How to increase your engagement across animated explainer videos

When creating an animated explainer video, you should have two goals in mind - to explain and to engage.

Written by Jack Last

You know your product or service inside-out, after all. So explaining it to new people is basically your bread and butter. But, the challenge comes with the engagement… how do you create an animation that people actually want to watch?

Take Instagram - 95 million photos and videos are shared on the platform every day. And that’s Instagram alone. There’s a sea of competition out there, vying for your audience’s attention, and yours is just one video out of millions.

So, your job is to engage your audience enough to stop them mid-scroll, and make yours the video that they choose to stop and watch. And so the million dollar question is - what does your animated explainer video need to have to deliver great results?

What is an animated explainer video?

Companies can use an explainer video to explain more about a product, service, how they work, or one of their key differentiators. They are designed to explain the chosen topic clearly and succinctly, while being full of personality and highly engaging. This is achieved through the artful combination of bold motion graphics, animation, and voice-overs, brought to life through a precise storyboard and a thorough script.

Then, once perfected, an explainer video can be shared on your company website, social media channels, adverts or internally, through presentations or digital displays. Just to give you an idea of how versatile this strategy is, the most common examples of animated explainer videos include:

● Marketing campaigns

● Service tutorials

● Product demos

● Product usage guides

● Product set-up guides

● New service or product launches

● ‘How it’s made’ explainers

● Internal training videos

● Guides for more complex services - such as companies in the fields of insurance, finance or legal representation

If you want to know more about animated explainer videos and what they contain, have a read of our full guide to ‘what is an explainer video?’.

Why your business should be using animated explainer videos?

This could be the first time that you’ve ever considered investing in animation. Although it is a lengthier process than just, say, writing a plain-text black and white blog post, trust us when we say that the rewards are leagues and bounds better.

The level of engagement and brand image benefits that can be achieved through animation blow those of text-based content out of the water.

So, if up until now the bar has been set at text-based company updates, be prepared to have your socks knocked off.

The top reasons why your business should be using animated explainer videos include:

Improved engagement - thought video-content would bring in higher engagement levels? You don’t even know the half of it. On social media, videos have been shown to be more popular than text and image-based content combined. From an engagement perspective, videos are leaps and bounds ahead of the competition.

● Simplify your product offering - video-based content isn’t just more fun to watch, it’s also easier to watch. Studies have revealed that viewers can retain 95% more information by watching a video than they can reading text. So, in the case of explainer videos (where the content is more complicated) this trait is invaluable. Through animation, you can ensure that this complex and important topic is watched and fully understood by as many people as possible.

● Shareable digital content - videos generate 1200% more shares than both images and text. Not only does this perfectly demonstrate how much more engaging videos are, but it also shows what value they have to offer a marketing campaign. By their nature, explainer videos contain key company messages. So, by creating a bold and engaging animation, you can ensure that the word is spread far and wide.

● Cost-effective - at this point, you might be weighing up the pros and cons of animation versus live-action filming. But, compared to a live-action video, animated explainer videos are significantly cheaper to create. This is down to the fact that you don’t have to pay multiple actors, film in numerous settings, pay for vehicles, arrange lots of different takes (and then re-takes), and spend ages in editing. Through animation, you can create your vision for your explainer video, at a fraction of the price.

● Build your brand image - to put it simply, animation is brilliant fun. It is full of life, modernity, energy and creativity. And so, by using animation to tell your company messages, you can help your audience to associate your brand with these positive, youthful traits.

The importance of user engagement across explainer videos

Engagement is about so much more than whether or not the viewer ‘enjoyed’ the video. In the case of explainer videos, user engagement is the ultimate measure of the content’s success. Let's take the example of an animated explainer video that has been created with the goal of simplifying the USPs of a new product.

Firstly, a high level of user engagement means that viewers actually watched your video. This might sound simple, but this tells you whether or not your message was understood, and if your target audience is now familiar with the product’s value. Did you successfully simplify your product? Do they know what it does, how it works and what makes it unique?

A high level of user engagement would suggest so. If you tick this box, you have successfully stood out amongst the crowded marketplace, and convinced your audience that your product is one that is worth their attention. And good news - they are intrigued by what you’re offering!

Then, if viewers are successfully being engaged by the video - ie. they understand it and are interested in it - then this will increase the likelihood of it being shared amongst viewers to their contacts. Not only does this give you a fantastic sense of how excited people are by your product, but it will propel your video into the big leagues of success.

In the case of launching a new product, such a boost in audience outreach is invaluable. And then, of course, a successful video, which is memorable and successfully engages your audience, will have a direct impact on your bottom line.

You can bring more people to your website, get your product in front of more people, and boost your sales figures. Measuring user engagement also helps you to ascertain how positively viewers responded to the video.

This is key, as it gives you an indication of how key branding metrics - brand reputation, brand recognition and brand awareness, to name a few - have been impacted. So, the level of user engagement is a critical metric, which can be used to gauge the success of an animation across the board.

Top 7 tips for producing maximum engagement across your animated explainer videos

Now that you know the value of high customer engagement, the big question that remains is, how can you get a slice of that pie? Engagement is no straightforward matter - the entire digital landscape is packed full of brands trying to make their mark. So, how can you get one up on them? To help you create content that’s more engaging than your competitors, here are 7 top tips straight from our marketing specialists.

1. Ensure it speaks to your target audience

You need to know your target audience inside and out. Pinpoint a precise image of who you want to engage, so that you can shape a strategy as to the best way to achieve this. For example, an 18 year old probably isn’t going to be engaged by references to the ‘60s. A common approach to take here is creating a customer profile, for which you illustrate a fictional version of your ‘average customer’. This will help you to better envision who you’re actually speaking to.

2. Ensure it has a voiceover implemented

Animated content works best when visuals and audio are blended. The two will work together to enhance the other and ensure the message is crystal clear. This also allows you to deploy content with subtlety, as the message is being supported by both elements.

3. Make it memorable

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. The digital advertising sphere is filled with an unimaginable volume of content. So, there’s no point creating a vanilla animation - it simply won’t go anywhere! Be bold, be creative and create something that your audience is going to remember.

4. Make it short and catchy

You want to do your best to keep your audience watching till the very end. That way, you can be sure they’ve heard and understood your message in its entirety. The best way to achieve this is to keep your content neat and succinct.

5. Ensure it evokes emotion

There’s a reason why so many animations feature emotional content and relatable characters. If your audience can establish a personal or emotional connection with the video, they’re much more likely to stay tuned till the end.

6. Deliver a clear call to action (CTA)

Have a clear goal in mind for your animation. This could be getting more traffic to your website, increasing the sales of a product, or getting your team to start using a new piece of software. Whatever it may be, ensure the next steps that you want your audience to take are clearly specified within the animation.

7. Hire a professional

Engagement is all about delivering a sleek, professional finish. An amateurish or sloppy animation simply won’t make the cut. For these reasons, hitting the high notes for customer engagement requires the talents of a professional animator.

Why work with an animation agency like OK Social?

Creating engaging animated explainer videos isn’t a piece of cake - otherwise everyone would be doing it! But, there’s always scope to bring something different to the world of digital marketing. And, with a clear sense of your goals, a strong knowledge of your target market, and the skill set of a professional animator, you can create attention-grabbing content that your audience watches in full and will continue to remember.

That’s where OK Social comes in. Our team consists of professional animators, with extensive experience creating professional, premium quality explainer videos. We work with all of our clients on a close one-to-one basis, to create content that is firmly on brand, full of creativity, and is precisely designed to achieve their specific targets.

Not only do we create content that is bold and innovative, but we also know exactly how to engage a brand’s specific target market, and to devise animations that people want to keep watching till the very end. So, to ensure the maximum possible level of engagement from your next animated explainer 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.