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Choosing a Video Animation Production Agency

What should you think about when choosing an animation agency?

You’ve only got to type in animation agency into Google before you get bombarded with pages of options.

Here’s why we think you should use Vebu.

We are storytellers at heart

It’s important that you engage your audience. Let’s give this story a bit of emotion whilst weaving your own company story into the picture.

We’ve also been producing motion graphics videos for a wide variety of businesses. Whether it’s pharmaceuticals, Fintech, education or banking, we’ve had a go at telling their tale.

We understand how to take our clients through the production process so they feel comfortable with us and how we are telling their story.

We have a well-developed video production process.

Before we put pen to paper and write a script, it’s important we get to know our clients business, their product or service, what key messages they are trying to get across and who their target audience is.

Writing the script

video animation script

We create a Message House of opinions, but for a short 90-second explainer video or promotional film there has to be one over-riding theme.

What one sentiment do you want to leave your customers with having watched this video production?

It’s this one key message that will guide the copywriter through the process of writing the script.

Once the script is signed off we can produce a storyboard. It’s important that at every stage of the video production process is signed off. Each stage becomes progressively more expensive to complete so you want to avoid making changes to the script at a later stage, especially during the production stage, because it becomes comparatively more expensive to make these changes at a late stage of the video production process.

Creating an Animation Storyboard

The storyboard is a simple visual representation of how key scenes look in relation to the script.

During the script writing process we will start showing you some visual ideas taken from key areas of the script.

This gives you the chance to get involved and provide some feedback.

If you like what you are seeing, we will progress to completing the storyboard

As a client looking at a storyboard you should feel confident that we have thoroughly explained how this animation will look and feel when we present the final edit to you.

During the storyboard stage we will also discuss the sound design, music bed and voice-over artist.

It’s also important for us that our customers are completely happy with what they are seeing because invariably we are working to a fixed cost. If the client makes changes having seen the edit then successive rounds of changes eat into our profits.

Once the storyboard is signed off we can progress into the production itself

Animation Production Process

Once the storyboard is complete we start the build itself. The motion graphics designer will use the assets they have created from the storyboard.

The most popular professional standard motion graphics software is After Effects created by Adobe.

It’s within this bit of software that the motion graphics designer brings the story to life.

We will record the voice-over artist in a professional voice-over studio or many voice-over artists have their own studios at home – a small booth in a side room usually.

It’s amazing how many times I’ve seen a perfectly decent animation ruined because a company hasn’t used a professional voice-over artist. Why spend £5,000 and then scrimp on paying a professional £400 to voice it up for you? Madness.

Sound Design

Sound design in the animation process is not to be underestimated. This isn’t the music bed but lovely sound effects as text or icons animate on to the screen.

If your motion graphics company hasn’t mentioned it, make sure you do. Sound design can really lift a 2d animation

Delivery

It’s important that you get your animation company to deliver your promotional video in various formats.

It’s also common practice for you to have an uncompressed version of the edit. By this I mean, a very large file that hasn’t been encoded.

This means that in the future, whenever you want to encode this animation yourselves, you always have the best possible resolution to do this from.

Vebu always archives all of its jobs so for us to provide this service to our clients in the future is not a problem.

You need to make sure your 3D animation studio is also doing this as well.

Marketing your promotional video

You have a promotional video, but who’s going to see it?

A significant chunk of the budget you have set aside for video production should be for marketing the video. How are you going to get this great content in front of the right people?

Getting the right people to watch your video content requires a long-term marketing plan. Just sticking it up on YouTube and hoping for the best isn’t going to work. Even correctly tagging, subtitling and correctly labeling video content has a limited effect.

Video’s that have gone ballistic online have done so because of the following things;

1.A famous person has been paid a lot of money to promote it

2.It’s gone viral. Which is very unlikely for your video

There is another way, and it’s very effective. More of that in a moment.

Companies that claim that they can promote your video to thousands of potential clients around the world, unless one of the above has happened, are talking nonsense.

They will claim many people have watched it because they’ve posted your content to untrustworthy sites that may or may have not been seen by a robot whilst your content gets played against some completely inappropriate content.

Here’s what we do. It takes time.

Start small. Over a period of time build up a marketing list of appropriate people to promote your content to.

Rather than hope for millions hope for hundreds, but hundreds of the right people.

Build your database up monthly. Post-beneficial content that your clients will genuinely find interesting. This maybe written content in blog posts that compliments your video content.

Slowly but surely you will grow a loyal base of customers, who at some point when looking for your service, will turn to you.

Your video marketing strategy has to sit within your overall marketing strategy.

Think about content that will benefit your customers, align it with your overall marketing strategy and you will start producing video content that has a discernable effect on sales.

A great example of a video content strategy that drives sales

Big disclaimer – this isn’t a client of ours but we love what they are doing.

This is a great example of video content – which we didn’t produce (!) that is part of a video marketing strategy. Focusrite are a very successful UK company that makes pre-amps for the music industry.

They are developed a great following with up and coming young artists.

One of the ways they have developed this following is filming many different artists with an array of stories using Focusrite equipment.

The video content is very engaging. It shows the equipment being used. There’s no stronger compliment than a customer you respect saying great things about your business.

Focusrite https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZBqWcwiBOg

(video link)

If you need any help creating a video or animation marketing strategy when please get in touch with us at Vebu at [email protected]


5 Essential Steps To Grow Your Brand YouTube Channel

YouTube is a crucial platform to help build your brand!

According to a report from Google and Pixability, Interbrand’s Top 100 Brands are collectively uploading a video to YouTube every 18.5 minutes. With video marketing being on the rise, as a business, it is important to utilise YouTube as a medium of engagement and promotion.

However, there are certain ideas and factors you should consider to optimise your business YouTube channel efficiently. This ranges from setting up the overall channel, making sure individual video SEO is up to scratch, and even taking a step back and analysing the content your company produces. Take a look!

Do You Need A Creative Platform?

1 – Channel Setup

The overall YouTube channel setup is important. It needs to be optimised in a way that it can be discovered by appropriate audiences, and can be navigated in an engaging way. The core fundamentals of the SEO revolve around customising the channel information. The ‘About’ section should showcase your target audience, express the important information and values regarding your brand, and naturally include relevant keywords that can provoke outreach. Don’t forget to include all of your appropriate social media links too. Add ‘Channel Keywords’, they are essentially tags for your channel. Services such as Google Trends can be used to see what people are searching based on your field. No more than 10!

In terms of the visual navigation, you should have a well-designed banner that showcases your logo, fits the brand guidelines and maintains optimal resolution (2560 x 1440). A channel trailer should also be included to show the video you want new visitors to be introduced to. This could be a YouTube video that you have explaining your product or service, or a highlight video from one of your current campaigns.

 

 

2 – Individual Video SEO

So you’ve got the channel ready, it’s now time to optimise those YouTube videos! You need to have a catchy title that contains the exact keywords that you want to feature for. This also applies to the description. Use this as a chance to summarise the important points of your video and brand. It’s also an opportunity to link to your social media accounts.

Tags. Arguably the most important but most overlooked factor. Too many tags are counterproductive to SEO. 15 is the magic number. Break down your tags categorically into different styles:

Longer coherent tags with keywords
(e.g. if it was a gym in West London, you could say “west london gym classes sale”)
Medium more generalised searches
(e.g. “exercise classes”)
Single words that are broken down from the prior
(e.g. gym, classes etc)

Custom Thumbnails should be added to provide consistency and visual appeal. End screens and info cards that link to your other content and website (if you are partnered) can also be added to increase navigation between videos.

3 – Produce Quality Content Consistently

Sustaining a video marketing campaign with success on YouTube requires effort and time. Videos you produce need clear formulated plans. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Spending lengthy amounts of time, resources and financial investment on videos you’re going to upload once every 6 months is not going to be beneficial for building your brand. Create and develop ideas for consistent videos relating to your brand, that even audiences without a connection to your company can engage with. This gives more of an open barrier for people to engage with your idea and can contribute to developing a consistent audience.

4 – Encourage User Participation

Start a discussion! Engage with your audience! Perhaps offer a chance for viewers to influence the content in some way! Developing interaction makes videos more memorable and can motivate audiences to participate actively. Replying to comments can also alter the perception of your brand because it makes it more human and relatable. If you manage to reply to every single comment, you will certainly notice a community start to form. Familiar faces will start to return and the outreach will start to grow. YouTube will reward channels with higher interaction levels, placing them in a more prominent position within the algorithm.

5 – Promote Your Videos

This might seem like an obvious pick, but it is so important. For the majority of cases, even the most active supporters of your brand are rarely going to actively search for your video marketing content. Promoting your YouTube videos on your prominent social media accounts will provide your videos with the attention they deserve. You already have your communities, why not transfer them to YouTube? There are several social media management platforms you can use, to upload and schedule your videos, and then share them on your relevant socials.

Do You Need A Creative Platform?

These are the core fundamentals for developing your brand on YouTube. Implementing these changes isn’t going to boost you to the top of the trending page. It provides brands with professional optimisation that encourages growth on this competitive platform.


The Explainer Video. What’s so great about it? Everything!

An explainer video drives sales

The explainer video really comes into it’s own in an age where customers want to know what you do but they want to know this quickly.

Will your product solve a problem, more their company profitable or help their customer service flow more smoothly?

An explainer video explains many facts in 60 seconds.

This was your problem. Here’s our solution. Here’s where you buy it. Boom.

It’s worth taking your time with the key messages

We call them explainer videos but really it’s a brand video. It’s probably the first time some-one will see your product. It’s your shop window. You have their attention but now you need to convert that interest into a lead.

So your script needs to be very tight. It needs to sing. The overall look needs to reflect your brand. This video needs to hit the ground running from the get go.

An Explainer video needs great creative

Many marketing companies talk about having a video strategy but our experience tells us that what really drives customers to your site isn’t just the process behind releasing video content at the right time in the right channels….a much stronger element is the creative idea.

You can promote a video until you are blue in the mouth but the creative behind it will make people watch it and share it.

Think about your video content strategy

We think the creative behind the video is more important than the strategy but only just.

There’s no point in producing a very clever video without thinking about how people are going to view it. So think about where your customers are. Video’s on Linkedin have a more business like feel than a video on Facebook. People don’t watch videos on Facebook with the sound up so what about subtitles? Instagram video’s may only be short ten second ident video’s.

Explainer videos come in many forms

It can be an animation. Talking heads or a mixture of both. Think elevator pitch but using video or animation.

One things for certain. Eighty per cent of all searches on the web by next year will be for video content.

Your customers expect video content and will be put off from your business if you don’t have it.

If you need any help with putting together your businesses own video strategy then get in touch with us at [email protected] or call 02081332995


Don’t forget about a decent sound design

It’s 50% visual and 50% sound design

So said George Lucas and he seems to know what he’s doing with sound design

And Vebu contributors Gulliver Moore and Olli Club were keen to shown the importance of design for their promo for Audio Networks

I think I must have been the last person to realise that great sound design can really lift a production.

I’m going to put my hand up here and say it’s probably because I came from the first generation of cameramen/reporters who were basically trying to do everything.

Soundie’s were just relics from the past weren’t they? The cameraman can just do sound can’t he?

Well, no.

The world has come full circle for me. A video producer can shoot what they like on an iphone but the first thing you notice is the sound.

“The truth is, for me, it’s obvious that 70, 80 percent of a movie is sound.”
Danny Boyle

There’s a nice blog on this from the guys at Story & Heart

For those who just need a quick blast of what you should be thinking about – there’s 4 basic elements; voice-over, music, effects and finally emotional sounds (usually in the background)  that really create a mood.

It’s this final type that can be quite interesting; the indiscernible screeching sound we can’t quite hear but know thats there…just as you’re hiding behind the sofa.

Because let’s face it horror movies do sound really well.

Sound Design doesn’t have to cost the Earth

Sound Design isn’t just for high end film-makers. A decent free-lance sound designer can work wonders on your corporate video production or brand animation for £300 a day – a couple of days including client feedback should be enough for a two minute video.

For anyone producing an animation sound design is a must, it’ll add character and personality.

Interestingly we’ve found that if you’re running out of budget to fill the screen sound really adds an extra layer of interest to the brain. Sound design really can keep the interest and the flow…flowing.

If you need any help with putting together your businesses own video strategy then get in touch with us at [email protected] or call 02081332995


A decent voice-over artist is worth it

Voice-over artists really are the cherry on the cake

 

It’s amazing how many times I’ve watched a half decent animation or explainer video and thought; this is well written and the animation flows quite nicely, but why have they got the marketing assistant to be the voice-over artist or it’s the Head of Sales who I can imagine when pitching to an audience is quite engaging but doesn’t quite translate to video.

Being a great voice over-artist really is a skill and there are many actors who don’t have this skill either.

The bad ones come in to the studio and don’t try and get a feel for what their “character” needs. The good ones get a real sense of the timing, tone of voice and understanding of the audience.

So I thought this week I’d shine the spotlight on a couple of great voice-over artists I’d recommend.

Interestingly two of them are based in the US but that wasn’t a problem with the work flow. Once you’ve put a call in, most are happy for you to sit on on the recording on skype or send over a take and if you don’t like it or have some feedback, they just re-record it.

I can’t stress enough how an experienced voice-over artist can really lift a script.

Getting the tone of voice right

I’ve worked with Andy Barnett a couple of times and I never get bored of his voice. I read a lot of gumshoe Americana fiction. Andy is very versatile but the way I’d describe my favourite voice of his would be film noir. The private dick who’s been beaten up a couple of times and lived to tell the tale and get the gal at the end. Here is is on a job we did for McDonald Butler. Their client was Atos

 

Let your voice-over artist add a bit of fun to the proceedings

Victoria Shepherd is a Brit based voice-over artist in San Francisco – very professional and has a great range from the serious to funny. She has her own studio and is very prompt and professional in providing alternative takes.

 

If you need any help with putting together your businesses own video strategy then get in touch with us at [email protected] or call 02081332995


The Power of Video Content

How powerful is video online?

It’s going to be another year where video tops the to-do lists of most marketeers. The stats back this up.

Recent surveys show that 60& of visitors to a website will watch a video than read text. So no wonder Youtube is now considered the second largest search engine.

Your website is 50 times more likely to appear on the top pages of a search engine if it contains video.

When learning about a company 80% of those surveyed said they expect to see a video to help them trust that company.

If you need any help with putting together your businesses own video strategy then get in touch with us at [email protected] or call 02081332995