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Don’t Draw a Blank! Avoid These 9 Whiteboard Animation Pitfalls


If you have a message to broadcast to potential customers, a whiteboard animation video might be the right tool for the job. Nicknamed an “explainer video,” they’re perfect for explaining new concepts, initiatives, or campaigns. Whiteboards grab the audience’s attention and make ideas easy to understand.

Whiteboard animation looks simple and clean - an artist draws pictures on a white backdrop as the narration progresses. However, it comes across as scholarly and impressive. Businesses can use this presentation style to communicate anything from step-by-step instructions to storytelling and marketing. Whiteboards allow marketers to incorporate branding, product advertising, and CTAs to generate leads and expand any marketing or e-commerce sales funnel.


What’s In A Whiteboard Animation?

Whiteboard animation allows businesses to turn stories and messaging into something memorable, educational, and entertaining. Three key ingredients make whiteboard animation videos unique from any other targeted messaging. They are:

  • 1. Organized storytelling and narration
  • 2. A hand that animates each piece as the story unfolds
  • 3. White space reminiscent of dry-erase boards in a meeting room or classroom

By dodging the following nine common pitfalls when building your animated whiteboard, you'll save yourself valuable time and improve your efforts.


1. Rushing in Without a Goal

Take time to consider your audience before building your whiteboard animation:

  • Who are you trying to reach?
  • Where will you use the finished product?
  • What kinds of questions are you trying to answer?

It’s possible to make changes during the production process, but the more adjustments you make, the longer it will take to complete and the more costly it will be. Additionally, laying out goals ahead of time increases give the production team more lead time.


2. Putting Creation Above Content

The script matters most. Carefully chosen wording lays the foundation for a valuable whiteboard video. It conveys your brand’s tone and feel and it helps the production team work faster. It’s easy to get caught up in the animation, but word-choice will be pivotal and can’t be an afterthought.


3. Heavily Relying On Formatting

Whiteboard animation is highly customizable. No one size fits all. Don’t rely on a prefabricated design to build yours. Allow yourself to think creatively and help customers understand topics using new illustration styles.


4. Subpar Sound Quality

Poor sound equals poor comprehension, which means lost attention. Give the sound its proper due and get your volume, tone, and voice right. Determine if you should hire a reader to do the voice-over or if it should be the voice of someone from within the company. Making sure the narration matches the illustration’s timing is equally important.


5. Lack of Story Creativity

Creativity is key. You have the opportunity to add your brand’s flare for personality and interest, so make good use of it by presenting a story the audience wants to buy with their attention.

Don’t make a video heavy on the info but light on the passion. Like storytelling, the best messaging taps into the audience’s emotions to leave a lasting impression. Stories trump data, facts, and statistics to entice your audience to think or act.


6. Cramming Information

The human brain can only take on so much information at a time. If you have a lot of data to divulge, it should be done using more than one video or using a solid through-line of direction so the mind can follow each pivot. But be careful, more than one video is a solid plan if you find you’re still cramming.


7. Lengthy Videos

Along the same lines as attempting to cram too much information into a video, a long-winded video will lose the audience's interest. Aim for a two-minute or less time length for an educational video. Two minutes is the sweet spot for holding the attention of most people. If your story is compelling enough, you can entertain the customer for longer, but don’t create a lengthy video to fit in more education. Create another video instead, or cut out things that don’t help you cut to the heart of your point.


8. Not Promoting Your New Video

Your story won’t find its audience on its own. It’s essential to plan how to drum up excitement and viewership. It would help if you promoted your whiteboard animation.

In addition to sharing on social media and emailing your subscribers, consider the following options to stimulate viewership:

  • An abbreviated trailer can circulate through social media accounts, email broadcasts, or on the company website.
  • Practice responsive communication. You can stimulate a community of engagement by responding to viewers' likes, shares, and comments. Your whiteboard animation will stay relevant in your timelines and reach more people as long as you and your viewers remain engaged.
  • Share your animation alongside suitable news stories, trendy hashtags, or any already-created content that’s relevant.
  • ​With permission and the right target audience of followers, friends with a robust social following can get your animation in front of more people.

9. Forgetting The Purpose

Whiteboard animation aims to connect with your target audience to generate more leads because you have something of value to explain. However, you don’t want to explain it and have that be the end without the customer taking action. Your animation should generate leads, funnel into your offerings, provide a call to action, and/or explain your customer’s next steps.


Done Well, Whiteboards Are Powerful Messaging

Whiteboard animation looks impressive yet simplistic. It turns deep or complex subjects into something easy to follow. Audiences enjoy the educational and entertainment value of watching a well-crafted whiteboard animated story.

Remember to begin with a goal, understand your audience, craft a well-written script, get creative and emotional, and promote it. Finally, remember that whiteboard animation can play a critical role in lead generation and sales funnel’s growth.


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