The Rise of Animated Videos in the Social Space
In the past decade, the way businesses approached social media marketing underwent a seismic shift. Gone are the days when mere text updates could get traction. The media landscape today thrives on visuals, with videos emerging as the undeniable kings of content.
But why have videos gained such unmatched supremacy in the social realm? The answer lies in the deep-rooted human attraction to movement. From the earliest days of cinema, moving images have captivated audiences worldwide. They provide a dynamic way to present information, making it more engaging and memorable. As a result, videos effortlessly outpace static content in terms of engagement and retention.
But not all videos are made equal. Over time, animated videos, specifically, have staked their claim in the social media world. Animations aren’t just for Saturday morning cartoons anymore. They’ve grown to become powerful marketing tools that every business should consider. They allow brands to create imaginative and limitless visual experiences, explaining complex ideas through simple and engaging visuals. These explainer videos can break down even the most intricate products or services into bite-sized, easily digestible pieces.
But the appeal of animated videos isn’t just in their ability to simplify. They’re chameleons. They can take on any tone, style, or mood, making them perfect for every brand, product, or message. Whether it’s a playful animation explaining a new product feature or a heartwarming animated story that resonates with people, these videos can make a lasting impact. Platforms like Facebook have also observed this trend, constantly updating their algorithms to favor high-quality video content.
MacMillan Design understands this shift towards animated marketing videos. They’re not just about creating flashy visuals. They’re about harnessing the power of animation to craft stories that resonate, inform, and drive action. And with the digital world’s attention spans shrinking, there’s never been a more crucial time for businesses to invest in this potent marketing tool.
Decoding the Popularity of Animated Videos
The Attention-Grabbing Power of Movement
People have an innate attraction to things that move. It’s a trait hardwired into our DNA, an evolutionary relic that once helped our ancestors spot threats or opportunities in their environment. Today, in the age of social media, this predisposition to motion plays out every time a user stops scrolling to watch an animated video. It’s not just about the content; it’s the very act of movement that captures our attention, making animations a potent tool in marketing.
Relatability and Brand Personality
Animated videos aren’t just visually appealing; they offer brands a unique canvas to showcase their personality. In a world filled with generic content, animations stand out, enabling businesses to craft a distinct voice and tone. Whether it’s an explainer video detailing a product or a whimsical animation that captures a brand’s essence, it’s this ability to convey character and emotion that makes animated content so compelling. It’s no wonder that many brands have found success by building their social media marketing strategies around animated videos. They don’t just convey information; they make a connection.
Evoking Emotion Through Animation
It’s one thing to grab attention; it’s another to hold it. That’s where the power of emotion comes into play. Animated videos have a unique ability to evoke feelings, be it humor, nostalgia, excitement, or inspiration. By tapping into these emotions, businesses can form deeper connections with their audience, turning casual viewers into loyal fans. Platforms like Facebook recognize this, often giving preference to content that elicits strong emotional reactions. For businesses, it means an opportunity to not just get seen but to resonate and be remembered.
Steps to Create a Winning Animated Video for Social Media
Understand Your Audience: The Key to Relevant Content
The first and most crucial step in creating an impactful animated video is understanding your audience. In the vast realm of social media, a one-size-fits-all approach rarely works. To truly resonate, your content needs to be tailor-made, addressing the specific needs, preferences, and pain points of your target demographic. Delving deep into social media analytics can help uncover insights about what your audience likes, what engages them, and what makes them click. By tapping into these insights, businesses can craft videos that don’t just get views but drive genuine engagement.
Storyboarding: Mapping Out Your Message
Every video has a story to tell, and the best way to ensure that story flows coherently is through storyboarding. Think of it as the blueprint of your video production process. A storyboard visually maps out every scene, transition, and key message, ensuring clarity and cohesion. Whether you’re creating a detailed explainer video to demystify a complex product or a fun animation to boost brand awareness, a well-structured storyboard is the foundation that ensures your video hits the mark.
Choosing the Right Animation Style
The beauty of animation lies in its versatility. From slick motion graphics to quirky character animations, there’s a style to suit every message and brand persona. The trick is choosing the right one. Different animation styles evoke different emotions and responses. For instance, a whiteboard animation might be perfect for an educational video, while a lively 2D animation might be better suited for a brand looking to showcase its playful side. By aligning the style with the video’s objective and the brand’s personality, businesses can make content that not only looks good but feels right.
Platforms and Their Preferences: Tailoring Animated Videos
Facebook and Instagram: The Visual Champions
When it comes to social media giants, Facebook and Instagram take the cake. These platforms thrive on visual content, making them prime territory for animated videos.
Demographic Preferences: Young, Trendy, and Engaged
The demographic on these platforms skews younger, with a significant chunk of users aged between 18-34. They appreciate dynamic animations, explainer videos showcasing new products, or quirky character-driven narratives. To engage this audience, videos should feature vibrant colors, snappy animations, and innovative storytelling techniques.
Given the vast audiences on both platforms, posting a video tailored to these preferences can lead to significant engagement. For instance, a longer video might work on Facebook, while Instagram’s audience might prefer shorter, snappier content. The key is to understand the nuances of each platform and create videos that align.
Twitter and LinkedIn: Short, Sweet, and to the Point
Twitter and LinkedIn might not be the first platforms that come to mind when thinking about video marketing, but they hold untapped potential for businesses.
Demographic Preferences: Professionals on the Move
On these platforms, the content that works best is concise and to the point. Due to Twitter’s fast-paced nature and LinkedIn’s professional atmosphere, short, information-packed videos, like brief animations explaining industry trends or snappy product explainers, resonate the most. It’s all about delivering clear, straightforward animations with value in a short timeframe.
By tailoring videos to these preferences, businesses can tap into a targeted audience, ensuring their content doesn’t just get seen but also engages and resonates.
Maximizing Engagement: Tips for Video Success
Posting your video at the right time, using captivating captions, and leveraging platform-specific features can help elevate engagement levels.
Demographic Preferences: The Generalist Approach
For maximizing overall engagement, it’s not just about platform-specific demographics. Understanding online behaviors as a whole is crucial. Universally appealing videos, like heartwarming stories or relatable humor, have a broader appeal. By creating animated videos that tap into shared experiences or universally understood problems, brands can reach and resonate with a wider audience.
Maximizing Engagement: Tips for Animated Video Success
For any business diving into the world of animated videos, mere production is only half the battle. The real challenge lies in ensuring these videos get the engagement they deserve. But fret not! With the right strategies in place, your business can make the most out of every animation it produces.
Timing is Everything: Best Times to Post
Every business knows the old adage, “Timing is everything.” This couldn’t be more accurate in the realm of video production for social media. Posting an animated video during peak user activity can significantly boost its visibility. It’s not just about creating a high-quality video; it’s about ensuring it hits the social media platforms when your audience is most active. By aligning your video production schedule with optimal posting times, your business can ensure maximum eyeballs on every animation.
The Role of Captions and Voiceovers
In the video production world, visuals aren’t the only elements that matter. Captions and voiceovers play a pivotal role in enhancing a video’s engagement quotient. They make your video accessible to a wider audience, including those who might be viewing in silent mode or those with hearing impairments. For a business looking to maximize reach, ensuring every animated video is accompanied by clear captions or a compelling voiceover is a production must-have.
Optimal Video Length: Keeping Viewers Hooked
The length of your animated video can be a make-or-break factor in its success. In today’s fast-paced digital world, attention spans are fleeting. If a business wants to capture and retain attention, it’s essential to optimize video length based on platform and audience preferences. Whether it’s a short and snappy clip for Twitter or a more in-depth production for YouTube, understanding and catering to platform-specific preferences can significantly boost engagement rates.
Collaborate and Listen: Engaging with Your Audience
Lastly, one of the most overlooked yet vital aspects of video marketing is audience engagement. Once your business has rolled out its animated video production, it’s crucial to monitor feedback, engage with comments, and listen to what viewers have to say. Not only does this foster a sense of community, but it also provides invaluable insights that can inform future video production strategies.
Consistency is King: Maintain a Posting Schedule
Keeping a regular posting schedule for your animated videos ensures your audience knows when to expect new content. This consistency can build anticipation and keep your brand at the forefront of people’s minds.
Use Thumbnails Wisely: First Impressions Last
A captivating thumbnail can be the difference between a click and a scroll-past. Design thumbnails that not only represent the video’s content but also spark curiosity.
Diversify Content Types: Variety Engages
While explainer videos might be your forte, occasionally dabbling in other styles like behind-the-scenes clips, interviews, or Q&A sessions can pique audience interest and prevent content stagnation.
Collaborate with Influencers: Expand Your Reach
Partnering with social media influencers can help your videos reach a broader, yet targeted, audience. Their endorsement can also boost your brand’s credibility.
Harness the Power of Playlists: Organized Binging
Grouping related videos into playlists can keep viewers engaged longer. It provides a seamless viewing experience, especially if the videos complement or build upon one another.
Encourage User-Generated Content: Foster Community
Inviting your audience to create their own videos related to your brand or product can foster a sense of community. Sharing these on your platforms can make people feel valued and involved.
Interactive Elements: Engage Directly
Incorporating polls, quizzes, or Q&A sessions within your video or in its accompanying post can drive direct interaction, making viewers feel more connected to the content.
Use Stories and Highlights: Temporal Engagement
Platforms like Instagram allow for story posts, which are temporal but highly engaging. Using stories to tease new videos, share behind-the-scenes looks, or conduct polls can boost visibility and interaction.
Engage with Comments: Show You Care
Taking the time to respond to comments, answer questions, or simply thank viewers for their feedback can foster goodwill and make people feel heard and appreciated.
Test and Adapt: Always Evolve
Lastly, always be ready to adapt. What works today might not work tomorrow. Regularly test new strategies, track their success, and refine your approach based on what the data tells you.
Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Animated Video Marketing
In the race to harness the power of animated videos on social media, businesses often stumble. Mistakes are made, and valuable opportunities are missed. However, by being aware of common pitfalls, your business can navigate the complex terrain of video marketing with confidence.
Not Knowing Your Audience: The Cardinal Sin
The biggest mistake any business can make is not understanding the people they’re targeting. Videos are powerful, but they’re not one-size-fits-all. An explainer video that resonates with millennials might not hit the mark with baby boomers. It’s essential to create videos tailored to your audience’s preferences, habits, and pain points. Dive deep into social media analytics, get insights, and make informed decisions.
Overloading with Information: Less is More
In the quest to create the perfect video, businesses often cram too much information into a short span. Remember, the beauty of explainer videos lies in their simplicity. They should distill complex ideas into easy-to-understand visuals. Don’t overwhelm your audience; instead, make your message clear, concise, and captivating.
Ignoring Feedback: People Talk, Listen!
One of the most valuable resources a business has is feedback from its audience. People on social media aren’t shy about sharing their opinions. If your videos aren’t resonating, they’ll let you know. Rather than seeing this as a negative, view it as an opportunity. Listen to the feedback, refine your approach, and create videos that truly connect.
Skimping on Production Quality: First Impressions Matter
High-quality video production isn’t just a luxury; it’s a necessity. In a saturated social media landscape, subpar videos get lost in the noise. If you want your animated videos to stand out, invest in quality. From the initial storyboard to the final edit, every step should reflect your business’s commitment to excellence.
Neglecting Mobile Users: A Growing Demographic
In today’s digital age, more and more people are consuming social media content on their mobile devices. If your animated videos aren’t optimized for mobile viewing, you’re missing out on a massive chunk of the audience. Ensuring your videos look and sound great on all devices, from desktops to smartphones, is crucial.
Stale Storytelling: Innovation is Key
Repeating the same narrative style or theme can make your videos predictable. People crave novelty. It’s vital to innovate and bring fresh storytelling approaches to keep your audience hooked and coming back for more.
Ignoring Video SEO: Discoverability Matters
Videos are content, and like all content on the web, they need to be discoverable. Not optimizing your videos for search on platforms like YouTube or even general social media can severely limit their reach. Incorporate relevant keywords, craft compelling descriptions, and make use of tags to enhance discoverability.
Not Using Call-To-Actions: Missed Opportunities
A video without a clear call-to-action (CTA) is a missed opportunity. Whether you want people to visit your website, buy a product, or simply like and share the video, a CTA guides your audience on what to do next. Not including one can leave viewers directionless post-viewing.
Forgetting Cultural Sensitivities: Global Audience, Local Tastes
In a connected world, your videos might get viewed by people from various cultures and backgrounds. Not being sensitive to different cultural norms or using imagery that might be considered offensive can not only reduce engagement but also harm your brand’s reputation.
Not Tracking Metrics: Data is Power
Simply putting out videos isn’t enough. Businesses must track performance metrics to understand what’s working and what’s not. Ignoring data means you might keep making the same mistakes without realizing it.
Over-Promotion: Value Over Advertising
While it’s tempting to use videos solely for promotional purposes, doing this too often can turn off your audience. Strive for a balance between value-driven content and promotional videos.
Avoiding Human Touch: Relatability Wins
Even though it’s animation, incorporating human elements or emotions can make videos more relatable. Completely avoiding human touch can make content feel cold and distant.
Not Updating Old Content: Refresh and Reuse
Videos can have a longer shelf-life if updated with current information or refreshed graphics. Ignoring older videos that can be revamped is a missed opportunity for continued engagement.
Failing to Engage Post-Publish: The Conversation Continues
Once a video is live, the journey doesn’t end. Engaging with comments, sharing user-generated content related to the video, and continuing the conversation can amplify its impact.
Measuring Success: Analytics and ROI
In the world of animated video marketing, creating content is just the tip of the iceberg. The real challenge lies in measuring its impact. For businesses to truly gauge the success of their videos, diving deep into analytics and understanding the return on investment (ROI) is paramount.
Dive Into Video Metrics: Beyond Views
While the number of views is a primary metric, it’s essential to delve deeper. Metrics like watch time, viewer retention rate, and engagement rate offer a clearer picture of how people are interacting with your video. A video with fewer views but higher retention might be more successful than one with more views but minimal engagement. Recommended Vendors:
- YouTube Analytics: Offers comprehensive insights for videos hosted on YouTube.
- Vimeo Insights: A tool for those using Vimeo as their video hosting platform.
- Wistia: Provides video analytics for businesses, focusing on engagement and lead generation.
Track Conversion Rates: From Viewer to Customer
Ultimately, the goal for most businesses is conversion. Whether it’s signing up for a newsletter, making a purchase, or simply visiting a website, understanding how many viewers take the desired action after watching can help measure a video’s direct impact on business goals. Recommended Vendors:
- Google Analytics: Helps in tracking website conversions after a video view.
- HubSpot: Integrates video metrics with its CRM to track leads and conversions.
- Mixpanel: Allows event tracking, making it suitable for video-triggered actions.
Understand Audience Demographics: Cater to Your Crowd
Analytics can offer insights into who’s watching your videos. Understanding demographics like age, location, and interests can help businesses tailor future content to better cater to their audience. Recommended Vendors:
- Facebook Insights: For videos posted on Facebook, offers demographic data of viewers.
- Sprout Social: Provides audience demographics from various social media platforms.
Calculate ROI: Value Over Cost
To truly gauge the success of an animated video, businesses need to measure the ROI. This involves comparing the video’s cost of production and promotion against the value it brought in, be it through sales, leads, or brand awareness. Recommended Vendors:
- Kissmetrics: Helps correlate video views and interactions with revenue.
- ROI Calculator by Smart Insights: A simple tool to calculate ROI for various marketing strategies.
Monitor Social Shares: Virality and Reach
Videos that get shared organically can exponentially increase reach. Monitoring how often and where your video is shared can offer insights into its virality and the broader impact on social media. Recommended Vendors:
- BuzzSumo: Assists in tracking content shares across social media.
- SharedCount: A free tool to see how often a video link has been shared, liked, or bookmarked.
Feedback Loops: Listen and Learn
Encourage viewers to leave feedback, be it in the form of comments, reviews, or direct messages. Such direct feedback can offer qualitative insights that quantitative metrics might miss. Recommended Vendors:
- SurveyMonkey: Collect viewer feedback through surveys.
- Uservoice: Integrates feedback collection within the video platform.
Heatmaps: See What They See
Some advanced analytics tools offer heatmaps, showcasing which parts of the video viewers found most engaging, where they paused, or when they dropped off. Such insights can be invaluable for future video production. Recommended Vendors:
- Hotjar: Provides heatmaps for websites and can be used for embedded videos.
- Crazy Egg: Another heatmap tool that can show where users engage most on a video page.
A/B Testing: Refine and Optimize
Consider creating multiple versions of a video and seeing which performs better in terms of engagement, conversion, or any other chosen metric. A/B testing can offer direct insights into what works and what doesn’t. Recommended Vendors:
- Optimizely: Known for A/B testing, can be used to test video performance.
- Unbounce: While more for landing pages, it can be used to A/B test pages with different videos.
Link Tracking: Follow Their Journey
Using trackable links in video descriptions or accompanying posts can help monitor viewer journeys. It can offer insights into how many viewers visited a website, how long they stayed, and what actions they took post-viewing. Recommended Vendors:
- Bitly: Offers link tracking and analytics for shared links.
- UTM.io: Helps in creating trackable UTM links for video campaigns.
Benchmark Against Competitors: Stay Ahead of the Curve
Lastly, always keep an eye on the competition. Monitor their video marketing strategies, see how your videos stack up in terms of engagement and reach, and always strive to stay one step ahead. Recommended Vendors:
- SEMrush: Provides competitive analysis, which can include video performance.
- Socialbakers: Offers competitor benchmarking for social media content, including videos.
Repurposing Animated Video Content
In the vast ocean of digital media, every piece of animated video you produce is a treasure. However, not every platform or audience has the same taste. Repurposing allows you to reshape this treasure to fit different chests, maximizing its value and reach.
Understanding the Power of Repurposing
Not every video will be a fit for all platforms or audiences. By repurposing, you can cater to different tastes and preferences without reinventing the wheel. It allows for videos to get a second, third, or even fourth life, reaching new eyes and ears every time.
Tailoring to Platforms: Every Media Channel is Unique
- Facebook and Instagram Stories: Short snippets or highlights from a longer video can be ideal for these temporary formats. With their ephemeral nature, stories can help build anticipation for the main video.
- YouTube: Here, you might post the full-length video, but perhaps with added commentary or behind-the-scenes footage that appeals to the platform’s community-oriented nature.
- LinkedIn: For a professional audience, focusing on the business aspects of your video, or turning it into an explainer about an industry concept, can be beneficial.
Transforming Format: From Video to GIF and Beyond
- GIFs: These short, looping animations can be extracted from the main video, perfect for sharing on platforms like Twitter or in emails to tease the full video.
- Still Images: Key frames or moments from the video can be turned into compelling visuals for platforms like Pinterest or Instagram.
Repurposing for Different Audiences
Tailor your video based on who’s watching. A younger audience on TikTok might appreciate fast-paced animations with trendy music, while a business audience on LinkedIn might want a more in-depth explainer.
Extending Life Through Seasons
An animated marketing video released during the holidays can be slightly altered and re-released for another event. For instance, a Christmas video can be transformed into a New Year one with a few tweaks.
Expanding Global Reach with Localization
If your video did exceptionally well domestically, consider localizing it for international markets. Adjusting the language, cultural references, and even animation style can make it resonate with different demographics globally.
Best Practices for Repurposing
- Always Update the CTA: If you’re reusing a video, ensure that the call-to-action is still relevant.
- Maintain Brand Consistency: While the format might change, your brand’s voice and message should remain consistent.
- Quality Over Quantity: Don’t just repurpose for the sake of it. Ensure that each new version adds value and isn’t just a repetitive piece.
By effectively repurposing animated videos, businesses can maximize their investment in video production, reaching more people and achieving better marketing results without continuously creating from scratch.
MacMillan Design: Pioneers in Animated Marketing Videos for Social Media
In the era of social media dominance, having a video that captures attention is paramount. MacMillan Design understands the nuances of social media platforms and tailors animated marketing videos to resonate with diverse social media audiences.
- Mastery Over Platforms: Each social media platform has its vibe and demographic. MacMillan’s expertise ensures your video fits seamlessly, be it the fast-paced world of Twitter or the business-oriented corridors of LinkedIn.
- Social Media Optimization: Beyond just creating a video, MacMillan ensures it’s optimized for social media sharing, increasing the likelihood of it going viral and amplifying your brand’s reach.
- Customization for Engagement: The social media landscape is ever-evolving. MacMillan Design stays ahead of the curve, customizing animations to keep up with social media trends, ensuring your content always feels fresh and engaging.
- Trust in Results: With a commitment to tangible outcomes, MacMillan Design isn’t satisfied with just social media metrics. They aim for animated marketing videos that drive real business results, be it increased sales or a broader brand reach on social media.
Choosing MacMillan Design for your animated marketing videos means harnessing the power of social media with content that’s not just visually appealing, but also strategically poised for success. Partner with them, and watch your social media presence transform.