Video Animation: How to Engage and Captivate Your Audience

Video Animation: How to Engage and Captivate Your Audience

Alina Prilskaya
Creative Animation Strategist

In the age of the internet, reaching out to your target audience is easier than ever. You can quite literally select the demographic that you’d like to reach with your ads. It seems as though there are no walls between brands who know their customers well and, well, their customers. The only thing standing between you and your audience is creativity.

The internet provides an abundance of choices. Not only in terms of products and services, but also in terms of marketing. A brand that offers poor quality products can still enjoy great success and high sales because of its creativity. Thus, if you can find a way to communicate with your audience, you can be successful. No wonder firms are spending millions on marketing!

 

Plain text and images are boring and so last decade. Video animation is all the rage! Let’s take a dive into the art of video animation, look at how to make an animated video and how it can benefit your brand.

How Brands Can Accelerate User Engagement

The people that view your content online just want to be entertained. Nobody wants to spend their time trying to understand the point you’re putting across. People seek instant gratification now more than ever. If your content is not engaging from the get-go, it is not going to get views. Because of that, what better time to leverage the power of video animation than now?

The power of social media

If you’re not on social media, you basically don’t exist. The world has migrated to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok. If you don’t like it, you’re not going to make it very far. But, why wouldn’t you like social media, if they can give you a creative outlet and provide a platform for making connections. Besides, social media platforms are the perfect space for home made animation, with apps like TikTok quite literally building their wealth around video content.

Instant gratification

Back to instant gratification; today’s consumers want everything now. They don’t want to wait to be rewarded in a month, a week, a day, or 5 minutes. Why should they, if they have the world at their fingertips? Because people’s attention spans are getting shorter, animated videos are a great way to get to them. Just look at the success of TikTok. People enjoy short videos where the information is delivered quickly and with a little bit of humor.

Brand awareness

Whether you like it or not, brand awareness is still something we all need to work on. By increasing your brand awareness, you’re putting your brand in the consideration set of the consumer. Next time they want to buy a yogurt, get a massage, or watch a movie, they will think of you. Well, they might, if you do a good job of raising your brand awareness. The implementation of visual elements in your marketing is crucial.

Reasons to Use Animation

 

Using video animation in your business can help you increase brand awareness, improve your social media presence, and appeal to your audience. Animation is easier to look at than big chunks of text and uninteresting stock photos. But, why? Before we discuss how to make animation, let’s look at some reasons why you should start using it.

Increased information intake

Visual information is processed approximately 60,000 times faster than written text. That means that people are not only attracted to visual information more, they can also comprehend it a lot better. It is easier to process information in visual form, and thus it sticks better. Next time a person wants to remember your brand, they might not remember your name, but they will remember the visual elements of your marketing.

Increased engagement

Visual content has the power to create a stronger connection than any piece of text ever could. At the end of the day, text is just that - text. The reader has to work pretty hard to receive it and process it. Animation is very different, especially for people who enjoy animation outside of marketing. If you grew up watching cartoons, you can relate to an animated video a lot more than to a cold and emotionless chunk of text. Besides the obvious visual appeal of animation, it is also able to invoke some feelings and emotions in a person.

Reduced cost

One of the biggest issues with video production is the high costs. It’s expensive to write a screenplay, hire a crew, and shoot an ad, no matter how short and uncomplicated it is. Many brands would have turned to video content a long time ago, had they been able to afford it. Animation is very different. You can hire a company to create an animated video for you within days, and pay a fraction of what you would to one single actor.

 

Types of Animation

 

When you’re wondering how to make animated videos, look into these tools:

Whiteboard animation

Whiteboard animation is often used to explain difficult concepts. Viewers tend to feel as if they are in a classroom, so they expect to learn. The video serves as a teacher that quite literally explains the concept, while also drawing a visual representation on a whiteboard. There is something very satisfying about seeing information presented so neatly. This is just another proof that most people are visual learners.

Kinetic typography

Kinetic typography refers to the art of moving words on a screen. You must have seen this type of animation on YouTube. The easiest way to find it is by searching for a lyrics video for your favorite song. Many musicians post such videos on their YouTube channels. The trick is that it’s not exactly a music video, but it is an engaging video nonetheless. Words are coming at you and moving around the screen, and you can’t help but watch. There is something so satisfying and stimulating about watching kinetic typography in action. It is a great way to present your text visually without having to rework it into a skit.

Cartoon animation

Cartoons are what most people think of when someone mentions animation. That’s because they are animation in its purest form! If you want to make a video, but don’t want to pay set designers, actors, and a bunch of other people, rent a location, spend money on catering, and so on, you might as well just make a cartoon. A cartoon can have people as its main characters, but they won’t be real. Cartoons are not exactly easy and cheap to make, but they are more time and cost-efficient than movies.

Live action and animation combo

This is a very popular way to use animation in marketing. Essentially, we are talking about a combination of live action videos and animation. This can come in handy when you have a simple live action video that you would like to use for an ad. Use animation to add text to the video. There are many types of visual elements you can add to your live action video to make it more appealing. Animation can patch up any holes that were left in the production of the video.

Infographic animation

Nobody likes numbers. Unless you are a mathematician that looks at numbers for a living, you probably have a hard time remembering when a certain war took place, how old a certain country leader was when they did something, and what the mass of a certain planet is. The best part is, as a regular person, you don’t need to remember any of that. However, as a marketer, you would probably agree that statistical content can be very helpful when you’re trying to say something. Rather than saying your product is better than its competitors, you can say it is x times better because of y and z. Infographic animation can help! It will visually represent the statistics you’re trying to convey, and make that information easier to remember and understand.

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When to Use Animation

 

Animation can be a very useful tool for business, but it all depends on how you use it. It’s not always appropriate and it’s not always needed. Similarly, not every target group is receptive to animation in marketing. Here are some tips that will help you identify when using animation can be appropriate for your brand:

Outline your goals

Your goals may range from introducing new products and acquiring a new clientele to downsizing and getting rid of stock. Before you can know when to use animation, you need to identify your goals. Then, you can slowly begin to see where animation can help you grow (or slow down growth). It is also important to set your metrics for success. Know exactly what you expect from each campaign and when you can proudly say that you have achieved your goal.

Plan your video strategy

If you are determined to use video content in your business, you need to plan your video strategy before you start crafting video animation. That entails identifying your objectives. What are you looking to gain from the use of video animation? Then, identify and understand your audience. What do they like? What will appeal to them? Think about the message you are trying to convey. What niche is your product filling? How can it help your consumer? After you’ve answered these questions, your video strategy may start to come together.

Write a brief

Writing a brief includes thinking about your resources and how you are willing to allocate them. How much time can you dedicate to the production of one video? How much money are you able to spend? What are you expecting in return? Outline all the big and small details of your campaign. No detail is too small!

 

How Do Businesses Use Animation?

 

When someone says “animation”, most people think of cartoons. Believe it or not, animation is not just Bojack Horseman and Rick & Morty. It spans way beyond animated series and children’s cartoons. While creating the next Netflx hit along the lines of Disenchantment is a hugely successful business venture, there are other ways in which businesses use animation.

Animated ads

There are multiple ways to make ads. You can hire a crew and shoot a live action video. You can take it in the opposite direction and put text over a series of pictures a-la PowerPoint Presentation. The former is expensive and the latter wouldn’t get you far, unless it’s done in an obviously ironic way. Then there are animated ads. Those are, essentially, ads created with the help of the 5 types of animation mentioned above.

Character animation

Animators use character animation to bring a cartoon character to life on screen. Think of your favorite cartoon characters; SpongeBob SquarePants, Tommy Pickles, Homer Simpson… All of these were brought to life using character animation. This practice is popular among businesses that have an animated mascot. Think the Laughing Cow from The Laughing Cow cheese. 

Animated infographics

Nobody likes numbers, but numbers are good for business. Putting your accomplishments in numerical terms adds credibility. It also reduces entertainment value. That’s where animated infographics come in! They help businesses make numbers a little bit more fun and a lot easier to understand.

2D animation

2D animation is very effective in advertisements and promotional videos. You will often come across 2D animation in explanation videos that use whiteboard animation.

3D animation

3D animation is very similar to 2D animation, but it’s, well, in 3D. That means that the characters are 3-dimensional. What initially started as a tool for video games, TV shows, and animated movies, is currently being used in ads as well. 3D animation can make characters come to life even more.

 

Making Animated Marketing Videos That Engage Customers

 

You can create a beautiful animated video, but it won’t be any good if it doesn’t have a clear purpose. Follow these tips to make sure your animated video will engage your customers:

Communicate with your target audience

You are making a video for someone. When you’re having a conversation with a person, you adjust your tone and the content of what you say to ensure that the person you’re talking to understands you. You need to do the same thing with your video. Craft with your audience in mind and make sure they get the message. If the message is not for them, they won’t get it.

Work on your message

The animation is merely a vessel for your message. If there is no message at the heart of the video, the video will not do what you want it to do. On top of that, we already know that consumers are growing increasingly impatient. Nobody has the time (or attention span) to sit through a 5-minute video that just won’t get to the point. For a change, get to the point immediately and focus on entertaining the viewer throughout the video. They might come back!

Optimize for social media

Social media is where it’s at right now. Let’s be real; 9 out of 10 times you’re not making videos for television or billboards. Instead, you’re hoping your video will go viral on TikTok or Instagram Reels, and reach a ton of people. Even if you’re not starting with one of these platforms, make sure to customize your video to fit them anyway.

Pick the right tools

We already established that watching a video is easier than reading a piece of text. Well, now you know that a video can also just be a vessel for your text. That’s called kinetic typography. If kinetic typography is not your jam, there are other video animation tools you can use to craft your video. You’ve just got to pick the right one for your audience and message. Thus, if you’re announcing an upcoming event, kinetic typography can be great for letting people know when and where it will take place. However, if you’re advertising a nose spray, you might want to look into other tools.

Cover what people care about

In other words, appeal to your viewers’ curiosity. In order to cover this point, you need to get in touch with your target audience and really get to know them. Then, you can target their pain points and offer solutions that will actually help them. With this knowledge, almost any product can be framed to appeal to your target audience.

Top 5 Best Animated Corporate Videos - Examples

 

You are not ready to make animated videos until you’ve seen some great examples. If you want to create an animation yourself, follow these videos:

Spotify

Spotify used 2D animation to tell a story. The story is about music and people, and how music is for people. The style is very unique and it couldn’t be more Spotify.

Starbucks

This animation from Starbucks really shows that you don’t always need to reinvent the wheel. Simple and pleasant visuals, along with a confident voice and calm music will do the trick.

Thycotic

In this Christmas ad, Thycotic used a combination of timeless and trendy. The classic Christmas music really goes well with the trendy animation style that is so in fashion right now.

Blockfood

This ad for Blockfood manages to tell a story using narration and animation. The business animation style that is so popular right now is complemented with narration that outlines a common problem and provides a solution within seconds.

Fractio

Fractio relied heavily on narration and supplemented it with visuals to touch on such a complicated concept as NFTs. The use of kinetic typography only made it better.

Conclusion

 

Marketing is all about communication. You are communicating a product, a message, a solution to your customer. In the age of technology, there are better ways to communicate than through uninteresting newsletters and long paragraphs that never really get to the point fast enough. Video animation is one way to engage and captivate audience members.

 

The video format is no longer new or exciting in itself, so you have to work extra hard to make your animation stand out. With the right tools, success is almost guaranteed. When it comes to production, you can hire a company to do all the heavy lifting for you. But, it is up to you to make the first step.

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