We have been making successful explainer videos for our clients for the past 11 years. And If there’s one thing we noted throughout our experience, it would be the changing trends. It’s the fact that what worked yesterday might not work today, and what works today might not work tomorrow.
However, we also noticed something that remained devoid of the constriction of trends and fads. Something that stayed a top choice of most marketers regardless of changing trends.
We are talking about whiteboard explainer video, the good, old animation that has always been an instant go-to for every business. And why not? It’s economical, effective, and well-liked among the audience. But do you know that sometimes a whiteboard explainer video can do more harm than good to your business?
In this article, we will be getting into all that, starting from defining a whiteboard explainer to when and when not to use it in your marketing.
So without any ado, let’s jump in!
What is a whiteboard explainer video?
A whiteboard explainer is a style of video in which the content is hand drawn on a whiteboard. The drawings are then accompanied by a voiceover that describes each step as the video progresses (similar to other types of explainers).
Although this animation has an aspect of storytelling, it’s not much dependent on it. Such animation is mainly used for educational purposes and to break down complex ideas or processes into a step-by-step, understandable video.
A whiteboard animation explainer video has very little room for creativity. It is value-driven, which means every single second in the video should explain something. There’s very little room for unnecessary banters or the “fun factors” used in traditional marketing animation to promote engagement.
However, where this is one of the best things about a whiteboard explainer, it also restricts its appeal to the audience. You cannot use a whiteboard explainer like a 2D or 3D animation as it requires a very professional tone and overall approach.
To explain this further, let’s start with the first part and look at situations where you cannot use whiteboard animation:
When not to use whiteboard explainers, and why?
In some situations, whiteboard animation won’t be your best bet despite its undeniable benefits. The following are some of them:
1. You need a short and memorable video
When making a video memorable, you will rely on your audience’s emotional triggers. But guess what? Getting those emotions spiked requires more than just hand drawings.
It needs substance, a relatable story that carves its place into their minds and touches their pain points through humanized characters. However, that’s impossible to achieve through whiteboard animation.
If your video is story-driven for the most part, It would be wise to go with a 2D or 3D animation. They give you all the creative freedom you need to make your video unique, compelling, and engaging.
2. You are appealing to younger audiences
When making an explainer for a younger audience, remember that they have grown up watching movies like Frozen, Toy Story, and Ice Age.
They will expect more than just black-and-white illustrations to be engaged or even pay attention. To make your video interesting for them, you need to set a suitable theme.
They need a protagonist they can cheer for, a simple, however good story, and of course, a modern animation like 3D for an immersive experience.
You can also use 2D or 2.5D animation for this purpose, but if you are ready to stretch your budget, 3D is the best option in your hands.
3. Your topic is not really complex
As previously mentioned, whiteboard animation is only a preference when you want to break down a complex topic into simple words. But what if it’s already a simple topic? Will a whiteboard explainer video still be a better option?
Well, that’s a yes, and a no!
If you have a mature audience and your target is mainly business owners, then a whiteboard explainer might work just fine without taking up a considerable chunk of your budget, even for the simplest topics. It may even look more professional in some cases.
However, if you want to appeal to a broader spectrum of audiences, you would like to use something more fun, exciting, and attention-grabbing, something that appeals to everyone. A whiteboard isn’t just that.
Remember, creativity is all you have when appealing to a huge mass with a simple topic. It can even turn the dullest subject into an exciting visual experience. All you need is a perfect medium to express it. 😉
4. Your want to impress the viewers
We can all agree that whiteboard animation isn’t the most visually stunning animation type out there… not even close. So no matter how creative you get with your drawings, they will always look dull compared to more advanced animations.
In other words, if you’re thinking of impressing your audience with whiteboard animation, don’t try. It won’t work. Instead, choose something more up-to-date, vibrant, and trendy, like 2D or 3D typography. If you want to go a level further, you should also try abstract animation. It really stands out.
5. You need to make a strong emotional impact
Undoubtedly, creating a strong emotional impact depends on a solid script. However, using the correct type of video or animation is just as important.
To leave an emotional impact on your audience, you will need characters that humanize your script and turn those emotions through genuine expressions.
Although you can still make an emotional impact with whiteboard animation, you’ve got to have a powerful and touching message, which isn’t true for most marketing videos.
When to use the whiteboard explainer video:
The biggest weakness of whiteboard explainers is also their biggest superpower. Since they are less gimmicky and more explanatory, they serve as a great option to educate your audience. Some of the most common scenarios where you can fully trust whiteboard explainers include the following:
1. You need to share complex information
Whether it’s an abstract idea, a complex product, or a detailed how-to, a whiteboard explainer can be a great option. It requires relatively less production time than other animations and follows a straightforward approach without the extra mumbo-jumbo. As a result, you get to save your budget and ensure that your audience learns what they came for in a fun and intriguing way.
2. You want to establish your brand authority
If you have been in business for long enough, you must know that a long-lasting relationship with your audience isn’t just about bombarding them with emails about your new discount packages and limited deals. You want to provide them with valuable content that helps them solve their problems.
Besides building a trusty relationship with your clients and consumers, such content also helps you build your brand’s authority in your industry. Where you can achieve this by putting out valuable written content online; accompanying it with a whiteboard explainer might be that “cherry on top” that keeps your audience coming back for more.
3. You want to educate your audience
The whole point of making a whiteboard explainer is to educate the audience. If written and executed relatively, it can engage and retain the viewer to the end without any flashy visuals. You only need to ensure that your audiences are genuinely interested in the topic (or product).
A custom whiteboard explainer can do wonders for your business when used correctly. As a video production company, we offer them too. But just like anything, it comes with its limitations.
Though you can still make it a little more engaging with a great story and perhaps a pinch of entertainment and colors, it won’t make much difference. Remember, a whiteboard explainer is about educating the audience, and it will work as long as your script and tone remain within those boundaries.
If the main motive behind your video is compelling storytelling, then you would like to go with more dynamic animations like 2D, 3D, or motion graphics. They allow complete creative freedom and appeal to broader audiences. Plus, they are incredibly engaging.
With this, let’s give this one a wrap. We hope the article has been helpful throughout. For more useful content, don’t forget to follow our blog. We have a lot coming up for you.
Jacklyn is in charge of our marketing efforts. She likes to write about photography, videography, new industry techs and paint colorful things. When she is free from work, you can find her in Muay Thai classes.