An explanatory video on your home page or landing page makes a great way to introduce yourself to new visitors. I love comics and I think they make for compelling intro videos. Here’s one I made recently for ColSpace that sits on their home page.
In 30-60 seconds you should be able to explain what your company is all about, what problem you solve and what life will be like for your customer after they buy your solution.
Here are some more of my favorites:
- TheTops.fr – http://youtu.be/63t7G1xbT3k
- Dropbox – https://www.dropbox.com/
- Gmail Priority Inbox – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nt3gE9dGHQ
- Hiplok – http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ORwnAny2lM0
- Augment – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPHABKFfyEU
Making your own intro video
The first step is to figure out what story you want to tell. Think about what the core mission of your company is. For TheTops, it is expert-curated goods. For Dropbox, it is simply accessing files anywhere, from any device. For Gmail priority inbox, it is highlighting your important emails. For Hiplok, protecting your bike with a wearable lock. For Augment, it is seeing how posters and artworks will look in your home before purchase. And for ColSpace it is making media planning more transparent and less error-filled.
Storyboard and script
The next step is to write out the story you want to tell. It should be short and simple and focus on your core mission. Here is what the one for ColSpace looked like:
- Young hipster works at a computer, copying data from one spreadsheet to another. Data goes up through the pipe to his CMO. Zoom out so there are 80 pipes going up to CMO. CMO is preparing for board meeting and is overwhelmed.
- Zoom back to hipster, now using Colspace, so data is clean, goes up to CMO. CMO gets reports at push of a button and is happy.
- End looking over CMO’s shoulder, using graphical Colspace (Rather than grid lines).
- State “One simple system where all of your critical advertising information lives. It is easy to get information in, easy to get it out in your format, and easy for everyone to work with.”
Then, if you’re going the animation route, you want to sketch out your story on paper. Don’t stress this step, it doesn’t need to be that artistic. The goal is to just to express an idea. Here’s how the ColSpace video started (these are my homemade sketches).
Finally, the storyboard and sketches need to be turned into the final product you can use on your site. There are many sites that can help you find an animator if you don’t already know one and my favorite is still elance.com. A startup I met recently in Paris is also tackling this problem – http://explee.com/. If you’re making more of a hiplok style video (ie: real people and video), then you’ll skip the animation and go right for shooting and editing.
Use on your site
Once you have your video made, get it up on your site! I like the way ColSpace, Dropbox and Explee make the video front and center. But you should put it where you think it makes sense. It also is a good idea to host the video on YouTube so it can be easily shared.
How many metro Public Service Announcement videos get 30 million views on YouTube?
If you’re interested in digging deeper into storytelling through comics, I can’t recommend Scott McCloud enough.
[one_half last=”yes”]and Making Comics [/one_half]