Powtoon

Understanding Your Target Audience is Critical - Canada Place English Explainer Video

Canada Place English is an English language school based in Spain, just outside of Barcelona. They are in a highly competitive industry where schools are vying for the attention of customers looking for roughly the same thing. Therefore, the goal for this video was to quickly demonstrate the primary benefits of Canada Place English and why they are a better choice. https://youtu.be/1dsebVnMS_k

We also had a goal to make this a one minute long video, instead of my usual 1:30. This was a challenge but it meant really zeroing in on the core issues faced by the audience and how Canada Place English relieves those issues.

Here is what Ruben Herrera from Canada Place English had to say about the video and production process:

“We are in the highly competitive private education industry and wanted to add video to our marketing mix to help differentiate our school and get our message out. We hired Carl to produce the video because of the quality of his work. Carl was able to skillfully reshape our initial idea into a one minute long script and he also provided a professional voiceover that brought the script to life. The video itself was exactly what we had hoped for. It was very easy working with Carl, as he was quick in responding to emails and listened to feedback, while also adding his own touches to the video. Overall, it was an exceptional experience working with Carl and we are extremely pleased with the resulting video. We would be more than happy to recommend Carl for any type of video marketing project.”

If you need to communicate your message so that it’s actually heard by your target market, let’s talk about how an explainer video like this can help do the job.

Explainer Video for MyOrderDesk Gets 200% Increase in Lead Generation

This little video was used in two email campaigns and produced a 200% increase in leads for PagePath’s MyOrderDesk. I’m lucky enough to get to work with amazing companies and help them grow their business with explainer videos, such as this one. Here's what Adam Witek from PagePath had to say:

The video you created us has been a success! We've used it in 2 email marketing campaigns and saw more than a 200% increase in lead generation.

https://youtu.be/v6CNGIwyTjQ

Explainer videos are a powerful way to engage your audience because they are easy to consume.

But an explainer video must be more than just a bunch of drawings flying around a screen. An effective explainer video must clearly and concisely speak to your audience and lead to a desired action.

All too often, explainer videos are created without focusing on the message your audience wants/needs to hear.

That’s why I always spend a lot of time understanding what your business is all about, how you bring value to your customers and what is the best way to speak to those customers.

In other words, I zero in on the script and build an explainer video that best represents the message you want to get across.

So get in touch to talk about getting an explainer video that delivers results.

Ultimate Leader Online Course Explainer Video

Here’s the first in a series of explainer videos that describe a leadership training program created by one of my favourite clients, Dr. Mary Kay Whitaker. An explainer video for your business is a great way to show your customers and clients what you do in a very easy to watch format. Live videos are great, but sometimes, an animated video is more effective because your audience focuses on the story and message more so than the person or people in the video. Animated explainer videos are non-threatening because they are basically, a cartoon.

And that’s the key benefit of using an explainer video to market your business: The message your business wants to convey comes through.

https://youtu.be/2F73vITNLiQ

For this explainer video, I wrote the script, did the voiceover and produced the final animated video.

Visit my website or contact me to talk about getting an animated explainer video for your business: carl@carlkwan.com

Check out Dr. Mary Kay’s leadership programs: https://www.drmarykay.com/ultimate-leader-certification/

And what they said about working with me: http://www.carlkwan.com/testimonials/

Video Content Marketing - Why I Use PowToon & Why That's Good for You [VIDEO]

There are plenty of options when it comes to video creation tools and software to create video marketing content. For animated explainer videos, I have chosen to use PowToon because there are several benefits for you, my client, over using software such as Adobe After Effects. https://youtu.be/MknvwYr_n6k

#1 - Speeds Up Delivery

Getting videos made in as short a time as possible can be a major benefit for your business because, as we know, timing can sometimes be crucial to success.

With PowToon, animated explainer videos can be made in approximately 2 to 3 weeks; on the other hand, a typical After Effects video can take anywhere from a month to two months.

This means it takes longer for a potentially powerful marketing tool that could really help your business to be put into action.

#2 - Easy Customization

Video content marketing should be a relatively fast process. But an animated explainer video made with Adobe After Effects needs to be made from scratch, which means the video is 100% customized. That is certainly a plus for using After Effects, but that slows down the production process.

And a PowToon explainer video can also be easily customized.

Using the available characters and graphics found in PowToon, along with finding custom images and graphics, or even creating custom graphics for you, can also give you a completely unique looking video.

And in fact, customizing an explainer video in PowToon is much simpler and faster than in Adobe After Effects because everything is drag and drop, where as doing the same in After Effects requires manipulating many more smaller details.

"But aren't there limitations to using PowToon?"

Yes, there are limitations. And the biggest limitation is that a PowToon video cannot be made to look like a smooth, cartoon like video that you would see on TV or in the movies.

If you are looking for that type of video, then you need to go with a video made in Adobe After Effects.

However…

That is why a video made with Adobe After Effects can cost several thousand dollars to make and take much longer to produce. They are simply much more complicated and time consuming.

This is, in my opinion, a major benefit of using PowToon versus Adobe After Effects… the time and cost savings to you.

#3 - Easy Editing & Revisions

An animated explainer video made in PowToon can be easily edited and revised, even after the video has been completed. But an animated explainer video made in Adobe After Effects requires a lot more time and effort due to the complexity of the software.

With a PowToon video, edits and revisions can be made on-the-fly and within a few hours. Again, this reduces the overall cost and time for delivery.

Another Thing About Money

To become a qualified After Effects animator requires a lot of time, effort and money to learn the software. In addition, many agencies will employ more than one animator.

So guess who has to absorb the cost of the time, effort and staffing? Of course, it’s you.

Yes, you can find cheaper After Effects animators in countries where the wages are lower. Not a problem. If they can do what you want, then great.

But...

#4 - It’s About the Message

At the end of the day, the most important thing is whether or not the video is effective. And that is related to whether or not the message you want to present is conveyed clearly to your intended audience.

A fancy looking and pricey video that is nothing more than eye candy isn’t worth the pixels it was built on if it doesn’t help your business.

The software is ultimately a tool.

It’s up to me to understand your business, your target market and the overall message you want to convey and make that a reality.

Videos made with Adobe After Effects can be very cool. If they could be made simply, quickly and cost effectively, I might offer them to my clients. And if you feel an After Effects video is right for you, and is within your budget, go for it.

But as it is, PowToon offers a professional, flexible and reliable option for creating animated explainer videos that help my clients get their message across. And we can do it quickly and cost effectively.

Let me know your thoughts and also if you have any questions about making animated explainer videos.

Thanks.

Video Content Marketing - How long does it take to make a video? [VIDEO]

Let's be honest, if you are going to use video to market your business, the reality is that making a video takes time. In my last video, I talked about the overall video production process, so in this video I'm going to talk about how long it takes to make a video. Specifically, this is how long it takes me to make an animated explainer video for a client. In future videos, I will talk about how long it takes to make a live video for a client and also how long it takes me to make these videos for my blog and YouTube channel. https://youtu.be/DRr1SgdmOQE

Under ”normal” circumstances

What I typically tell clients is that it will take 2 to 3 weeks to produce an animated explainer video for them. And this covers every stage in the video production process, from discovery, script writing, recording a voiceover, drafting the story board, and delivering the final video.

But in between all of that our checks and approvals with you to ensure that your video is being made in a way that will best convey your message to your audience.

Can a video be made faster?

Anything is possible. Getting a video made faster is also possible but it depends on what your expectations are and what you have prepared.

I have finished the videos in five days but in those situations, we either worked with a script template that I already have, a script was already prepared, and/or the voiceover was also ready to go.

On top of those things, the client didn't expect a complicated video. Something simple with more text and fewer images and/or animation was used for those videos.

Can it take longer to make a video?

Video projects can and, sometimes do, take longer than 2 to 3 weeks to complete. The main reasons for this to happen is that the checks and approvals process that I insist on at every stage of the video production process can sometimes take longer.

This is because it's up to you to check and approve of a particular process and get back to me.

This is not saying that it's your fault because I understand that you are busy running a business.

Why there are checks and approvals at each stage of the process

Checks and approvals at each stage of the video production process are an essential part of making a video for my clients. The reason is because this ensures that there are no major revisions win the final video is made.

Minor revisions are totally okay, but I want to avoid major revisions because that means more time is needed to complete the video. So when you check and approve of the video at each stage in the production process, this equals fewer surprises and a more efficient workflow.

Basically, you get exactly what you want when the video is done.

2 to 3 weeks seems "too” fast

If 2 to 3 weeks seems fast to produce an animated video, it's because I use software called PowToon. Other video production agencies may use Adobe After Effects to create more cartoon-like videos.

However, creating a video using Adobe After Effects can't take at least a month or more, depending on the complexity of your video.

And that also equals greater cost to you. In a future video, I will share with you why I use PowToon instead of Adobe After Effects and why it is better for you that I do.

I hope you now have a better understanding of how long it takes to make an animated explainer video. Let me know if you have any questions or comments about the process or getting a video made.

Explainer Video for Software Development Company

If your company develops software solutions for a specific industry, you’ll want to check out this explainer video for Vinosoft by SparkDynamics of Switzerland. Vinosoft is software designed specifically to help wine shops run their business. The challenge of producing an explainer video like this is ensuring that you have a good understanding of your target audience, especially their pain points and how your software addresses those points, so that your video can communicate that understanding. The Focus

For the Vinosoft explainer video, we focused on how individual wine shop owners got into the wine business because of their love of wine. But they’ve lost some of that passion because of the overwhelming amount of work required to run their business. And that’s where Vinosoft comes in to help, so we made sure that the video explained what Vinosoft can do and the benefits to the user.

Here's what Andy from SparkDynamic had to say about the Vinosoft explainer video project:

"Our company offers various software solutions for businesses. We asked Carl to produce an explainer video to introduce Vinosoft, which is a wine business management software to our customers. The concern we had was getting our prospects to see that we understood their main issues and had a solution for them.

Fortunately, Carl was able to write a script, record a voiceover and produce a video that clearly delivered our message...and that was also fun and engaging. Not only was Carl able to do this for the English version of our video, but he also produced a German language version, as well.

Carl is an excellent communicator and is very responsive to emails. He makes it extremely easy to work with him and he produces top notch, professional results. I highly recommend Carl and look forward to working with him again."

https://youtu.be/NMqc7NenBRg

To learn how you can get your own explainer video to market your product or service, please send me a message.

Check out Vinosoft and SparkDynamic at: http://www.sparkdynamic.com/

What makes an explainer video good? - Suresoft Technologies [VIDEO]

In this video about content marketing using video, you'll learn about what makes an explainer video good; in other words, how to make an effective explainer video. I will use the video I made for Suresoft Technologies as an example, and as kind of a case study. Hopefully, this helps you understand what is needed when creating effective video marketing content. Everywhere you look online when it comes to marketing is all about Video. And this could be either pre-recorded videos or the latest thing, which is Live Video feeds. So what I wanted to talk about in this week's post was what makes an explainer video good because explainer videos, or animated videos, are one of the most effective ways to talk about something in simple and engaging way.

https://youtu.be/vaf92sol86U

What explainer videos are good for

As I just mentioned, explainer videos are effective in talking about something in a simple and engaging way. In particular, they are great for taking something complicated, breaking it down, and explaining whatever that is in a way that makes sense and is easy to understand, and also memorable.

Explainer videos are also great because they don't date

What I mean is that compared to a live video with a real person, an explainer video can be used over a much longer period of time. The reason is that from year-to-year, people look different, hairstyles and fashion change, so you don't necessarily want to remake your live videos every single year. And if somebody in your company moves on, and they are in your video, you're kind of screwed because you need to update the video without that person. That can get expensive if you need to hire somebody like myself to make your videos.

Of course, I'm not bashing Live Video's because there is definitely a place for those types of videos, and I'm very happy to make those for my clients. I'll talk more about live videos in another post but this week, I wanted to talk about what happened with the explainer video I made for Suresoft Technologies.

They wanted just the facts and I said no

Most IT companies tend to believe that they only need to present what they do and how they do it to get their audience to take the next step. However, we have to remember that your audience is made up of people, and people want to be entertained or engaged by your video. That's why when sure soft technologies wanted something more fact-based and technical, I argued against it. Thankfully, they trusted my opinion.

The focus should be on them

When we made this explainer video, the client wanted a general video that would be used for all of the industries they work with. But I suggested a targeted video for a specific audience because the video needs to let the viewer know that your company and your products and services are made for them.

This means that your video must speak to your audience, and it must be in the language that your audience understands.

The result was gratifying

Suresoft was still somewhat apprehensive or skeptical as the video was being made. Part of the reason was that they had never made anything like this and they were used to a much more conservative and traditional approach to sales and marketing. Plus, they were on an extremely tight deadline and the video was going to be shown to the big car manufacturers out there in Detroit. So there was a lot riding on this video.

But once the video was shown, all of their apprehension and concern turned to confidence because the audience was engaged from the outset. Once the video was finished, the audience wanted to learn more and had a lot of questions related to how Suresoft could help them. Basically, the video got the conversation going in the right direction. And this is something that hadn't happened to Suresoft in the past.

Here's what Richard from Suresoft had to say:

When we contacted Carl about getting a video made, we were unsure if Carl could help us explain what we do. Our company specializes in software verification and validation for major industries like automotive, nuclear power and telecommunications. Critical but slightly dry topic. We had our own ideas about how to structure the video, but Carl suggested a different approach.

The video he made completely surpassed our expectations and helps our customers understand exactly what we do in an engaging and entertaining way. The video gets customers talking and asking questions during our sales presentations, which has been a huge win for us. The video creates a great first impression and helps our sales people have conversations, rather than just simply pitching.

Carl has a talent for understanding business objectives, communicating ideas and identifying core messages. Combined with his voiceover and video production skills, he offers a unique and valuable service. He is also very easy to work with and was always fast in responding to emails. We wholeheartedly recommend Carl and look forward to establishing a long term relationship with him.

Check out the Suresoft Technologies video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ehbxVmrqPQ

Time to talk?

If you’re looking to get into video content marketing or you’re doing it but want to up your game, let me know and let’s see how we can work together.

Making Videos to Market Your Business - Do You Need Audio?

This is going to sound blasphemous coming from a guy that promotes microphones for Edutige, but do you really need audio if you're making videos to market your business? The answer is an outrageous "NO!" And the reason why is we can show and not just tell to get our message across. Give people a break

As a business owner, we always want to tell prospective customers or clients about our products or services. But we don't always need to move our mouths. Sometimes, just showing people what your product, service or company is all about can be just as effective.

Plus, it's a nice way to break up the "monotony" of your regular marketing materials.

A non-microphone example (or two)

One of the companies I provide video marketing services to is a boutique law firm in Vancouver, BC called Winright Law. Lawyers are typically known to be talkers, aren't they? Maybe :)

But it doesn't mean we always need to talk to explain who or what we are as a business. In the video below, that you may have seen previously, we focused on the emotions and vibe of a group of people enjoying themselves. That's probably a lot easier to show than tell, and makes it very easy for your audience to consume.

Here again is the video about their Christmas party and there's very little audio in it...

https://youtu.be/gFsW9iM1EHU

Does it work? Yes, because the goal was to help people identify with the firm and see them as approachable and fun.

And here's an animated explainer video about the real estate purchasing process, also for Winright (I work with them a lot, what can I say??), that has no voiceover.

https://youtu.be/9d5V3qvXObs

This one could have been voiced to reduce the words on screen. but we decided that the audience may need to see the information and there was potential for non-native English speakers to see the video, so we went with this infographic style.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you prefer to see and hear what's going on, or can visuals alone be enough?

And if you'd like to get a video for your business, let's talk.

How to be an Amazing Communicator with Difficult People Explainer Video

This is an animated explainer video for Dr. Mary Kay's "How to be an Amazing Communicator with Difficult People" that is another favourite project of mine simply because of the amazing people behind the course... Dr. Mary Kay Whitaker and Ron Whitaker. The video is an introduction to an entry-level leadership product that Dr. Mary Kay is promoting and is part of a larger sales funnel. What they thought of their video

Best explainer promo video Vancouver"I contacted Carl to get his help on a video marketing project for a product launch and was thoroughly impressed with every aspect of the experience. We needed an animated video and gave Carl suggested content for the script. Carl was able to deliver a script, voiceover and video that hit all the right points and did so with little direction. He truly has a knack for finding the right message and delivering that message with his writing, voice and video production skills. Not to mention he completed the project from start to finish in five days. I highly recommend Carl for any video marketing project and look forward to working with him again in the near future." ~ Ron Whitaker, Managing Editor, About Leaders

https://youtu.be/ENG1dwjXJS4

What's important to note is that this video is not out there on it's own, but it's a part of a larger sales funnel that will feature additional videos.

Hmmm...Is he pumping their tires?

I sometimes wonder if people think I purposely try to pump the tires of my client's products or services. The truth is that I'm a big fan of all my client's work, and feel invested in helping them succeed.

What I REALLY do

I feel like what I do is act like a little coach or motivator, because when clients see their video and they're happy, that probably gets them pumped about their business. They probably get that rush of excitement they had when they started the business, which is something every entrepreneur needs every once in a while.

No matter how long you've been in business for yourself, there are times when you struggle or doubt yourself. Not that Ron and MK are like that, but maybe at one time they did go through rough patches. And it's during those times that it's great when someone believes in you, tells you to keep going, and who is there to offer support.

That's what these videos are all about from my perspective.

You don't have to go it alone

I originally set out to talk about the video and how awesome the leadership courses are that Dr. Mary Kay teaches, but maybe this is better. You're not alone. Whether it's a video, or presentation advice, or video marketing ideas... I've got your back.

Over the Moon - Baby Announcement Video for Ian H Watkins of Steps and Craig Ryder

So this is not one of my usual videos, since most of my videos for clients tend to be animated explainer videos. But it was certainly one of the most fun and gratifying videos I've ever made. This video is a special one for me, as I was asked to create an animated video to announce to the world that Steps' Ian H Watkins and his partner, Craig Ryder, are expecting twins. This was by far, one of my absolute favourite projects because how often do you get to help people share such great news, right?

Said Ian on Twitter...

Steps Ian H Watkins baby video by Carl Kwan

Who???

Steps was a pop group from the UK that had a bunch of hit songs in Britain. Not sure they ever made it to North America, but judging by the number of fans they still have, I'd say they were quite popular. And according to Wikipedia, Steps has sold over 20 million records worldwide.

Cut Out Heads This was also the first time I had to make a video using cut out heads stuck onto the body of a PowToon character. I made something like this for myself, but never for a client project.

Needless to say, it was a lot of fun!

Challenges The most challenging part was covering up enough of the character's body so it's own head didn't show. The other challenging part was getting a good cut out of Ian and Craig's heads, but luckily, Craig's photoshop girl came to the rescue.

If you had to attempt cutting out your head on your own, which sounds weird, it's not impossible but you might want to save yourself the headache (haha, see what I did there?) and just find someone on fiverr.com to do this for you.

I Had No Clue When I was first contacted by Craig, he mentioned that he and his partner Ian were about to become parents and wanted to create an animated PowToon video to make the announcement. He said that nobody knew and that it was going to be a big surprise because he and Ian were going to have twins.

  • I had absolutely no clue who Craig and Ian were.
  • I had no clue that Ian was Ian "H" Watkins from the UK pop group Steps.
  • I had no clue Craig was a talented and well known theatre producer and director.

In fact, I had no clue what the heck Steps was!

Google to the Rescue After we had finalized working together on their video, I needed to send Craig a storyboard preview. But to get a somewhat accurate representation of their bodies for the video, I Googled their names.

And that's when I felt like a total idiot, which happens a lot, anyway, because Craig and Ian were, well, Craig and Ian!!

Ian is Awesome Throughout the process of creating the video, I couldn't have asked for better feedback and ideas than I received from Ian. The concept and story for the video were all Ian's idea, and I just had to make it reality.

Pushed My Limits One of the best things about making this video was Ian's feedback and ideas, as they pushed me to look at PowToon in a different way and find creative methods for creating the video. Anytime you can stretch beyond your limits and learn something new, that's valuable, especially when it comes to new ideas for content marketing videos.

Anyway, PowToon has become quite a powerful tool and keeps getting better with every new feature that's added. For example, I had no idea you can control the character animations. These aren't fancy, but they do the trick. You can specify how many times a character or prop does their animated move. This is handy when you don't want, or need, a character to keep waving.

There's even a new collaboration feature that people are going to love!

Well Received But the most important part of the whole project is that Ian and Craig love the video and their families were excited and moved to tears by it. Ian and Craig tried having a child several years ago so actually becoming parents is very exciting.

"A massive thank you to Carl for all his hard work on our animation. We were a bit apprehensive about finding someone on the internet (that we had never met) to manage our project but quickly we realised that Carl was professional, reliable and super talented. We are over the moon with the final result. We would highly recommend Carl to create something wonderful for you." ~ Ian "H" Watkins

I'm so grateful for the opportunity and look forward to helping you with your project, too! Get in touch with me here to find out how to get your own video, baby announcement or otherwise!

 

https://youtu.be/pmb00lg6yVE