A well-made animation video can do wonders for your business (just ask our clients). But the process of creating one and using it in your marketing ain’t exactly intuitive!
It’s equal parts an art and a science. That said, there are certain rules of thumb you can follow to make sure your videos get noticed, get watched, and most importantly – convert.
So in this article, we’ll take a look at several best practices for animation video marketing. We’ll cover not just video creation (which is the easy part), but also promotion (the hardest part by far).
So if you’re fuzzy on either of those things, read on!
1. Be strategic
As we’re re-reading this subheadline, even we feel an urge to say, “Duh! Why didn’t anyone think of that before?!” We can hear your sarcasm from here!
But actually, there’s a bit more to this advice than just “put some thought into your videos.” Bear with us…
For starters, your animation video marketing efforts should never happen in a vacuum. If you don’t have a well-articulated strategy in place, start there. Once you have that foundation taken care of, you want to think about your video creation and promotion along these lines:
Your goal. Long-term, your animation video marketing is meant to grow your business. Short-term, this usually means one of two things:
- Engaging your existing and potential customers with video content, to acquire leads, gather information about them, and make them aware of how your products and services benefit them.
- Selling to your target market, by addressing them with your offer once they are ready. That’s what your conversion-focused animation videos are supposed to do.
Each of your videos needs to have one of these as its primary objective. And then within them, you want to pursue smaller goals like:
- Getting people to comment on a video to gather insights about them.
- Getting viewers to click the button to add an item to their shopping cart.
- Getting people to share your video on social media.
And so on.
The second strategic element is all about your target market. You want to answer questions like:
- Who is this video for?
- What do these people care about? What topic is going to grab their attention?
- What’s in it for them? Why should they listen to your message?
Making sure that the right people see your video is just as important as having a strategic goal to pursue. When you get clarity on both of these things, your animation video marketing efforts will be much more likely to succeed!
2. Always aim for distinctive visuals
There’s nothing more painful, more disappointing, and more baffling to us than seeing an animated video with bland, generic visuals.
Every time we come across one, we just want to scream, “Whyyy would you do this?!” as giant heaving sobs rock our entire bodies.
Visuals are the greatest strength of your animation video marketing. They don’t have to be Oscar-worthy – but they do need to be memorable. Otherwise you might as well film a talking head video against a white background, or something equally boring!
So how do you make your visuals unforgettable? Here are a few suggestions:
- Use a distinctive aesthetic: like a whiteboard video, or custom motion graphics. It helps if the artist you work with can put their own unique spin on the overall style of your video.
- Create vivid imagery that sticks in your viewer’s mind. Your characters and situations can be outrageous, implausible, larger-than-life – that’s the whole point of animation!
- Make the animation convey not just action, but emotion as well. It’s one thing to see what’s happening in the video – it’s another to also perceive how the whole thing feels. That’s even more powerful, and therefore more memorable.
Speaking of emotions…
3. Don’t be afraid to get emotional
If your animation video marketing can’t get viewers to feel something, you won’t generate many sales from it – if any!
Think back to the last time you really wanted to buy something because of the awesome marketing. Chances are, it didn’t convince you with boring, rational reasons! Instead, it made you feel a certain way about the product, so you decided to buy.
Each animated video you produce must have an emotional component, even if it’s a subtle one. What exactly to include comes down to your target market (see best practice #2) and their preferences, so we won’t give you any specific advice here. It will probably be useless for your unique situation.
However, we’ll give you several examples of emotions you might want to invoke with your animated videos:
- Joy and delight (how they will feel using your product)
- Sense of pride and accomplishment (i.e. your product will make them feel like a badass)
- Love – romantic or familial (buying your product can be an expression of it)
- Peace of mind and sense of safety (as a direct result of buying and using your product)
- Group identity, belonging (your product means they are part of something bigger)
- Enthusiasm and ambition (they need your product to reach their lofty goals)
You don’t have to stick to positive emotions all the time, either. Invoking the negative feelings at the start of the video – to connect with the pain and frustration your customers are feeling – is also an option.
Also, sometimes invoking fear of loss works better to spur people to action than simply promising a benefit. Loss aversion is a powerful cognitive bias, and you can use it to your benefit!
Brands like Twitter, Uber, Hubspot, and others are already using whiteboard video to attract more customers. Discover exactly how they do it, along with 9 more business-boosting tips – like how to increase your conversion rates by 20%!
4. Always (always!) have a call to action
Consistently present viewers with compelling calls to action – in your video content and the marketing messages that accompany it. If you don’t, your animation video marketing efforts will fizz out.
Yes, even if you’re just doing a brand awareness or an engagement campaign. We can’t stress this enough.
Every time you create, publish and promote a new video, you want to ask yourself, “What’s the smallest possible action my viewers can take that will move them closer to buying?”
It could be:
- Visiting your website
- Subscribing to your email list
- Following you on social media
- Sharing your video
- Leaving a comment
- Clicking a button
Even if your ultimate goal is to close the sale, it’s best to frame it as a small action anyway. For example, “Buy now” sounds like a much bigger ask than “Click the ‘Order now’ button.” It’s kind of absurd how buying psychology works, but there you have it!
Then, once you’ve determined your smallest possible action, urge your viewers to take it. And not just in the video itself! Whenever possible, the copy and design around the video needs to provide context and reinforce the call to action.
5. Promote more than you create
Pablo Picasso is one of the most prolific artist who ever lived. He created over 20,000 pieces: paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, you name it.
What we’re trying to say is: you’re not Picasso. And that’s OK! To be successful at animation video marketing, you don’t have to create lots of content. Instead, you should spend only about 20% of your time making new videos…
…and invest the other 80% in promoting them as hard as you can!
For most videos, virality doesn’t just happen. High view counts are often the result of smart, massive, and dogged promotional efforts. Marketers attract as many people as they can to the content – and if those people like it enough, they share it.
So even if you come up with the best animation video of all time, don’t expect it to become the bee’s knees all on its own! If it doesn’t take off, promote it. If it does take off… promote it even harder!
At a minimum, you want to:
- Promote it through online communities
- Send it to your email subscribers and social media followers
- Get influencers to link to it
- Optimize it for search engines so it’s easier to discover
These strategies should give your video a healthy number of viewers to start with! Also, this is the perfect time to discuss why views aren’t everything you should be worried about…
6. Measure more than just views
When it comes to animation video marketing, everyone obsesses over one metric: views. And to be blunt but honest… views don’t matter.
OK, we’re being too harsh.
Of course views matter. But they can’t be your only measure of success for your video marketing campaigns. But trying to judge your video marketing by views alone is kind of like judging a restaurant dish by how much food is on the plate – not helpful!
For starters, unless you’re tracking unique views, they are a meaningless metric that doesn’t even tell you how many people saw your animation video! There is so much more useful data you could be tracking.
Here are just a few examples:
- Play rate, which shows you what percentage of people even bothered watching. If too few of them did, your video might not be relevant!
- Conversion rates, to see how many people merely saw your video versus how many actually acted on it.
- Video completion rate – knowing how many people watch your animation videos start to finish gives you all-important context about how effective your calls to action are.
- Total viewing time (per customer) across multiple videos, which tells you how engaged people are with your content.
- Engagement metrics like comments and social shares, so you can measure how many viewers cared about the video enough to spread the word and share their thoughts.
Bottom line is: getting more sophisticated with your video marketing metrics will give you a ton of actionable insights into what works, what doesn’t, and how you can improve!
Need some help with your animation video marketing? Let’s talk!
Let us help you make sure that your next marketing video makes waves and gets noticed!
True, we specialize in producing the actual content – but having completed 2,000+ projects for hundreds of clients, we know a thing or two about video marketing strategy. And we’d be thrilled to help you clarify your vision!
So go ahead and book a free, no-strings-attached pow-wow to discuss your video ideas and strategies with us. All you need to do is enter your details below, and The Draw Shop marketing ninjas will get back to you post-haste!