Your brand needs to shine through everything you do – including your video content. If it doesn’t, you’ll have a tougher time generating leads, getting exposure, and converting prospects into customers.
For this reason, animated videos get a bad rep. Most entrepreneurs assume that animation will clash with their brand no matter what. So they neglect one of the most powerful styles of video marketing.
Today, we’ll show you how to make an animated video that fits your brand perfectly – not just visually, but in all three ways that matter.
Want to use animation in your video marketing and stay on brand? Read on!
1. Visual style
One of the biggest concerns business owners have about animated videos goes like this: “They don’t look professional enough for my brand.” So, logically, that must mean you can’t make an animated video to promote your product or service – it wouldn’t fit your brand look!
Sounds legit enough, right? Well, lucky for you, it’s not true!
For starters, animated video is a visual medium of unbelievable variety. It can look like a moving oil painting, a series of abstract shapes, a goofy cartoon – or simply text morphing into different shapes!
If you’re unsure how to make an animated video that aligns with your brand aesthetic, here’s what you can do to find a suitable style:
- Look at how other companies do it. Don’t copy your direct competitors, though – that’s a sure way to make your customers ignore you! Instead, look at businesses in other industries, but with a similar brand “tone” to yours. How do they make animated video work? This will give you some useful inspiration.
- Consider some more “formal” styles of animation: kinetic typography, motion graphics, different types of corporate explainer videos, etc. Maybe one or more of them will take your fancy!
- Hire an actual animator for a test project and ask them how to make an animated video that looks on brand for your business. Chances are, they will be able to choose a suitable style, introduce your branded color scheme, make subtle changes to the visuals, and otherwise help you make it work.
- Simply add a branded intro and/or outro to your animated video. Even if the visual style isn’t a perfect fit, it will send a clear message to the viewers: this content is yours.
Note: If you don’t have an established video marketing strategy yet, you can embrace virtually any animation style without thinking too long and hard about it! Don’t worry about seeming inconsistent – your viewers will accept it as part of your brand image.
2. Tone of voice
How do you talk to your customers? More importantly, how do your customers like to be talked to? Some people like their brand interactions “official,” and cringe at any sign of over-familiarity. Others keep it casual, enjoy witty banter – and rapidly lose interest when things get too formal.
And then there are other factors to consider like the use of humor, industry jargon, the kinds of emotions you want to evoke… it’s enough to make your head spin!
To make an animated video with the “right” tone of voice, you need to answer two questions:
- What kind of tone of voice are you already using in your marketing?
- Do your customers actually dig it, or should you consider something different?
If your brand voice is super-formal and your customers love that about you – perfect! Stay true to that, and make your animated video in a similar tone. And on the other hand:
If your brand communication is high-energy and saturated with industry terminology, but you feel like your target market might prefer something more laid-back and goofy – try it and see how it works!
For what it’s worth, here at The Draw Shop we maintain a “classy yet casual” tone of voice for 90% of our client projects. And then in the remaining 10% we either keep things formal… or run wild with goofy, cheeky exploits.
In our experience, the middle-ground “classy and casual” approach works very well for a wide variety of industries and topics. So that’s what we use the most.
Here are some simple tone-of-voice guidelines we follow for our narrated videos:
- Use simple English whenever possible and keep sentences short. Not because the viewers aren’t smart, but to maximize clarity.
- Limit industry jargon. If you absolutely must use it, make sure that your customers either know it already – or that you can explain it.
- Keep the tone conversational: talk to viewers like you would talk to any other prospect, ask them questions, use exclamations and jokes where appropriate.
- Unless your animated video is dedicated to a hard-hitting topic, keep the general mood upbeat and optimistic. Especially in the second half, when you usually talk about solutions and benefits of your product and service.
- To make your animated video more memorable – and make things easier on the artist – employ evocative, visual language. Like this animated video, for example.
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%!
3. Brand values
Now, this part is where things get tricky.
We can easily give you tips and rules of thumb for how to make animated video with brand-appropriate visuals and tone of voice… but what about your company’s values?
You know, the principles you follow when you do business. The things you do because you believe they are right. The rules you uphold, even if nobody’s watching – and no one will ever punish you for breaking them.
If you make an animated video that conflicts with your brand values, your prospects and customers will notice. The reason they do business with you instead of your competition (one of them, anyway) is because they like what it says about who they are.
Just to name a few examples:
- Many brands (ourselves included) position themselves as 100% “clean” because that’s what their founders, and customers, prefer. If that’s your company, you might think twice about cursing in your animated video!
- Some companies pride themselves on being contrarian. They attract a similar type of customer – no-nonsense, blunt, some might say “confrontational.” For a brand like that, some video marketing tactics like newsjacking or trend-surfing would work only if they challenge the status quo and express a very different perspective.
- Businesses who promote ethical, non-sleazy selling, will sometimes try high-pressure marketing tactics when they test a new strategy (like animated videos, for instance). Usually not on purpose. Still, as a result, they alienate customers who used to like them because they didn’t resort to manipulation and coercion in their marketing.
And there’s more!
- Scaring your customers when you said you don’t believe in fear-mongering to sell your product…
- Making a tasteless joke at the expense of your customers when you declared that you’re all about equality and inclusion…
- Using a tragic event or a somber anniversary as an excuse to push your product or service and make more money…
And so on. There are many, many ways to make an animated video in a way that’s not consistent with your brand values and what your customers expect of you. Ultimately, the only way to avoid it is to practice what you preach, hold your brand to a high standard, and respect your customers. And if you do mess up, here’s how you can make things right.
Being “on brand” isn’t enough – here’s how to make an animated video that actually converts
We hope that today’s article will help you create animated videos that fit your brand like a glove.
But to be honest with you… that’s the easy part.
If you want to give your animated video content an even better chance to convert viewers into high-paying customers, there’s more to consider beyond brand alignment!
That’s why we put together a checklist that gives you all the essential elements for a high-converting animation video. Use it whenever you create new content, and your marketing videos will always be top-notch!
You can grab it for absolutely free right here: