Video has long been one of the best ways to attract attention and build your brand. But it’s also an area of marketing that requires
Getting started with animation
You could pull out your iPhone and film a few scenes yourself, but it will never come close to the look and feel of a professionally shot and edited piece of content.
This is even more true when it comes to animation. While this type of digital asset offers a wide range of benefits, it’s not something the majority of firms are equipped to create. There are lots of questions to consider when going down this road. How long should it be? Do you want 2D or 3D animation? How will you make sure it gets seen by the most relevant audience?
If you’re thinking about adding animation services to your video marketing mix, the right partner can give you expert advice to make these decisions, as well as guide you through the entire process of turning your vision into a reality. Here’s what you need to know.
How can I benefit from animation?
The first step is understanding both when and why you should be using animated video. This all comes down to ensuring you have a complete understanding of who your audience is, what will engage with them the best, and how you should be tailoring your content marketing strategy to meet these expectations.
Why add animation services to your marketing mix?
Animated video services offer many benefits. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a mid-size firm looking to introduce yourself to a new audience, or a large enterprise with a new product to promote – animated video is one of the best ways to interest and educate your customers.
Among the key advantages of using animation in your marketing are:
- It’s eye-catching – A well-made animation can quickly grab the attention of a user and stop them scrolling onwards in a way that static graphic design can’t.
- It’s cost-effective – Compared with the expenses involved in a live action video, animation is often a highly affordable solution. This means that even less-sizeable enterprises can create a video that can stand with what larger competitors are putting out.
- It’s memorable – Once seen, a good animation sticks in the viewer’s mind. This makes them great for building brand awareness at the top of the marketing funnel.
- It’s updateable – If you’re using motion graphics to highlight key stats, for example, this can be easily adjusted to reflect new data or additions, saving you the effort of needing to create new content from scratch.
- It’s understandable – Animation is great for distilling complex concepts down into easily understandable chunks, making it ideal if you’re looking to create an explainer, for example.
- It’s shareable – Video is more likely to be shared with friends and colleagues on social media than any other type of content, so if you’re hoping to go viral, a fun animation is an easy way to tap into this.
What can you use animation for?
This all sounds great, right? But once you’ve decided that animated video services are for you, the next step is to determine exactly what you want your video to do. Are you getting your company’s name and branding out to as wide an audience as possible? Introducing a new product? Creating a learning tool for prospective customers or even your own staff? There’s an animated video for that.
Let’s look at some of the key ways your business could use video animation.
One of the most common goals of animation is to help educate users, whether this is about your company and the problems you solve or issues affecting the wider market. With an animated explainer video, you can spell out who you are or what you want your customers to know.
Creating animations specifically for social media requires a unique set of skills. They have to be short enough to hold attention and stop users scrolling past them. They also need to work with or without audio, so you have to be able to get your message across with visuals alone.
You might think of a traditional testimonial as a live action video featuring a talking head, but animation can offer a different spin on this. Voiceover work, motion graphics and stats work together to show off your successes.
A more direct form of animation, advertising videos aim to quickly introduce your brand and build awareness. Quick, streamlined storytelling and powerful visuals are the key to making this work well and show off why customers should choose you.
What types of animation services could your business benefit from?
Within animation, there are a few key types of video that you should consider. These all have their own pros and cons and so may be better suited to some forms of marketing than others, depending on who your audience is and what information you want to get across. Here are some of the basics.
This uses a mixture of text and motion graphics to highlight the most important facts and figures. It can quickly ask a question, tell a story or showcase a key message that can catch the attention of audiences.
A whiteboard animation gives the appearance of being hand drawn on a white background. It lets you break down ideas into bite-size chunks and tell a clear story in a fun, distraction-free way.
This is great for product explainers. A 2D animation video can be used to make learning easier and quickly show what your offering can do in a fun, easy-to-follow format.
A 3D product animation can be used for demos, helping users visualise your offerings and show how they operate.
The impact an animated video can make
When done right, animated video offers a major boost to your marketing efforts. It’s long been known that video offers marketing better engagement, helps viewers retain more information and leads directly to improved sales. And animation offers every firm a cost-effective way to tap into this market and generate a positive return on investment.
It’s no wonder, then, that the use of these methods is on the rise. HubSpot notes, for example, that last year almost half of video marketers (49 per cent) turned to animated videos for the first time, with almost one in three investing more resources into this than any other form of video.
However, this can be a difficult area to get into, especially if you don’t have much experience with the nuances and unique requirements of video animation. Investing in in-house production teams can be a costly and time-consuming exercise, with no guarantee of success. As a result, it makes sense to turn to an animation services provider to secure access to the talent and experience you need.
Why use an animation services provider?
The two main barriers to good animation video are time and expertise. Most firms don’t have the in-house capabilities to take an idea, draft a storyboard, build the necessary assets and then manage the video editing and distribution processes. And this is where using an animation services provider proves hugely valuable.
What are the stages of the video production process?
A good provider will be able to walk you through every step of the process, from initial idea to final publication. This starts with determining what types of video will best fit your needs.
For example, do you want a 2D animation or a 3D animation? Will it be tailored to be educational or promotional? How will success be measured? All these need to be clearly defined before moving on to the video creation itself.
The next stage is the script. This is an element that must not be overlooked, as it’s easy to try to pack in too much information or use language that, while it may look fine on paper, sounds clunky or overly complex when spoken in a voiceover. Scriptwriting is another service that a good animation provider will be able to help you with, as they’ll have the experience and specialist knowledge to ensure you’re getting the right message across in the most effective way.
Creation and video editing is the final key task. Your provider will work to produce an eye-catching design, whether this uses motion graphics, a 2D animation service or a 3D model of your product to tell the story. Fun, engaging visuals and a professional voiceover that matches the tone of your brand all go into this to create a final asset that shows off your product in the best possible light.
How long should your video animation be?
One of the most common questions we get asked is about the optimal length of a video. And the truth is there’s no right or wrong answer – it depends on where you want to post your video and the message you’re hoping to get across.
For example, a typical explainer video will usually come in at between 60 and 90 seconds. This is often a good sweet spot as it allows for enough time to convey all the most important information without going into too much detail or seeing your viewers attention start to wander.
However, if you’re posting on the likes of Facebook or Twitter, even this may be too long. Many social media videos come in at under a minute, as users on these platforms usually expect bite-size content and won’t stick around for very long.
Therefore, it’s often a good idea to have a couple of options to choose from in the video editing process. For example, being able to cut a 30-second snippet from a longer asset can let you post a teaser on social media while still being able to provide a more comprehensive explainer video on your own website or dedicated video sharing platforms like YouTube.
What happens after your animation is complete?
Of course, once you’ve got a completed video, you need to know what happens next – and this may not always be as obvious as you might think. You’ll have to decide where to host it and how to promote it.
This will again depend on your intended target audience and the purpose of the visit, but a full service video animation partner will be able to offer advice on how best to do this, as well as produce any necessary supporting content, from landing pages and blogs to custom graphics.
It’s also important to effectively measure how your animation is performing. This means identifying goals and key performance indicators at the start and ensuring these are effectively tracked. For example, will you look at the number of shares or comments a social media video receives as a measure of success? Or will you be focusing on the number of click throughs to your website or conversions?
Good monitoring is essential for setting your future strategies. A marketing agency will be able to look at what worked – and, just as importantly, what didn’t – and apply this learning to future animation services. By doing this, you can build a long-term strategy that makes the most of what video can offer, rather than just creating individual one-off campaigns that don’t relate to each other.