By Dr. Manroop Takhar
If you are looking to put some zing into marketing your brand then you may wish to consider using animation.
Animation is a marketing tool that a growing number of businesses have now started to use.
Businesses are using animation to promote their brand, their products and services and to communicate their key messages..
While animation is still being used for entertainment purposes, it is now also increasingly being used as a marketing, communications and educative tool.
Below are 10 useful tips for incorporating animation into your marketing efforts:
Tip #1: Consider the Demographics of your Target Audience
Who is the animation for exactly? Is it for a specialist sector or for the general public? Is it for the young, the middle-aged, or the elderly? Is it for an online or television audience, or indeed both?
Having your target audience clearly identified will make it easier for you to tailor your animation more effectively to their preferences.
Tip #2: What is the Purpose of the Animation?
What is the animation specifically meant to do? Is it to explain or demonstrate a product, or service? Is it to communicate and inform audiences on an important message? Is it to boost brand awareness and recall? Is it to motivate, encourage and inspire your staff and colleagues? Is it to specifically increase online sales?
Being clear on the purpose is essential as it will affect key aspects of the video such as its script, voiceover, call to actions, and animation style.
Tip #3: Which Style of Animation would be Suitable?
Would it be 2D or 3D animations? Would it be cartoon or stop motion animation or whiteboard animation? Would it be an explainer or a whiteboard video? Which would you prefer? Which is likely to appeal to your target audience more?
Tip #4: Length and Duration
The rule of thumb is the shorter the video that can get core messages across, the better.
A common mistake is making explainer videos excessively long on the assumption that the more information your video provides – the better.
More often than not, videos which are too long just tend to bore and disengage viewers (particularly those online), leading to lower conversion rates.
The goal of your animation should be to communicate your key messages as quickly and entertainingly as possible to hold your target audiences attention span for the length of the video.
If you struggle to effectively communicate your marketing messages in a single video within around 90 seconds, consider creating multiple videos instead of one lengthy video.
Tip #5: Budget
How much are you willing to invest in your video?
Remember, audio-visual quality is absolutely crucial for your animation be a success, therefore excessive cost cutting may defeat the purpose of the production.
However, the cost of producing an animation can vary greatly based on the style chosen.
Animations which are more costly to produce are not necessarily more visually appealing to your target audience or do not always have a greater impact on achieving the defined goals for your video.
Therefore if your budget is limited, choosing a style of animation which involves less work to produce, but may also have the right impact on your audience, can be one of the best ways to manage cost.
Hiring an animation studio that has credible and evident experience in working with a wide range of businesses would be a wise decision.
When selecting a studio, you should note how well the team understands your business goals and you should not be impressed solely on their ability to produce visually startling animations.
Tip #6: Promotion Mode
How will the video be promoted? Would it be uploaded on online video streaming platforms, such as YouTube and Vimeo? Would it be aired on television, or movie screens?
In general, higher quality productions are required for television compared to online promotion.
Tip #7: Call to Actions
How would you like your viewers to contact you? Would it be via email, an online form on your website, telephone, via social media platforms?
Ensuring that call to actions are placed clearly in your video are crucial if there are specific actions you would like the viewer to take, e.g. to visit your website for more information on a product or service, or to contact you directly, etc.
Tip #8: Include a Voiceover Narration
Would you like a voiceover professional to narrate from a script to explain your product or service in more detail, while the animation is played? Or would you rather not and are happy with the text sprawled throughout the animation?
Or you may have brand characters created via 2D/Cartoon/3D animation with voiceover artists speaking through them. It is up to you.
Tip #9: Colours, background music, branding
Would you like the colours used in the animation to match your brand colours?
Would you like the colours to be different to your brand and more relevant to the message being conveyed through the animation?
Tip #10: Scheduling
Have you allowed for enough time for the animation to be researched, scripted, produced and edited? Normally this takes from 6-8 weeks for a good quality animated video of around 90 seconds duration.
Have you allowed enough time so that it does not hamper your product launch, or lesson planning, or business meeting, or a sales presentation, or even before the holiday season to send your animated greeting messages?
Maintaining contact with your production team is essential so that deadlines can be met with minimal difficulties.
Overall, producing an animation for your business should be an enjoyable process yielding great results provided you set clear goals, work with a good team and allocate enough time to get the most out of the production.
About the Author
Dr Manroop Takhar is an animations enthusiast and runs the animation studio Qudos Animations, in London, UK, where high impact animations are produced for businesses the world over.