mysimpleshow’s Top Tips for Using Humor in Explainer Videos – Part 1
Humor can transform an average explainer video into a powerful explanation that will be remembered for a long time to come by the target audience. A good joke or a humorous story can spice up a dull topic. Humor reduces anxiety, facilitates learning and improves performance. It is, therefore, an ideal tool to use in an explainer video! But, you need to know what you are doing. Humor needs to be used with a lot of forethought.
Four do’s and one don’t:
ONE – Do not use potentially offensive humor!
There are some definite no-no’s when using humor in your explainer video. One of these involves distastefulness – offensive humor should not be used. Consider the target audience very carefully when you create the humor for the explainer video script. Avoid sensitive topics. Humor that has a racist, sexist, or obscene tone may be offensive to viewers and alienate rather than engage your target audience. The same can be said for humor that involves religion or politics. So, when incorporating humor in your explainer video make sure that it does not to have a humiliating or derogatory affect that will only serve to push viewers away.
TWO – Use Wordplay.
Wordplay can be used very effectively to put that twinkle in the eye and make your explainer video humorous. Some words sound alike but have different meanings. When wordplay is used in an explainer video a joke can be made that exploits the different possible meanings of a word. So, think of words that you will need to use when explaining your topic. Then identify some that may have double meanings. Use these as inspiration to add humor to your explainer video script. Clever wordplay can successfully insert humorous moments into an explainer video.
THREE – Imitate, with realistic exaggeration.
Exaggerate situations slightly to get a humorous effect. In literature terms this is called parody – i.e. an imitation of a familiar situation, but with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect. This can be achieved by poking fun at typical situations. How? By imitating and overstressing noticeable features. For example, you can achieve a humorous effect in your explainer video by using a situation that most people are familiar with, like a birthday party. Then make fun of the situation by adding in things that go wrong at the party. Or use a well known movie as inspiration. Make fun of it in your explainer video by making your characters similar to some well known characters from the movie; or make your video’s storyline similar to that of the movie, but slightly exaggerated and, of course, much, much shorter. (Remember, explainer videos need to be short and to the point!)
FOUR – Use self-disparaging Humor.
Humor can work very well if it is at your expense. Self-disparaging humor can be used effectively to connect with the audience, provided that the viewer is laughing with you. So, an easy way to incorporate self-disparaging humor in an explainer video is to create a problematic situation and a character that the audience can laugh with. Self-disparaging characters know their own weaknesses and shortcomings and are not afraid to point them out in a humorous way. A shortcoming, that could potentially be embarrassing, is consequently portrayed in a comical humoristic way. This makes the character vulnerable and therefore the viewer is inclined to listen to what he / she has to say, with extra attention. The character thus becomes more relatable to the audience. It is about finding the funny in life’s challenging moments and incorporating that in your explainer video, in order to connect with the audience.
When used effectively in explainer videos humor boosts levels of interest and increases the motivation to learn. However, humor must not be over-used; it needs to be incorporated into the explainer video script with the necessary forethought. If the humor succeeds the explainer video will truly engage viewers, increase understanding and enhance memory retention. So, use humor to make your explainer video topic engaging from the get-go, by nurturing a relationship with the target audience.
How to use characters in your explainer video
An effective explainer video sums up your message in 60 – 90 seconds, using a compelling story. However, it all comes down to the characters sharing the message in an appealing way.
Characters form the focal point in an explainer video story. Usually the story is about an event in the life of a particular character. This character is known as the protagonist. The protagonist is the one that the audience empathises and connects with.
First, the protagonist is introduced to the audience. Next, there is a dilemma or a problem, decisions need to be made and eventually the protagonist’s life or attitudes change for the better.
But a story also needs a character that drives the plot of the story. We call this the main character. This character gives us a deeper look into the plot. (Whereas the story is “happening to” the protagonist, the main character is the one “revealing” the story.)
The main character and protagonist can be (and often is) the same person. However, secondary characters also play a part in the story and help to carry the plot. What is imperative is that the characters in your explainer video story relate to your audience. Therefore, make sure that you put a lot of thought into the creation of the characters.
Before creating the story and its characters you need to consider what exactly it is that you want to achieve with your explainer video. (Are you, for example, introducing a product or are you explaining a service or a concept?) People like stories about other people that resemble them. Characters that have the same problems and the same joys as the viewers show that they understand the viewers. When the audience can relate to the characters a bond is naturally formed that engages the target audience.
Only when the target audience relates to the characters can they reach your audience on a deeper level. Therefore, carefully consider the make-up of your target audience. Think about what your typical target audience looks like, how old they are, and what their attitudes and preferences are. Then, create the protagonist, main character and secondary characters in the story around this profile.
Also think of giving your characters unique characteristics to make them stand out from the rest. This is usually achieved through animation. Animated characters are versatile and have the ability to nudge viewers into a place of empathy. Working with real live actors involves limitations, but animated explainer video characters allow great flexibility. They can be placed in unlimited scenarios and allows for characterisation that is truly unique – after all, it is the facial expressions and actions of animated characters that help set the mood and bring a story to life.
Because of the infinite possibilities, animation makes it straightforward to create characters that the target audience can easily relate to. Animated characters also provide other benefits: We tend to remember animated characters better. Animated characters make the audience feel comfortable and entertained, while also giving them a memorable experience. Animation also gives an element of fun, which makes the video more captivating and enjoyable.
So, use uniquely animated characters to reveal the problem, options and solutions in your explainer video. Storytelling is powerful, but it is the characters that make the story! The characters have the potential to create a strong bond with the viewers. Moreover, a successful character can be used over and over again, e.g. in follow-up series of your videos, or in your social media content, or as a mascot to promote a brand. The right character also has the ability to boost engagement and to build trust. So, before making your next explainer video, give careful consideration to the creation of the characters in your story!
Communicating with Clients through Videos – Part 2
With an increased emphasis on digital communication in today’s world, more and more businesses make use of video in marketing campaigns. However, video can also be used to communicate with clients in compelling ways! Effortlessly, video is posted on social media platforms or sent via direct mail to clients. And so, effective video communication has the potential to establish strong client relationships.
Ways to communicate
There is just so much that you can do when it comes to using video to communicate with clients – the options are endless! Use it to make an announcement, demonstrate a product, compare products, share your company story or remind clients how great your product/service is through video testimonials, to mention but a few! Let’s explore this further.
1. Explainer Videos
Use video to communicate to clients how to get the best out of your product/service. Make short how-to videos or instructional videos. Or, make use of video communication to explain a process or concept relating to your business. Animated explainer videos can be utilized very effectively for this purpose. Create these regularly and cost-effectively by making use of video creation tools like mysimpleshow. Read here to understand how to write a great explainer video script.
2. Case Studies & Testimonials
Communicate with clients, using case study videos to promote your products. By using case studies, as well as testimonials, credibility is added to the benefits of your product/service. Videos with authentic testimonials of loyal clients, showcasing products/service, can provide highly effective low-cost communication. Find out more ways to use explainer videos for your business.
Communicate with clients using diary style videos, where you (or your colleagues) talk to the camera. This method can be used very effectively in answering client questions. Anticipate frequently asked questions and make a series of short FAQ videos that is ready to use when needed.
Keep clients up to date by sharing videos of up-coming (or even of recently-held) events. This serves to keep their interest and to keep clients up to date with company events. Also use video communication to introduce a new product/service. Alternatively, invite a client to company events and product/service launches by creating video invitations.
5. Share Company Culture
Share your company story in a short video with clients – this will enhance brand awareness as well as customer loyalty. Also, share company culture to help clients to identify with your brand: share a product tour with your clients, by using video to take them on a virtual tour of your company! This type of video includes behind-the-scenes clips and introduces team members to your clients. Promote your business further by starring in your own company videos, speaking to your clients directly. This will personalize your business, build credibility and ultimately create customer loyalty.
6. Personalized Material
Use video to communicate directly with loyal clients – this gives that personal touch that makes clients feel valued. So, plan specific video communication at regular intervals to ensure that you stay in touch with clients. For example, send video-wishes for birthdays, special events or specific holidays. Get to know your clients’ interests and send them relevant information. By using video, as opposed to mere written communication, you vividly remind the client that they are dealing with a human being – this helps to break down barriers and creates a personal connection that will strengthen your relationship.
Remember that your communication video to clients also provides an opportunity for a call to action. Video allows you to speak directly to your client in order to make a sincere call-to-action. You can, for example, encourage your client to visit your website, call for an appointment, use a special discount code to make a purchase, subscribe to your newsletter, or simply to “like” or share your video. Here are even more options.
In today’s hectic lifestyle many would rather watch a quick video than read a lengthy document to obtain necessary information. Video communication is cost-effective – yet exciting and impactful! By using video to communicate with clients, you can meet their specific needs and at the same time build a virtual relationship with your clients. So, when planning how to optimally communicate with your clients, include videos!
Did you already read part 1 of this series?
Explainer Video Trends in 2019
How can you get the most out of your explainer videos in 2019? By following these five explainer video trends for 2019 it becomes possible to create outstanding videos! After all, if you are familiar with the latest trends in explainer video creation you will be able to make the right video to engage your target audience. These popular 2019 trends will aid engagement with your target audience!
The 2019 trend for explainer videos is to make more and more use of stories to get the message across. Since the beginning of time stories have been a popular mode to explain moral lessons. In the 21st century people still love a good story! Stories are increasingly used in explainer videos – with the primary purpose of clarifying concepts. If the story is compelling, viewers will not merely tap through the video, but watch it from beginning to end. Yes, an explainer video that tells a story makes a human connection that grabs attention. Moreover, viewers not only enjoy the experience, but actually learn something!
In 2019 it is all about animation! The time-consuming and costly process of producing a live shot video now makes place for user-friendly animation technologies that allow for rapid production and editing. This is thanks to digital animation technologies. Not only is it more cost effective to make these animated explainer videos, but they are often also more interesting than live shot videos. In addition, they can easily be made using online video creation tools, like mysimpleshow! Animation allows for endless creativity. Animated explainer videos are versatile and powerful. Moreover, animation combined with a powerful script can be a winning combination!
3. Augmented Reality
Augmented reality (or AR) is another top trend for explainer videos in 2019. AR is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the real-world footage is “augmented” by computer-generated perceptions. It may be as simplistic as adding 3D bitmojis or drawings to real-life images. In this way, AR does not completely replace the user’s real-world environment, but alters one’s perception of the real world. As overlaid digital creations are interwoven with clips from the physical world, AR gives the viewer a unique experience. AR adds an interesting dimension to explainer videos and 2019 will see optimal use of this phenomenon.
4. Interactive Videos
2019 will also see more and more interactive videos (or IV). Video is a great medium to introduce, explain, demonstrate, convince, etc. – yet, explainer videos can be made even more compelling and effective by the use of interaction. IV is a type of digital video that encourages viewer-interaction, by prompting the viewer to click on indicated areas on the screen that initiate a certain action. These may, for example, give the viewer additional information or take the viewer to another clip in the same video, or to another video. IV moves the viewer from being a passive user to giving the user an active viewing experience. Especially when it comes to explaining complex concepts interactive videos can be very useful in guiding the viewers at their own pace. 2019 will witness an increased popularity in the use of interactive videos.
5. Short Videos
The trend for 2019 is to go for smarter, shorter and consequently, more effective videos. Patience, as well as attention span, somehow come into play in the busy lives that we live today… In a hectic world, with limited time, videos need to get to the point quickly. It seems that the digital age has made us more effective in shifting through unnecessary information. Video needs to grab the viewer’s attention within the first 10 seconds of viewing! Even then, almost half of those who continue to watch beyond the first 10 seconds will click away before they reach 60 seconds, unless the clip is truly remarkable. More than ever, the trend in 2019 is to keep the explainer video short!
These top explainer video trends in 2019 aid audience engagement, to ensure that you truly connect with viewers through your explainer videos. So, familiarise yourself with the latest trends and take your own explainer video to the next level by following these trends!
As of now creating simpleshow explainer videos is easy as pie
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. That gives you an idea of what an explainer video must be worth. Sometimes, a short and simple explanation is just what someone needs to help clearly understand how your product solves a problem, how a process works, or what an idea is all about.
At simpleshow we have created 3-minute explainer videos in our signature paper cut-out style for years. Trusting the effectiveness of simplicity, we have established the simpleshow methodology that – scientifically proven – transfers information in a way that is likable and easy-to-understand. With the power of storytelling and simple illustrations that stay in mind, even the most complex topics are easily explained with a simpleshow explainer video. (Find out more about why a simpleshow explainer video is so efficient.)
Until now, however, we were only able to produce a limited number of videos, mostly for big companies, handcrafted by our explainer team that consists of more than 150 people around the world. We have done that for 8 years and so far have produced thousands of explainer videos in more than 50 languages.
We have seen many times that a great explainer video has a real impact. So we thought about how we can make the simpleshow format available to many more people. And that’s how we created mysimpleshow: it contains all our know-how and makes it easy to create great explainer videos that get the message across to your audience.
As a first step, let’s tackle your story. After choosing the right storyline, it’ll be a cinch for you to structure your thoughts. Guidance and examples will help you write an interesting plot. And within minutes you’ll find yourself creating an entertaining story. Well, text is the easy part, you may think. Most people will probably agree, as the majority of people find it hard to think in pictures. Lucky you, you don’t have to be a creative superhero to create the most amazing videos. That’s because mysimpleshow is home of the Explainer Engine. It transforms your text auto-magically into visuals and provides you with illustrations that help your audience understand your message. Don’t worry, if the Explainer Engine has not plopped out the perfect match. You can go ahead and choose alternatives, explore our visual database, upload your own images, use text, and pimp all of those images.
All set? Well, almost… Your video needs a voiceover. If you are an experienced speaker or even a voiceover artist, great. Go ahead and record your voiceover. It will be added to your video in an instant. Not the greatest speaker? No one at hand who can lend you their voice? No problem at all. James and Paul are available to help you out. James who? Paul …? James and Paul are automated voices that are here for you to speak your text. They are really smart and most of the time will pronounce your English text pretty much perfectly. If they don’t get it right, give them a hint. Change your text just a little bit, so they can give it another try.
One final preview, all looks great, so get started and click that publish button. No worries, first we will render your video. Afterwards you can decide if you wish to share it through YouTube or download only for your own use.
mysimpleshow is a brand new product and we’d love to see you trying it out! Please feel free to send us some feedback and let us know how you like it.
Check out our blog and learn about more news, tips and tricks, and applications for your mysimpleshow explainer video. Enjoy and keep explaining!