Explainer videos for healthcare marketing

In this episode of our popular Tips in Ten(ish) minutes video series, Kirsten Lecky, EVP insights and growth at WG Content, sits down with freelance animator Dylan Cahall to learn how to use explainer videos to elevate your brand.

Watch this 12-minute video and learn how to:

  • Use animated video to simplify your message 
  • Unite your content marketing strategy with video
  • Invest in the script

This video was recorded on April 28, 2023, before WriterGirl became WG Content.

Watch the video

0:00:05.7 Kirsten Lecky: Hi. Happy Friday, Dylan, thank you so much for joining us for our Tips in Ten Minutes, I’d love if you can kick us off by introducing yourself and talking a little bit about your background and how you work with WriterGirl.

0:00:18.1 Dylan Cahall: Yeah, so I’m Dylan Cahall. I’ve been an animator and video production of various degrees for over about 13 years, I’ve been with the WriterGirl team for about four years, working on a variety of projects, and really excited to talk a little more about explainer videos and some of the benefits of them and some tips to help for the process.

0:00:45.2 Kirsten Lecky: Yeah, I’m so glad that you are joining us for this conversation, I was just at a conference this week. It’s called ViVE, and it was a combination of, I think, almost 8000 different attendees, vendors, leaders in the healthcare space, all in kind of the health IT space, and talked to a lot of vendors and the conversation around explainer videos, ’cause everyone has these really complicated, complex businesses and they’re trying to tell their story about how they’re adding value in the marketplace, so we talked a lot about explainer videos. So I wanted to find out from you first, like in your words, what are some of the business challenges or marketing challenges more specifically, that really creates a good business case for an animated explainer video?

0:01:33.8 Dylan Cahall: A big marketing challenge, especially for companies that have maybe a complex product or service, is concisely explaining that in a way that people can understand but also are really engaged in. And I think that that’s one of the great things about explainer videos. It really helps you, first of all, distill that message down into that script that keeps it at a good length, which is roughly 30 seconds to two minutes, and helps you to engage the audience in a way that it’s audio and visual, so it really gives them kind of top of mind sensory things to help them keep you in mind under that sea of competitors and understand both your message and your product or service, that’s one of the big marketing challenges that helps solve. It also kind of helps reduce some of that technical jargon as you work through the script process, just to kind of make it very relatable.

0:02:32.7 Kirsten Lecky: Yeah, it’s like watching a little mini video, I mean, that’s what it is, but I think what it does is, it brings together all of the kind of the work flows and that what is the challenge that a business is experiencing, What is the solution that this organization is providing, what is the experience that they’re getting and what’s the ultimately, the value in this nice little story and being able to see it and hear it? Like you said, I think really helps tell that story more concisely and clearly, which we’re really passionate about here at WriterGirl.

0:03:06.6 Dylan Cahall: Yeah, definitely.

0:03:07.6 Kirsten Lecky: So, you’ve been doing this for a really long time. What are some of the things that you’ve learned over the years? Maybe you’ve been able to overcome certain challenges or you know you never to do that again, or, oh, I need to always want that. So what are some of the things that you’ve learned over the years?

0:03:22.4 Dylan Cahall: Yeah, well, first of all, it is important to keep that video length in a good concise way, really short. I think that it’s important as you’re working through the process, if you know that that event or launch dates coming up that you wanna showcase the video to really bake in a lot of time on the front end of the process, so give it a month and a half to two months, if you really wanna do it right, it’ll save on budget and just headaches overall to really have that amount of time to work through the script process, to be able to review as the progress goes with the animation, it’s good to kind of review things in the early process so that you can identify any problems that maybe aren’t matching your vision and the scenes in that way, instead of getting the whole thing done and rushing through it, you can really take the time to identify problem areas, and it just helps in the end to save on costs and definitely get a really good quality video. And sometimes you don’t have the luxury of time, and I understand that for sure, but it’s always helpful if you know what’s coming up.

0:04:34.0 Kirsten Lecky: Do you help people? Because I feel like not everyone does this all the time as much as you do, and so if it’s their first time really understanding and putting together and working with you in an explainer video. How do you consult someone through it? I mean, I think about the idea of these storyboards and the scripting, does it start with a storyboard? Does it start with a script, kind of what’s the work flow around?

0:04:58.9 Dylan Cahall: To me, yeah, it definitely starts with the script, it’s good to… That message can really help sort of dictate maybe the style that you wanna go in, in that first part of the process, it can be helpful to go online and maybe if you’re able to find kind of examples of maybe animation styles that you like, but the script is obviously the foundation of it all, after that storyboards, if you have the time to do them, and obviously the budget for it are really great because you can see those visuals and help brainstorm. I like to respect the client’s process, and I’ve done it a thousand different ways, it can certainly be where they might lean heavily on me for the creative kind of direction of things, or it might be something where they have a very specific vision, and we really wanna lock that down at that point in a storyboard or what’s called an animatic, where I’ll put everything on screen, tie it to the VO, but nothing will be moving but you can see the visuals. And that’s another really great thing with those visuals that really helps, you’re getting this concise message, and also a way that is colored by your brand, just the whole video just kind of illuminates your story, your brand, and whenever people think of that message or it may be that complex product, they’re thinking about it with your brand and your colors, and so that sort of thing is, I know that’s a little bit off on tangent, but…

0:06:28.8 Kirsten Lecky: No, I think that’s helpful. It’s definitely a more immersive experience. When you’re engaging in watching these short videos, you’re experiencing the brand in a different way, which is, I think super helpful, and I think going back to this sort of workflow and storyboarding and what the tolerance around budget and creative and who’s collaborating on this work? I think what we have found, and you can tell me how we’ve partnered on work for clients together, is having writers that bring in some of that consultative upfront in terms of storyboarding or creative re-scripting and then working with you on the animation, talk to us a little bit about that process. Has that been helpful to you? Do you find having these sort of SMEs involved in the project brings value as well?

0:07:25.1 Dylan Cahall: It’s absolutely helpful to have as much communication with both the person writing the script and the client. A lot of times there’s kind of a side-by-side on a script that might have the visuals that are matching with what we’re seeing on the screen, and the more kind of communication between the three of us working together.

0:07:47.8 Kirsten Lecky: The whole creative, it’s nice to have that collaboration. It’s like the synergies of bringing creatives together to create ultimately, and then too, just a lot of times, marketing teams are sort of stretched for resources or people on their team, and so being able to lean into the different support areas to create one of these videos.

0:08:09.1 Dylan Cahall: Yeah, I think it’s helpful. I feel like I do bring a lot of experience over the years working on a lot of different videos, being able to help the client kind of brainstorm on what visuals they might wanna see, do they wanna bring in characters for this? And, Does that fit their audience, and their overall message? There are so many different ways you can go with it, and I think it helps to lean on both the animator and the script writer and everybody in this part of the creative team to guide, give a little guidance, but also to have that freedom to really say, well, I really like this idea in the style, and that’s like you said, that synergy and collaboration is important.

0:08:47.7 Kirsten Lecky: Yeah, well, good. So without naming clients, what are some things you’re working on today, what are some cool projects that you’re working on?

0:08:55.7 Dylan Cahall: I’ve been doing a great series of videos for different things with children’s health, that’s been exciting because you’re maybe taking situations that might be kind of scary or complex and distilling it down for almost several audiences, you’re doing it for both the parents, the children, the medical community, you want to give that explanation for them. Some other great things are tech, I guess, coming into some of the distribution world, it’s exciting to see and help with how that’s changing our world and explaining that in a way of the benefits of it. Those are always really fun videos.

0:09:38.9 Kirsten Lecky: Yeah, talking about revenue cycle management with animation is more interesting than perhaps reading about revenue cycle management, right? [laughter]

0:09:46.3 Dylan Cahall: Absolutely. Yeah, that’s one of the big things that really does… Explaining revenue cycles and certain things like that can be boring on paper, and once you see it kind of come to life with symbols and images and other characters things like that.

0:10:01.0 Kirsten Lecky: Yeah, characters or whatever, absolutely.

0:10:02.0 Dylan Cahall: Definitely, it’s engaging.

0:10:04.3 Kirsten Lecky: And then the children self example is a great one that’s really more towards… It’s a different objective, right? It’s meditation and breathing exercises for our young people, so it’s applied a little bit differently and delivered through more of an app environment where these explainer videos are really more of that B2B sales strategies. So those are very good examples, yeah.

0:10:24.4 Dylan Cahall: Explainer videos that are made for B2Bs, one of the great things about them, again, is that even though you both are experienced in kind of a technical jargon together, you’re still talking to people and you want to engage them on an emotional level, on a visceral level, and explainer videos really help you to do that. And that’s one of those marketing challenges for B2B industries that I think can add a great tool.

0:10:48.6 Kirsten Lecky: Yeah, agree. Well, one last question for you, ’cause we’re just about at our 10 minutes, does AI create animated videos yet? [chuckle] And how has that played into your world?

0:11:01.0 Dylan Cahall: Yeah, unfortunately, AI, I don’t think it’s quite there yet. Not where ChatGPT is and things like that, but just like ChatGPT, it’s a great tool. And I think that it’s gonna be a great tool as things, I think that there’s always gonna be room for that personal touch and just for people to use that as a great starting point and then to build on that to make things unique to the other person’s vision and the client’s vision, but certainly an exciting front tier all together.

0:11:29.0 Kirsten Lecky: Lots of chatter about that at the conference and all of it agreeing with what you just said around this sort of nice companionship between those tools and the humans that are using the tools. Well, thank you so much for joining me today. It was really good to get your feedback on these explainer videos, and if anyone has any questions, we’ll be sure to post your contact information, our contact information, so that we can answer any other questions that might come up.

0:11:57.1 Dylan Cahall: Yeah, thank you for taking the time to listen to the tips.

0:12:00.3 Kirsten Lecky: Yeah, sounds good. Thanks, Dylan.

0:12:01.9 Dylan Cahall: Thank you.

0:12:02.1 Kirsten Lecky: Bye, bye.