What is a Whiteboard Video?

Not all videos are produced using the same cookie-cutter format or script. As explained in a previous blog post, some videos are produced with the goal of conveying how something works. Known as “explainer videos,” they’ve become a popular format for companies looking to connect with their respective audiences. However, another format that works well for commercial and marketing purposes is a whiteboard video. So, what is a whiteboard video exactly and how do they work?

Overview of Whiteboard Videos

A whiteboard video is an animated video that’s used to tell a story. It’s called a whiteboard video because it resembles the illustrations commonly found on whiteboards. A typical whiteboard video may feature an artist drawing the illustrations — people, objects, animals, etc. — while he or she talks in the process.

Most whiteboard videos are created in a time-lapse, meaning what the viewer sees is actually sped up. This, of course, is essential to the overall flow of the video. It may take some artists several hours to produce the illustrated animations for a whiteboard video — and most viewers probably aren’t willing to watch videos for this long. So, the actual animation process of drawing the illustrations on a whiteboard are sped up to keep viewers interested and engaged.

This is the most common format for whiteboard videos. The truth is that any video featuring animated whiteboard illustrations can be considered a whiteboard video.

Benefits of Whiteboard Videos

Whiteboard videos offer several noteworthy benefits, one of which is increased engagement. A professionally produced whiteboard video will create a strong connection with the viewer, enticing him or her to take action. Viewers get tired of watching traditional live videos, so the whiteboard format is another fresh alternative.

A benefit of whiteboard videos that’s often overlooked is the simple fact that it doesn’t require actors or actresses to be recorded on screen. Granted, you’ll still need voice talent, but that’s easier and less costly to acquire than live video talent. Voice actors and actresses can record their work remotely, whereas video actors and actresses must be present in front of the camera at the time of recording.

Whiteboard videos are also a more professional alternative than slideshows. Any business can produce a generic slideshow video, but it takes an extra dose of creativity to make a whiteboard video. Viewers will appreciate the additional effort that goes into making a whiteboard video.

These are just a few benefits of using whiteboard videos. Perhaps the greatest benefit is the ability to stand out from your competitors. With so many businesses now investing in video marketing, it takes a unique approach to differentiate yourself from the crowd — a goal that whiteboard videos can sometimes accomplish.

How Whiteboard Videos are Used

Businesses big and small have been using whiteboard videos for many years. One of the first large-scale advertising campaigns using whiteboard videos was done by UPS in the mid-2000s. As shown below, this otherwise simple video features a man drawing illustrations while discussing how UPS’ international shipping can help businesses. UPS has since made more than a half a dozen of these whiteboard videos.

Keep in mind, however, that UPS’ whiteboard videos don’t necessarily follow the same format as the majority of whiteboard videos produced today. The UPS videos aren’t time-lapsed, took months to develop and the artist is seen.

UPS Whiteboard – International Shipping Video

Another common way in which whiteboard videos are used is education. Schools, universities and other educational institutes use whiteboard videos to teach students curriculum. They are particularly effective for teaching languages. The visual-heavy element of whiteboard videos helps students learn new languages with greater ease.

Whiteboard Video Creation Tips

  • Keep illustrations clean, simple and concise (overly complicated illustrations may confuse viewers).
  • Add color to your whiteboard videos. While not a requirement, color can make your illustrations stand out with greater visibility.
  • Remember, an actual whiteboard video should show the hand of the illustrator, as it draws. Therefore, you should consider the placement of the hand and whether or not it obstructs the audience’s view.
  • Create and follow a script. Don’t attempt to improvise your whiteboard video; you need a detailed script that outlines the specific illustrations you’ll be drawing as well as the narration.
  • Keep the story and associated illustrations flowing. An abrupt or unnatural stop may discourage viewers from watching the rest of your video.
  • Don’t be afraid to include text in your whiteboard videos. While narration is an essential element of an effective whiteboard video, you can still include text as well.
  • Invest in professional videography and illustration services.
  • Scale illustrations so they take up a significant portion of the screen.

Whiteboards are just one style of video from which to choose. Rather than limiting yourself to a single format, consider using multiple formats in your video marketing campaign.


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