According to researchers in Canada, the average attention span has dropped to eight seconds over the last decade. That means you have a shorter window than ever to capture your  customers' attention and "sell" your product. Simple  animation videos, when done correctly, can provide this hook. Studies show they can engage your prospects and provide as much as an 80% boost in conversion rates, according to video marketing expert Rohan Kale, founder of But how do you choose between a 2D explainer video and whiteboard animation video? And what's the difference between these two formats anyway? Kale walks through the options and when to use each format for optimal results.

2D Explainer Videos:

"2D motion graphic promotional videos could be motion graphics and/or cartoon animationw," Kale notes. "These videos are being used by a majority of the businesses on their websites, landing pages, social media, advertising, etc. They generally appeal most to the crucial 25-45 age demographic. Motion graphics are often used by B2B businesses such as financial services, software, health industry, e-learning companies, accounting firms, legal services and web technology."

If you want to make a 2D video for your business, the best practices include keeping them short -- under 2 minutes -- and quickly highlighting the benefits of your product or services. "These videos should be colorful, dynamic and represent a brand very professionally," Kale says. They should also "create an 'aha' moment in your prospect's mind."

Motion graphics can also be helpful for explaining a process, how a product works or why a service matters. For example, this video for Blue Triangle Tech explains how their platform works -- quickly and in terms anyone can understand.

Cartoons are another option in this category. "Cartoon videos are mostly used by B2C businesses that have a light-hearted and fun brand. Some of these businesses are App providers and Software-as-Service (SaaS) companies," Kale says. "Cartoon videos, like this one for Energizer, are loved by consumers. Clients can relate to the character in the video, which makes them more appealing."

2D explainer videos are not simply good for online sales. They can also create an impact during conferences, investor pitches, trade shows, events and anywhere else the company meets the public. Kale says you can't go wrong as long as "the graphics used for 2D videos depict the things that your prospect sees/feels/hears and does on a daily business basis,"

Whiteboard videos:

Whiteboard videos have been pretty popular since the early 2000s. Kale notes that "due to the nature of video, where a hand does the concept explanation, these videos are mostly popular with the 40+ age demographics."

Whiteboard videos are mainly used on websites to explain detailed offerings. As a result, they tend to be slower and longer than 2D explainer videos, generally running from 3-5 minutes or more). "The best use of whiteboard video is to break down a complex concept into a step-by-step procedure or process," explains Kale.

These videos can be used in both B2B and B2C spaces. "Businesses like the educational training industry, insurance business, or dating industry benefit a lot from them," Kale adds. Because you watch as the pictures are being "drawn," they can make even relatively flat content (like the contents of this Water Allocation Plan) visually interesting. "The graphics used for whiteboard videos should depict a detailed story about how the customer goes from point A to point B," Kale says. Because they are easier to make than 2D explainer videos, they tend to be cheaper, which is an added attraction for users.

"Both 2D explainer videos and whiteboard videos can work for your business. Which is best depends on your industry, your demographic, and your budget," Kale notes. He adds that these videos can always be used in combination as well. "The most important thing is to take that first step towards video marketing," Kale counsels. "The goal of both is to make video more engaging, so that the user takes the necessary call to action." The above advice can help you pick the right style for your audience. If you have not considered a video as part of your 2018 marketing plan, now is the time.