Whiteboard animation is a form of explainer video that can convey complex ideas in an easy-to-comprehend way. But what are they and why do they work?
Well, have you ever had to explain something that people just couldn’t grasp? You’d talk and talk only to see blank faces staring back at you. Hoping something may click, you started to act out a scene, using your hands to convey complex ideas.
After nothing seemed to work, you restored to hand-drawn diagrams, arrows, and shapes. Trying to show the relationship between the ideas you were attempting to share. Finally, it clicked.
Sometimes, drawing things out can be an effective way to reach your consumers, too. Rather than walking around with a pen and paper with you at all times, you can invest in whiteboard animation to highlight and outline your product, service, or vision.
In this post, you'll learn everything there is to know about whiteboard video animation. This way you can create high-quality ones for your business. But before we dive in, let's define whiteboard animation videos so everyone is on the same page.
What is a Whiteboard Animation?
A whiteboard animation video, also sometimes known as a whiteboard explainer video, is a an educational video that highlights a specific topic through the use of illustrated characters and elements on a whiteboard.
Businesses use whiteboard animation to distill complex ideas into simple terms:
- The animated objects guide the viewer's attention
- Shows links between two ideas
- Explains a topic that the audience needs to understand.
You can do all of this with many different types of animations including doodles, a drawing hand, characters, and more on a white background.
Whiteboard animation videos are more engaging than a dull Powerpoint presentation or infographic. And they often retain viewers’ attention for longer.
In addition, they are sharable and more easily accessible by the viewers. The whiteboard video content can be easily sent directly to the end viewer or shared publicly on social media sites, websites, and more.
In order to begin creating your own whiteboard animated explainer videos, you need to break down some of the most successful ones. By looking at the common structure of these videos, you can begin to plot and plan how yours will play out.
The Necessary Components of a Whiteboard Animation
Every whiteboard animation is unique, but there are some common elements that are found in everyone.
These elements are what make up the "ingredients" of a successful whiteboard animation video. If you don't have them in yours, it isn't a problem. However, you just might be making another type of video altogether.
Here are some of the necessary components of whiteboard animation:
- A Focus – What is the video about? What message or instruction are you trying to get across? Make sure you have a specific focus before beginning to create your storyboard.
- A Whiteboard – Yes, you've guessed it. All whiteboard animation videos typically take place on a whiteboard. This is a white background that shifts the viewers' focus to the animated elements moving across the screen.
- Animated Elements and Characters – This is what guides the viewer in explaining the complex topic. These appear on the whiteboard and are tied to a narrative or step-by-step instruction for easy comprehension.
- Transitions – To navigate between ideas and scenes, transitions are often used to keep the viewers' attention. A natural transition will make the video feel cohesive and not provide the opportunity for the viewer to become disengaged and leave.
- Voiceover – Most whiteboard animations rely on a voiceover that is paired with the animation to explain the topic of the video. The voiceover gives meaning to the animated elements that the viewer is watching.
All of these elements unite to make an impactful whiteboard-style video that you can share with your followers and prospective customers.
You might be wondering: there are so many different video types out there. Why should you invest in a whiteboard animation video?
Well, let's take a look at why this type of video animation is outperforming some of the other marketing video content types.
Why You Should Consider Investing in Whiteboard Animation
There are so many reasons why you should invest in whiteboard animation.
First, you don't have to worry about the hassle of a video production shoot in real life. You can forget about wrangling cast members and finding a day that works for your crew and production team. Instead, you can begin creating your whiteboard animation video with a small team of dedicated people at almost a moment's notice.
Second, whiteboard animation videos are cost-effective. You don't have to worry about extraneous costs like costumes or location fees. Instead, you just need to focus on finding the right animator, agency, or best whiteboard animation software to use.
Finally, whiteboard animations are effective. This is perhaps the most important reason why you should consider creating one. After all, isn't the end goal to have your viewer actually watch your content. Not just have it passively play in the background?
A study was conducted to discover the benefits of whiteboard animation. The results were promising and showed the impact of this type of video:
Viewers who watched whiteboard animation were more engaged with the video for a longer duration. And they could retain more information than those that watched other video types.
By drawing the user in with your whiteboard animation, you can capitalize on their attention and get your message across effectively.
Now that you know why you should invest in whiteboard animation, let's take a look at three different examples that show the varying animation styles you can use in your content.
3 Examples of Winning Whiteboard Animation
There are so many different whiteboard animation videos in the market. How do you know which are the best to use as a guide?
Well, we've compiled a list of our three favorites for distinctive reasons. Take a look at the three examples below to start thinking about the format and style of your own video.
1. Filters Fast
Filters Fast deployed a whiteboard animation video to explain The W3 Project initiative, a program giving back to areas with inadequate clean water supply.
The video features a hand drawing different figures such as a globe and a family as well as symbols of money and droplets of water.
The elements are primarily in black and white until they fill in with color to keep the user engaged. Once the elements are completely drawn, colors appear bringing the entire scene to life.
The video is focused on showing the audience how they can help contribute to "ending the global water crisis."
Thus, there is a wide audience that may have varying levels of understanding. That's why this video works well since so many different types of people will be able to understand it.
The video uses two unique strategies to get its point across. First, one of the scenes shows a family in the town which will benefit from the contributions of The W3 Project.
By focusing on showing the outcomes and the impact of the project, Filters Fast may have a greater chance of getting more people involved.
In addition, one of the final sequences of the video shows a simple flow chart starting with a stack of dollar bills and pointing towards a water source.
This flow chart template is a great concept that you should include in your video. Flow charts like this one guide the viewer in a step-by-step way to outline a process and show how something is going to work.
Filters Fast video clearly showed how The W3 Project was going to work and highlighted not only its importance but also the need for the viewers to get involved as well.
DataSwitch created a whiteboard animation video to show how their product works and the value it can provide marketers and business owners.
The video opens with DataSwitch focusing on the problem that many marketers face: how to fully understand their customers when there are so many different data sources.
Data is spread out across many different departments and workflows. Businesses struggle to unify siloed data sources in order to extract true customer insights.
DataSwitch highlighted this problem in the first scene with a complicated drawing that showed crisscrossing lines and many symbols before the customer finally reached the marketers at the bottom of the scene.
This contrasted with the next slide which was incredibly simple and straightforward.
DataSource was created to "simplify cross-channel complexity," so naturally all the slides highlighting the product's use cases and benefits are extraordinarily simple and easy to grasp.
This positioned the company's product as the simple solution to a complex problem. The juxtaposition made it an attractive alternative to the previous scene:
The entire video only uses black and blue coloring, making the visuals pop when contrasted with the white background.
In addition, the video also uses the flow chart technique, showing how both the data flow into the software and also what the company can do with the unified data.
DataSource's whiteboard animation video is memorable and easy to comprehend. In just 50 seconds, you understand the value that DataSource provides, how the product works, and who it is intended for.
Saving for retirement can be confusing. You need to know that you've set up the right retirement fund to maximize what you're saving for your family.
Whiteboard animation videos are perfect for this type of scenario. Retirement funds are a bit abstract and beginners don't know where to start. A whiteboard animation video can help explain the benefit of a specific type of retirement fund.
FutureMark created a whiteboard animation video to show off their fixed indexed annuities and BeneBooster product for those saving for retirement.
The video opens with animated illustrations of someone and their bucket list, alongside all of their family members who will benefit from their legacy:
The video focuses heavily on the concept of the loved one's legacy to underscore the importance of leaving something behind for your kids. That premise validates FutureMark's product and lays the foundation of its need in the market.
The video continues with a voiceover explaining the importance of saving and how FutureMark's BeneBooster maximizes your saving potential.
The voiceover is paired with simple illustrations like an illustration of a medical checkup that is quickly crossed off after it is mentioned that no medical examination is needed for your fixed annuity account setup. In addition, there is a scene of a graph that shows how your savings can grow even while the market declines.
With a compelling whiteboard animation video like this one, you can share your product's benefits with your prospective customers in a simple and straightforward way.
The Top Whiteboard Video Makers
If you're planning to create your own whiteboard animation without the help of an agency partner, there are a few good animation makers on the market.
These include Animaker, Doodly, Videoscribe, and Vyond.
Animaker is a cloud-based video marketing platform that enables users to create whiteboard videos in their own preferred video style.
You can browse thousands of video templates and stock photos to use in your video. The simple drag-and-drop builder makes it easy to compile and edit your video creation.
One of the main drawbacks of using Animaker (and any online whiteboard animation software) is that it is not a fully-custom video. You don't have an actual illustrator that creates custom content for you. You're mostly choosing from a library of pre-made illustrations and animations.
Doodly specializes in whiteboard animation videos and boosts that over 1,000,000 have been made to date on the platform.
The business promises "professional, realistic whiteboard videos in minutes" positioning itself as the quick alternative to the traditional, thorough video editing process.
A unique feature that Doodly offers is the ability to change the background to a chalkboard, glassboard, and green screen animations. If you're doing a video series of whiteboard content, this is a unique feature that can change up the content for your viewers.
The most important feature, though, is the platform's ability to interpret imported images and animate them in the video. This connects the offline experience to the video and makes it easier for amateur designers and animators to create the style of content that they are looking for.
Videoscribe invites users to "create show-stopping 2D animations, video presentations and more from an idea to full storyboard." The platform is compatible with Windows and Mac and is easy to use with a drag-and-drop builder.
With Videoscribe, you can choose from a handful of templates ranging from business, seasonal, educational, and more. The company has over 2 million users worldwide, 8,000 images in its library, and has a customer base that spans 185+ countries across the world.
All of these whiteboard animation software companies charge a license fee in order to use the platform. In addition, you're mostly responsible for creating the video on your own. If you'd like to invest in your whiteboard animation video and leave its creation to professionals, please reach out to begin bringing your vision to life.
Vyond understands the importance of whiteboard animation for audience retention. A great feature of their whiteboard animation templates is that you can change the colors of whiteboard animation props to make them more eye-catching.
A number of cool features are demonstrated in their video tutorial, including color emphasis, hand-drawn whiteboard effects, camera movements following narration, and synchronized sound effects.
In terms of pricing, Vyond doesn't offer a free plan (premium plans start at $89 per month). However, this software is trusted by millions of users and more than 65% of Fortune 500 companies, so it could be worth the investment if you need to create a lot of animations!
How to Make a Whiteboard Animation
Now that you understand the importance of whiteboard animation and have the tools, let's walk through the step-by-step process to bring your creation to life.
As with any creative process, there can be multiple ways to create your own whiteboard video.
Here are some of the steps you should take to save time and money while ensuring the integrity of your project.
1. Outline Your Objective and Focus
A whiteboard animation video should have a specific focus that the company is trying to impart on the viewer. In the examples above, the focus may have been to explain The W3 Project or to show how the DataSwitch product can be used.
Before you begin, ask yourself the following questions:
- What am I trying to accomplish with this video asset?
- Is there a specific type of video am I trying to create?
- What do I want the viewer to learn?
- Is there a specific action the viewer should take after the video concludes?
By pausing and taking a moment to consider the strategic vision of the video content, you'll start on the right path to making a whiteboard animation video that works for your company.
2. Outline Your Storyboard
With your vision stated, it's now time to plot each scene of your movie.
To accomplish this, you can draw sketches of each scene and what is happening in them. This will be helpful down the road when the animator takes over. He or she will be able to use the storyboard to understand your vision and bring it to life.
Successful whiteboard animation videos have a natural flow to them. They have a distinctive beginning, middle, and end which should be considered when you're creating your storyboard.
In this phase, you can decide what elements you want to have in your story. Are you using illustrations of people? How about miscellaneous objects? Plot out how you will get the point across in each scene.
3. Write Your Script and Record Voiceover
Take your body of work and begin to draft the initial version of your script. Don't get writer's block and be nervous to begin. You'll likely go through multiple revisions by the time the script is finalized.
An effective script should be aligned with your objectives as well as your video's outline and storyboard. Both of those elements act as the guiding buoys in the water to keep the story and copy on track.
Practice reading your script out loud to hear how it sounds and to measure the potential duration of the video. This step is important, because some words may look good on paper, but sound wrong out loud. If you have a colleague or a friend nearby, invite them to listen and provide feedback.
4. Illustrate and Animate
Finally, it's time to illustrate and animate your creations for the film. This step requires a level of technical skill. If you aren't an artist or an animator, you may need to outsource this.
Levitate Media is skilled at producing whiteboard animation and has helped hundreds of companies bring their vision to life. There is nothing more frustrating than spending time and money on a video yourself, only to have it be below your expectations. Team up with us to create your next whiteboard animation video that will impress and dazzle your prospective customers.
5. Edit and Begin the Post-production Process
Lastly, it's time to edit the video and begin finalizing it for public consumption. The editing process can be a time-consuming, tedious process. Every frame needs to be analyzed and every animation needs to be exact.
Once everything is up-to-par, you can begin exporting the video with the correct specs and start promoting it.
It's important to note that there are different file types for your video depending on where you are promoting it. If you're publishing it on a social media site like Twitter, you'll need a .MOV file, while embedding it on your own site will likely only require an .MP4.
Making a Memorable Whiteboard Animation
A whiteboard animation style to consider depending on your business and target audience. These quality videos are cost-effective to make and explain complex topics in a simple way.
They can reach a wide array of people and share the company vision, product use cases, and more in an easy-to-comprehend way. Most importantly, though, these videos keep consumers' attention for longer, and they retain more information.
Need a whiteboard video created? Reach out to speak to us today about your project.