Making Animated Videos That Engage Customers
There was a time when animated content was mostly meant for children, but no so long ago, this production style stepped hard into the corporate arena.
Now, video marketers receive this production style with open arms, and it’s not hard to see why.
Animation allows marketers to tweak the finished video to a much greater extent than live-action. And let’s not forget about its lower cost – we are talking business, after all!
All these benefits fit particularly well into the corporate environment. But, to my eyes, what puts this video style ahead of others is the simplicity of its production process: no casting actors, no scouting for locations, no hiring a catering service for the filming day. Just an expert video production team… or you alone!
That said, whether you intend to make your own animated marketing video or hire professional help, there are a couple of elements you should have in mind – elements that can significantly affect your end result.
Today, we'll walk you through each of those basic elements so that you can produce amazing animated marketing videos.
Understand Your Target Audience Before You Start!
Your video isn't supposed to be liked by everyone. That's not only a mission impossible, but it's not even useful for your marketing efforts. You should solely focus on appealing to your target audience and no one else.
The big question is how… and the big answer is “by making relatable content."
Relatability is the secret ingredient in any appealing story, whether we are talking about a book, movie, or marketing video! Whatever the case, the audience feels a stronger connection to those stories than hit close to home.
To create such a story, you first need to know your target audience like the palm of your hand (supposing you know plenty about your palm, of course). You should be familiar with your audience's interests, economic and education level, aspirations, age, gender… you know what I'm talking about.
With all that relevant information about them, set out to design your buyer persona – the representation of how your ideal client is and looks like.
Design Characters Based on Your Buyer Persona
Animated marketing videos work exceptionally well for telling relatable stories since they allow you to create characters and scenarios from scratch. That is, you don't have to struggle to find an actor whose profile matches your target audience. You can bring your buyer persona to life by using illustrations and animation software, and then make it the protagonist of your video!
That is why it’s so important to be familiar with your audience – because everything you know about them will go into the creation of a relatable protagonist! Someone who dresses, talks, and behaves like them.
The following video exemplifies this correctly. It goes as far as making the characters react and think as the target audience would!
Write a Relatable Script
I know I sound like a broken record speaking about relatability, but it is critical for your video's success!
So critical, in fact, that you need more than relatable characters to appeal to your audience. You must also make the characters go through relatable situations.
In the case of animated infographic videos – commonly known as explainers – that situation would be the pain points your product or service is meant to solve. That way, viewers would be able to see themselves solving their problems with the help of your product or service. Can you see now why I'm so nagging about relatability?
Add On-Point Branding
We’ve discussed how critical it is to tailor your video according to your target audience. However, it’s equally important to customize your video according to your brand! Its inherent style should be present in the video’s tone and aesthetic.
The most basic way to achieve this is by incorporating the elements that represent your brand into the scene: the color scheme, typography, and of course, the logo - you should strategically include your logo.
Please note the adverb on that last bit: strategically. Meaning no logo in the corner of the frame and no watermark. We are talking about a noticeable logo that makes a statement, but it's not too on the nose. Above all, this is a logo that appears at the perfect timing.
In the case of explainer videos, the ideal moment to introduce the logo is right when the introduction is over. You have stated the problem, and now you are mentioning the solution: your company. That is a great moment to oh-so-casually drop your logo.
It's also a smart idea to include your logo again when the video draws to an end, as a final reminder of your company.
Don’t Forget About Your Sound Design
Sound design can make or break your animated video. If your video's sound is flawless, it's likely viewers won't appreciate the quality of what they hear. That said, if something doesn't sound the way it should, viewers can go as far as abandoning your video.
That is actually a very common problem. Plenty of animated videos out there present a song that's so loud you can't hear the narrator's voice or a voice-acting that is inconsistent with the video’s tone. Those videos may have amazing visuals, but the narrator’s voice is so monotonous or annoying that viewers can hardly pay attention to what they are watching.
When you are producing your animated marketing video, make sure you pick a voice-over artist who can correctly express your video's tone. Of course, your ideal tone varies depending on your video’s goals and your business’ style. It stands to reason that a B2B high-brow company should incline towards a more solemn voice-acting than a business targeting teens.
The same goes for your video's music: you want to pick a theme consistent with your video's style. It won't hurt if that song is instrumental, as including a singing voice on top of the voice-over can result in a resounding mess (no pun intended).
Animation fits incredibly well in the world of content marketing: it’s more simple, flexible, and economical than other production styles. Considering all the benefits it brings to the table, it’s nothing but staggering that businesses didn’t resort to animation sooner.
But even now that its popularity has grown, many businesses aren't taking full advantage of animation. Their videos aren't customized neither according to their brand’s style nor to their target audience. This is a serious mistake that can affect the results and performance of their animated videos.
The tips mentioned today can help you avoid this mistake and create animated videos that make a real impact on your audience and (why not?) on your bottom line.
Victor Blasco is the founder and CEO of Yum Yum Videos (animated explainer video company), audiovisual designer and video marketing expert. Aside from running the business, he loves studying Chinese philosophy and is a real geek for science fiction films and comics! The force is strong...