If you’re not getting animated, you’re missing out.
We are living in the age of the attention economy. People have a finite amount of attention that they are able to spend, and capturing this valuable resource is the primary goal of marketing. There is fierce competition for this resource, and every day companies and businesses are vying to capture attention in any way they can.
Video marketing is one of the most powerful weapons in the battle for attention. Within this domain, the animated marketing video has emerged as a versatile, effective and potent asset. Animated explainer videos can be used to make concepts and products easy to understand, animated infographic videos can deftly condense tons of information, and animated adverts can give your product or service a unique personality. These are just some of the ways in which you can use animated marketing videos to your advantage.
In this feature we’re going to explain exactly what an animated marketing video is, go deep on why they should be a part of your marketing strategy, and then give you some pearls of wisdom on how you can create your own animated videos and take over the world. OK, maybe you won’t take over the world, but at the very least your marketing is gonna be top notch. So let’s dive in.
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Give it to me straight, what is an animated marketing video?
In the very simplest terms, an animated marketing video is a marketing video that consists of animated content. This definition is super basic though, so let’s give it a bit more detail and context. Video marketing in general is used in a variety of ways and for a multitude of purposes. It can be used to promote your product or service, to increase engagement of your audience, and to inform and educate your clients and customers. Animated marketing videos achieve the exact same things, but they do it using animation instead of live-action video.
Animation is a discipline with a rich history and it’s the perfect vehicle for bringing marketing ideas to life in a cool and fun way. Technically, an animated marketing video can use any of the main types of animation—traditional 2D and vector 2D, stop-motion, 3D animation, and motion graphics—and while there are examples of amazing stop-motion and traditional 2D marketing videos, the majority of animated marketing videos utilize motion graphics and 2D vector animations.
Animated videos use a combination of characters, illustrations, text and audio. They can have voice overs, use sound effects or even be silent. The beauty of animation is that it is versatile enough to pretty much do whatever you want, and now we’re going to tell you why animated marketing videos are so good.
And tell me, why are animated marketing videos so good?
There are many reasons why you should be bringing animation into your video marketing strategy, and here are a few of the main ones:
Animated marketing videos are affordable
If you’ve ever made a promotional video like a live-action commercial or a product demo video, you’ll know how costly video production can be. Even for a small production you’ll need camera operators, crew and actors, and then there are post-production costs like video editing.
The costs can balloon quite easily, and that’s not to mention the possibility of reshoots if things don’t go as planned. With an animated marketing video, you can produce something that is just as effective and has the same impact, but at a fraction of the cost.
Animated marketing videos can work for pretty much anything
One of the greatest things about animation is its versatility. You can use it to make killer product explainer videos, you can use it to make wacky infographic heavy commercials, you can use it for product announcements on your social media channels—there are so many possibilities. You can also go absolutely wild with the creative ideas you put into animated video content.
Do you want your video to be set in deep space? Do you want talking animals to be the ones telling everyone about your new product? Do you want the whole concept to take place underwater? All of this is a piece of cake when you use animation.
Animated marketing videos are attention-grabbing
Capturing and holding the attention of people and potential customers is the aim of the game when it comes to your video marketing strategy, and custom animation videos are a great way of doing this.
Humans are visual creatures and we are naturally drawn to moving images much more than static images. When you are scrolling through your social media feed, an animation will stand out and grab your attention.
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We also process visual content much faster than we do text, and one of the benefits of video marketing is its ability to get across your marketing messages in a much more effective way.
Animated marketing videos are excellent for branding
One of the best things about animated videos is the way in which you can use them to build and reinforce your brand.
You can use the same color palette in the animation as you do for your branding, you can use the same fonts and text style, and you can also create your own character animations and assets to reflect the personality of your company.
In fact, just using animation can say a lot about your brand—it’s a fun yet classic artform and when people see this type of video it instantly forms a positive association.
OK cool, hit me with some animated marketing video examples!
By now we’ve talked enough about how great animated marketing videos are, so let’s actually look at a few stellar examples that live up to the hype we’ve created.
Headspace - say hello to Headspace
Explainer videos are one of the best use cases for animated videos, and this example from Headspace shows just what you can achieve in under two minutes. It uses 2D animation, which we love, to help the viewer understand exactly how the meditation app works. The cute and quirky characters and the color scheme are all totally on brand, and the whole video feels engaging yet informative.
Google - Google Drive
Animated videos have the power to make complex ideas easy to understand, and this video from Google is a perfect example of that. It uses 3D animation to effectively visualize how Google Drive works and how different types of files can be shared and organized. The distinctive Google colors really make it pop, and overall it makes a fairly abstract concept easy to grasp.
Apple - every product carbon neutral by 2030
Another great use case for animated marketing videos is for company announcements and for product news. This motion graphics video from Apple uses animated text and illustrations, a smattering of live-action footage and excellent sound design to reveal that every one of its products will be carbon neutral by 2030. It’s a snappy and dynamic way to deliver company news.
Elevations Credit Union - how to save energy and money
Whiteboard animation videos are an emerging trend that many video marketers are jumping on, and with good reason. The process of watching something be drawn and animated into life before your very eyes is enthralling and makes for compelling video content. This video from Elevations Credit Union is a perfect example of how a product video can use the whiteboard animation style to great effect.
Can you give me some tips for creating my own animated marketing videos?
We hope that by now you are feeling inspired to create your own animated videos. To help you on your way, we’re going to give you a few choice tips for getting started.
Start with your audience in mind
Before you begin making your video, you really need to understand your audience. If you don’t know who your audience is, how can you expect to create something that appeals to them? You need to know their age, interests, lifestyle, gender identity and more. A video designed to appeal to a very young demographic will differ greatly from one aimed at a more senior audience. Think about your audience before you do anything else!
Know your key message and objectives
What is it that you want to achieve with your video? Do you want to inform people of how to use your product? Do you want to make an announcement about a new service you will be offering? Do you want people to visit your new website? Knowing your objectives before you start out is key and without this your video marketing efforts will be wasted.
Once you have your message and objective in mind, you should prepare a script that communicates this. It has been shown that people prefer shorter videos, so it doesn’t have to be an epic tome. Around 150 words works out as one minute or so on the screen, so use this as a rough guide. This might sound obvious, but read your script aloud when you have written it to see how it sounds to make sure it flows well and sounds natural.
Choose your video animation software
There are plenty of different video animation tools that you can use to create your animated marketing video, so do a bit of research to figure out which one will suit your needs. If you’re working with an animation or graphic design company, they will take care of all of this for you, but if you’re doing it yourself you’ll need to find your own animation maker. There are plenty of user-friendly options out there, so this part isn’t as daunting as it might seem.
Make sure it sounds good
Sound design is hugely important when it comes to video content, and animation is no exception. Your video can look amazing, but if the sound is bad then people will switch off. Another important point of note is that if your video includes speech, then you should really include subtitles. This way, if people have their phones or devices on silent, you can still get your message across.
If you’re not utilizing animated videos in your marketing strategy then you might find yourself one step behind the competition. Fingers crossed that with this article you now understand why it is so vital, and how you can get started. You can learn more about how graphic design can boost your business in our blog.
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Jonny is a contributing writer to the Linearity Blog.