Video and animation are office favourites at Synapsis Creative. Creating engaging video content, fun and playful animations, and condensing complex messaging into the magic of motion is where both our agency and PowerPoint really get a chance to flex.
Let’s explore the fundamentals, the processes, and the beauty that goes into creating moving images.
It’s difficult discussing animation without mentioning the powerhouse that is Disney. In 1981, two of Walt Disney’s original animators, ‘Illusions of Life: Disney Animation’. In this book Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston outlined the 12 basic principles of animation.
1. Squash and Stretch
Considered the most important of the principles, squash and stretch gives characters and objects the illusion weight, mass, gravity, flexibility, and impact. This is often best demonstrated by a ball bounce in slow motion since the ball stretches as it travels falls from the sky and then squashes as it hits the ground. When applying this principle, it’s critical that the object’s volume remains consistent – getting thinner as it stretches and widening as it gets squashed.
Not only does anticipation prepare audiences for what’s about to happen, but makes the actions of objects and characters seem more realistic. Animating movement always begins with anticipation, like the way people pull their arms back before throwing a ball or bend their knees before jumping. These small movements give audience’s visual cues about the next action while creating more realistic animation sequences.
In the same way artists use composition, animators use staging to present objects or characters clearly. When animating motion, staging guides the viewers’ eyes and focuses attention towards the most important elements of the scene while minimising the motion of non-critical elements.
4. Straight ahead and pose to pose
The two ways to animate anything is either straight ahead or pose to pose (sometimes combining both). Straight ahead action involves drawing frame-by-frame from start to finish. For animating fluid and realistic movement, straight ahead is safer bet.
Pose to pose starts with animating the beginning frame, the end frame, a few important in-between frames, then go back and complete the rest. This technique gives offers more control within the scene and allows animators to increase the dramatic effect of the motion. PowerPoint offers ‘Morph’ as a tool for quickly animating pose to pose.
5. Follow through and overlapping action
When objects or characters come to a standstill after being in motion, different parts will stop at different rates – similarly parts will move differently. Think of an animated character running; their body parts, hair, and clothing will all move in varying ways. This is called overlapping action. When that character stops running, inertia should keep their hair moving after their body, which is follow through. Both these principles make animation motion more realistic and fluid.
6. Slow in and slow out
All things move more realistically by accelerating and decelerating, which means movement is rarely linear – it’s progressive and should be animated the same. Slow in and slow out in animation means adding more frames at the beginning and end of any action sequence to give more life to movement.
This is a similar principle to the previous in that movement is a fluid arc. Most of objects and characters follow a natural arc or path of motion – think of the arc its movement follows as trajectory and gravity take effect.
8. Secondary action
As the name suggests, secondary actions support or emphasise the primary action or motion being animated. Imagine how a character’s hair will subtly move while walking, this is a secondary action that adds realism to movement.
This means applying the law of physics to animation – everything moves at different speeds, thus the duration of all movements will vary for different objects and characters. When things move too slowly, quickly, linearly, or inconsistently, the animation looks wrong. Always be conscious of timing in animation.
The beauty of animation is that you’re not confined by the actual laws of physics or anatomy. Exaggerating features and movements make animations more dynamic and playful. The point is to capture the essence of what’s being animated while creating something unique or impactful by exaggerating the mundane, pushing the limits of animation.
11. Solid drawing
Animators should know the fundamentals of drawing three-dimensional space – solid drawing. They understand how to create the illusion of form, weight, volume, light, and shadow on two-dimensional plane. Animation doesn’t always have to abide by this principle, it helps create consistency and perspective.
This one is tricky to explain or define, but the basic ideal is your animation should be appealing – conceptually, visually, or both. This means animating realistically, but with a personality or style that appeals to viewers.
Like any other creative process, animation should begin with a brainstorm. Whether you’re starting from scratch with zero direction or working strict guidelines, start with putting the key parameters and ideas down on paper or onscreen. While brainstorming should be a freethinking process, you should focus on figuring out:
- Target Audience – Whoever you’re animating for must understand what you’re saying.
- Voice – This is the character of your animation. Try to imagine your animation as a person e.g. imagining an industrial safety animation as a no-nonsense industrial worker.
- Tone – This is the feeling you want your animation to evoke.
- Objectives – Maybe you want to tell people about your website, or sell a new service, or simply build awareness. Whatever your animation aims to accomplish, make sure you establish it in the beginning.
As you come up with better ideas, build on them. On top of that, try linking ideas that would work well together.
The trick is to not spend too long on this stage. Otherwise you can easily over-plan things and fall into the trap of analysis paralysis. To avoid this, set a timer. Once your time’s up and you’ve jotted down some interesting ideas, it’s time to start…
Your structure will change depending on what you’re animating. If you’re animating a story, consider a scene structure like PASTO. If you’re animating an ad, consider a copywriting structure like AIDA.
Once you’ve settled on a structure, fill it with the ideas from your brainstorm. As soon as you’ve worked out a rough structure…
Start a table:
This table should have two columns. One for voiceover and captions, the other for animation.
Write your mandatory parameters at the top, as they should guide every word of your script. You should also write the intended pace and tone of your voice over at the top. This will guide you as you write. It will also guide your VO artist as they record. Remember to also keep your structure from the last step close at hand.
Now, start writing one line at a time in both columns. With each new line, start a new row. This will make it easier for you and your animator to tweak the script.
It’s important to remember that you don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it written. Don’t waste time worrying over a single word or animation idea. Just power through and fix it when you revise and edit.
- Write your voice over phonetically, especially for abbreviations and large numbers.
- Read aloud as you write.
- Make sure your voice over would work well as closed captioning. That means avoiding long sentences, lists, and so on.
- Remember that there are roughly 150 words for every minute of spoken content.
- Keep your tone consistent.
- Use simple language that your VO artist and audience can understand.
Most importantly, any names, dates, statistics, and so on are best written on-screen rather than spoken. This is because PowerPoint can be edited easily by almost anyone at any time. Your voice over… much more difficult.
Refining your script:
You’ve finished your first draft. Congratulations! You’re just a few drafts away from finishing. Print out your draft and grab a red marker. Now read it aloud and mark parts that need improvement. Finally, get someone else to give it the same treatment. Repeat this until you’re happy with the final product – always keep your audience in mind. Now you’re ready for…
With a finalised script, concepting gives animation a clear direction. There are five steps to creating a concept.
- Gather all applicable assets
This could include brand assets and rough sketches. It could also include notes from clients and examples of the sort of animation you’re after. As you do this, you should research your script and learn everything you can about the subject of your animation.
Make sure each asset is accessible on a shared folder and that all contributors can comment on them. Be sure to group similar assets together in folders and structure them according to the script table you created earlier.
- Apply high level design knowledge to your concept
This phase is incredibly important, as it will guide the rest of your project. Essentially, you must use high level design knowledge to establish the technical direction of your animation. Ideally, you should bring an Art Director on board at this stage, as they will understand how best to work your script into an appropriate ideation. Ultimately, it’s about placing a film director’s perspective on your concept to understand how to frame and shape the animation.
- Illustrate your concept in two visual directions
Now that you’ve established the design framework of your animation, you must sit with your animators and assess your assets. Once everyone has a clear idea of where the project is heading, separate them into two concepting teams. This is because your concept board should contain examples of two different visual styles for your animation. This way, you can give clients or potential investors more say in where the project will go.
Each example should be made up of about 5 frames, as well as a short description of the style you’re shooting for. Now you can just include each option in your concept board. It doesn’t have to be polished at this stage, as that will come next.
PROTIP: Whatever visual styles you pursue, design them with foundational design tips in mind.
- Polish your concepts into a presentable concept board
Now that you’ve developed your rough concepts, you need to package them in a professional PDF to send to clients and potential investors. This is known as a “Concept Board”. This final concept board should include:
- Your organisation’s branding
- A title and separate page for each Concept option
- Explanations of the style for each visual direction
- Establish a round of feedback and refinement
You’ve just finished the first draft of your concept board. Now you need to refine it. The best way to refine your concept board is to seek effective feedback.
There is an art to seeking the kind of feedback that can actually improve your concept board. Many designers mistakenly show them to people who won’t say where it doesn’t work. While you shouldn’t show your work to anyone who isn’t cleared to see it, you can obtain effective feedback with the following tips:
- Loop in the lead SME
- Never be defensive or dismissive of your feedback
- Thank everyone who critiques your concept board
After collecting this feedback, you must make visual and structural changes until your team is satisfied with your concept board.
Now that you’re happy with your polished concept board, you’re ready to move on to the next step of the animation process…
This is essential before beginning your animation, as it shows exactly what you’re going to animate. Without this direction, you will have a difficult time explaining the animation to your client and animators. To develop your storyboard, follow these seven steps:
- Double-check your concept and script
Before you begin your storyboard, check your concept to make sure you understand your animation’s visual direction. After that, scan your script for keywords. Start a column of any terms that establish a clear visual for your animation. For instance, if the script mentions a city, place that in your keyword column.
While you look for keywords, use your script to determine the length of your Animation. For a voice-over Script, 150 words represents around a minute of animation. This is important for your next step.
- Segment each scene
Split the total length of your Animation into sections of about 20-30 words. This represents about ten seconds of screen-time, which forms one distinct ‘scene’. You want each scene to be fairly short and sharp, otherwise you’ll bore your audience.
- Establish a mood board for each scene
To begin, start a new PowerPoint where every slide represents a scene. These slides will become moodboards to inform your eventual storyboard. Place the relevant keywords and script excerpts for each scene on these slides. Now, use websites like Pinterest, Shutterstock and Google Images to populate these moodboards with relevant images.
While you create your mood boards, it’s important that you stay openminded. Experiment with a few different options for each scene, as your next step asks you to establish a common thread between all of them.
- Consider how every scene ties together
Look for related keywords and similar imagery. As you find this common thread, trim the fat until you’re left only with assets for the first draft of your storyboard.
- Establish your storyboard skeletons
Insert a blank slide after every mood board slide. On these blank slides, insert up to nine squares squares using a grid layout. Ideally they should be in the 16:9 ratio, as this is the most common ratio for screens. This is the skeleton for your finished Storyboard.
- Populate your storyboards
Use the keywords, images and script excerpts from each mood-board to fill your Storyboards with rough drawings of each shot. Don’t waste time making them too detailed, as any storyboard could be scrapped before you begin animating.
As you draw, use editable vector graphics. In PowerPoint, these include EMF/WMF files. This enables you to easily change anything your clients or animators don’t like.
- Make it ready to make
Beneath each square in your Storyboards, include instructions on how to animate the shot. Insert the appropriate VO excerpt in the notes section of each slide. On top of this, you should create things like layers and masks at this stage. These steps will make it much easier for your animators to begin work.
While the animation process was born at the House of Disney, true inspiration comes from Studio Ghibli and its greatest animator and director – Hayao Miyazaki.
Anyone who’s ever seen a Studio Ghibli film can appreciate the quality of its productions. While some films use a small amount of computer-generated animation, Miyazaki-san is a purist, so the frames in his films are still completely hand drawn, with CGI only being used to assist with complicated scenes or to speed up production.
There’s an iconic scene in the early moments of 1997’s Princess Mononoke where a giant demon comprised of countless snake-like figures undulates seamlessly across the screen. The fluidity of its movements looks like computer animation, but it was actually hand drawn.
While the scene is only a couple minutes long, it supposedly took 19 months to complete with a total of 5,300 drawings all done by hand .For perspective, Miyazaki-san has noted that his animation process equates 24 drawings to one second of film. This attention to detail and appreciation for animation’s origins demonstrates why Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki are in a league of their own.
Another great inspiration for this kind of attention to detail in animation comes from the video game, Cuphead.
The beauty of this side-scrolling shooter is that everything is hand drawn – an homage to 1930s American animations like Fleischer Studio’s Betty Boop and Disney’s Steamboat Willie. At first, Cuphead’s producer, Maja Modenhauer, believed the best way to capture this style authentically was to design everything on animation paper – further tribute to the meticulous cartoon processes of yesteryear.
Due to Cuphead’s crippling difficulty, players have look at the game’s character and level design for hours on end, spending frustrating hours memorising enemies’ movement patterns. This game is painfully challenging; as a result, players cannot help but notice the amount of time and care that has gone into creating it.
Every single character, whether or playable or not, is drawn precisely and crisply with fluid animation. In two and a half seconds of the game’s animation, the designers drew a single character 35 separate times – and that’s not even looking at the background animation or other on-screen characters. Case in point, the game took seven years to develop.
We’ve looked at examples of how simple animations can really boost a presentation, such as Shyam Sankar’s TED talk, but Cuphead takes this idea to the extreme. Every hand-crafted character has a unique design and fits perfectly with the overall aesthetic of the game. Matching theme with content makes any presentation truly memorable, which is why this game is a prime example of pure animation magic.
Need more inspiration? Check out our animated video we designed in PowerPoint for Earth Hour .
Video and Animation in PowerPoint
Video design in PowerPoint is one of the easiest, most effective ways to convey your organisation’s ideas. The videos you create can be anything as simple as slide transitions or as intricate as animations. Video and animation are vital to content creation strategies, training and onboarding processes, and crucial for marketing in the digital era.
In 2014, Mark Zuckerberg said “Most [of Facebook] will be video in five years’ time”. He was entirely right, and since then, Zuckerberg’s empire absorbed Instagram and introduced video across both platforms. It’s not just video either. Modern marketers are designing all kinds of moving content for social channels: GIFs, boomerangs, animations, and more.
With our social media feeds full of motion content, we expect the same content from our business lives too. This consumer craving for moving content is changing every part of every industry. HTML5 was designed specifically to support moving content in everything from banner ads to mobile webpages. Enormous out of home advertisers are still investing in moving displays, bombarding bus stops and train stations with video ads.
With so much moving content to consume, consumers care much less about static media. Today, your media moves, or your company dies.
Since motion in video engages audiences, PowerPoint is an ideal program for delivering animation to audiences for several reasons.
First and foremost, it’s easy. PowerPoint has various features and plugins to easily add motion design to your presentation or slideshow. Furthermore, PowerPoint isn’t only accessible for novices, but it’s significantly cheaper for designing, editing, and delivering video content.
Video production and distribution has never been cheaper than right now. Film cameras used to be bulky, expensive burdens that were only brought out for special occasions. Now we carry high-resolution cameras in our pockets and PowerPoint offers a complete solution for taking that video content to the next level.
PowerPoint is also ubiquitous in offices and computers everywhere with an estimated 500 million users worldwide. From classrooms to conference halls, PowerPoint is being used (and often misused) by all calibres of presenters.
Video and Animation PowerPointers
Exporting your PowerPoint into video
To achieve this, you must first ensure that no part of your PowerPoint is activated by a click. Once you have automated all of your animations and transitions, click File -> Export -> Create Video. Don’t worry about the “Time Spent on Each Slide” option, as that only applies to static, unautomated slides.
Animation is one of the easiest aspects of video design to create in PowerPoint. It’s incredibly easy with PowerPoint’s collection animation and motion paths for 2D and 3D objects.
Let’s start with something simple. Say you want an image to fade onto the screen. Simply select the image, click the ‘Animations’ tab at the top of the screen and select the ‘Appear’ option.
Perhaps you want another image to move from off screen to the centre of the slide. Simply select that image, click the ‘Animations’ tab again, activate the drop-down menu, and go to ‘Motion Paths’.
Select the path you’d like your image to travel along, or create a custom path. Adjust the start and end points to your preference, and there you have it!
Now that you have multiple elements of motion to manage, you must consider their sequence. This can be done in the animation pane, which is the secret to superb video design feature of PowerPoint.
Mastering the animation pane
When it comes to video design in PowerPoint, the animation pane is your best friend. To access it, go to the ‘Animations’ tab at the top of the screen and click ‘Animation Pane’ next to ‘Add animation’. This pane makes it much easier to edit the elements in your video. You can sequence your animations, set when each video starts, and order every element that moves onto your screen.
By right clicking on each element here, you can adjust how and when each animation starts. With the large arrows in the top right, you can move each element up and down in the timeline.
Not only does PowerPoint have a number of options for inserting video, it can even create screen-recorded videos to insert into your PowerPoint. For any of these options, click the ‘Insert’ tab and go to the far right. Under the ‘Video’ option, you’ll find options for inserting videos from online or your own device.
The ‘Screen Recording’ option on the right offers an interesting way to work a screen recording into your PowerPoint. Clicking this option will activate a popup on the program you had open before PowerPoint. This tool has options for recording narration, your pointer, or a particular area of the screen.
Framing your video
When working with live-action video in PowerPoint, it is essential that the content you upload is engaging without editing. The foundation of this is framing your shot.
First, position your subject in a well-lit space. Fill the space behind your subject with material relevant to your company, such as your logo or notable products. Now, position your camera on a tripod or steady surface. Once you have done this, adjust the camera so the content within its frame aligns with the “rule of thirds”. By aligning important objects along these lines and focusing your subject on their intersections, you can always create an easy to follow and aesthetically pleasing shot.
In PowerPoint, there are a number of style effects you can apply to any video files you import. Simply right click on the video you import and select the ‘Style’ option.
From there, scroll through the many options available to you. Of course, this is only scratching the surface of video design in PowerPoint. As well as adding effects to the appearance of the video itself, you can add text and title cards to your video in PowerPoint. This is incredibly easy to do!
Adding Text and title cards
Start by turning your first ‘Slide’ into your video’s title card. First, select an appropriate background by clicking on the ‘Design’ tab. You can either pick from a number of pre-made themes, or format your own background.
From there, you can place introductory text on your title card by clicking on the ‘Insert’ tab and inserting a text box. Click on the text, then click on ‘Animations’ to find a suitable reveal animation for the text. Once you have done this, insert a new slide and apply a transition to your title card slide. In the ‘Timing’ section of the ‘Transitions’ tab, click on the ‘Advance slide after’ option and set it to your preferred time. This will ensure a smooth transition when exporting your PowerPoint to video.
Now, insert your video in your second slide. Right-click on the video in the animation pane and select ‘Start with previous’. This will ensure it starts smoothly with the end of the title card’s transition once you have exported your PowerPoint to video.
If you want an overlay including the name and title of the video’s subject to appear on-screen, simply insert an appropriate shape (through the ‘Insert’ tab) then insert text over the top of it. As you did with the text on your title card, you can make these appear on screen with an animation. Simply adjust their timing in the animation pane so it doesn’t appear prematurely.
To add credits to your video, insert a new slide and repeat what you did with your title card.
PowerPoint Stop Motion in Five Steps:
- Under the ‘Design’ tab, adjust the size of your slides to the screen you’ll be showing this video on.
- Take photos of your product at each stage of the animation. You could show it activating, opening, or anything you can imagine!
- Upload your photos to your device in a shared folder. Now, insert them through Insert → Photo Album → New Photo Album.
- Click ‘Insert Picture from File/Disk’, drag your cursor over each photo and click ‘Insert’. Now you only need to click ‘Create’ back in the pop-up menu.
- Size each image correctly. Click ‘Transitions’. Adjust your Duration to no longer than 10 seconds. Next to Duration, adjust the ‘After’ option to 0.5 seconds. Click ‘Apply to All’, then view the slideshow in presentation mode.
Before you export, you can add text and shapes to enhance your stop-motion. Once you’re done, click File → Export → Create a Video.
Kinetic typography is the perfect solution when your content has fewer obvious visuals. Remember, kinetic typography is really just a fancy way of saying “Moving words”. By putting words in motion, you can make your text much more engaging. On top of that, animating your text can add a great amount of character to your copy. Just think of the opening titles from those classic Hitchcock films.
Thankfully, these are also incredibly easy to create in PowerPoint:
To create kinetic typography, there’s only one tool you really have to master: motion path. The first step to making professional kinetic typography is by inserting a shape which blends into the background. Now set your text over the shape, and send it to the back. Apply your motion path, and voila!
Another trick to making top kinetic typography is the morph tool. By simply duplicating a slide, changing the contents of the second slide, and applying a morph transition, you can create all kinds of interesting effects. One of the most interesting effects you can create through morph transitions is rotation, which can be a powerful tool for engagement.
Perhaps the best application of kinetic typography is in animating your logo. Adding motion to your logo can make it much more memorable in the minds of your viewers.
Wyzowl’s 2019 State of Video Marketing highlighted video’s crucial role in promoting businesses, products, and services digitally. According to the report, it improves product and service understanding, increases website traffic and dwell times, generates leads, and reduces support calls.
The 2019 report also noted that Youtube retains its top position for video marketing and is considered the most successful platform. However, video’s effectiveness and usage have increased across Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. With so many channels available for sharing, it would be foolish not to invest in some form of video-content creation.
Marketers aren’t just realising the strength of video content – consumers also prefer it. The report noted that 68% of people prefer to learn about a new product or service by watching a short clip. A huge number compared to text-based articles (15%), infographics (4%), presentations/pitches (4%), and e-books/manuals (3%).
According to the report, 48% of people said they’re more likely to share videos with friends – well above social media posts (23%), news articles (16%), blog posts (5%), and product pages (3%).
In the eyes of consumers, videos are more desirable and more likely to be viewed or shared. Marketers offered a variety of reasons why they didn’t use video in 2019 – cost, time, unclear ROI, or lack of knowledge. However, the study suggested that viewership will continue to increase in 2020.
Explainer videos of the simplest video assets that a brand can create and share for marketing purposes. Its capacity to condense important information in a clear and impactful way makes messaging more entertaining and easier to absorb.
Digitalisation has done a great deal for the proliferation of video content since we’ve moved from ‘filming’ to ‘recording’ and from broadcast television to streaming platforms like Netflix and Youtube.
According to Forbes, the average person spends 88 per cent more time on a website with video. Video is an efficient way to keep customers informed and is more likely to keep them engaged for longer.
Videos build trust and familiarity with customers because they give a voice and identity to a brand. Companies that use video can summarise their story, their offering, or their value proposition in a brief and punchy manner. It’s like an elevator pitch that brands can share and embed anywhere. Optimising your video content for mobile will extend your reach further and demonstrate consciousness for the increasingly mobile marketplace.
Striking a balance between informative and entertaining is a challenge, but can really help a business’ visibility. Videos allow companies to express some creative personality to an otherwise faceless organisation.
One of the most important things we’ve seen from the increased use of video is the importance of brevity. When developing an explainer video, the key is to ensure a visitor gets the vital information quickly and easily (particularly compared to reading said information). We recommend keeping it under 90 seconds and not inundating your audience with too much information.
Videos are also more likely to be shared in comparison with text or imagery, which means businesses have a better chance of making advocates out of customers while improving retention.
A study conducted by Eyeview Digital found that using a video on a landing page increases conversion by 86 per cent, so the best way to improve your marketing ROI is to produce an explainer video that can be shared on your website and social pages.
Explainer videos are a useful means for closing a customer, especially if the video is attached to an email or posted on social media and websites. If a customer is already reading an email from you or visiting your website, they’re already aware of your brand, which means half the work is already done for you – having a video available could help tip the scales in your favour and ensure the sale.
Customers want to be spoken to on an emotional level – it’s not longer about providing a product or service; they want solutions to their problems. Explainer videos allow companies to highlight common issues customers may have and how their business intends to solve them. By appealing to consumers emotionally, explainer videos can evoke an emotional response and connection.
Furthermore, video content is easy to edit and repurpose for different audiences (such as rerecording voiceovers or adding subtitles for different markets). Videos are also very versatile in terms of audience and reach – they can be used externally as a marketing resource, or used internally for keeping staff informed or onboarding new talent.
YouTube Video Content
According to YouTube, the video platform sees 1.9 billion logged-in users each month who watch over a billion hours of content every day. There are local versions in 91 countries and available in 80 different languages, covering 95% of the internet population. So how do you build a YouTube presence in such a rich network?
YouTube ranks videos with the most watch time rather than those with the most views, which means YouTube rewards creators based on the number of minutes a video was watched. You can have a viral video that gain popularity quickly, but if people only check the first couple seconds of it, you won’t get the same kind of traction as one that is consistently watched to completion.
Video search results are affected by keywords and relevance. This means you should be optimising keywords in your video titles, tags, descriptions, content, and thumbnails. Be sure to include a mix of common and long-tail keywords. Relevance is determined by how many videos users have watched from your channel and the last time a user watched other videos on the same topic as your video.
Please note, that if a video on your channel drives a viewer to watch more videos, you’ll earn some watch time credits for the cumulative minutes accrued. The platform also rewards you if people watch multiple videos from your channel, particularly if they show up in the ‘suggested video’ section.
Videos are also ranked according to their view velocity – the number of subscribers who watch your video right after it’s posted. Therefore, promoting your video content across other social media platforms early can help boost your search ranking.
Embedding YouTube videos into your site, linking videos to social channels, and including videos in your blog posts – also boost the ranking of your videos and improve discoverability.
YouTube Presence: Limits and Specs
There are a few character limits to keep in mind. Only the first 48 characters of your ‘About Us’ page shows up in YouTube search results. Also, you should try to limit your video titles to around 60 characters to prevent text from being cut off in results pages. YouTube will only show the first 100 characters of your video description, so include important links of CTAs within the first 2-3 lines to boost your YouTube presence.
You should also be optimising your channel art by ensuring your banner size is correct and the design is compelling. 90% of the best performing videos have custom thumbnails (YouTube recommends 1280x720px).
Also, pay attention to the click-through rate on your thumbnails and audience retention. It helps to have a consistent design or theme in your thumbnails – plus having a spokesperson in your thumbnail and video will help your channel gain recognition and create engagement
Optimise your video by adding subtitles and captions to help your viewers and your video’s discoverability. Translated meta data may also increase a video’s reach and discoverability, so upload your own translation, ask the community to add their own, or turn on the feature to have captions added automatically.
To continue building your brand on YouTube, Create trailer videos to explain your channel, giving an overview of what viewers can expect from your content within 30-60 seconds. Be sure to change these trailers regularly and have at least two of them – one for new visitors and one for returning subscribers.
How to craft your YouTube Branding
You should look at ways to incorporate brand identity and personality into your YouTube branding. For example, set your logo as profile icon, ensure photos and videos have an aesthetic that matches your brand, include brand colours as part of video elements (this could be as simple as wearing branded clothing in the video), and use consistent fonts for any words used in your videos.
There is no shame is asking viewers to subscribe to your YouTube channel, both vocally and visually – through cards. Cards are pop-up links you can add to your video. This is a good spot for placing CTAs to another video or playlist, your channel, multi-choice polls, donate to your page, or link to sites like your e-store or social media channels.
CTAs can also pose as watermarks on your video to ensure anyone that repurposes your video still has to wear your branding. However, you can only add cards after reaching 1,000 subscribers and you can only put a maximum of five per YouTube clip.
Strive for a person-to-audience connection through a spokesperson or vlogging (be fun, human, and authentic) Engage with viewers; ask them to subscribe, thumbs up, like, comment, or share.
Keeping your YouTube-comment section clean encourages others to keep their comments clean, encouraging, and helpful. While it can be fun engaging with trolls (especially if the comeback would really burn) – it can also set a nasty precedent.
Content that Reinforces YouTube Branding
It’s better and easier to win viewers over in the first few minutes of something like a four-part series rather than to have a 20-minute video that viewers don’t finish watching or see the CTA.
Also, be sure to close out your video with links on how to support or see more, which should help boost subscriptions and viewer retention. Longer videos tend to appeal to those who are already invested in your content and are more likely to convert into a subscriber.
Use playlists for serial or similar content you’ve produced. Playlists help YouTube clips become more discoverable and can be public, private, unlisted (viewed by anyone with link). Also, add a playlist description and video thumbnail to help your discoverability and click-through rate.
If you’re blogging, then you should be producing video content too. The whole point of blogging is to provide value to your readership – by entertaining and/or informing them. There’s very little preventing those readers becoming viewers and subscribers. People can shoot quality videos on their phones, production is vital (but helps), and a quality microphone is easy to find if you want to invest in your video creation process.
Our Video Process
Prior to starting any new project with us, one of our account managers will give the new client a questionnaire to help clarify the brand and the goals of the company. This questionnaire will pose various questions such as what tools the client is currently using in their marketing, the lifetime value of customers, and the cost of acquiring customers.
Next the client fills in a video brief template, which outlines the specifications of the video such as purpose, length, audience, and tone. While you may think this is a lot of work for clients, it helps them and us understand the reasoning for this project and ensure alignment, which should reduce the amount of edits/changes.
After initial briefing discussions, we develop concept options to help the client decide the overall direction, look, and feel of the video. This is followed by the first round of concept feedback where clients pick their preferred concept and elements for the video. After amendments are made and approved, we move onto the storyboard stage.
We then collect screenshots (where applicable) and piece together the overall storyline, which include mark-ups of each scene to highlight where voiceover and music tracks sit (where applicable) while providing sample of music and VO based on client’s guidance. This is all sent back to the client for feedback – at which point the client requests any visual or structural changes necessary.
Following storyboard changes and approval, we then move into the animation stage where we produce the first video file with mock voice over and selected music tracks. The client then provides feedback on the pace of the video, any script tweaks, and final approval for script and music so we can purchase the necessary tracks or voiceover services needed.
The second animation stage includes the client’s selected voiceover and music cut to fit the video. We then take on final feedback and approval before providing finalised video and PowerPoint files, which can be rendered up to 1080p and 60fps – higher than industry standards.
This whole process generally takes 3-4 week depending on how quickly feedback can be turned around and approved. Script development may add to the production timeline depending on content research and revisions necessary.
As you can see, Synapsis Creative works closely with clients to ensure the final design is completely to spec and aligned with initial expectations. We pride ourselves on our collaborative approach and our ability to provide living documents that can be edited and re-used at our clients’ leisure.