Turning information into visual content is one of the most effective ways to make it more engaging, memorable, and impactful.

Purely text-based information is not very engaging, especially on mobile. It's well-known that search engines discover images added to web pages because they're seen as helpful content.

Jumpstart your ideas with Linearity Curve

Take your designs to the next level.

Your next step to stand out is adding animation to images. Animated videos and elements can improve user experience and on-page time.

Business owners and marketers increasingly recognize the value of investing time and resources into animation design.

Let’s dive deeper into this burgeoning design career trajectory and its business benefits.

What's animation design and why it matters to marketers

Animation design is the creation of moving digital images using various animation styles. It combines creative skills and strategic communication for online applications.

Marketing designers can turn static, computer-generated images into dynamic marketing content using animation design programs.

The marketing animation process encompasses the following:

  • Teamwork and collaboration with marketing, sales, and other teams
  • Conceptualization and storyboarding
  • Creating 2D animations or 3D animations in various video formats
  • Adding special effects (when applicable)
  • Adding audio tracks, sound effects, and voiceovers (when applicable)
  • Post-production, such as editing interview videos and podcasts
  • Designing marketing assets, such as mobile content and social media posts

Building an animation skillset enables marketers to craft meaningful narratives that connect with audiences on a level that text and static images simply can't achieve.

Check out a few of the best animated ad campaigns by well-known brands.

Why marketing animation design works

As the online marketplace gets more crowded, marketers need tools and techniques that help them rise above the noise. But considering that animation production requires extra resources, does animation design offer a real return on investment (ROI)?

Let's look at some benefits of animation in marketing design.

Higher customer engagement

The allure of movement causes viewers to pause and watch. This extra time spent watching animated video content can increase the chances of potential customers clicking on calls to action (CTAs), visiting more of your pages, or scrolling further down.

Longer page time encourages more valuable actions on your website.

Animations also have the potential to be interactive, such as clickable UX elements, animated infographics, or simple video games like quizzes or puzzles.

Storytelling mastery

Every brand has a story, and animations offer a captivating way to tell it. Instead of relying on chunks of text or static visuals, animations allow for a step-by-step narrative.

They guide viewers through a journey, whether it's a product's evolution, the company's mission, or a how-to guide. This storytelling approach isn't just about entertainment; it's a method to form deeper connections with your audience.

See the example below from Apple's Health campaign. Apple created an awareness campaign around well-being and exercise in response to growing concerns about increased screen time.

Versatility

Is your goal to explain a complex concept, showcase a product in action, or add some on-brand flair to a website? You can use 2D animation techniques and tools to do this.

These can be animated logos, explainer videos, interactive infographics, or vector animations to enhance a web page's user interface (UI).

Complex ideas made simple

Video presentations can bridge the gap between a brand's imaginative concepts and its audience. It's a tool that turns abstract ideas into relatable content.

For instance, 2D animation capabilities can empower a company selling cloud services to visualize an otherwise intangible product. A brand promoting sustainability can use animation software to illustrate its product's journey from source to store.

A stellar example is Google's Project Sunroof explainer video, which uses animation to illustrate how Google is making solar energy information more accessible.

Higher conversion rates

Animated CTAs or promotional materials are often more effective in driving user actions, leading to improved conversion metrics.

Animation should be used with restraint when optimizing pages for user experience (UX), according to Nielson Norman Group.

Enhanced information retention

One of the standout benefits of using animation in your marketing strategy is its profound impact on information retention. Animated visuals, especially those combined with auditory elements, are more likely to be remembered by viewers than static content.

Here's the psychology behind it:

The Dual Coding Theory proposed by Allan Paivio suggests that our brain processes visual and auditory information in different channels. This allows for more complex encoding in our memory, making it easier to recall information later on.

So, when your animated design incorporates visual and auditory elements, it taps into these dual channels and helps viewers remember your brand.

Want a real-world example? Ba da ba ba ba... I'm lovin' it. Originally the song for one of McDonald's most famous early 2000s ads, the simple jingle has become synonymous with the brand identity.

You can hear it at the end of this animated McDonald's ad:

While the benefits are clear, a gap exists. Many marketing professionals shy away from animations because they don't have the technical skills to ideate and produce animation projects. Another reason is that the industry-standard software with advanced animation features is expensive and difficult to master.

If this is you, you may consider hiring animation designers or freelance graphic designers with the key skills to create in-house animations.

But there's another option: an intuitive marketing animation platform like Linearity Move.

Linearity Move animation design software

Built with marketing professionals in mind, Linearity Move is our new and innovative software that simplifies the animation design process. It ensures every marketing team, regardless of size or technical skills, can harness the power of animated graphics.

Learn more about Linearity Move's features and use cases for your company.

Bring motion in-house

Animate marketing assets in seconds with Linearity Move.

Get started
Linearity
Linearity Linearity

How to use animation in graphic design

Incorporating animation in design is an art driven by strategy. It's about elevating your content to make it more user-friendly, engaging, and effective. You can use animation in your designs to improve user interaction, convey marketing messaging, and showcase your brand's personality.

There are several ways to integrate animation into your marketing designs successfully. Here are our tips:

Feedback and interactivity

Animation is a powerful tool for providing users with feedback. For instance, a button can animate to signal it's been clicked, or an icon might wiggle to show it's draggable. These subtle cues enhance interactivity and guide user behavior.

Interactive animations for the web can be coded with CSS or Javascript. Some website builders offer built-in animation options, such as Webflow and WordPress.

You can use animations cleverly in social posts to encourage user interaction. For example, adding a "swipe for more" CTA in the design with a pulsing arrow will prompt the next valuable action.

Animated posts on social media usually perform much better than static ones (which is why most social platforms' algorithms prefer videos).

Start small

It can be overwhelming when you're starting out with animation design. Rely on your current design skills and begin adding simple animations.

To turn a few of your static marketing assets into eye-catching animations, choose one or two elements to animate subtly.

Using Linearity Move, you can easily import your Linearity Curve (formerly Vectornator) image files and animate them.

Linearity Move's user-friendly interface means beginners and non-animators can also use it. It offers pre-designed templates so you can start animating right away.

You can experiment with more complex animations later on as you become more comfortable and grow your 2D animation skills. Some of the advanced features Linearity Move offers include an animation timeline feature, vector drawing tools, and other advanced animation controls like animation curves.

If you're looking at ways to incorporate animations into web design, subtle movements such as button hovers, loading spinners, or small icon animations can significantly enhance the user experience without being distracting.

Apple's website employs simplicity. Hover over a link, and it'll underline the text to signal it's clickable. These minor yet elegant movements add layers of interactivity without overwhelming the visitor.

Stay consistent

Consistency is crucial in all design aspects, and animation is no exception. Make sure your animations align with your brand’s style and tone.

Every animation should feel like a cohesive part of your brand identity, from the type of movements to the speed and easing. Using a wide range of animation and motion graphics might create the impression of a lack of order and structure.

Airbnb's use of animations across its platform maintains the brand’s gentle and friendly nature. Whether it's the slow, easing motion of its property photos or its eased animated loading icons, everything feels distinctly "Airbnb."

The consistent animation styles throughout the website convey a sense of the brand personality and make online customer interactions more memorable.

Optimize for performance

A beautiful animation can lose its charm if it causes your website or application to lag. Slow loading times negatively impact your overall site performance, which will be penalized by search engines.

Always ensure that your images and animations are optimized.

Utilize compressed formats, employ lazy loading for larger graphics files, and test your animations on multiple devices to ensure smooth performance.

Google's AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) website employs minimalist animations that load quickly, ensuring that mobile users get smooth experiences without compromising page load times.

Mindful use of color

Animated visual effects often incorporate color transitions or gradient shifts. Ensure these color changes align with your brand palette and that they enhance readability and visibility.

Remember, the goal is to enhance the design without confusing the user.

Intercom uses its bold blue brand color and animations to draw attention to important information and CTAs. These transitions, while vibrant, are always in line with their clean and quirky UI and branding.

Focus on the user's experience

Every animation should serve a purpose. Whether it's to guide a user's attention to a CTA, provide feedback on an action they've taken, or simply enhance the overall browsing experience, always prioritize the user's journey and experience.

Strategic animation design can significantly enhance your website's or app's UX by emphasizing clickable areas, uncluttering your user interface by revealing more information on hover, etc.

When you use Dropbox, when you try to move a file to a folder, a subtle animation shows the file's path, visually guiding the user and enhancing the drag-and-drop experience.

Loop animated content thoughtfully

If you're using looped animations, ensure they're not too fast or distracting. A constantly looping animation can become annoying. Consider using slow, smooth loops or setting animations to loop only once or a few times.

The GIF format is a popular choice for adding looping animations to web pages and emails. It offers a small file size at the expense of compromised image quality.

Other animated formats that can be used for web animations include SVG, WEBP, Lottie, and APNG.

Website development platform Webflow uses looping animations strategically to show how its drag-and-drop website builder works. The parallax scrolling animations also create an interactive experience for the visitor.

Animation trends, like all design trends, evolve. Some movement sequences become popular and then go out of style, while others become staples of good design.

Always look for current trends and incorporate them where appropriate, but ensure you're not following fads. Every animation should add value to your design.

Ready to create brand assets that pack a punch?

Visit our Academy for free marketing design courses.

Collaborate with other animation designers

You may not have an animation team, but you can still collaborate with animation professionals.

Teaming up with specialists in the animation industry can bring fresh perspectives and ensure that your animations are technically sound and visually appealing.

Other professionals that can help you take your marketing animations to the next level include:

  • Video game designers
  • 3D animators
  • Filmmakers
  • Storyboard artists
  • Motion graphics designers
  • Freelance designers and digital artists
  • Artists working with animation production
  • Stop motion animators

Strategic animation collaborations can help your team produce unique, memorable marketing campaigns.

Iterate and test

Like any design component, animations should undergo testing. Collect feedback, make necessary revisions, and continuously improve.

The first full draft of your animation won't be perfect, so be open to changes based on feedback and technical performance. This is also where your chosen animation design software program makes all the difference.

If you're using basic animation software that doesn't offer advanced animation tools and customization options, you may find it pretty challenging to tweak your designs and get them "just right."

Create campaigns with animation design tools

Animation-led campaigns have the potential to be powerful sales tools. When planning your marketing campaign, consider the following points:

  • Know your audience: Create animations that mirror the preferences and aspirations of your target demographic. This includes the stylistic decisions you make and the narrative content of your animations.
  • Storyboard before you animate: Once you have a solid concept, creating a clear storyboard will provide direction and ensure every animation sequence adds value.
  • Showcase products: Highlight product features through engaging animations, providing users with visual insights. You should also consider how to connect emotionally with the audience and not only focus on information transfer.
  • Boost user-generated content (UGC): Empower your audience to create animations around your brand, amplifying reach. Consider creating Instagram Reel Templates or Stories that your social media audience can use to create their own versions of your content.
  • Engage in trends: Join trending challenges or initiate your own, leveraging the virality factor of videos.

Measuring the success of animation designs

With any strategy, measuring its effectiveness is key. A longer dwell time on a web page often correlates with increased engagement. Measuring views and watch time also indicates user interaction and information transfer.

Consumers retain 95% of a message when viewed on video, compared to 10% when read in text.

Adding CTAs to your animations is one of the best ways to measure success. It comes down to a simple yes or no question: Did the user take the recommended action? This is often measured in clicks, demo bookings, and subscriptions.

Animation design success factors to measure include:

  • Engagement rate: Compare how your animated content performs in terms of engagement compared to static content. In Google Analytics, user engagement includes landing on a page, keeping it in the foreground, scrolling, and navigating to the next page. Check these statistics across your marketing channels to determine which audience segments favor your animated marketing materials.
  • View duration or watch time: A longer view duration typically indicates that your animation is captivating. Shorter view times and bounces may show your animation is less effective than hoped.
  • Click-through rate (CTR): The CTR is measured by dividing the number of clicks by the number of times your animation is shown (page sessions, views, or impressions) times 100. This gives you the percentage of views that turn into actions. For example, if you have 100 page visitors daily and 10 of them click on your CTA, your CTR is 10%. Compare these actions to other forms of content on your website to see if animated content increases conversions.

Your next move: bring animation in-house

If you want your marketing messages to stick, animation design is one of your most effective tools. By capturing both the eye and the ear, animation videos can immerse your audience in branded online experiences.

Viewers are likelier to remember your brand message and take action.

We've also shared some tips for incorporating animation into your marketing designs and how to measure its success. It boils down to tailoring your marketing efforts to the customer journey while staying true to your brand. This will enable you to deliver impactful messages with your marketing animation videos.

With Linearity Move, creating bespoke animations tailored to your marketing strategy has never been easier (or looked this good). With an easy-to-learn interface, powerful features, and compatibility with graphic design tools, Linearity Move will help you bring animation design in-house.

Want to be one of the first to try Linearity Move? Join the waiting list.

Bring motion in-house

Animate marketing assets in seconds with Linearity Move.

Get started
Linearity
Linearity Linearity

Frequently asked questions

What's the difference between graphic design and animation?

While closely related, graphic and animation design serve distinct purposes and require different skill sets. Graphic designers generally create static visual content like images, logos, posters, and brochures. Graphic design focuses on effectively using color, typography, and layout to communicate a message or create a particular experience.

Animation design involves creating moving graphics for marketing purposes. This can range from simple animated icons and GIFs to complex full-length videos. Animation designers have particular technical skills and an understanding of timing, movement, and sound to produce animation sequences.

Both graphic and animation designers must thoroughly grasp graphic design principles.

How can animation enhance a design?

Advanced animation features can bring a static design to life. Animation design offers dynamic interactivity that static designs can't. For example, animated elements can guide a user’s attention, provide instant feedback, or offer playful moments that elevate the user experience.

From a marketing standpoint, animation can be particularly effective for storytelling, allowing a narrative to unfold sequentially and engage viewers more deeply.

Animation designers use animation software to turn computer-generated images into videos, animations for games, and UI/UX elements.

Which type of computer is most likely to be used for animation design?

The choice of computer can significantly affect the ease and efficiency of your animation design process. Workstations with high processing power, ample storage, and superior graphics capabilities are generally preferred for complex animation tasks.

Both Windows PCs and Apple Macs have suitable models, but it often comes down to personal preference and specific software requirements. Brands like Apple, Dell, Acer, and HP offer high-end models geared towards design professionals.

Many animation software are now also available online as browser-based platforms, which won't affect your computer choice as much.

How can I incorporate animation into web design?

Incorporating animation into web design must be done thoughtfully to improve user experience without affecting site performance. Simple CSS animations can be used for subtle effects like hover states or loading spinners. More complex animations like parallax scrolling may require JavaScript coding.

Always optimize your animations for speed and responsiveness, and test them across different browsers for compatibility.

What kind of animation software should I use for marketing materials?

The animation software you choose largely depends on the complexity of the animations you intend to create and the platforms where they'll be displayed. The key is to pick software that aligns with your project requirements and skill level.

Basic animation software like Canva or Adobe Express may suffice for simple animated social media posts. But if you're looking for a more robust animation design program to suit a variety of marketing scenarios, Adobe After Effects or Linearity Move offer advanced custom animation options.

Linearity Move is a game changer for marketers.

Not only does it offer powerful vector animation tools, timeline layers, and keyframes, but it's also a pleasure to work with. It has a user-friendly interface and a library of pre-designed templates you can customize.

How to use animation design in digital marketing | Linearity
How to use animation design in digital marketing