There are countless statistics and data points that we could throw at you to help you see the benefits of incorporating videos in your marketing mix, but we are assuming you already know enough about the power of video content. So, we’d rather get down to why animation rules the roost when it comes to brand videos and promotional videos.
Businesses from industry segments like technology, manufacturing, pharma, IT, product, hospitality and entertainment have all tasted the sweet success of using animated videos to promote themselves or their offerings.
Animation as a visual storytelling format and the animation industry in general has evolved by leaps and bounds over the last century, right from the time French artist Émile Cohl first experimented with this medium to modern-day animated videos and films. The world’s biggest filmmakers, brands, businesses and marketing companies have successfully utilized animation to narrate their stories and convey messages that connect with their audience. Using a variety of animation techniques, characters, objects and narratives, the format has been extensively experimented with across the world.
Several studies suggest that animation (which enables brands to create characters or things that aptly represent their company or products) can prove to be way more effective than live spokespersons, live-action videos or any other video formats. The animation market is constantly progressing, bringing in new technologies, techniques, software, formats and more with each passing year.
Here’s the complete lowdown on why animated videos work in the digital age, where they should be used, the different types of animation videos, how they are created, what their key characteristics are, and the things to look for in an animation video production partner.
A common question that a lot of brand managers, corporate heads and marketing professionals ask is – is an animated video right for my business? Animation videos are being extensively used for marketing and advertising today, and if the latest animation video industry statistics of 2019 are anything to go by, this trend is only set to become stronger in the time to come.
The answer to the question above is a loud ‘YES’ and for good reason. Animated videos can help any kind of business or brand to reach their target audience, expand their potential customer base, connect with their consumers, and more.
So, what is the purpose of animation? And what do animated videos enable businesses to do?
Here are a few reasons why animated videos are great for business promotion, corporate communication, advertising and marketing, and the benefits of using animation:
Marketers believe that animated videos offer the highest returns on investment
Animated videos for business help increase visibility, generate leads and increase conversions and sales
Videos that use animation as the primary format are cost-effective, compared to live-action videos or other formats
Animated films have a high recall value, meaning better brand recall for businesses
Animated videos can connect with people of all ages and demographics and it is a highly engaging medium that gets the viewers hooked on to what is being shown/said on screen
Animation allows businesses, brands and content creators to experiment with various storytelling techniques
Animation is a visually-appealing format and fun to watch, bringing together animated characters, objects, colours, icons, graphics and sound in an entertaining manner
Animated videos for businesses are generally short and crisp – conveying the intended message to the viewer within seconds or minutes (which works well for brand videos, since the attention spans of the audience are on a steady decline) Flexibility to Experiment
There is no restriction on creativity or experimentation with animated videos – in fact, some videos even disregard the basic laws of physics and let the creative imagination take over to show something that might not otherwise be possible to capture on camera.
Such videos are more likely to be shared and liked by relevant viewers and audiences.Animated videos can be used for a variety of purposes (see the section below to know more)
Here is a list of some industries where the use of animated videos for business is quite widespread, along with the different types of things or purposes they are used for and the benefits:
Businesses and brands from the tech sector can leverage animation videos to demonstrate the utility of a new product, simplify complex subjects and promote products using social media or other broadcast mediums
3D animation is widely used in the manufacturing sector since it allows businesses to showcase their technology, explain complex processes and create videos for marketing purposes
The pharmaceuticals industry has latched on to 2D and 3D animation since animated videos allow businesses to explain pharma products, provide training to their employees, and simplify difficult concepts easily
A large number of software companies and IT enterprises use animation as their preferred format when launching new products or services, promoting their business and explaining how a software functions or how its unique features work
2D and 3D animated videos help manufacturers and marketers to showcase product features, break down the product lifecycle, highlight USPs and reach out to potential customers through commercials and social media
Animation has also become the preferred means of communication and marketing for the hotel and tourism industry, since it enables them to deliver staff training, promote offers and explain processes or best practices
It is impossible to imagine the media and entertainment industry without animated videos today – from animated logos, titles and banners, to entertaining web/TV series or films, animation is widely used in this domain.Apart from these industries, domains like engineering, logistics, tourism, advertising, FMCG, retail, telecommunications, aerospace and defense also rely on animated videos for a wide range of purposes.
As mentioned above, animated videos come in different forms and can be used for a variety of purposes by brands and businesses. Here are the most popular types of animated videos and where they can be used:
This is perhaps the simplest form of animation and yet it is considered very effective in a wide range of scenarios. While the visuals are by definition two-dimensional and flat, it is a format that is easy on the eye and as engaging as any other type of video. 2D animation is apt for videos where a character is used for telling a story, or for animating statistics and text, or even creating an animated infographic. 2D animated videos are ideal in scenarios where the message needs to be put forth in a sweet and simple form. Examples of 2D animation videos:https://www.toolbox-studio.com/blog/15-excellent-2d-character-animation-videos-by-brands/
The more complex and dynamic sibling of 2D animation is three-dimensional animation, which helps make the visuals immersive and detailed. Adding a lot of depth and real-ness to the characters, environments and objects being used in the story, 3D animation allows businesses and video creators to define the minutest of details and explain complex theories, concepts or products using this format. It is also relatively more expensive in terms of creation and production.Examples of 3D animation videos: https://www.toolbox-studio.com/blog/top-15-3d-animation-videos-for-business/
The eLearning industry is moving away from traditional training techniques and monotonous formats towards animated videos. Using animation in eLearning videos can make the training modules sharper, crisper, engaging and more entertaining. Research also suggests that animated videos enable quicker and more effective learning, since they present content in an easy-to-understand manner and have a high recall value. Another advantage of using animated eLearning videos is that learners get the flexibility to watch (and re-watch) the training content at their own convenience and on the device of their choice. An article by Medium highlights the effectiveness of video in learning, citing Forrester Research that says employees are 75% more likely to consume content through video as compared to other mediums such as documents, articles, presentations or emails.
From detailed product demos and technology showcase, to process walkthroughs and 360-degree representations of facilities and machines, industrial or mechanical animation is a popular animation format used by businesses from domains such as – manufacturing, technology, engineering, automotive, aerospace and defense. These videos generally use animation to demonstrate how complex technologies work or the internal functioning of a device or manufacturing plant.
Motion graphics animation utilizes a blend of colours, visuals, graphics, illustrations, iconography and sound to explain concepts, promote products and more. Companies also use this animation format to make branding videos, company profile videos and product launch videos. In some cases, motion graphics animation is used in conjunction with live-action footage, too.Examples of motion graphics animation videos: https://www.toolbox-studio.com/blog/top-15-animated-motion- graphics-videos-for-business/
Visualization and prototyping are an integral part of the process for businesses from industries like automobile, FMCG, electronics, jewelry, healthcare, etc. 3D product modeling is a popular and highly effective means of generating product prototypes and showcasing an object or set of objects in detail.
Other different types of animation include stop motion animation, infographics animation, whiteboard animation videos. Choosing the right form of animation is crucial for your business to successfully reach out to the intended audience and convey your message.
While every video has its own entity, purpose, space and treatment, animation videos for business should ideally have a certain set of characteristics and must fulfill certain parameters. Unless you specifically want your animated video to be vague and abstract, here are the three essential components that your business video should incorporate:
If you notice, the best business animated videos are the ones that begin with stating the problem that exists before throwing a solution at you (rather than going the other way around). In cases where this isn’t followed, it might seem like a very pushy video that is trying hard to ‘sell’ something to the viewer. When the problem is stated upfront, it helps connect with the audience who are facing this challenge. This enables the building of both interest and trust – nudging the viewer to watch the next part of the video which would present a solution to this problem. This tried and tested approach works like magic for any and every type of business video. So, whether you are trying to introduce your business, promote a product, launch a new service, offer a great deal, or anything else – the classic problem-solution flow is always a safe bet.
When your video gets to the part where your offering is being presented or discussed, it is important that first-time viewers get a crystal-clear idea of what you are providing, how it works, why it is better than what other companies have on offer, why they should buy it, etc. This is the segment where you can really go all out with your creativity – highlight the advantages, key features and other important aspects of your offering in great detail and in a visually-captivating manner. There is a plethora of animation techniques and visual ideas can make this section come alive in different ways.
The call-to-action of your video might make all the difference between viewers taking or not taking some sort of action after watching it. The CTA or set of CTAs is extremely crucial in terms of directing your target audience. Remember, no matter how smart and qualified you think your customers are, they still need to be spoon-fed when it comes to things like these. Ensure that you establish the end goal of your animated video and define what you want people to do after watching it. You might want to:
-Direct them to your website to know more
-Send them to a landing page where they can learn more
-Sign up for a product or service demo
-Buy or rent the product online
-Book a trial or demo version for a few days
-Click on a link that leads them to another page or social profile No matter what your objective, a strong CTA that drives people to take action is indispensable.
It is essential that you understand that while you might feel romantic about yourself, your business or product, that is not necessarily the case with your viewers. We have mentioned above that animated videos are funny and entertaining; however, bear in mind that your audience will watch it and like it only if it adds value to their lives (personal or professional). Therefore, treating it like an entertainment film is of no use – the best way to determine the length of your business animation video is by looking up the videos and results of other companies from your sector. The best-performing ones are usually the shortest ones. Remember, brevity is key when it comes to animated videos.
Thanks to Instagram and other similar platforms, brands have now started making videos that are as short as sixty seconds or even lesser. However, anywhere between 30 seconds and 180 seconds can be considered the perfect length for brands and businesses to convey their message through an animation video. This call, nevertheless, can be taken jointly by you and your video production partner, once you discuss the basic premise and idea for the animated video you need.
Always remember what your ultimate aim is when you start creating an animated video. It is possible that the timespan between generating ideas and getting the final video output pushes you around in different directions due to creative differences, budgetary constraints, personal opinions, lack of knowledge about animation processes, etc. and it is very easy to lose focus and objectivity in this period. It is best to completely trust your animation video creation partner or studio once you are sure that both the brand and the production company are on the same page.
Here are the key steps that define the animated video making process and need to be given equal importance:
As stated above, it is easy to lose sight of what you are trying to achieve through the animated video, so it is vital that the end objective is defined and conveyed to the animation partner right at the beginning.
Without first putting it down on paper in an exhaustive manner, it is not possible to translate an idea on to the screen. Make sure enough time and efforts are invested in making a fantastic script.
Storyboarding is the process of drawing or sketching individual frames in the sequence of the narrative. This step can be used to get close to the physical appearance of your characters, environments, etc. and gauge how things will look on screen.
This step can come here or right at the start, since choosing an animation type or style would also depend on what you are trying to achieve, what your budget is, what kind of videos by other brands or businesses you have liked. If you are not sure, let the expertise of your video production partner take over – their experience in the industry will hold them in good stead to recommend the right animation style for your needs.
While visuals drive the viewing experience, animated videos are incomplete without sound. Whether you wish to layer your video with a voiceover and background score or only go for one of the two, the spoken word and the magic of music can help make or break the quality of your video. Getting the sound design right is absolutely essential, since VO and BG music play a big role in supporting the visuals, keeping the viewer hooked on to the screen, and taking the narrative forward.
Here are the key characteristics of a good animated business video:
– It helps solve a problem
– It presents the solution in a creative, crisp and engaging manner
– It tells a story, rather than simply bragging about the offering
– It is conversational in tone and strikes an instant connection with the viewer
– It is eye-catching and aesthetically-pleasing
– It explains the idea quickly and precisely, without beating around the bush
You might come across service providers or video creation vendors who work with a template-driven approach. However, using templates or tweaking existing animated video frameworks will never work for your business as successfully as the results and quality that a custom video would deliver. Whether you talk about visuals, format, flow, structure or music – templates can never provide the freshness, uniqueness or creativity that a video that is created from scratch can. Therefore, the
Check how experienced the team is and for how long the company has been in the market.
Gauge the studio’s expertise in animation by browsing through their portfolio of past projects.
Go through their website to get a good understanding of the company’s facilities and setup.
Ask them about the human resources that will be deployed on your animation video project (number and capability).
Get a good understanding of the studio’s project lifecycle and processes they follow.
Ask the company for the average turnaround time for any animation video project that they do.
Question them about the animation video tools and techniques they use. Make sure you get a list that includes industry-standard animation software like Illustrator, Flash, Photoshop, Mudbox, Maya, 3ds Max, Motion Builder and After Effects.
While the cost of the video would largely depend on your specific requirements, it helps to get a quote or estimate from the production company so you can compare the cost with other vendors.
At Toolbox Studio, we have more than a decade’s experience in creating and delivering a massive variety of animation videos and films for businesses across the globe. Our illustrious clientele is spread across a spectrum of industries like IT, Education, Hospitality, and Automobile, among others. With a 5000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility in Pune, India, we are amongst the top-rated professional animation video production companies. We provide our clients with rapid turnaround time, and creative and engaging content tailored to suit your specific needs.
Looking for an animated video creation studio? Look no further.
With digital explainer videos becoming a popular way for businesses to increase conversions, it is essential that you tap into this trend to maximise your company’s potential. Partner with experienced digital video creation companies to get started with your explainer videos. Remember – Your brand is unique and a collaboration with exceptional artistic and storytelling capabilities can effectively deliver the required message!