Although SEO is still an important aspect of content marketing optimization, Google and consumers judge content more by how much it engages the audience. There are few types of content as engaging as video.
Think about it from your vantage point as a consumer of media. Are you more likely to read an owner’s manual or watch an explainer video about using a product?
Would you rather slog through a long marketing pitch or get the same information from a clip that provides visual context?
If you want to get your audience to spend more time on your pages, share more often, and experience greater value from your brand, an animation video is a way to go.
YouTube is more than just a video viewing platform. It’s also the world’s second-largest search engine behind Google. They’re also highly incentivizing their new video shorts, so strike while that iron is hot.
We’re about to rock your world and help you step up your marketing game if you’re new to video content marketing.
What are Animated Explainer Videos?
Marketing research shows that only 20% of website visitors will read text content, while 80% will take the time to watch a video.
Aren’t you less likely to engage with a long wall of text on a landing page than an explainer video that gets to the point and provides a clear, compelling call to action? Would you even finish reading that wall of text?
Most of your audience wouldn’t, either.
People are visual creatures who respond better and retain more information if presented in moving images.
Think about the last ad copy you read compared to the latest video you watched. Which was more memorable?
Whether live-action or animated, explainer videos are short video clips that inform, educate, or provide context to your audience. They’re usually brief, about five minutes or less, but they allow you to deliver much information in a visually stimulating format.
They can be used to:
• Address common pain points or concerns
• Answer frequently asked question
• Demonstrate product features
• Compare products
• Act as a how-to guide
Animation Video: A Case Study
Allow me to add a personal anecdote to further illustrate my point. I recently had to undergo knee reconstruction surgery due to a sports injury.
Being the kind of person who likes to be fully informed, especially about what’s going to happen to me while I’m unconscious and under the knife, I wanted to learn more about the operation beforehand.
Everything my surgeon said went over my head. Reading about the operation on various medical websites didn’t offer much clarity. About 10 seconds into a rather graphic video of the actual surgery, I had to hit pause and leave the room.
However, a brief animated video explaining each operation step eased my mind and walked me through the procedure in a way that wasn’t too graphic or confusing.
It was faster, too.
Throughout the five-minute video animation, I learned more than all of the blah-blah-blah in my doctor’s office or a three-hour, rather gory video of the actual procedure could ever teach me.
It allowed me to remain fully engaged and mercifully detached simultaneously.
But I digress.
Why User Engagement is Essential for Branding
These days, marketing and SEO are all about UX. That’s the user experience for industry outsiders, sweeping the algorithms.
User engagement, which is closely related to the all-important user experience, is the extent to which your audience interacts with your brand online.
It means views, comments, likes, and shares. An engaged user returns to your website or platform more often, spends more time interacting with your content while they’re there, and is more willing to share the information you provide with others.
In short, it converts customers into loyal, enthusiastic brand ambassadors.
Done right, video content marketing:
• Boosts brand awareness and authority
• Builds trust
• Contextualizes your brand
• Provides a forum for customer feedback
• Directs and informs your marketing strategy
According to research conducted by Gallup and highlighted in Forbes Magazine, companies with high customer engagement rates also have higher staff Net Promoter Scores. This translates to better chances of providing a superior customer experience and solidifies company growth.
But, you can’t just throw together any old video and expect results. Like any effective marketing strategy, it takes some research and planning.
Elements of an Effective Animated Marketing Video
An effective explainer video aims to provide information, drive sales, and support customer retention. For it to work, it must include these five critical elements:
- Brevity. An explainer video should be only 2- 3 minutes long.
- Focus. Start strong and get to the point. You only have a few seconds to get the viewer’s attention.
- Unity. Your video should match your brand and the audience and unite them in a common cause.
- Quality. The quality should be high regarding production value and the content you create.
- Inspiration. Your content should compel the audience to act and end with a strong, clear CTA.
In short, you want to create an animation video that converts viewers into customers and customers into brand ambassadors.
You can accomplish this by answering these four things in three minutes or less:
• What does your audience want or need?
• How can your brand deliver it?
• Why are you the one to deliver?
• Where can they get your solution?
Now that you understand a little more about this medium and how it works, here are some tips on how best to implement it to increase customer engagement.
3 Ways to Implement Animation Videos to Increase User Engagement
According to statistics, video is a marketing powerhouse dominating nearly all other content types. It can be used effectively to add interest to marketing emails or provide context to landing pages, and it’s one of the most shareable types of social media postings.
Video is especially effective for reaching new audiences in the global marketplace. Viewers will be less inclined to engage with the text in another language, but a video can cross borders with just a few images in motion.
Here are the three best ways to create branding videos that work.
1. Animation Videos Offer Flexibility
This is the most popular and often used type of explainer video. They’re easy and cost-effective to create because you don’t need actors, props, or expensive production equipment. Unlike live-action videos, animations neutralize the risks of actors – or worse, CEOs – flubbing lines or having a major prop malfunction that requires expensive fixes. Editing is faster and cheaper as well.
Once you get the hang of it, you can turn them out pretty quickly, too.
Don’t want to learn new software? You can hire a company to conceptualize and create videos for you.
There are several basic types of animation videos. These videos are most conducive to conforming to the brief, information-dense content that works so well for user engagement.
This is probably one of the most common – some would say overused – types of video animations.
The usual scenario is a hand or animated figure writing facts or information on a digital chalkboard. They can be accompanied by voice-overs, music, or some combination of both.
Think of a mascot or avatar that becomes the animated face of your brand. They can also be used to represent your audience as a cartoon image. Use it to connect users with your brand, illustrate the customer journey, or tell your brand story.
These are very familiar for marketing and educational purposes. Infographics combine charts, icons, facts, and statistics in an easy-to-digest format that leads the eye wherever you need it.
Take the static infographic to the next level by animating key parts, such as creating a graph that goes up or down before the viewer’s eyes.
This may be the most visually stimulating and high-tech type of animation on this list. Motion graphics are usually 3D imaging that visually represents your product or brand story.
It’s meant to stimulate the imagination through cutting-edge visualization rather than words.
This animation style can highlight product features, create a walkthrough demonstrating how your brand works, or show your brand in action.
It can be created using screenshots or any other animation types listed above. Good uses for this kind of animated explainer video include software and other digital platforms.
2. Be Bold and Go Live
This is one of the more difficult types of marketing videos to create. But, when it works, it works well. Live action videos use props, sets, locations, and/or people to tell the brand story or demonstrate your brand in action.
You don’t need to go live to create a live-action video, but you will create a sense of intimacy and urgency with the occasional live stream.
You could also go the traditional commercial route or leverage user engagement through user-generated clips or real people interacting with your brand.
Your video could also be as simple as the company spokesperson directly addressing your audience.
3. Explain Your Funding Request Through Video and Get Better Results
The content that uses video for crowdfunding is less often used but no less effective. You can demonstrate your business proposal or value prop through live-action video or animation.
Although many crowdfunding appeals are essential explainers, many run long without saying anything of value. After a while, they begin to sound like insincere come-ons rather than authentic appeals.
Remember the key concepts of brevity and focus if you plan to use video to raise funds. Demonstrate the value of your project and how the funds will be used in as few words and images as possible.
Lastly, you can use a cold email software to get your content across quickly to prospects in their emails.
Video Marketing Best Practices
As we said before, quality counts when producing video marketing content. Best practices dictate that you focus on the following when creating animation videos for user engagement.
Present a professional image and output.
Not everyone uses short video animations for marketing, at least not yet. The fact is that they aren’t something you can just slap together.
When you adhere to the concepts of compelling video marketing and create a high-quality product, you’ll set yourself apart from the competition in a memorable way.
Keep it Simple
These videos are supposed to be short and to the point. By simplifying the message and presentation, you’ll drive your message home faster than a long-overdrawn mini-movie could. Remember the what, how, why, and where of the concept.
Make it visually stimulating
Animation is visually compelling on its own. You want to make your creation as eye-catching as possible without overwhelming the senses. Utilize bold colors, simple, elegant lines, and motion to draw the viewer’s eye.
It’s a fine line, to be sure. That’s why using the services of a professional video animation company can help.
Make it flexible and scalable
Branding is all about growth and reach. New brands, audiences, and trends appear almost daily in the digital age. Remember, if it isn’t new, it’s through.
Ensure your animated video is flexible enough to adjust for brand development. You should be able to incorporate new website themes, logos, and color schemes seamlessly into your marketing content to reflect brand evolution.
Your video should also be created to have a global appeal. This is not necessarily in terms of universal appeal to all audiences and geo-locations. Your video should also work well on various platforms and advertising channels.
Animation video offers excellent ROI for your efforts if you want to create content to increase user engagement on a meaningful level.
With the right video creation software, it’s a cost-effective, flexible medium that can add interest and value to virtually any type of content.
Don’t have the time or the skill to DIY? Consider reaching out to an established motion graphic generation company that produces engaging content that drives user engagement.
Author: Uday Tank, content marketing leader at Rank Wisely.