Why should you incorporate animated videos into your marketing strategy?
Thanks to their bold, creative designs and inherently engaging format, animated videos unlock a wide range of impressive marketing benefits.
Some of the biggest advantages of using animated videos for marketing include:
- Enhanced engagement - animated videos are precisely geared to generate huge engagement figures. In addition to vibrant and creative illustrations, they use movement, audio, typography and colour to stand out, even in the most crowded digital platforms. Then, the clear messaging and strong design keeps the viewer’s attention, right the way to the end.
- Simplified communication - the sophisticated designs of animated videos are supported with distinctly clear, clean communication. The accompanying audio or textual elements of these videos are easy for audiences to follow, and deliver the overall message with absolute precision.
- Brand personality - animated videos are loaded with creativity and innovative, playful elements. An animation agency will work closely with you, to create an animation that is completely unlike anything that your competitors (or anyone else online, for that matter) have thought up. At the same time, the entire content will be firmly on brand, staying true to your brand’s colours, tone and established personality.
- Emotional connection - by creating relatable characters and a captivating story-based plot, animations can strike an emotional chord with viewers. More on this below.
- Versatility - in live-action videos, the options for location and characters are significantly limited by costs and practicality. Not for animated videos, though. You want to create a capybara character that lives on Mars? You got it. This content type gives you complete versatility and unlimited creative freedom.
- Reusability - working with an animation agency, your animated videos can be repurposed across all of your digital channels. This includes social media, your company website, online adverts, digital OOH advertising, PowerPoint presentations and shared amongst your internal team.
- Mobile compatibility - building on the point above, your agency will also ensure that your video is compatible with audiences watching on other devices. With 90% of viewers watching videos on their mobile phones, this is a critical part of maximising engagement and UX.
- Global reach - another key benefit of creating content with higher engagement stats is that it will be shared (both by viewers and social media algorithms themselves), amongst a larger, more global audience.
- Higher retention - not only is the creativity of animated videos a fantastic way to boost engagement stats, but it is also ideally suited to increasing the campaign’s memorability. This, in turn, will support your brand identity and brand awareness efforts, too.
- SEO benefits - websites that contain videos are over 50 times more likely to feature on search engine results. This means that, by adding animated videos to your company’s website, you can also fuel higher viewer stats for the rest of your digital content, too.
Competitive edge - thanks to the combination of all these unique benefits, animated videos help brands to stand out amongst the crowd. This content enables brands to distinguish themselves from their competitors, and drive higher brand awareness and brand recognition figures, while also ensuring that their brand is associated with modernity, creativity and ingenuity. Win-win.
What are the key elements of crafting compelling narratives in animated marketing?
We touched on emotional connection earlier on, but what does a narrative actually mean in the context of marketing animations?
We’re not crafting a soap opera, or writing a fantasy novel. But, although this is short-form content that is designed to advertise, narrative has just as important a role to play here. So, how can we harness storytelling techniques, and bring them into the advertising world?
The elements that you can use to establish a strong narrative for your animated videos include:
- A clear storyline - a plot that is engaging, while still being easy to follow, featuring a clear series of events.
- Relatable characters - characters that the audience can identify with. This could be thanks to the characters’ charm, warmth, friendliness or sincerity. Or, it could be achieved through shared pain points, shared values, or ensuring your characters include diverse representation, for example.
- Emotional appeal - building on relatability, the video should also speak to the audience on an emotional level. This could be through joy, humour, nostalgia or shared experiences, for example.
- Audience-centric approach - content that is precisely engineered to appeal to your target audience as much as possible.
- Call to action (CTA) - as the value-driver of your video, right from the get-go, your content should work towards this concluding call to action.
- A clear message - based on your content’s KPIs, the video should build up to a CTA that is easy to understand and easy to follow.
- Visual storytelling - a design that is bold, colourful and captivating, which enhances the plot (rather than drawing any attention away from it).
- Engaging script - a script that is precise, fun without being too wordy, and written in the tone of voice best-suited to your target audience.
- Brand integration - clear, seamless branding, incorporated throughout all of the video’s elements.
- Problem-resolution format - one of the most popular narrative arcs, animated videos commonly have the structure of an opening, a problem, then a resolution.
- Visual consistency - all elements should feature a consistent design style and colour palette, which fully adheres to your branding.
- Timing and pacing - both the plot and the animation itself should adhere to a speed that is fast enough to remain engaging, but still easy for viewers to follow.
What impact do animated videos have on marketing outcomes and success?
When created with care and consideration, animated videos can be the ultimate weapon in your marketing arsenal.
The impact of this content on marketing campaigns can be huge, and span a broad range of KPIs, including:
- Increased engagement
- Enhanced retention
- Higher rates of social sharing
- Improved brand awareness
- Enhanced brand image
- Higher conversion rates
Engagement forms the foundation of animation’s impressive range of benefits.
With at least 95 million photos and videos being uploaded to Instagram alone every single day, social media platforms utilise algorithms to ensure their users are only getting the best of the best.
After all, viewers are pretty picky (they can afford to be!). According to HubSpot studies, 17% of viewers will stop watching a video that doesn’t successfully "get and keep" their attention.
But, the benefit of this is that, for content that successfully engages, the rewards are amplified.
If social media platforms can see that viewers are engaged by the content (through longer viewing times, likes, comments or clicks, for example) then the content is more likely to feature higher up on the feeds of other users, or be included in the feeds of users who do not follow the brand’s account. In parallel, if users are so engaged that they share the content on their own page, then the content is instantly made available to a whole new audience.
In turn, this well-designed, bold and captivating content fuels the brand’s identity, and its CTA drives those all-important conversions.
Video content is a brilliantly engaging medium. So much so, that 85% of consumers say they actually want to see brands provide more video content. Then, for the brands that do invest in including a video in their ad campaign, the conversion rate rises by around 34%.
In terms of company websites, not only are websites featuring videos more than 50 times more likely to be found through search engines, but this video content means the average retention time increases from an average of 8 seconds to 2 minutes.
What’s more, thanks to its use of the narrative elements that we outlined above, the engagement power of animation is amplified even higher than the already-remarkable levels that video-based content achieves.
In short, should you decide to incorporate animation in your marketing campaigns, these are the types of statistics that you can expect to see improve.
When and where should you implement animated videos in your marketing mix?
Alongside its long list of other perks, animated videos for marketing are highly versatile.
Animation can be used across the full breadth of marketing content, including key channels and locations like:
- Website homepages - you could feature ‘about us’ branded animation videos, explainer videos for your product or service, product advertisement videos, or videos detailing your latest company announcements.
- Product pages or landing pages - explainer videos and product advertisement videos are great inclusions, to both increase conversions and improve UX.
- Email marketing - effective animation examples include product advertisement videos, or stylish motion graphic design.
- Social media and YouTube - social media animation can accommodate any message or KPI that marketers require, in a wide range of fun-filled and creative ways.
- Blog posts - depending on the content and purpose of your blog posts, you could include informative explainer videos, or fun branded animation videos that further enhance your brand identity.
- Presentations - animated explainer videos are ideally suited to enhancing presentations. In fact, according to research by Invisia, viewers retain 95% of a message when it is conveyed via video (compared to a retention rate of just 10% in text-based content).
- Product launches - animated videos for marketing are an invaluable addition to a product launch. They can either be used for attention-grabbing product advertisements, or detailed product explainer videos.
What are some inspiring examples of successful animated marketing campaigns?
Below, we’ve shared three of our favourite examples of animated marketing campaigns, which generated the highest level of success for our clients.
UCI - Cycling World Championships
For this campaign, we were tasked with creating animated videos to promote the upcoming Cycling World Championships in Glasgow.
We created a sleek 2D animation, which featured a continuous parallax animation.
By using this animation type, we were able to showcase cycling in all its forms and disciplines, pay homage to the location of the event, and design a fast-paced video that would speak to the entire cycling community.
We created a short, punchy animation that outlined the brand’s USPs in a speedy and engaging format, which firmly established the brand’s new visual identity.
The animation was designed for use across all of their digital channels, bringing a playful, organic feel to their latest marketing campaign.
In this product advertisement video, Ford asked us to help them illustrate the benefits of the new Ford Focus in a way that would strike a chord with their target audience.
So, we created an explainer video that outlined all the benefits of the new Ford Focus, including the fact that it included more rear legroom than ever before.
The visual narrative came from the child's perspective, and featured mixed crayon textures and clean vector based character design. This gave the video charm and authenticity while also strongly resonating with the requirements and experiences of families.
Animated videos for marketing are a medium that offers almost limitless creative flexibility. They enable marketers to design content that is not only fun - for both viewers and creators alike - but also delivers fantastic results, across the full range of company KPIs.
Why work with an animation agency like OK Social?
OK Social is a professional motion graphic studio, specialising in the creation of innovative animated videos for marketing.
We work on a close one-to-one basis with each of our clients, to shape content that seamlessly aligns with existing branding, while still bringing something new to the table.
Our talented team have earned us a reputation for creating animations that achieve knock-out design, compelling narratives and high levels of engagement, which are precisely shaped to achieve the client’s specific KPIs.
If you’d like to find out more about our services, the OK Social team are on hand to h