Posted by on Jan 23, 2013 in Marketing, World Wide Web | 1 comment

I wanted to A/B test a new home page on Vogogo featuring an explainer video. Having been involved only loosely in the process before, it didn’t seem like there were many options outside of using companies that specialized in the creation of explainer videos. Unfortunately, they all seem to fancy themselves as modern day Donald Draper’s who want thousands of dollars, and months of design and review, to create just one video. A video that you have no idea how it will impact conversions until you release it into the wild, making the whole process seem rather dated compared to the rest of the web.

As a result I started to look at freelance options and decided to see “where the bottom” was on getting an inexpensive explainer video created in a few weeks. I decided to post a job on Elance with a budget of $500-$1000.

Looking for the design and creation of an online explainer video for an invoicing and payment website that enables small businesses and professionals to easily collect payment online. The video will explain the value of the website to potential new customers prior to them signing up.

– Animation preferred
– Approximately 1 minute in duration
– We will assist with the production of the script
– Candidate responsible for concept, storyboard, animations and voice over (native English speaker)

Please provide examples of prior work.

I intentionally kept it short and to the point. I ended up with 23 proposals from individuals and companies of various quality and experience over a few days. I picked a candiate who had what I thought was a pretty good portfolio and an animation style I liked. I say ‘thought’ as I’m no expert. He wanted $650.00. Unfortunately, neither him nor I were script writers and, “We will assist with the production of the script”, wasn’t particularly clear so I ended up having to pay an additional $100 for a script writer, which he arranged, and sent him the following points:

  • Target: Small business owners, recreational sports teams, daycares, partnerships or other types of organizations who want to collect payments online.
  • Easy to use: Provide your corporate bank account (the numbers provided at the bottom of a cheque) and verify a small electronic deposit we make into your account a few days later.
  • Simple to sign up: signup and explore without having recurring fees. Fees apply to transactions only.
  • Available payment options: credit card and electronic fund transfer
  • API to integrate Vogogo into websites and other software
  • Accept Credit Cards without difficult compliance issues.
  • Ability to create recurring invoices ideally suite for rental payments.
  • Maybe the video can end with a call to action. i.e. “Sign up is quick and simple, what are you waiting for, try it now for free.”

A few days later I had a script waiting for me. It had some technical errors, but overall I thought it was pretty good. The script was finalized in a day, and a few days later I picked a voice actor from a list of potential candidates provided. I never asked where the voice actors were from but I got the feeling they were just sub-contracted off of Elance, along with the script writer.

A few revisions were requested and a post animation script change, with a subsequent re-recording of the voice over was required due to a mistake in the original script on my part. Even with all of that the process took only 4 weeks, from selecting the proposal until I had the finished video. The total price tag was $766.28 after Elance’s fees. I don’t think it is going to win any awards but it is having a positive increase on signups right now. I can’t call the experiment yet as we had to restart it once after discovering some issues with Flowplayer affecting our IE traffic. After moving the video to Youtube, the experiment is still on going.

Here is the final video, let me know what you think.

It wasn’t until a few weeks after that I found this explainer video article by Neil Patel on his blog Quick Sprout that gives a break down on creating a good explainer video. I like to think I was pretty close but I might have got lucky on the script writing. Either way the plan is to A/B test it against another inexpensive video, with more attention paid towards the script.