Explainer Videos: DIY vs. Professional

February 24, 2014
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So, you’ve made the call to get yourself an explainer video for your company. We applaud your decision – as we’ve covered in our blog before, explainer videos give you an incredibly effective way to exude your brand message and let people know what you’re all about.
Deciding to go for an explainer video is the ‘no brainer’ part of the equation. Now it’s crunch time – do you go for a DIY video made in-house, or do you hire a professional to do it? The truth is that there’s no right or wrong answer, at least not at face value. We’re going to help you make the decision that’s right for your business by giving you the pros and cons of each. Making the final call is up to you.

The Script: The framework of your message

It’s your responsibility to have a clear idea of what your message is going to be and how you wish it to be communicated to your audience. The message is what underpins your entire project – get this one right the first time.

Why DIY: The advantage you have here is that you are your business. You know what you do from top to bottom, meaning that at the very least, your script will be true to what you can offer.

Why Go Pro: However, it’s not just about knowing your business, it’s also about communicating your message effectively. Professionals have the experience and are privy to what makes an audience tick.

The Storyboard: Bring shape to your ideas

The storyboard is essentially a visual that represents the story of your video. It’s a succinct summary of each stage, giving you a platform on which to build the finer details.

Why DIY: If you’re creative, then you’re in business. Got a clear idea of what you’re looking to do? Time for some artistic output. The advantage here is that you have complete control of the creative direction.

Why Go Pro: Professionals do storyboards day in and day out. They know exactly how to take your idea and turn it into a format that’s digestible, to the point, and clear. Your brand values and the message you’re trying to give your audience should remain the focal point and professionals can achieve this.

Read more on Explainer Videos: Why Explainer Videos will increase your sales by 20%

The Graphics: Time to digitise

This is when we really start getting down to business. The graphics will play an integral part in your explainer video, from logos, brand colours, fonts, icons and more.

Why DIY: Unless you have extensive experience in graphic design, it’s time to hit the various services available online. There are many sites that offer free templates, graphics, and icons for you to use. It’s relatively simple to collate these, even if you’re an absolute beginner.

Why Go Pro: You’re going to get tangible value from a professional. Unique graphics that not only stand on their own but that blend together to form a cohesive and powerful message. The problem with DIY is that you’ll have difficulty finding graphics that work well together (and look like they belong).

Animation: Bringing your idea to life

Animation is when it all starts coming together – your ideas, visuals, and storyboard are all used to bring your explainer video to life.

Why DIY: There are several services out there that will animate for a low fee. Using a relatively simple UI, you’re given several options to make your video a tad more unique than what’s delivered as standard. There’s a learning curve, so be prepared for a couple of sleepless nights until you get the hang of it. However, it’s a lot cheaper than going pro. You can also go back and edit the video as many times as you want.

Why Go Pro: Firstly, you’ll save the time it takes you to learn how to use fiddly controls on video editing software. This is also the most technical aspect of the process – pros will give you superior animations that are custom-made for your business. It just looks more, for lack of a better word, professional – People will take you seriously.

Audio: The heartbeat of your video

Videos are as much about the visual as about what your audience hears. Fantastic music combined with a clear voice-over really makes a difference in terms of conversions.

Why DIY: For those of you that already do podcasts or other work that requires a high-quality microphone, you may be able to pull this one off. If you have the music taste to boot, it may all come together for you. If you’re starting out and testing the market, there’s no reason not to use your own voice here. The crude element may give you an advantage of authenticity.

Why Go Pro: Professionals have the advantage of knowing what’s running hot or cold in the music business. They have made hundreds of videos and seen even more of them – so they know what kind of music fits with a certain type of product.

So which one to go for?

We’re not going to push you in one direction or another. It all comes down to which option gives your company value.

If you’re just starting out and you have plenty of time on your hands and quality isn’t a primary concern, then DIY may be the best option. However, if you’re looking for top-notch production values that convert, save you time, and maximise your investment, then there’s nothing better than going pro.

spark: discussion
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Creativa provides complete video production and animation services for clients direct or for agencies nationwide, specialising in creating content that engages Aussie audiences. Working with local crews dotted around the country to capture live-action video footage, we manage all the coordination for you. Whatever type of video you need, we’ve got you covered.