An animated marketing video offers one of the best ways to immediately engage website visitors. As a result, they are becoming a popular tool in digital marketing campaigns. Video conserves a website visitor’s time and effort and allows startup’s to explain their main benefits quickly.
You might think affordable, top-quality computer-assisted animation is a thing of the future. Well, the future is now, and here are 5 tips for anyone making their first animated marketing video.
1. Whiteboard Animation is Declining in Popularity…FAST!
It’s actually become a cliche. At some point in ancient history (aka 2007), a visionary director discovered the wonders of whiteboard videos. “It’s just drawing in front of a camera!” he or she said. And not only is whiteboard animation easy, but the effect is often hypnotic. A well-done video captivates viewers as you take your idea from a blank whiteboard through growth, evolution, and finally a fully formed product ready to invest in.
But then something happened.
There’s a problem with innovations…once they gain popularity, everybody starts doing them. In no time, there was a glut of derivative, lazy, knock-off explainer videos crowding out legitimate content. Viewers get sick of seeing the same thing over and over again, especially when they were bad.
Whiteboard animation is going the way of the dodo.
When’s the last time you saw a whiteboard animation go viral on Facebook? Exactly.
Someday, maybe, whiteboard animations will rise again. But not today.
2. 3D Animation is On the Rise
Instead of whiteboards, look to the future of animation. The 3D animated video is both better-looking and more affordable than it’s ever been. It doesn’t take a division of Pixar to tell a riveting story anymore, which means 3D might be right for your video.
Some business concepts work better for 3D video than others. Trading in the cartoony familiarity of a traditional animation for the stark detail of 3D makes the most sense for businesses with a physical product. Using 3D animation, you can create a lifelike prototype of your vision. Throughout the video it interacts with other objects just like it would in real life (or, have it do something extraordinary).
Even if your prototype is still on the drawing board, 3D animation can bring it to life. This allows your customers to see your product in action before it exists in real life!
3. Create Different Versions of the Same Video for Different Platforms
One of the biggest mistakes a company can make is paying for one single video, and then using that one video across all its online platforms. The avenues for presenting the video to potential customers are many, and to maximize your video’s effectiveness you need to tailor it to the platform it’s presented on.
For instance, a video on your website can go long (60 – 120 seconds). You can examine the details of your product, keep the video interesting, and leave your customer with a complete understanding of how your business helps them.
But a long-form video is never going to get played on a social media platform like Facebook.
Instead of focusing on your one video, Facebook viewers are scrolling through a massive feed, catching up with their friends and family, seeing all the other sponsored content, and maybe, just maybe, catching some valuable insight from you.
So, today’s top content producers on Facebook are creating short and sweet videos (30 seconds or less). These short videos immediately convey the core principles of their message.
To combat the fact that Facebook auto-plays videos with the sound muted, these videos are hooking viewers through short, punchy taglines. The goal is to catch the attention of those distracted facebookers as they scroll down through the feed. Once they’re lured into the short video, your focus should be on getting them to click through to the longer presentation on your website for more info (that is what you want them to do anyway, right?).
The good news, once you’ve made the first version of your video it takes minimal effort to edit versions specifically crafted to the various outlets they will stream on. A good videographer can edit down and rearrange the material he or she has already created until it’s ready to maximize its potential.
4. Design for Mobile Viewing
We already said the folks on Facebook are distracted. But you should also know most of them are watching on mobile devices (in fact, 65% of Facebook video views are mobile). Your animated business video might be clear, catchy, and informative on a big computer screen, but how does it handle a 6” diagonal smartphone?
If you don’t know, you need to reconsider your video marketing strategy.
For your video to work on mobile the text needs to be big, bold, and to the point. Forget complete sentences, each screen of text should have 3 to 5 words arranged in a clear way for a less-than-genius level reader to get the point before you switch to the next idea.
Imagery needs to be simple. No small movements. No action off in the corners of the screen. People don’t want to find Waldo, they want to understand your message intuitively.
The beauty of an animated video is it does these things well almost automatically. A quality cartoon icon takes up the center of the screen in bold, easy strokes. And explains your message with a child-like wonder to overwhelm the most jaded adult.
5. Incorporate Elements From Your Video Into Other Campaigns
Creating a powerful, dynamic animated character takes a lot of work. So once you have a lively company mascot the entire board is in love with, it only makes sense that you should get as much value as possible out of it.
Much like creating videos specifically for social media, you can take a character and without too much more investment move him or her from an animated business video to stills and even physical representations (the world is full of companies ready to make a suit based on your mascot’s design).
Always Keep Your Eye on the Next Big Thing
The expensive part is always the first animated video production. Once you’ve created your character, decided on your voice, and solidified your message everything gets much easier. Keep rolling, keep inventing, and build on what you already have. Soon you won’t believe the video marketing campaign you are running, all with just a little more effort!
Join the discussion
So you’re ready to get started on a brand new video. That’s great! But don’t just jump off the starting line and plan on figuring things out along the way. Take a minute to define the scope of your project first – it can save you time and money down the road, and help …