Guest post: How to do more video without shooting any - Part 1

We’re thrilled to have a 3 part guest series from Do More Video over the next three weeks highlighting ways you can create video without shooting video.  

By now you have no doubt heard about all the reasons why you should be using video to connect with your audience online: SEO, higher click rates, brand recognition, it’s easy to share and video sets you apart from the rest of the online crowd.

Technical barriers stop creative content

We’ve been told by many people that they really want to create more video content, but don’t do it because they lack the skills to shoot and edit video. So, how do you overcome this problem? How do you create more video without having to shoot or edit it? Well, that’s what this three part blog series will answer for you. We will look at some of the ways that businesses of all sizes and industries can get their message to their masses via video without shooting a single frame.

Remove the technical barriers: Online Animators

Today’s post is about online animators. One of the most popular being Xtranormal, whose tagline is “If you can type, you can make MOVIES!”. In a nutshell, Xtranormal takes care of the technical video stuff for you so that you can concentrate on the creative. You have no doubt seen these funny animated videos with the simple, quirky graphics and monotone voices. Some of my personal favorites were created for political commentary during Canada’s last Federal election, highlighted living in downtown vs. suburban Ottawa a.k.a. “Farrhaven”, and who can forget the crazy popular iPhone 4 vs. HTC Evo which to date has over 14 million views. Although not suitable for all viewers and especially NSFW (not safe for work), these videos were effective because they had a specific audience and a tight message that played within the platform limitations to make the subject funny and relevant. This same technology and theory can also be used to get your business attention online. Being big fans of superheroes at our company, we created a video using Xtranormal to explain how even superhero’s can benefit from doing more video:

Companies of all size have used Xtranormal to get attention. Geico Insurance created an entire series of videos using Xtranormal. Their overall campaign message is that making a video on Xtranormal is as easy as signing up for insurance with their company. Using this quirky platform gets the brand name in front of people who would otherwise not click on a video made by an insurance company. Is your business complicated? Xtranormal is a great tool to simplify complex topics for the masses. People innately want to learn, and cartoons lower the barrier to access difficult information. A great example: Quantitative Easing Explained by Omid Malekan, a US financial industry expert, has received over 5 million hits. Seeing the success of this video and an opportunity for the platform, The New York Times hired Malekan to create an animated cartoon series for its website last fall.

Creative time still required

While Xtranormal will save you the headache and time of having to learn how to shoot and edit your own video, it will still require you to take the time to create a relevant and engaging script. In addition, you will want to make some effort to choreograph your characters pacing, movements, and expressions to best support your script. Luckily, Xtranormal provides easy to use options to add pauses and to change your characters’ screen position and body and facial expressions. Although we highlight Xtranormal in this post, this is not the only online video animator available. Another one I’ve come across is GoAnimate. While I haven’t yet tried it out, it seems to work in a similar way and offers some colourful and dynamic image options. Have you used either of the tools above or perhaps another simple video animating platform to tell people about your business? We would love to hear your feedback and see what you have created. If you have any questions just leave us a comment below or drop us a line at info[at]domorevideo[dot]com.

Next week Part II

Check back next Tuesday when we will continue our series on how to Do More Video Without Shooting Any Video.  We will look at a great service that lets you easily create videos from your photos. A useful tool for to showcase events,  portfolios, and real estate.