Tips for creating animated videos

We’ve been asked to do a lot of animated videos recently.

And it’s no wonder, they do miracles for conversion, search engine ranking and social engagement. Look no further than this fab slideshare.

 

 

We love doing videos. Done right, in our humble opinion, they can be the best way to bring a product alive, make a complex concept digestible and make really good shareable, snackable content.

Done wrong, they do nothing for your brand or engagement.

Here are our pet peeves to avoid next time you’re thinking about doing an animated vid.

Over-complicated

Done right, videos are especially great for making really complex things seem simple. And when you consider that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and that visuals are processed 60,000x faster in the brain than text. That’s immense.

But believe us, it’s not easy to distill a complicated concept into a simple visual animation that really works. Animation is great because you can build up layers of a story as it develops.

I’ve seen so many videos where the message has been totally lost because they’ve tried to cram too much into 60 seconds and have failed to distill the concept or creative down to it’s essence.

Feels off-brand

Google ‘animated videos’ and there will be plenty of companies furiously bidding to create you an animated video with fixed turnaround times and a price per minute.

They’re experts at what they do – they pump out thousands of these things a year. And for quick and dirty animated videos they can be great. But do your research…

These off-the-peg videos can look exactly that. Added to which, they don’t always have the time and processes in place to gain a depth of understand about your business, brand, audience and product.

Videos are a fab way to build brand awareness, don’t blow it by commissioning a video from a set range of animation styles that’s not in harmony with your brand.

Haven’t thought through how it will be used

Before you start creating an animated video, it’s 100% worth thinking through how you’ll be using it before you start.

Are you thinking of using it primarily for social, emails, events, landing pages? (All of the above is fine by the way, just so long as you’ve thought it through.)

It informs so many things – like the length, reliance on audio / subtitles, and any areas of the screen to avoid. You need to think carefully about the combination of visuals, text, and audio that you use.

If you’re creating a video to play on your stand at a conference for example, something with a wordy voiceover isn’t going to work so well as something more visual.  

A quick scroll down your Facebook feed will tell you that there’s an increasing prevalence is subtitled videos. We’re happy to watch videos muted with subtitles. It’s something that’s especially worth bearing in mind in a B2B context where people might not want to blast it out to the whole office.

Not taking advantage of analytics

There are some incredible tools out there that give you fantastic insight into your video performance.

Wistia is our particular favourite. Youtube and Vimeo analytics just don’t really have the edge if you’re taking your video marketing seriously.

As well as having impressive lead generation options and integrations with marketing automation platforms, you can get an incredible amount of insight into the audience engagement levels…

Like whether your videos are the right length (from the average engagement rate)

Or whether any sections were confusing or especially engaging (heatmaps show you re-winds and replays – pretty cool. )

It’s too long. Yawn.

There’s no shortage of research out there that will tell you that the shorter the better. And we’d hold by that fact.

But it’s a little bit more complex than ‘I have to keep this video to between 30 – 90 seconds or the world will implode’.

Here’s why:

If you’re explaining something high level, to a new audience, and your primary objective is to get people to share it / engage with the whole content and the call to action at the end – then stick to 30 seconds.

If you’re producing a video for an audience that you know has a hunger for the subject, and you’re going into a bit more detail, or it’s complex to explain – aim for up to 90 seconds.

And if it’s an in-depth educational video, or for training use, then it’s really up to you to make a call based on the complexity of your content. For example, we’ve just produced a 15 minute long animation for DTCC to use with internal stakeholders to explain a really complicated product offering. Anything less and it wouldn’t get the points across. Anything more and we would’ve seen engagement levels hit the floor.

But the main rule is: whatever you go for, make sure it’s not boring.

 

If you’ve got a video that’s 94 seconds long, then focus on making each one of those 94 seconds engaging rather than stressing about cutting 4 out. And use the reporting tools available to you to see if you made the right call on length.

We’d be happy to chat through your requirements if you’ve got a video you want producing. Just get in touch…

 

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