Animated video is an increasingly popular way to drive interest and attention in your website. But it has to be done in the right way. Since a design agency is all about freshness and innovation, it makes sense to use this same tack when creating your own animation. This is your chance to show how you stand out from the crowd - and here are a few tips to help you achieve that in practice.
01. Seek an emotional response
What some of the best viral videos (opens in new tab) have in common is that they arouse some form of visceral emotion. It needn't be that your entire video appeals emotionally, but adding some elements that stimulate intense feeling can make all the difference to whether people like it and share it. It doesn't necessarily matter what that emotion is - it may be excitement, happiness, or anguish. But if the video succeeds in causing a strong response then it'll likely become a hit and be shared.
It can even be a good idea to include a mixture of emotions, thrusting the viewer form one to the other as if on a rollercoaster or haunted house:
The above Geico advert is a good example of where the viewer is thrown in to a range of reactions. The advert appears to begin quite seriously, but when the presenter unexpectedly begins talking about a piggy, it brings a smile to the viewer's face.
We're then transported to the squealing piggy in the car - acting just like a child - which is another humorous image, particularly when a gruff voice comes from it. You might start to get a little irritated, but it soon stops. People can relate to this, as they may have kids that behave in a similar way, or they acted in such way when they were young. This aspect of resonance can enhance emotional responses as well as memory, and this needn't be lost in animation.
02. Embrace fantasy and action
Animation can actually give you the freedom and scope to elect any scenario - perhaps one that we have only ever imagined. This fantastical element can make it grab viewers' attention even more. It will also display design skills, including imagination and thinking out of the box, making your business stand out.
Humour is of course one of the most light-hearted of emotions, which is popular in animated videos and has proven successful in countless cartoons and animated films.
Irony is another element that can add drama as well as humour to a video. Animation can be more useful than live action here as you can forge any comical situation. Again, your ideas can run wild, and only need stop where you feel comfortable that your target audience will be captivated.
03. Choose your style
The type of animation you select will depend on your marketing strategy, your target audience and the purpose of your video - i.e. whether it is an advert or explainer video.
2D, 3D, motion graphics, whiteboard, stop motion, and so on, can be a confusing choice, but by learning the basics you will soon have some idea of which is fit for your purpose.
This stop-motion animation, about the baby boom generation and their impact on society, was made for the Central Bureau of Statistics in the Netherlands:
A whiteboard animation can be perfect for explainer videos, taking viewers step by step through a complex topic. Meanwhile, the potential of motion graphics to stun and amuse is extensive following continuous technological developments.
One of the best things about animation is it allows you to make last minute changes. Changes to concepts or sequences can even be made several years after the video is made, offering a significant advantage if your company is always evolving.
04. Hosting your video
Once you've created a quality advert of explainer video with your intended message, you need to make sure it gets seen, and this is something to consider before even uploading it.
Taking time to write an attractive title, and a concise and intriguing summary of the video, containing keywords, can return big rewards. The next consideration is where to host your animated video.
Embed don't host
Hosting video on your own site can really slow down your website unless powerful servers are used, so using a streaming platform such as Vimeo is usually better. You can of course also embed the video in your company social networking pages.
Showcased on all your web platforms, the right mix of values and expressions in an animated video can significantly improve the online presence of your brand. It also looks professional.
For a creative company, this is particularly important, as this is the first point of contact for many consumers. A brief animated explainer video can be all that's needed to inspire a conversion.
05. Video can benefit your SEO efforts
Page quality, keyword matches and relevance are important factors that search engines consider when ranking your website in results; but also important are links from other websites.
Getting your animated video liked and shared is a great way to obtain links. In addition, multimedia content on your webpage could add value to all of these metrics.
Attractive video can also increase the amount of time a web visitor spends on your site, which is fast becoming a crucial metric in search engine ranking.
As an additional part of your online strategy, you could contact businesses that are associated to your field of business and ask them to embed your video or participate in a mutually beneficial link exchange.
Animation is an innovative method of video communication that can add value to both your page and theirs.
Animated video offers design businesses a host of ways to enhance their online presence and stand out from the competition, with creativity and extended coverage leading the way to improved brand image and conversions.
Words: Manroop Takhar and Marianna Keen
Dr Manroop Takhar is MD of Qudos Animations, a leading animation studio that focuses on producing engaging explainer animations and advertisements for every type of organisation. Click here to learn how an animated video can benefit your business.
Marianna Keen specialises in writing engaging content on digital marketing and communications for Qudos Animations.