Animated Marketing Videos Can Play a Pivotal Role in Your Marketing Mix
From Snow White to Toy Story 4, decades of material proves animation can stir people’s emotions in powerful ways. Audiences love animated pieces that make them laugh, cry, and wonder over fantastic worlds and unlikely heroes. It’s only natural, then, animation would also work well for telling your brand’s stories.
It might seem like a stretch to compare an animated explainer video with a Disney classic. But, the latter crafted and refined the foundations of the former for decades. We can generate emotion and interest with marketing pieces by using techniques honed by animated classics. For that to happen, an animated marketing video must be crafted in a meaningful and creative way.
Want to know exactly what that means? Here are a few important things to keep in mind when harnessing the power of animation for your business’ marketing videos.
Know Your Audience
Any marketing content you create should speak directly to a target audience. Every effort you make will most likely fall flat if you fail to speak to your audience.
To start, figure out your intended audience and create an “ideal customer” profile based around them. Compile as much information about your prospective clients as possible: From their ages and genders to likes and dislikes.
Then, use this information to flesh out this persona that’s represents your audience. That representation should influence every aspect of your animated video – from character design to the narrative and pacing.
The following video, for example, knows its audience is environmentally conscious and in need of web hosting. So, everything from coloring to vogue of language adapts to that concept.
As you develop your persona, ask what the purpose of your video is. You should also consider the goal you are trying to accomplish. For example, it’s different to talk an existing customer into a purchase than it is to try to convince a potential lead to convert. Define your objective early on – as you work on your audience’s persona – to help shape the whole project from the get-go.
Your target audience is one of the two most essential components that define how you’ll work on your animated video. The other one is your business. That’s why understanding your business’ identity and its strengths is another key to unlocking animated marketing videos’ full potential.
Consider the type of product or service you offer, the market you’re in, who your competitors are, and what makes you stand out from the rest. These high-concept ideas can often be translated – and conveyed through – elements like color palette, logo, product or service type, industry, and brand voice.
From something as innocuous as the color you use throughout the video to the music and the type of narrator you pick; it all conveys a certain “vibe.”
If you’re a digital security company, you want to project a certain formality and seriousness. Contrarily, you can be funnier and more informal if you own a doggy-daycare. The great thing about animation is you get to adapt these elements to get the exact tone you are after.
Write A Script That Reflects Your Research
The next step is to write the script that will guide your creative process. You might want to seek the assistance of a video production company to help (especially if you’ve never read a script). The process will move more smoothly if you understand what goes into a script.
Most animated marketing videos’ scripts follow a classic 3-act structure – A beginning, middle, and end – Each one answering one of 3 basic questions: What, How, and Why, respectively.
The “what” introduces the characters and the problem. In a marketing video, this can be the issue that leads them to seek out a product or service in the first place (someone looking out for a respectable place to take care of their dog, for example.)
Once the problem has been established, your company and its product or service make their entrance to save the day. The second act explains “how” you can help solve your audience’s problem.
It all wraps up with act three, explaining “why” your solution is the best solution around.
Writing a script with these three acts in mind makes it easier to organize the video later on, and helps the whole production along to completion.
Plot Everything Out and See How It Feels
After you have the whole story mapped out, it’s time to work on the visuals. There are several things to which you should pay attention here.
One of the most important tools is the storyboard, a pre-visualization sketch of everything that will happen in your video. Think of it as somewhat of a comic where you see some of the most important vignettes.
The storyboard allows you to understand the whole feel of the video since it includes the narrative’s main points, as well as the shots, transitions, camera movements, and other details. Once you have a solid idea there, you can work with designers and illustrators to come up with the characters, the scenarios, the colors, and the extra elements needed for the video to come to life.
At this stage, the research you did on your prospective audience will be crucial. You should use that information to shape up your video’s protagonist.
For example, let’s say your doggy day care’s clientele is mostly comprised of millennial women that spend a lot of their time on Instagram. Your main character should be female, young, and probably have a smartphone on her – even when walking the dog!
Who you are will also come into play. Your brand’s voice should dictate whether you go with a colorful and vibrant video or a more toned-down alternative. Sketches will make it easier for you to judge the direction you take.
Before you animate the video, ask the design team to choose selected frames from the storyboard and draw them in high resolution with the characters, backgrounds, and colors you defined. These style frames will show the big picture and provide a first encounter with the animated video’s final style.
Quality is Paramount
High-quality finish is vital for everything related to your video. That goes well beyond visual definition.
You notice the quality of an animated piece in its music, the voice-over narration, the script’s message, its call to action, branding, and yes, the animation itself. Basically, in every little detail that makes the whole piece.
Since we’re talking about marketing content, everything should be perfect for maximum effect. Remember, the quality of your piece will serve as a reflection of your company’s product or services to your customers’ eyes, so don’t cut corners here!
Distribute Your Video Wherever You Can
Lastly, once your piece is done, promote it effectively. That means distribute through the channels you find most appropriate.
In our doggy daycare example, share it through social media, especially Instagram, since audience research found that’s where most of the clientele is.
Using an animated video on your website, your emails, your presentations, and practically in every place suggested by your audience research is always recommended. However, keep in mind that you can end up abusing your video (that is, sharing the same video so much in so many channels that your target audience gets bored of it quickly,) so be prudent with your distribution strategy.
Animated videos are an effective too to engage with audiences. Videos can stir up emotions due to folks being able to identify with the characters, scenarios, and the narrative they depict.
Done right, animated videos provide unparalleled flexibility: you can adjust to fit even the wildest of stories and brand voice, from serious businesses to whacky startups. BUT, be attentive to details and understand the reason behind each major element in your video.
That isn’t precisely an easy feat, as it includes a lot of aspects and tasks. However, the benefits considerably outnumber the challenges, so it’s an endeavor that you should definitely consider to better engage with your customers.
Author Bio: Victor Blasco is an audiovisual designer, video marketing expert, and founder/CEO of the explainer video company Yum Yum Videos. Besides running the business, he’s a lifelong student of Chinese philosophy and a passionate geek for all things sci-fi.