Your marketing team should constantly look for new, ambitious ways to tell your brand's story.
A great marketing strategy is never stagnant but always in motion, continuously improving on previous efforts and ready to catch a potential customer's eye.
That’s why motion graphic animations are the current hot topic and art form among marketing factions and multimedia projects. They’re versatile, eye-catching, and, above all else, an effective means of communication and driver of a positive user experience.
In this article, we'll look at why video marketing and animation are becoming more popular, discuss the benefits of incorporating the art form of motion graphic design into your advertising, and outline how they can be used to tell a killer story.
What’s motion graphics?
Before we explain the definition of motion graphics and how animation can be used to strengthen your brand, let’s go back to basics and explain what the term motion graphics truly means.
Put simply, motion graphics are design elements in motion. It's an incredibly versatile and useful form of animation frequently used to emphasize facts, illustrate points, and expose ideas visually, making them easier to understand.
Unlike the cinematic animation process, motion graphic elements tend not to enhance or embody a narrative. Instead, they concentrate on hard facts such as USPs, statistics, or instructions.
A piece of motion graphics can be shown in 2D or 3D objects, abstract animations, or even via an animated .gif. Depending on the types of motion graphics, they can be paired with sound effects, visual effects, and voiceovers. You can see motion graphics in anything from a YouTube video to your favorite website user interface (UI).
Once upon a time, motion graphics was a powerful tool exclusively reserved for big brands with big budgets. Now, it’s a handy tool any resourceful marketing team or graphic designer can implement into their strategy.
A brief history of motion graphics
The history of motion graphics dates as far back as 1888. Using animated titles in the film industry was the beginning of motion graphics as we know it. At that time, film directors began experimenting with new methods of making their films and motion pictures more engaging.
The advent of television and cinematic effects has created a new platform for the appeal of motion graphics. Motion graphics were popular in TV title sequences, commercials, and movie title sequences from the 1950s to the 1960s.
Computer development had a great deal of influence in the 1970s and 1980s. More complicated and sophisticated animations could be created with digital tools, and more technical skills and understanding of design principles were required.
This meant motion graphic design was made more accessible to graphic designers by introducing motion graphics software such as Adobe After Effects in 1993, leading to a surge of creativity and experimentation in the design process, especially with 3D animations.
Applications for motion graphic design
There are many innovative ways you and your company can utilize the art of motion graphics and animation software. But leaping to incorporate a new application into your marketing strategy can be daunting.
Let’s run through some of the many methods you can incorporate to tell your company’s story through engaging content.
1. Animated explainer videos
An animated video helps potential consumers understand the unique selling points of your physical or digital product, thereby showing them the visual content and value of your company and hopefully converting them into long-time customers.
This type of animation video is generally split into four sections:
- The problem
- The solution (your unique product or service)
- How the solution operates
- A call to action (CTA)
They’re also remarkably effective in showcasing a key narrative of your company quickly and increasing internet traffic.
2. Bringing your stories to life with stop motion
Stop motion stands out for its handcrafted, tactile qualities. The effort and creativity can convey a sense of authenticity and charm that resonates with audiences.
It’s a captivating animation technique that can be used for storytelling. It involves physically manipulating objects in small increments between individually photographed frames to create the illusion of motion and 3D elements.
It can be a challenging animation style to master. Its potential for creating memorable and distinctive content with graphic elements makes it a valuable tool in any marketer's arsenal.
If you plan on using it on your social media platforms or in any email campaigns, we advise keeping it under the one-minute mark. You risk losing the attention, engagement, and potential sales from viewers if the video feels too slow or long.
3. Brand logos
Establishing a memorable logo is one of the best ways for your brand to build credibility, market relevance, and display a solid creative direction.
A logo is a visual representation of your brand. It should be the first impression any potential customer has of your brand and, thus, can be the deciding factor between becoming a household name or an industry dud.
Animating your brand’s logo using animated graphics is a fantastic and innovative way to make it memorable. It’s demonstrative of a unique, savvy brand that understands the market.
Have you ever been on a website but felt lost and didn’t know how to navigate it?
For example, you might want to check your unread messages but can’t locate your inbox. Or you’re ready to check out from your favorite retail website but can’t locate your basket.
If that’s you, simple motion graphics called micro-animations could’ve been used to gently nudge you in the right direction.
They help guide users with animated visual cues and tend to be activated when the user interacts with a specific element on the site.
Popular examples of micro-animations include the Like button on Facebook, which allows users to choose from animated faces and icons to express themselves under a post.
Website preloaders and progress bars also help keep users engaged while they wait for a page or app to load.
5. Animated .gifs
Animated .gifs are one of the most popular and creative forms of motion graphics.
GIF stands for Graphical Interchange Format and was founded by an American software writer in 1987.
A .gif can be a static image or an animated series of images (soundless videos) that loop continuously. They don’t require any specific interaction to play. If used correctly, they can help your brand stand out.
They’re incredibly popular on social media. Like memes, .gifs tend to be used to communicate jokes. Thanks to sites such as GIPHY and Gyfcat, users of any age and experience can create their own animated .gifin seconds.
Purposing the right .gif that’s topical and funny will help your brand to seem "in on the joke," and culturally relevant. If you use a trending .gif that speaks to a specific demographic's funny bone, your content will likely be shared and favored by potential customers.
These tiny files are a low-cost, low-risk way for your brand to experiment with animation and the creative process to bring characters to life. Why not use one to announce your next flash sale, new product, or team change?
Let’s face it. Presentations can be boring, whatever the subject matter.
Motion graphics can take a simple presentation and make it appear more engaging, professional, and polished. Adding moving elements to your next client presentation will help enhance your PowerPoint.
Better yet? You can use them repeatedly once you’ve created basic graphic design elements, such as name tags, section headers, etc. This will unify your brand’s presentation imagery and visual style going forward and promote brand recognition and familiarity with your audience.
7. Brand animations or culture marketing videos
A brand animation is a short animation showing the world what your company is about.
It’s a clever way to introduce a website visitor to your story, vision, and team. It also helps boost internet traffic to your site and bring your ads to life.
If your company’s unique selling point (USP) is its workplace culture, why not bring the design to life using animation on your recruitment page showcasing your team dynamic?
If your marketing team had a superb last quarter, consider sharing their results with the company or on social media via an explainer video to celebrate.
The world’s biggest and most successful brands have incorporated brand animation into their website, homepage, advertising videos, and even client presentations because they know it’s a surefire way to hold the viewer’s attention.
Case studies: brands that harnessed the power of motion graphic design for their marketing
In their marketing campaigns, various brands have managed to use motion graphics. A few notable motion graphics examples are presented here:
Google Doodle Animations
Google Doodle is a series of inventive modifications to its logo to celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of notable artists, pioneers, and scientists.
You can see the use of motion graphics and animated shapes to illustrate events or personalities in an engaging way. By highlighting Google's creative and innovative brand image, these doodles enhance the user's engagement with the search engine's homepage.
The company's commitment to celebrating diversity, culture, and innovation is reflected in these elements.
Airbnb's ''Live There'' campaign
The central theme of "Live There" was encouraging travelers to live like locals and experience destinations as residents rather than tourists.
The campaign highlighted the difference between typical tourism experiences with a superficial nature and rich personal experiences that can be acquired by staying at Airbnb.
Airbnb's brand philosophy of belonging and authentic travel has been enhanced by motion graphics' fluid and dynamic nature. It took advantage of visual elements and represented the brand's diversity, inclusion, and personalization philosophy.
Chipotle's ''Back to the Start'' campaign
The film depicts the journey of a farmer who transforms his traditional family farm into an industrial animal factory before he realizes it’s wrong and decides to go with a more sustainable future.
This motion graphics animation campaign crafted by some amazing designers helped to strengthen Chipotle's image as a leader in the movement towards more responsible and environmentally friendly food production. It’s a great example of emotive storytelling.
Ready to create brand assets that pack a punch?
Visit our Academy for free marketing animation courses.
How do motion graphics help brands?
A healthy content strategy contains a well-rounded mix of content, including those we’ve mentioned in this article.
A brand’s message should be succinct and captivating. Motion graphic design can help content creators and marketers balance visual content with brand messaging. Here’s why:
Emotionally captivating stories
Are you familiar with the phenomenon of emotional contagion?
It’s a term used to describe the emotional response and biological reactions in humans that cause us to immediately empathize, mirror, and relate to the emotional aspects of the experiences we see on a screen.
In the case of marketing, it’s one of the key reasons you should incorporate motion graphics into your strategy.
The collective effort of moody music, powerful voiceover, and stunning, moving visuals can deliver your story in a form that’s above and beyond the norm.
Motion graphics also give you more control over how to tell a story than other forms of video format. A motion design ad doesn’t require any actors, specific filming locations, or weather—all you need is a great brand and dedication.
A passive experience
Although motion graphics can trigger real emotions in customers, they don’t require them to do anything.
Motion graphics being a passive experience is a positive for several reasons.
Firstly, it gives you an unlimited audience and prevents your content from becoming inaccessible to audiences of different languages, abilities, and capabilities. It can introduce your brand to everyone, not just a limited demographic.
Secondly, it’s in theme with how most people consume content on digital devices. The heyday of print ads is dead and gone. Video content creation is here to stay.
Consumers want to digest your product video ads on digital platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. To do that, your content should match the subject matter of that site.
Distill information easily
Did you ever draw spider diagrams or use visual aids to remember information while studying at school or establish a creative direction? There’s a reason why visual aids work.
Instead of spending precious time reading an ad, our brains process its content immediately when we watch a video.
Visual storytelling will enable you to swiftly break down complicated subjects or abstract concepts and deliver your story clearly and effectively.
Can be repurposed
One of the best things about motion graphics is their ability to be repurposed to fuel new campaigns, content ideas, and topics.
For example, you could divide a video into smaller sections targeted to specific age groups or demographics interested in a particular product. This flexibility can massively extend a singular piece of content's lifecycle, making it evergreen.
Yes, that’s right, motion graphics is the gift that keeps giving.
Increase brand awareness
Motion graphic designs are more memorable than static images because of their dynamic nature, which allows brands to be remembered by the target audience.
Animated motion graphics have great versatility as visual learners can use them and may include sound elements for auditory learners, making them more effective in reaching a broader audience and creating awareness videos.
Experienced designers with a good knowledge of motion graphics design can enhance the perception of a brand's quality and professionalism.
Key takeaways: the future of motion graphics
Any content strategy aims to create meaningful, cohesive, engaging, and sustainable content that targets and holds your consumer's interest and prioritizes the user experience.
In today’s content-orientated world, there is no better way to take your brand to the next level than by infusing your marketing plans with motion graphics.
Motion animations may be optimized for various digital formats to ensure messages are delivered effectively on a wide range of channels.
It's not just a trend to incorporate motion graphics into your content strategy. It's an extremely powerful way of branding in our content-driven online environment.
It's in line with the need to produce content that ‘s entertaining and visual but also coherent and sustainable.
Ben is a Content Lead for Linearity living in Berlin. His hobbies include board games, cooking, reading, and writing.