How do you judge the quality of a whiteboard video? At TruScribe, our criterion is simple. Does the video grab and hold viewers’ attention, and leave them with its message firmly lodged in their memories for later action? We call a video’s attention-getting ability its engagement quality. Its tendency to stick with audiences is its retention rate. A high-quality video scores high marks in both.
So, what does it take to make a high-quality whiteboard video?
Start with a Great Script
The first, and perhaps ultimate, determinant of a whiteboard video’s success is its script. The script contains your video’s message. The point of your video is to enhance the audience’s engagement with, and retention of, your message. If your script doesn’t make that message clear, it will be virtually impossible to consider your video a success.
Your script also needs to maintain focus, and lend itself to the creation of supporting imagery. I choose the phrase ‘lend itself’ carefully here, as whiteboard video doesn’t benefit from overwriting. Whiteboard artists are highly skilled in concepting art based on your script, so don’t waste valuable words on expository content. Let the real-time appearance of the images be introduction enough.
Tell a Story
Be sure your script tells a good story. This will ensure that the associated images are interesting. And your script will drive engagement through its content as well as its supporting imagery. Even if it’s not a traditional Hollywood story, a narrative developed along the classic lines of introduction, problem/pain-point, and solution will make your audience more engaged and comfortable.
Stories are hands-down the best way to deliver information to other humans. So the more of a narrative you can involve (again, even an unconventional one), the clearer and easier to follow your message will be.
You should also read your script out loud so that you get an idea of how it will sound when your voiceover artist reads it. If your video is one minute long, can you read your script at a comfortable pace in one minute? Does doing so require you to rush through it? Are there phrases or sentences that work on the page, but cause awkward pauses or stumbling when read aloud? If so, rewrite your script to make it fully readable at a comfortable pace.
Optimized Images for the Whiteboard
High-quality whiteboard video naturally needs high-quality images, and that means hand-drawn, simple designs. By tethering audience attention to the moving human hand, good whiteboard video maintains engagement through the brain’s love of both human forms and motion. The hand becomes a focal point and a kind of character. It leads the eye around the frame and brings attention to the images being drawn.
When it comes to the images themselves, keep the visual design simple. Complexity serves many mediums well. But in whiteboard, time spent analyzing a visual is synonymous with time spent ignoring the voiced message. That’s because the brain will prioritize visual information over auditory information when made to choose.
Simple designs register quickly with the brain and don’t distract from the message. The brain is able to quickly understand and categorize images by shape. So the more straightforward and familiar the design, the more effortless the brain’s intake.
Keep it Moving
A good whiteboard video also introduces images quickly and consistently. Motion, surprise and image density all drive engagement in your audience. So use the fast-moving hand of the artist to consistently draw surprising images. Again, the artist’s hand will be a moving focal point, drawing attention to each new drawing as it emerges.
With each new image comes an element of surprise, as the audience doesn’t know what it’s going to be. Whether they were right or wrong, the reveal of the final drawing provides a hit of dopamine. The excitement that they called it, or pleasant surprise that they didn’t both engage the viewer.
Either way, dopamine tends to make the brain curious and stay curious. Your audience will be engaged by the current drawing and waiting for the next.
Good image density, or the number of images in frame/frequency of drawn images, will add more to the engagement effect of your visuals by keeping the motion/surprise principles at play constant. A fast-moving hand drawing one image is highly engaging; make those images come fast and frequently, and you’ll get that engagement boost throughout each frame of your video.
Use Color Wisely
A last consideration in the drawings arena is color.
Do your frames look like starbursts of color? If so, you might want to redesign.
High-quality videos use color sparingly, not wantonly. While a visually-arresting image layout is great from an artistic perspective, whiteboard video is made from a messaging perspective. This means avoiding the kind of distraction that comes with too much color.
Just as overly complex designs tend to drive message negligence, so do overly colored ones. Use one or very few colors instead, and use them purposefully.
Accent the most important parts of your frame with your color. This will focus the eye on the images most relevant to the video’s message, boosting their retention and keeping them engaged.
High-quality whiteboard video isn’t just about what you see: your narration is vital to a strong video. Make sure you select a voiceover talent who fits your needs, and can provide the delivery, range, and other criteria you require to realize your script’s message.
The best voice talent in the world, however, will be wasted if your synchronization is poor. A high-quality whiteboard video relies on great synchronization of images with your voiced script.
Strong editing that produces great synchronization yields an impressive boost in retention of your message in your audience. When presented with combined audio and visual information, after 72 hours, audiences remember 65% of the information. Compare this to the 72 hour retention rate of audio-only information (10%) and visual-only (35%).
From script to the final edit, your whiteboard video will be high-quality if you’ve developed each of its components to articulate and support your message, and increase audience engagement and retention. Do this by writing a clear, focused script, supported by simple, hand-drawn images, strong narration, and effective synchronization. With these elements in place, your whiteboard video should keep audience attention and leave them thinking about your message long after your video ends.