s enough intimidation. As tedious as I’ve made it sound, planning an explainer video concept is a very interesting and enjoyable process.
With years of experience in explainer video production, we’ve been able to polish and perfect a working process of creating a brilliant video concept. And that’s the very same step-by-step procedure I’m going to be sharing in detail with you.
So without wasting another minute, let’s get into it.
What are the steps to create an explainer video concept?
Here is the six-step process of creating an explainer video concept that we use at Studiotale:
- Step 1: Creative Brief
- Step 2: Discussion
- Step 3: Brainstorming Concept Ideas
- Step 4: Reviewing the Ideas
- Step 5: Pitching the Explainer Video Concept
- Step 6: Executing the Explainer Video Concept
Let me explain.
Step 1: Creative Brief
When a client approaches us, we always start by asking them to fill out a creative brief.
To put simply, a creative brief is a client questionnaire. It encompasses questions that tell us who they are and what they want their video to accomplish. This gives us a chance to thoroughly understand the purpose and end goal of the video project.
Here is the creative brief template we use at Studiotale. You’re more than welcome to use it.
The brief tries to answer all the important information we need to carry on with the project.
When coming up with your own explainer video concept, here are the key elements to consider before developing it.
In order for explainer videos to have any impact on people, they need to be catered in a way that’s enticing, impressive and convincing. Depending on the product or service, the target audience can vary so the video content needs to be tailored to that particular group’s liking.
To make this happen, ensure that you thoroughly understand their goals, interests, likes, and dislikes.
If you already have an existing client base, you probably have a good idea of your ideal audience persona. If you don’t, here is a great tool to help you understand that – Hubspot’s Make My Persona.
Every product is made to act as a solution to the various issues people face.
What you need to do here is to determine the pain points of your target audience. Addressing their pain points show that you empathize with them which makes your video content more relatable.
Once you’ve got their attention, you can demonstrate how your product or service effectively solves their problem.
Your company will definitely have a consistent brand tone that can be noticed in all your marketing strategies. A tone that’s undoubtedly yours.
It could be very serious and formal or casual and light-hearted. Regardless, make sure your corporate video concept is altered to complement and match your brand tone. When people notice your unique brand tone, they’ll immediately associate the video with you.
The ideal explainer video length is between 60 to 90 secs. This is ample time to deliver the message you want to deliver with your explainer video.
However, depending on your company and product, this time-frame can vary. Whatever it may be, make sure your video isn’t too short as to omit information nor too long to lose the audience’s interest.
Be sure to pack every second with the right amount of relevant information. This way, you’ll have the audience glued to their screens throughout your video.
Not all projects can be done in the same time frame. However, it’s important to set a fixed timeline and adhere to it. Setting a timeline will help you better organize your resources to meet the given deadline acting as a map to reach the desired endpoint.
Step 2: Discussion
Using the creative brief as the base, we set up another online call/meeting or a personal conference to sit and directly discuss with our client. This stage helps us gain a deeper understanding of their company and the explainer video project at hand.
It’s a good idea to involve people from various perspectives to help in getting a 360-degree view of how the video project needs to pan out.
When you finally have all the information for you to work with, you can move onto the next stage.
Step 3: Brainstorming Concept Ideas
This is where all the creativity flows. Every individual on the team is encouraged to brainstorm as many explainer video concept ideas as possible. It doesn’t matter how bizarre or unrealistic they seem at this stage, as long as they correlate with the marketing objectives of the video.
We encourage individual brainstorming because it allows everyone in the team to come up with a multitude of ideas without being affected by others’ opinions or views. While this will happen later on, at this point it’s all about thinking of as many creative video ideas as you possibly can.
The world around you is a great place to gain inspiration from. Change your environment, read a book, or watch a good television series. Different sources of inspiration can lead to different types of video concept ideas.
Competitor research is also a great way to help you come up with video ideas that are already well suited for the audience. Take a critical look at your competitor’s videos and use these explainer video concept examples to see what elements they’ve included that helped the video attract the desired attention and outcome.
If you’ve found their video on YouTube or social media platforms like Facebook, it’s a good idea to browse through the comment section. Viewer feedback can be very valuable for generating ideas tailored to what the audience expects to see in the video.
When all your brains are eventually fried, come together as a team for the next stage.
Step 4: Reviewing the Ideas
Now is when we all sit together and spit out all the ideas we’ve come up with during the previous stage.
You need to be more realistic and critical at this stage. Review all the suggested ideas and slowly narrow it down to one powerful concept that works. This could involve taking elements from multiple ideas and weaving them into one concept or tweaking certain great ones to fit the purpose of the video.
It’s always helpful to encourage healthy debate and constructive criticism. This shows that people are passionate and confident about their ideas.
At the end of all the agreements and disagreements, you should have narrowed it down to one working concept for the video project that your entire team likes.
There are two factors you’ll need to consider here – visual style and presenting format.
The visual style is simply the visual direction of the video. Here you try to answer a couple of questions like:
- What type of explainer video – live-action, screencast or animated video?
- If animation, 2D or 3D animated explainer video?
- What is the setting of the video?
- What type of illustrations, designs, and animations to use?
- Are there any background tracks or sound effects?
- What is the ideal voiceover, if at all?
The presenting format is nothing but the creative direction the video must take – the video storytelling approach, the number of characters present in the video, dialogue for the characters or voiceover, emotion, and tone you want to set, etc.
Step 5: Pitching the Explainer Video Concept
This is the “moment of truth” stage. We take the concept we’ve all decided on and pitch the ideas to our clients to see what they make of it.
A practical method to pitch a video concept is by creating and using what is called a mood board. A mood board is a physical or digital collage of ideas that includes everything needed to define the direction of your project. Everything right from visuals, text, tone, emotion, color, and texture are in front of their eyes.
This, along with a mock script and detailed written descriptions, makes it easy for them to focus and analyze the concept ideas. Reviewing reference videos side by side helps you make tangible comparisons with the explainer video concept sample that is chosen.
Once all the pondering and head-nodding is done, finalize one brilliant video concept that everyone loves. Next, refine the concept by adding or removing elements, being specific to the look and practicality of the final video you’re expecting to see.
Step 6: Executing the Explainer Video Concept
With the explainer video concept finally ready, we move on to the next phase of the entire explainer video production process – creating the explainer video script – but that’s for another article.
When you’ve finalized on a concept, it’s best to immediately organize your team to work on different aspects involved in the making of an explainer video, right from the storyboard, voiceover and other steps of the animation process. Set timelines to ensure a quick workflow and focussed progress.
And most of all, enjoy the process. Trust me, it makes everything a whole lot easier when you love what you’re doing.
See, I told you this process is fun. The key here is not to rush it because it involves time and experience. But at the end of all the patient hours, the effort will be worth it.
Remember, a solid concept makes all the difference in explainer video production, so take your time.
So, whether you’re using an explainer video software or working with an explainer video company, you’re now equipped with the knowledge to ensure you have a killer explainer video concept for your next video.
Do you have any additional tips or pointers you’d like to share with us? Let us know in the comments.
If you wish to develop a new and exciting concept for your explainer video and need some help, feel free to get in touch with us.