When we think of animation and cartoons, the first thing that pops into our mind is Tom & Jerry, plenty of TV ads, YouTube videos, and Oscar-winning silver screen productions. We may also associate animation with childhood and an overall feeling of relaxation and laid back entertainment. But is animation good for business as marketing is concerned?
Not so long ago, we talked about explainer videos, as they are the most fertile soil where marketing campaigns can take root and evolve, but animation is way more comprehensive than that. We are talking about animated GIFs, animated emails, animated postcards, branding campaigns and so on. Are they good for business? Why should you use cartoons to showcase your company, products, and story? How should you use them?
Today we will try to answer these questions, highlighting the massive impact of animation on the marketing world.
A Word from the Industry
We all know that video killed the written star a long time ago – more specifically, statistics show that video sells better, especially animated explainer videos. These facts are backed up by Google, Facebook, and Twitter, among others, tech giants who understood the power of video marketing.
But under the wide umbrella of “video marketing,” animation grows stronger by the minute. If you understand that 90% of the processed information of our brains is visual, there is no reason to postpone a video marketing campaign anymore.
So, how about animation?
In the recent years, animated explainer videos became all the rage. They deliver a business story quickly, easily and humorously, they pinpoint the quintessence of a company’s values or products/services, it delivers a message that is understood by all, and it keeps people glued to the screen. Given the fact that humanity’s attention span is lower than the one of a goldfish, it is quite an achievement.
So, with all that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the key reasons you should consider using animation in your next marketing campaign.
1. Animation is Visual Marketing at its Best
If you take a look at a professional guide to animations, you will learn that all good ones come along with perfect voiceovers, great soundtracks, and even backed up by written copy. But animation, in its essence, is visual, and everything visual and nicely colored is catchy for all audiences no matter their demographics.
Travel beyond the realm of explainer videos, as there are plenty of types of marketing animations you can tap in to boost brand awareness, users’ engagement, and sales. What these animations have in common is their power to visually attract people and compel them to watch them start to finish.
2. Animation Quickly Delivers a Message Across
Whether you create a 10 seconds animated GIF or a 2 minutes animated video (of many kinds), you can rely on its power of telling a story and delivering an easy-to-understand message for all audiences. Animation has the power of transmitting easy to digest information in a simple and clear manner without suffocating audiences in charts, statistics and endless pages of written words which nobody reads anyway.
If you want to amuse your audience (and you should better want that), walk them through a process, a difficult concept to grasp or the list of your product/service benefits. Animation strips ideas and data of their unnecessary details, delivering only the essence in a fun and relaxed manner.
3. Animation is Easy to Digest and Extremely Shareable
We are used to cartoons since our most innocent childhood years. We are programmed to enjoy animation even in adulthood, as it brings up warming memories. And given the fact that marketing-oriented cartoons are cute, wacky and light, their power to compel us is tremendous. Cartoon characters are allowed to say anything and do anything that a real person isn’t able to.
They can tap into taboo subjects, make a joke and show things you will never be able to catch on camera (as compared to filmed videos), pulling the audience into a world where anything is possible. This is why animated videos and GIFs, for instance, are the most shared video content to date.
Do you share complex statistics related to finances? Do you share white papers on tough subjects? Do you love slapping incomprehensible data sheets on your Facebook wall? You probably don’t. But you may be among those 65% of people who do share a GIF or an animated 20 seconds video about world hunger after you watched it yourself.
4. Animation Converts Better than Anything
Let’s get serious: our marketing campaigns are there for the clear reason of pushing our brand up front, of turning viewers into possible leads, prospects, and buyers and to basically boost up the ROI. If you want to get deeper, animation turns all SEO efforts into child’s play and even taps into human psychology by quickly becoming a long-term memory that sticks with people for longer periods of time.
So, when you talk about conversions, you have to know this:
- In search results, video and animated videos have 41% higher click-through rate than written text.
- If you slap a cleverly made animation on your landing page, you can expect a 70% increase in your conversion rate.
- Viewers spend 100% more time on landing pages containing videos than on all other pages.
- Video and animations are shared 12,000 more than links, text posts, and simple images.
5. Animation is Cost-Effective
One might believe that bringing up a team of graphic designers, motion picture specialists, sound specialists, and voiceover professional actors will cost an arm and a leg. However, in comparison to renting a set, hiring actors, models or spokespersons, renting cameras, lights and microphones, post-editing a video and tweaking it so it looks professional and not something you shot in your grandma’s basement, is way more expensive.
Nowadays, there are plenty of resources and tools to help you create simple and straightforward animations without investing in logistics and tailoring budgets you don’t have at your disposal.
How to Use Animation to Stand out of the Crowd
The first rule in animation marketing is to tailor the video, GIF or postcard to match your target audience. Just as you don’t use hardcore rock music to get to your elder audience, you won’t use a lyrical and bohemian animation style to showcase hi-tech products to corporate Millenials.
The next rule of animation in marketing is that you should use it to cover all media sources – conventional or not. Making an animation and waiting for ROI to skyrocket isn’t the way to go. Conversely, you need to integrate it into a bigger and more comprehensive marketing plan covering all media from social platforms to TV and from email marketing to sales presentations, going through your own website, apps, events and meetings.
How to use animation in a smart and innovative manner? Here are some ideas!
- Direct emails and newsletters – rather that writing full paragraphs that explain images, go beyond the border and use animated GIFs or videos to show your products and elucidate processes, systems, and chains of reaction. The only issue with integrated email animation is its compatibility with your users’ devices and software, downloading times and end-user demographics.
- B2B presentations – do you know those meetings when people showcase drawings, powerpoint presentations, boards, chart, graphics and thousands of words to present a product/service to potential clients and partners? Do you know how everybody sleeps during such events? Animation does not only keep your guests alert and entertained, but it can explain how a product will look after it is finished, how a complex process unfolds, how a system works and how your company aims to develop.
- Website animations – if smartly done, interactive animation, GIFs, and videos are more appealing than anything else. Clickable images that take the user from one page to another, animated characters jumping in to help the user go through the website, talking heads and 3D animated products that invite to further exploration are just the tip of the iceberg. Animation keeps users engaged and wanting, even more, surprises, keeping them navigating on your website and eventually making a purchase. From caricatures to complex CGI, your website can get so appealing users will want to buy from you just because you made them smile.
Use animation wisely, adapt it to your audience and the subject matter, give it the correct pace and timing, make it accessible across all media channels and keep people engaged while enjoying your new conversion rates!
About the Author: Cristopher Tuckerman is a digital marketing strategist and a passionate writer, who’s interested in all things SEO and design-related.