4 Qualities of Highly Shareable Whiteboard Animation Videos

 

Just a few years ago, it looked like 90% of content about video marketing was all about “going viral”

But it’s 2017 now – are marketers finally over it? We’ll see!

Personally, we’ve always believed that viral success is overrated. Sure, we contributed to the trend a bit – overrated or not, going viral helps get your marketing message out.

But the truth is, for the vast majority of businesses, focusing on virality is actually counter-productive. Effective video marketing is not about getting as many views as possible.

Rather, it’s about maximizing the right kind of views – namely, those from your ideal customers. And it’s about having a solid funnel to convert said views into qualified leads and, ultimately, revenue for your business.

And here’s the thing about your ideal customers…

They tend to know each other, and share content with each other. That means, even though your marketing videos don’t need to become viral smash hits with millions of views, they do need to be shareable.

And in today’s post, we want to tell you about 4 qualities that make whiteboard animation videos more share-worthy in the eyes of your potential customers. We’ll show off some examples, too – both with videos we helped create, and others.

Without further ado, let’s start with the first and most important quality…

1. They contribute to the conversation

Imagine that you’re going about your day: working, doing chores, hanging out with people…

Suddenly, some weirdo interrupts a pleasant chat you’re having with your friend – just to tell you, “Hey, my company makes awesome furniture! You should check it out.”

Now, you don’t hate the idea of buying furniture. For all you know, that person’s furniture could be the best you’ve ever laid your eyes on…

But because their message interrupted your conversation, you couldn’t care less! You will not check out their product, and you most certainly will not tell anyone you know about them.

In real life, a situation like that is outrageously unlikely. But online, interruption marketing happens all the time – and it’s only slightly less annoying than it would be in person.

A truly effective, shareable whiteboard animation video doesn’t seek to interrupt a conversation, but to become part of it. It leans into the problems and pains of its target market, and contributes to solving them… with only a passing mention of a product or service being sold.

In your business, becoming a part of the conversation could look like:

  • Creating a how-to video to resolve the #1 pain point your customers are experiencing.
  • Using whiteboard video to comment on something important to your market.
  • Taking a contrarian stance on something your target market cares about.

Marketing is not like shouting your message into the void, hoping that potential customers take notice. It’s more like contributing something new to a dialogue that already exists. To spread the message of your whiteboard videos as far and as wide as possible, you will want to make sure that it’s already something people are talking about.

Example: This music video by Prince Ea is a great example. We helped to create the whiteboard-animated segments of the video, and it’s a project we’re very proud of.

As an artists and a performer, he needs to promote something very specific – himself, his personality. And to make sure people take notice, he makes meaningful contributions to things that already matter to his target audience.

Just being relevant is not enough, though – your whiteboard video needs to make people care. And that brings us to item #2…

2. They evoke strong emotion

We like to think that all of our buying decisions are completely rational – while in reality nothing could be further from the truth. The most effective marketing message is not the one that gives people all the facts, but the one that makes them feel something.

By extension, emotion also urges people to share your message with others. A few years back, we wrote an entire post about which types of emotion trigger the highest amount of shares.

But if you want a Cliff’s notes version of that, here’s the list of emotional triggers you want to hit with your whiteboard animation videos:

  • Exhilaration (a.k.a. intense joy) – cute animal videos, heartwarming moments, anything that makes viewers feel warm and fuzzy inside is a prime candidate for getting lots and lots of shares.
  • Astonishment or surprise – if something blows your mind or challenges an accepted view of something you care about, you’re very likely to share it.
  • Anger and outrage – riled-up, angry people are also the people who take action. So if you can pick a fight with your marketing and recruit potential customers to your course, that right there could become your sharing magnet.

And the best thing about highly emotional videos is, people don’t mind if it has branded content – it doesn’t make them any less likely to share (according to this study).

You might be worried that negativity would rub off and give your brand a bad name – don’t. Your message should make your customers feel good about doing business with you, as opposed to someone else. You can make it happen by making you look good… or making your competition look bad.

So don’t feel like you have to keep everything positive, sweet, and wrapped in cotton candy!

Example: This book trailer for How Do You Kill 11 Million People? is a wonderful way to illustrate our point. It invokes astonishment and surprise (the scale of it is just staggering)… as well as anger and outrage (because of the tragedy that the book explores).

And that’s how it managed to gather 100,000+ views in just a week.

3. They shamelessly grab attention

Full disclosure: we don’t subscribe to the belief that modern attention spans measure just 8 seconds. We think this is, for lack of a better word, complete nonsense.

It stuck mostly because of sheer sensationalism. “Whoa, modern humans are less attentive than goldfish! I gotta share this with my buddy Steve!”

As you’ve read in #2, that kind of message evokes astonishment, and spreads like wildfire.

That being said, while most people are capable of paying long, sustained attention to something singular, they don’t get to do that too often. Compared to our grandparents, or even our parents, we have a lot more distractions to deal with.

Now more than ever, your target customers can be pulled away from your message very easily. And this means that your whiteboard animation video needs to be shameless and bold about enticing them to watch it from start to finish.

This could mean:

  • Shocking them with something outrageous as early as possible.
  • Using highly unusual imagery and humor to drive your point across.
  • “Unloading” the good stuff you wanted to share in the first 10-15 seconds of your video.

Example: This wonderfully memorable ad from Identity Theft Resource Center is great at capturing the viewer’s attention. Identity theft is an important but very technical topic.

It goes right over most people’s heads – despite the fact that it’s one of the most common crimes in America that claims more than 15 million victims a year.

That’s why the video itself is as unusual and entertaining as possible – if viewers don’t want to pay attention to a potential threat to their well-being, maybe they will watch adorable dogs get scammed… and so they did!

4. They are easy to share

Finally, to be truly shareable, your whiteboard animation video needs to meet two criteria:

  1. Be as easy to share as humanly possible – so your potential customers expend zero effort getting it out there.
  2. Communicate a valid reason to spread the message – so they feel compelled to share it, even if normally they wouldn’t.

The first requirement is fairly easy to meet. We no longer live in a world where exchanging any kind of information is a ridiculous ordeal. You can make your customer’s lives easier by providing them with:

  • Pre-written social media posts, so they can post your video in a couple of clicks.
  • Prominent sharing buttons, so they don’t have to look for them.
  • Specific moments from the video (i.e. timestamps) that reveal the most valuable information, so they can pick and choose what exactly to share.

As for the second requirement, you will need to give potential customers a good incentive to share your whiteboard animation video. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to do that, like:

  • Making them feel good by connecting the act of sharing with saving a life – e.g. by supporting a charitable cause.
  • Promising a special opt-in bonus if they pay with a tweet or another social media post.
  • Commenting of referencing a current event in the news, or piggybacking on a popular topic / pop-culture franchise (like this Forbes video).

Example: This video about World Suicide Prevention Day is a great example of how an effective sharing appeal works. It mentions the passing of Robin Williams (very current at the time), and urges people to get involved and help save more lives.

In one form or another, all highly shareable whiteboard animation videos display these 4 qualities. But there’s another thing we didn’t mention, because we assumed it was self-evident, and that is… have something valuable to say in the first place.

While whiteboard video as your medium of choice can enhance the message you’re trying to spread, it won’t make the kind of impact you’re looking for if you don’t craft a message that’s worth listening to.

And if you’re having trouble honing your message and captivating the attention of your target market, we’d be happy to help you with our professional, no-strings-attached Pow Wow.

Just enter your name and email below, and one of our creative marketing Ninjas will hook you up!

 

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