Lookback: My First Storyboard

The first video storyboard I ever made 🎉

We didn’t have the budget to hire anyone because all the money was being spent on animation. This was my big chance because I knew the product, loved writing, and I could art direct and storyboard it for the animators.

I needed to take a really complicated concept and distill it down to around 60 seconds.

Challenge accepted.

Background: The video needed to promote CSTAR — a cybersecurity score for risk. Think of it as a credit score for dodgy websites or providers. Scores are aggregated by their IT infrastructure, cybersecurity protocols + other factors.

Fun Fact: It’s still a Chrome extension today.

So how do you make that relatable? You bring it home.

Connect the risk to what “they” (the persona) cares about.

In this case, the cost of data breaches.

Next, I needed to explain how it works and what it means for the CEO and the CIO.

CEO — needs a report of what’s going on

CIO — needs to know what to improve upon

I also needed to convey the validity of the tool and that it wasn’t rubbish.

And to wrap it up in a bow, I needed to bring it back to the positioning statement with a small mention of social proof to show that others have already seen the light that is the CSTAR score.

🧠 What I learned:

- Working with animators is fun and it would later become a big part of my career going forward

- Get your positioning squared away before the video needs to be drafted (lots of scrambling with stakeholders)

- Providing design files + branding guidelines upfront to the animator will save you a lot of time. Something I still do today.

- You don’t need a fancy tool to storyboard. I made this one in Slides and still do that today :) makes it easy to share and collaborate with others

- If your video, like this one was, is going to be used on your home page make sure the design matches the website look and feel, or else it looks really out of place

- Make a shorter version to use on social or in prospect emails

- Actually use the video! Get the air miles out of it.

- Keep the script short. No flowery language or long-winded sentences

- Share the script with others across the org — engineers, marketers, product, sales — see if they hear and get what you’re saying since they know/see the product in their own special way

TL;DR

This was a great first experience storyboarding and I love that I was given the opportunity to do it. I learned a lot that I still apply to similar projects today.

Here’s the final version coming in at 67 seconds with intro/end title sequences :)

This is also available as a Twitter thread

I’m Allyssa 👋

Designer & marketer.

Product Marketing + Branding + Design + Marketing Strategy

allyssa.co / twitter / buymeacoffee

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