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Archive for Explanation Videos

The Cuillin Collective – Home of the Affordable Explanation Video

Why Use An Explanation Video?

Ok. I've been spending a lot time on Quora recently reading the answers from other explanation video companies. It's interesting to read to say the least. Lots of great ideas and of course, lots of poor ideas. But none of the answers really answer the core question.

Why use an explanation video?

Well, instead of adding my answer on Quora which will be lost, I'm going to let you know the secret here.
* This answer is not a way to win business. It's an honest answer that we know it true.

An explanation video converts your visitor into a customer, fee paying or not. As simple as that. If you think about it, your visitor arrives on your website (let's say that really were looking for your product or service) and they want to know what you offer. For example, let's say they are looking for an explanation video. They want to land on your site and they don't want to sit and read all your terms and conditions or wait for all your banners to run through. They want to click play, sit back, relax, understand what you are offering, then click a button to sign up, learn more or to make direct contact. If you whet the appetite of your visitor then you're more likely to encourage them to contact you.

You might not be selling anything, it doesn't matter, like being a human, we all want to connect. So, let's connect. Wait, before you do that, why not watch our new explanation video (top right). If you like it, click on the Live Chat button and let's get started. Even if you just want to connect, that's fine with us. Let me start. Hello. How can I help?

AMANO Tongue Cleanser

I am very excited to be able to share this with you, our readers. It has been in my head for months. In fact, it was just before Christmas, 2013 when I first spoke to Mano, our lovely client. Ok, before I continue, I will always be biased of somebody that sends me 6 bottles of his favourite wine for simply doing our job but Mano really was an outstanding customer. The reason for the delayed post is simply because the product had not launched yet. So I’ve had to wait, like a kid at Christmas, to show you these two outstanding videos.

This first video is their general explanation video which talks about all the different uses for the Amano Tongue Cleanser. It includes a 2001/Star Wars-esque opening sequence and a few ‘celebs’ on the way. I really hope you enjoy.

I’m always certain that we make our best videos when we are left to use our creativity alongside the clients passion for their product. It’s what works, and always will work. So, without further ado, here is what is now (and probably always will be) my favourite explanation video. It’s simple, amusing and above all doesn’t take itself too seriously. And of course, Rosko’s voiceover is absolutely perfect.

Well, there we have it. 2 explanation videos that have made it to a blog post. Both for the same company as well. I don’t often ask for comments but it would be great to hear your thoughts on these. Did you like them? What did you like about them? Did they make you laugh?

Thanks to all that support us, recommend us and generally follow what we do. If not for you, then we wouldn’t have a business (but that’s another blog post for another day).

Sláinte

Marc, Ailsa and Helen.

Demo Video vs Explainer Video

There are many uses for explainer videos. One of the first questions we are asked by new customers is....

“Which style suits what I need?”

It’s all a bit confusing isn’t it? What style of video suits what product or website? Should you go with the hand crafted illustrated video or the digitally crafted illustrated video? Do you need screen capture to explain the concept or instructions? To clear it all up I thought I’d spend some time over the next few weeks and go through each style so we can all have a better understanding.

The Demo Video

First up, I’d like to talk about the Demo Video. Sometimes explainers are mixed up with demo videos. Yes they both explain something, but the explainer video is used in a different way. Explainers talk about the product or service generally and are there to help the viewer decide on whether or not to sign up or to encourage the viewer to contact the company. Demo videos actually demonstrate the functionality of a website, app or product and would be used after the customer has already signed up.

Unlike explainer videos, these videos talk the viewer through how to do certain things. Let’s use an example. We made this demo video for BestBequest.

Our task was to use screen capture and voiceover to demonstrate to the user how the BestBequest system works. Normally, screencast videos are pretty boring and not in the slightest bit visually interesting. So we took our normal explainer video style and mixed it together with screen capture and this is what we came up with.

It works really well. Yes, the point HAS to be understood by the viewer. But the key to any online video these days is explanation. People don’t have the time to read all your content.

Our next article will be on the subject of Kickstarter Videos

Want your own Demo Video to walk your customer through your software or website? Then fill out the form below for a free consulation.

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The Green Mile

We’re always told about being green these days. Which is great. But to be perfectly honest, I don’t really think about it. I recycle everything that can be recycled and I’m very frugal with our heating system. But that’s about it. That is until I read an article about how we can all be a bit more green.

It got me thinking. We at The Cuillin Collective are a lot greener than I first thought. Why? Because we do our bit and work at home. The average couple (our age) drives 29,980 miles per year which amounts to 10.3 tonnes of CO2*. Ailsa and I drive 3500 miles every year which amounts to 1.24 tonnes. That’s a 9.06 tonne difference. To put this in perspective, I could fly from London to New York and back again 12 times in under 9 tonnes.

But why don’t we drive that much? Well it isn’t because I don’t like driving, it’s because we don’t have to.

Explanation VideosOur commute is about 25 yards on foot. From our kitchen to our office. Before we even start work, we’re green.

What about electricity I hear you ask? Yes, we use computers all day everyday but it turns out that we don’t really use that much electricity. Our computers are extremely efficient and our lighting for the explanation videos are only 80 watts each. We are proudly in line with the national average for usage. Which makes us think, what is the average family doing with their electricity if they’re out all day at work?

Paper Craft Videos

With any business, reducing the amount of paper they use should be top of the list. Yes we do use paper to create our explainer videos, in fact we couldn’t work without paper. But we never print emails and we never print scripts. In all honesty, I don’t know why we even have a printer. We recently had our accounts audited by an accountant and I was asked why I didn’t have printouts of our purchases. We have over 250 transactions via Paypal every year. That’s 250 bits of paper saved. Why would I print them out? Surely they’re safer online? If the tax man needs something, I can send a digital copy. We’re actually doing our bit and not knowing it.

Here is something I do know. If you’re leaving school with no idea what to do, get on oDesk.com and Elance.com and you’ll never have to leave the house again helping your wallet and the environment. Working from home is the future. No matter what way you look at it. It’s going to happen.

What does your business knowingly or unknowingly do to be green?


*Calculated from http://www.cooltheworld.com/carbon_calculator.php

Common Craft Style Videos

There are so many different styles of explanation videos. And so many names for each style of video. It can all get a bit confusing. So, we’re taking the most common mistake we see here and sorting it out once and for all.

We get a lot of customers looking for what are known as ‘Common Craft’ style videos. They see the ‘Dropbox’ explanation video that Common Craft made and ask us if we can make a video like that. Our response is always the same. “Common Craft made the Dropbox video, we can’t copy that style, be we can offer you one of our Hand Craft videos which have the same look and feel.”

We could copy it exactly if we really wanted to, but we don’t. We’ve built up our own variation of the style. There are a few key differences.

• We don’t shoot on a whiteboard. We shoot on paper instead.

• All of our characters have faces and detail.

• Our characters are all hand drawn. Not on a computer, but illustrated by hand on paper.

• We do not use stop motion animation. We animate using After Effects (Advanced Hand Craft & DigiCraft )

• Our text is hand drawn and not printed.

I could go on. I'm not denying that the videos do have the same feel. And I do understand why some folks get confused. They are ‘common craft’ style videos after all.

Our customers want simple explanations. And our aim is to explain as simply as possible using the style that our customer likes. Mostly, the common craft style video. 

Here are two great example of our hand craft videos. We've made over 700 of them!

I want to see more examples

The hand craft videos that we make were inspired by Common Craft. In fact, both Ailsa and I are huge fans of Lee and Sachi. And we understand why they are very protective over their brand hence writing this piece. We don't pretend to be them. We don’t say that we are them. We never have and we never will. We are The Cuillin Collective. Not CommonCraft.

Both Ailsa and I are extremely proud of our variation on the style. And our customers love them. That’s why we’ve been commissioned over 700 times in the past 3 years.

Although, some folks just plain don’t like us. Here is an example. I’ve no idea why a competitor (edit: please see comment below) would say such things. I might not agree with how some people make their money (eg, Walter White) but I wouldn’t troll the internet looking to abuse them. And if you'd like a different example, here is another.

So, onto the point. If you’d like a video created by CommonCraft then please use CommonCraft. However, if you’d like one of our Hand Craft explanation videos (not a video created by CommonCraft) then simply visit our explanation videos page.

Are Explainer Videos A Waste Of Money?

Money
In a word: no. Well, they can be if you don’t make the right choices when choosing which company to make it for you, but that’s another article for another day! As home of the explainer video, we believe and promote the values of having an explainer video on your site.

The price of explainer videos varies massively, but regardless of what you are willing to pay, or indeed can afford, then you should really view your explainer video as an investment. It’s an investment as it will enhance your site, enhance the experience of visitors to your site and when done correctly, will ensure a much higher conversion rate for your business. If you find the right production company, then you’ll get the right video which will represent your business in the right way, not just now but also well into the future. It might feel daunting to spend money on a video but the amount you pay now can go a long way in building and promoting the future of your business.

If you think that explainer videos are a waste of money, take a think to your recent web browsing. How many pages featured a video, and how much longer did you stay on the site because of it? And it’s more than just having it on your site, once you have that link to your completed explainer video, think of all the places you can share it and all of the people you can reach. Nobody wants to read pages and pages of text on a site or in an email these days, and why should we when a concept can be portrayed in a more effective manner in much less time using an explainer video.

So there you have it: the only time an explainer video is a waste of money is if you don’t spend time finding the right production company to make your explainer video for you.

Writing An Explanation Video

Explanation Video Script

The process of writing an explanation video is one of, if not the most important, part of the overall process of actually creating an explanation video. Now of course the voice over, illustrations, shooting and editing all come together to create an explanation video, but without the solid foundation of a strong script, this is all worthless.

The clue is in the name of an explanation video - and without a good script, there is no way that the explanation can be good. Explanation is at the heart of the video and has to be at the heart of the script also, regardless of style, target market or business. There are many ways to approach a script and the best results always come from tailoring the script to the client and their target market.

The way we gather our information for a script is through conversation with you, asking you to fill in our questionnaire and then visiting your website. This is why our questionnaire is so important, particularly if you are a start-up and you don’t yet have a website, as it is our only source of information to write your script from. In this instance, we only know what you tell us and we need to be able to fully understand your business, product or service to be able to explain it effectively to others. Often we are given a script by clients, and we would always ask that the questionnaire is still filled out, We can certainly work with the script you have given us, but it is important for us to have an understanding in order to be able to explain to your target market.

The other important point to mention is that we try and make the script a collaborative process. Tess writes our scripts, but she also then discusses the script with Marc and Ailsa to ensure it is as good as it can be. We then let the client view the script and invite them to provide feedback and comments on the script to let us know what is missing, or what is surplus to the script, to ensure that the script is exactly what you want it to be. We don’t go any further until this process is complete and you have confirmed that you are 100% happy with the script. We’ve used this process in the 700+ explanation videos we’ve made, and it works!

The Year Of The Explanation Video

We honestly believe that 2013 is the year of the explanation video - the year that they reach their peak. Since we started The Cuillin Collective, we’ve seen their popularity rise a huge amount. We’ve also seen the companies that make them rise too, there is more competition now than ever before, which is a great thing. It’s good for customers as they have complete choice over which style they want and it’s good for companies such as ourselves as it means we need to stay at the top of our game each and every day.

If you run your own business, be it a start-up or a well-established business, then you need an explanation video. This is true regardless of the nature of your business, be it a beauty salon where you have a physical shop space where you offer a service, or whether you offer software solutions online to your customers. In 2013, a website without an explanation video will be left behind, so you really are putting yourself at a disadvantage if you fail to have one.

An explanation video is one of the most important elements of your website, just as important as good design and effective content. It’s also one that is quite often overlooked and disregarded but if you are running even the most basic of analytics on your site you’ll be able to work out how long visitors are staying on your site. You certainly do need content - content is important for information and for SEO, but in terms of explaining the services or goods you offer or your overall business ethos, a simple 60 or 90 second explanation video can ensure that your visitors understand your concept straight away. It allows your visitor to gain enough information about you to want to research further or contact you without them getting bored looking for an answer on your site and clicking off.

Whether you choose The Cuillin Collective (which you really should!) or not for your explanation video, you need to have one on your site!

British Explainer Videos

Explainer Videos are big news in the US - so many businesses use them as an effective way to explain their product or service. Next time you are browsing online, visit a few US-based sites and you’ll see just how many of them are using explainer videos. Explainer videos started off in the US and have become something of the norm, but explainer videos in the UK are still relatively new - new to those browsing sites and new to owners of businesses across Britain.

Since the recession hit over here, and large volumes of people starting losing their jobs or struggling to manage on a decreased income, people have been searching for new ways to earn an income. Countless people have set up business and there are now a flourishing of successful start-up businesses run by the self-employed. We’ve spoken about how passionate we are about these kinds of businesses before here at The Cuillin Collective and we are proud to both work with, and also to be, one of them.

The Standard Hand Craft Explainer

This is why we started offering our Collections - these are specially designed to meet the needs of start-up businesses. We include our explainer videos in these packages as we have a strong belief that explainer videos are the way forward for businesses to break down what they offer in terms of products and services in the most understandable, efficient and cost effective way possible. This belief is well-founded - explainer videos are big business in the US and we are proud to be at the forefront here in the UK.

The DigiCraft Explainer

We love working with clients - no matter where in the world they are. We make sure that the distance and time difference is never an issue for our clients or us. We do this as it is important to our business that we can work with people all over the world. On the other hand if you are based in the UK and run your own business that you need an explainer video for, you might want to get a British explainer video from a company on home turf. This means you can avoid the stresses of working out time differences, and getting up at 3am for a Skype call - this is totally understandable, after all you still have a business to run on UK time. Explainer videos are what we do, so if you want to find out more you can join us on the live chat or contact us here. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Name: The Cuillin Collective
Phone: 0131 618 8333/07867 429 945
Skype: cuillincollective
Address: 10 Elgol, Isle of Skye, Scotland, UK, IV49 9BL
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