How a 2D animated explainer video can enhance your offering

Realistically, how often are you drawn to a plain piece of black and white text? Be it on a company PowerPoint, a brand’s website, a marketing email or a user manual, plain text is hardly inspiring.

Written by Jack Last

According to Insivia, a viewer can retain 95% of a video’s message. For the same content conveyed through text alone, this figure is just 10%. That is even if you can be bothered to read it.

Blocks of text have always been a dull communication tool. But, in today’s immersive, fast-paced and dynamic digital marketing scene, they’re no longer an option. It’s in a brand’s best interest to invest in 2D animated explainer videos. With them, you can ensure key messages are made accessible and engaging, successfully reach your audience, stand out in the bright lights of the digital marketplace, and create the impression of a successful, forward-thinking company. These are no small benefits.

What is the purpose of a 2D animated explainer video?

A 2D animation explainer video is inherently versatile. The animation style, tone and length of the video can be completely bespoke, in order to provide the best fit for your specific content. Simply put, 2D animation explainer videos ensure important messages are both understood and listened to by your targeted audience. They do this by making complicated content more accessible.

Their job is to take a key company topic, and use a combination of visual aids, colours, illustration, sound effects and voice overs to communicate it with clarity. At the same time, these on-brand elements are a lot more engaging than a plain chunk of text. As a result, the other important purpose of 2D animation explainer videos is to ensure this information has the maximum likelihood of capturing your audience’s full attention.

The content types that are most commonly used for 2D animation explainer videos are:

● Creating a product usage tutorial

● Announcing a new product launch

● Explaining how your service works in context

● Making an internal company announcement

● Creating a health and safety guide

● Creating a customer product assembly guide

● Enhancing in-house training

● Explaining the internal workings of a product (for instance, through a mechanical animation)

● Proving a brand message, such as, your brand’s backstory

● Promoting your brand values, or your brand mission

● Explaining your brand’s ethical, charitable or sustainability initiatives

By using animation to convey the topics above, you can make them easier to understand, more engaging to listen to, and successfully reach a wider audience.

Once created, a 2D animation explainer video can be used in a wide range of different avenues. These include:

● Being featured on your brand’s website

● Published on social media

● Sent out through an email campaign

● Used within sales pitches

● Included in internal presentations

● Used as part of an advertising campaign

When done right, your new 2D animation explainer video has the power to enhance all of these key channels. More on this later.

How long does a 2D animation explainer video production take?

How long is a piece of string?

The timescale for creating a 2D animation explainer video can vary considerably, based on the nature of your video.

The main factors that will affect a timescale are the length of the video, the number of edits that are required, the complexity of the animation style, the clarity of your vision, and how many elements you want included in your video.

But, to give you a general idea, the typical timescale of a 2D animation explainer video is between 2-3 weeks for a two minute video.

Depending on your required timeline, an animation agency can work with you to manage the factors outlined above, and so ensure your new explainer video hits the deadline.

For instance, the main thing that would take the most time in a 2D animation explainer video is if you wanted it to be made in a stop motion animation style. These videos can take months, or even years, to make. Take Aardman as a prime example, their recent stop motion film The Pirates! took five whole years to make. They have a real reputation for being - albeit brilliantly captivating and an art form in their own right - exceptionally tricksy!

So, if you’ve got a deadline that can’t accommodate that kind of timescale, then the animation agency will advise you against that animation style.

Equally, if you have a super tight deadline, it is well worth coming to your chosen animation agency with a very clear brief and vision. Then, during the initial meeting between you and the animator, they can get an exact sense of what you need. This will not only mean minimal time being spent creating the concept, but it will also save you a lot of back-and-forth editing.

How a 2D animated explainer video can enhance your offering

A 2D animation explainer video can enhance your offering in a multitude of different ways. These valuable benefits can be summarised as making content more accessible and enhancing your brand image.

Firstly, as we discussed above, 2D animated explainer videos can make your content easier to understand, while making it more likely that your audience will actually want to hear what you have to say.

For important updates, internal training or key brand messages, it’s vital that you get this information out to as many people as possible. Through the power of video, you can pair animation with text and audio, to make the information as clear and interesting as possible.

Secondly, you can use a 2D animation explainer video to create a strong, positive impression of your brand. When they’re stylish and captivating, these videos make your brand look modern, progressive and professional - far more so than black and white text.

When so many brands are investing in dynamic and creative content, using plain text for important messages creates the impression that your company either lacks initiative, or is a bit out-of-touch.

Let’s delve into these brand benefits in more detail:

Explain the problem and the solution - you can use explainer videos to create a well-rounded answer to user questions. The most common of these is, naturally, ‘why should I buy from you?’. Well, through video, you can succinctly demonstrate how your product/service works, what problems it can solve, what benefits it can bring, what makes your brand unique, what your brand stands for, and what makes you better than your competitors.

Capture consumer interest through emotion - animation in particular allows you to create a character that evokes an emotional response. They could be cute, funny, relatable, interesting, youthful, or a combination of all the above. By successfully connecting to your audience on an emotional level, they’ll naturally be far more engaged.

Shareable content - the rise of social media has meant that any post you create has the opportunity to be shared across the world. If you successfully create content that’s engaging enough to be shared, there is the potential to reach a huge audience. Obviously, this is a fantastic way to boost brand awareness and sales figures.

Communicate with your audience in a unique way - while digital marketing has made it easier for you to promote your brand, it’s unlocked this benefit for everyone. So, the new challenge becomes how to make your content stand out. Through animation, you can create bold and fun-filled content, which is unique amongst the sea of other posts.

Deliver the product or service uniquely - building on the point above, there’s a whole world of products and services out there, so why should customers buy yours? Through animation, you can create an innovative marketing campaign that presents you as the most intriguing, memorable option. Plus, your animator will make the animation firmly on-brand, ensuring your video increases your brand awareness and brand recognition metrics.

Consumers respond well to animation videos about services or products - did you know that humans have an attention span of around 8 seconds? So, you’ve not got long to capture it! The striking visuals, multi-sensory experience, characters, typography and movement make animated videos a powerful strategy.

Saves time and money - the initial investment of creating an explainer video will soon pay off. The amount of time that your employees spend explaining the topic during training days, pitches or customer service calls will drop significantly. And time saved directly translates into money saved.

Why work with an animation agency like OK Social?

According to Hubspot, 68% of marketers say working with a marketing agency results in higher-quality videos, which look more professional.

We’ve outlined the many plus points of a 2D animation explainer video. But, after all that commendation, a sub-par video will mean that you won’t unlock any of them. Not all explainer videos hit these high notes.

Although you’ve got a clear understanding of the message you want to share, succinctly communicating this to your audience is more difficult than you think.

After all, a strong knowledge isn’t enough to create a successful explainer video - it needs to stand out from the crowd, be engaging, be on-trend and on-brand, be articulate, be accessible and be snappy.

If you fall short on these areas, your video won’t achieve the results you’re expecting, and your time will be wasted.

OK Social is a professional animation agency, with a reputation for creativity, innovation and industry expertise. Not only do we create 2D animated explainer videos with style, but we ensure that they’re precisely targeted to achieve all of the client’s required KPIs.

We have worked with some of the biggest names in the biz, including Ford, the BBC and Deliveroo. These companies have entrusted us to create branded videos that connect with their audience, and evolve their marketing campaigns.  

If you’d like to find out more about the benefits that 2D animated explainer videos can bring to your brand, or to enlist our services for your new video, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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I’m Jack, the Motion Director here at OK Social. I’ve been working in the world of motion design and animation for nearly 10 years. I had the pleasure of working with leading agencies and brands around the world, such as Samsung, Ford, Shell, Deliveroo, and Starbucks, to name a few.

From a young age, I’ve always been interested in animation, from making stop-motion films in my room as a kid to learning animation on my first computer. It started as a passion and still is to this day. Part of what I do now is more than just animation. I help craft the narratives of the stories we tell to ensure they make an impact to the audience and remain worthy of their attention.

So how do I do that? It starts with asking the right questions, leading to solving the right problems. First, diagnose what the problem is. Then, we can start to see if we can help. I believe that communication plays a key role in delivering a smooth and successful project. Looking into the future, I’m excited to expand my knowledge into creating more engaging stories that make a difference.