4 Things To Consider Before Buying A Cheap Explainer Video

If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. We all know this and we all question low prices for things we know the value of. If someone tries to sell us a car for $100, we’ll probably raise our eyebrows. But, with animation videos, most people don’t know the value and how much time goes into producing one. An offer to produce a whiteboard explainer video for $50 may sound appealing. But is it?

The truth is, sellers on freelance platforms such as Fiverr, Upwork and who offer to produce whiteboard explainer videos for low prices take shortcuts. A low quality script, using robot text-to-speech voiceovers and resorting to stock images are some of the shortcuts sellers take. These shortcuts will negatively impact your business, your brand and shockingly some may even get you into legal trouble!

Let’s take a closer look at the 4 most common shortcuts and the price you’re really paying for a cheap whiteboard animation video.

1. Cheap explainer videos include low-quality scriptwriting

Producing a whiteboard explainer video consists of several steps: scriptwriting, storyboarding, illustration, voice-over, animation, music selection, editing, syncing and feedback. Dividing the project into these steps gives you a good idea of what it takes to produce a whiteboard explainer video. Let’s take a look at an offer of $50 for a whiteboard explainer video and dive into some of these steps in more detail.

When it comes to the script, low priced scriptwriting equals low quality scriptwriting. If the entire multi-stage project is done for $50, your seller probably won’t spend more than half an hour on your script. Some sellers offering low prices don’t offer scriptwriting services at all. Others offer very low quality scriptwriting.

We’ve seen whiteboard explainer videos packed with grammar errors and poorly written scripts that didn’t include key elements such as a problem, an introduction to the company, the benefits of the product or service, or a call to action. Including these elements and taking the time to produce a high quality script is vital to the performance of a video.

Conclusion: When you opt for a low priced video, you’ll most likely receive a low quality script in return.

2. Cheap explainer videos are made with premade images

Depending on the length of the video, a typical whiteboard animation consists of about 6-10 scenes/illustrations. Let’s continue with our example of a whiteboard animation video for an attractive price of $50. If the video is priced at $50 (and this price includes all steps from scriptwriting to animation) you’re paying just $2-$4 per illustration. So, what’s the catch? Are sellers simply working for very low wages or is there something else going on?

The answer might surprise you. Most sellers offering low priced animation videos use templates, clipart or stock images to produce videos. Yes, even those who claim their videos are custom made. We see them all the time: offers for “custom made” whiteboard animation videos that are let’s just say “not so custom” in reality. They’re advertised as custom, but the sellers use templates, clipart, stock image and worse copyrighted material. Here are some of the downsides of these offers:

  • Template options are limited.

With template based videos you only have access to premade and generic stock images. Although some databases are extensive and you can find premade images of many products and characters, you won’t be able to include the exact types of products or brands you sell, draw your storefront or have any other visuals that are specific to your business. Because of that, you can’t show what sets you apart. With custom illustrations you can create anything with no limitations. If you own a bike shop and you need a senior man and woman dressed in sportswear standing in your shop looking at a tandem bike, it can be drawn. It comes down to using generic images, vs. images that are tailor made for your business.

  • Template based videos all look the same.
    Because template based videos use standard characters, all videos made with the same software look identical. This means the characters and poses in your video are the same as the characters and poses used in other videos that used the same software. Videos with custom illustrations allow you to have your own characters, poses and scenarios that fit the story you’re telling.

  • Videos made with clipart or stock images are unappealing to put it mildly.
    There’s no other way to say it. The quality of videos made with images sourced from clipart databases is very low. You’ll often see different drawing styles, different strokes, black and white images, colored images, 2D images, 3D images and line-art all mixed together in one video. It’s a bit like a room that has a little bit of vintage, a bit of modern, some Scandinavian, industrial and bohemian all combined in one room. It looks bad and reflects on your company and brand. With custom illustrations all illustrations are made by one artist and produced in one clean illustration style.

  • Copyright fines and legal consequences are real.
    It’s unfortunate, but a lot of sellers offering cheap whiteboard animation videos, use images sourced from Google, without permission from the author and without any concern to the copyright claims you might get. As we explained earlier, sellers who use templates only have access to a database of premade images. As a result, many resort to using Google or other search engines to find additional images whenever their database falls short. But, just because an image can be found on Google, doesn’t mean it’s free to use.

When we produce a whiteboard explainer video, we have an extensive brainstorming session to come up with ideas for each scene. We spend quality time – hours –  before we start drawing and then spend hours or days drawing.

Conclusion: When you opt for a low priced whiteboard explainer video, you’re receiving a video with generic premade visuals. 

3. Cheap explainer videos include a low quality voice-over

Sellers offering low priced videos need to keep the cost for each stage in the process low. When it comes to the voice-over, they often revert to one of these 3 tactics:

  • Using text-to-speech voiceovers that sound robotic and unnatural
  • Using low-priced voice actors. These are often non-native, inexperienced voice actors or actors who use low quality equipment.
  • Asking you to provide the voice-over

A powerful voice with correct intonation and emphasis on the right words will drive your target audience to take action, while a poorly produced voiceover produced by an inexperienced actor will fail to deliver your message. Our actors have years of experience and know how to get your message across. They’ll use the right equipment, a suited tone and they’ll emphasize key words and phrases to deliver a powerful message.

Conclusion: When you choose a low priced video, you’ll most likely receive a low quality voice-over. 

4. Cheap explainer videos are put together hastily

Sellers who offer low quality videos often pay no attention to detail. Considering all the steps and a price point of $50, who’s got the time for details, right?

Selecting the right background track, syncing a video so the illustrations appear in sync with the voice-over, and having enough time in between two scenes to allow viewers to process an image before it slides off are just a few of the many details low priced sellers won’t pay any attention to.

When we produce a video, we spend time going through our database of background music to find just the right track. If the track is too short, we edit the track to make it longer. We spend time reviewing the final result, adding pauses when we feel the animation is too fast or speeding it up when we feel like it’s too slow and so on. It takes time and attention to get it right.

Conclusion: If you choose a low priced video, chances are your seller won’t spend any time correcting and perfecting their work.

What does a cheap explainer video look like?

Now that you know some of the shortcuts sellers of low priced animation videos take, we bet you want to see the difference between a low priced and a higher priced video.

We have an example that will show you exactly why an offer for a cheap whiteboard animation video should make you raise your eyebrows. One of our clients reached out to us a while ago. They were about to launch their children’s book and had an animation video produced by a low priced seller. The seller used all the shortcuts described above and our client ended up with a low quality video.

Here’s the video our client received from the low-priced seller:

Notice the low quality robot voice-over, the low quality script, the template based images and the unfit background music.

We got to work and started over. We updated the script, produced a professional voice-over, created new and 100% custom illustration and used an upbeat and child-friendly background track. With full attention to detail and a clear understanding of their goal for this video, we created the following video for our client:

Final thoughts

You can find good services and sellers on freelancing platforms, but if the price is low you need to consider why it is so low. The price of a custom whiteboard explainer video ranges from a few hundred dollars up to a few thousand dollars, depending on what’s required and the length. Anything lower means the seller is taking shortcuts. Now that you know the shortcuts, the question is, do you still feel like a cheap whiteboard explainer video is really what you’re after?

Are you looking for a high quality whiteboard animation video? Have you purchased a low priced video that you’re unhappy with? Allow us to help. We offer fair prices and will put in the time and efforts your video needs to turn your viewers into fans and buyers. Contact us today!

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