About two months ago I started to work on Moovino, a platform to help Londoners find their dream home with ease. Moovino is a simple alert system, allowing you to be notified only for relevant listings and almost in real time. If you’re interested about the project, you can find more information here.
In this article I’ll explain how I created this video:
Why this video
We own two facebook groups for people looking for a flat/room in London. The first group targets people that wants to avoid agency fees, while the other one targets people looking to only rent a room. We thought that these groups were going to generate a lot of traffic to Moovino, but unfortunately it is not the case. We changed the groups covers, but it wasn’t enough to raise awareness.
This video is our tentative to address this conversion issue. If the video is “click-bait” enough, and if we pin it, it should make more people come to Moovino from our facebook groups.
Here is how we prepared for this video.
My co-founder created a small script under the form of few storyboards, kind of looking like a comic. We iterated together on the first version to make sure that we were planning something we could do ourselves, and something that wouldn’t take more than a single day to produce.
The next step was to design the mockups. That was done in Sketch by my co-founder. I did few changes required for the editing in after effects. For instance, I added the green zones to be able to remove this part for the layers in after affects. I also changed the transparency of the notifications background to make sure it would look nice in after effects.
For the format, we decided to use a vertical 4/5 format (1080 * 1350 pixels), which is commonly used on both Instagram and Facebook (both our target platforms).
Filming & Editing
Filming and editing are 2 very different things that should probably not be part of the same paragraph. But in our case, there was only a single shot, so I’ll describe it quickly. After the fake call with the agent, we can see someone packing, closing a box with strong scotch. Nothing too fancy was done to prepare for this. I called my neighbor (and friend) asking for a box, and my co-founder “acted”. It was recorded with an iPhone 12, even though somehow I’m not super happy with the resulting quality.
Now the interesting part: editing. All the heavy work was done in Adobe After Effect, which is a “VFX and motion graphics” software. When animating fake UI with it, I mostly did two things: move the view around, and zoom in and out. In after effect, there’s mainly one important concept to understand: keyframes. If you’re familiar with CSS animation, you might already know what a keyframe is. Otherwise, according to wikipedia, a keyframe is “a drawing or shot that defines the starting and ending points of any smooth transition”. I personally understand it as the value of a property of an object of the scene at a precise instant of the video (also called frame). So for instance, to move an object horizontally in a scene, I would change the value of it’s X position, frame after frame. Luckily, with recent software, keyframes are super smart. We don’t need to define position, or more generally value of properties we animate at each frame. We can simply specify the starting value of the property, and the ending value of a property for instance, and the software will calculate the intermediate frames.
I animated all the different layers and to give the final product a more cinematic look, I used motion blur. Doing so adds a slight blur to moving objects, making it look more realistic.
Once all the different parts were animated, I imported the different clips in Final Cut. I could have done everything in After Effects, but I find Final Cut nicer for simpler editing (audio, cuts & transition). I found all the sounds effects on Youtube.
Feedback & Thoughts
I was at first pretty happy with the result. I then asked for some feedback from friends and other creators. They all liked it but had very interesting remarks.
They all mentioned that the beginning is very spammy and could sound akward to some people. We designed like that to create curiosity, but apparently we failed! More importantly someone raised that we cannot understand the product from the video. Which is kind of true. We thought that it would be good enough as we’re only publishing the video on niche groups, but that’s a very good point to keep in mind.
It’s been only 2 days since the video was published. Even though we cannot exactly track people users coming from the video, we saw that our traffic increased. More alerts were created in the past two days, but it’s still below our explanations. Potential explanations includes: video not good, people in the facebook groups does not match our target audience, or/and we have some conversion problems within the site. It is probably a mix of the 3. I will investigate further and post some more updates about Moovino !