Don’t Use A Whiteboard Animation Video! (Until You Read This)

Updated: Nov 18, 2019

Are you sure you want to use a whiteboard animation video for your company? Can’t say we blame you… After all, they are a hugely popular type of explainer video in marketing. IF you do them right, at least.

Granted, a well-made whiteboard video can be an amazing content tool. But there’s also a lot that can go wrong with them. To keep that from happening, there are a few things you should consider before using one.

On this piece:

1. When Should You (definitely) Go with a Whiteboard Animation Video?

2. Common Pitfalls and Mistakes

3. How to Choose a Whiteboard Video Company That Suits You

1. When Should You (definitely) Go with a Whiteboard Animation?

Although a type of explainer video – which can describe any business or product – the whiteboard style isn’t necessarily the best style every time. Whether it fits or not really depends on your message, your marketing goals, and the product or service you want to get across.

Having said that, this style of animation does become a “must have” under certain conditions. Here are a few examples of the circumstances where we always recommend them:

When Your Products or Services Are Intricate or Highly Technical:

By their very nature and esthetics, whiteboard animation videos are educational. They resemble the boards we’ve used for years during business meetings and in schoolrooms.

There’s something in having a white space – free of distractions – and seeing the information unravel in front of you that makes it easier to follow the ideas. There are even studies showing that utilizing such setup can boost information retention by 15%.

When elements of your message depend on really complex ideas, a whiteboard explainer video provides the ideal vehicle to get them across in engaging, fun, and interesting ways.

When You Need to Cover a Lot of Information:

Much like other types of explainer videos, a whiteboard explainer video have a great capacity to synthesize and condense information effectively. What is unique to whiteboards is their presentation, that lets ideas unfold in front of the viewers without distractions while maintaining their interest.

With this format, you get to make even longer-than-average pieces while remaining entertaining. This unique dynamic of content and presentation lets you put more content in there than you would otherwise be able to with other styles. Which runs the risk of feeling boring past a certain length.

When You Want a Lighthearted, Yet Corporative Tone for B2B:

Don’t get me wrong; this style of video is equally effective in a B2C environment.

But when your goal is to quickly capture the attention and pique the interest of other businesses, using whiteboard animation videos can give you an edge. Their streamlined and clean-cut aesthetic, paired with a thorough-yet-brief script and the style’s characteristic humor, makes them ideal for business environments.

There are other instances where the whiteboard style can shine, but these are a few where they will most likely be the best alternative.

2. Common Pitfalls and Mistakes

For all the good a well-made whiteboard video can bring to your marketing campaign, a poorly made one can be just as harmful!

From the outside, “doing it right” might seem like a pretty straightforward proposition. However, without either experience or someone knowledgeable guiding you, it’s relatively easy to mess up many of the elements that make these videos great.

Here are a few of the most common mistakes:

2.1 – Not showing a drawing hand:

It might sound like an inconsequential thing. Yet the fact of the matter is that showing a hand drawing the images is a staple of the format for a reason.

Not only does it lend much-needed dynamism to the piece, but it also helps create a sense of closeness with the viewer, which just adds to the immersion.

2.2 – Using a Colored Background:

The white in whiteboard is not negotiable.

As we mentioned earlier, using a white background actually helps with information retention, but it also favors another critical purpose.

Having a neutral black & white setting makes it so that, when you do use color (a vital marketing strategy in these videos), it emphasizes its importance.

2.3 – Not using interconnected drawings:

Using separate illustrations entirely breaks the illusion of continuity and progression of your video.

We use interconnected imagery in these videos precisely to ensure your visual narrative is easier to follow. Adding up to the idea you are trying to get across.

Continuity is the essence of a whiteboard animation video!

2.4 – Changing the Style:

We are all up for originality and making sure your video feels unique.

That said, there’s only so much you can add to a cake before it stops being one!

Fulfilling the essential milestones of a whiteboard video (animation style, narrator, and other tropes above) is indispensable for your video to work.

2.5 – Poor (or non-existing) animations:

Many people misinterpret the minimalistic and sleek style of these videos as “simple”. So much so that you could even do without animation and still get a good video.

Nothing could be farther from the truth!

If anything, the absence of color and other distracting factors makes the animation that much more significant and necessary.

Movement helps keep the viewer’s attention in check, while it also helps convey the video’s ideas across in an entertaining way!

Whiteboard videos that don’t use animation (or have poor animation quality) can’t be effective.

There are plenty of other things that can undermine your video´s effectiveness. Yet the ones listed here are indeed among the most egregious.

3. How to Choose a Whiteboard Video Company That Suits You

Given that we’ve already established that high quality and attention to detail are paramount for a whiteboard video to work, it follows that the creative team behind it has to be able to meet those requirements. No excuses.

Otherwise, you are just wasting money and time on a piece of content that won’t meet your expectations and marketing goals!

The thing is that with so many businesses out there offering video marketing services, it can be tricky to separate the wheat from the chaff. To make that selection process easier for you and your company, here’s a simple to follow reference guide that can help you make the right choice.

Quality and Expertise: When considering an animated video company, the first thing to check is their portfolio, previous work, and references.

Get a feel for their work and make sure it meets your brand’s needs and standards.

Communication: The provider you go for has to be reachable! Smooth and clear communication isn’t optional during a creative endeavor, and a whiteboard explainer video is no exception.

The company you choose needs to make itself available to receive your input throughout the whole process.

Customization: Having a tailor-made whiteboard video that feels unique is integral to the piece’s performance.

Your video should reflect your company’s image and promote your brand effectively. Going for trite pieces of content with a recycled feel won’t do anybody any good.

Feedback: Check out feedback and testimonials provided by previous clients, as well as reviews and comments. Not every client-business interaction is the same, but it’s worth it to know what other customers thought about the service they received.Price: As with anything else in life, you get what you pay for. Cheaper companies usually go for template videos with little or no originality. Broader marketing companies (that is, those companies that do not work exclusively with video) tend not to have enough mastery over the medium to craft genuinely unique and distinctive products. And finally, high pricing doesn’t always translate into high quality!

Regardless of your niche or focus, going for a production company that works exclusively with animated videos, accommodates your budget, and is able to deliver the quality you want should be your goal.