Building a brand today requires a different set of techniques than were needed back in the 1990s. Through the years, people have become more aware and discerning. Consumers no longer want to see ads directly telling them what to buy.
These days, people support brands that they can relate to or that offer solutions to their problems without being too heavy on the sales pitch. To build a brand in today’s world, your company has to come up with innovative ways of communicating with your target market and keeping them engaged. With more competition, shorter attention spans and promotional materials appearing left and right, creating a unique brand that speaks to its market is becoming increasingly difficult.
Video animation provides a way to do just that. The visual nature of the medium allows brands to deliver their message in an entertaining, compelling and engaging way.
Producing an animated video is both an art and a science. With so many options available, brands can create videos that are unique and memorable. But, given the choices and decisions that need to be made, the process can become overwhelming.
It is understandable why brands may have difficulty figuring out how to accomplish this feat.
An established animation studio in Melbourne shares some practical advice on what to consider when creating an animated video. Each element is by no means easy to do, especially by yourself. But by being aware of these factors, you can gain a better idea of what it takes to produce one.
As with any marketing strategy, it is important to think about how much money you can allocate toward this endeavor. Production takes a lot of effort and working hours. The amount of resources you have will determine the quality of the final product.
On one hand, if you have a limited budget, you can create the video yourself. Some applications can help you do just that. Opting for the DIY route is the least expensive but the most time-consuming option as you need to possess many skills to accomplish the feat. As such, this option is not always ideal.
At the other end of the spectrum is hiring a large professional studio for the job. Depending on the animation style and several other factors, costs can reach up to tens of thousands of dollars a minute, and even more. Professional studios have all the talent in-house, which means clients don’t have to worry about looking for the right people for any type of animation project.
In the middle of these two extremes include a variety of options such as budget studios and freelancers. Hiring freelancers is the more affordable option between the two, although you may need to hire a separate freelancer for each task: a scriptwriter, storyboard artist, illustrator, animator, voice-over talent, etc. It is a practical alternative if you don’t need a lot of experts, but the cost can quickly skyrocket for more complex projects.
Similar to major production companies, smaller budget studios offer all the talent you need for any project. In some cases, they may specialize in a particular style or industry. Hiring a small but specialized company can prove to be beneficial and worth the cost if your project falls in their line of expertise.
Who is the target market of your animated video? Once you have a clear idea of who your target market is, the next step is to create a buyer persona. A buyer persona includes more details about the people the video is designed for, such as:
- Age range
- Where they come from
- Pain points
It is possible to create a more detailed buyer persona depending on the objectives. If it helps the video, you could determine what type of language/accent the typical viewer would have, what brands the person would typically support, and other helpful information. The aim is to know the kind of person who would benefit from watching the explainer.
What do you want the viewer to do after watching your video? Most animated videos are designed to do one or several of the following objectives:
- Raise awareness about your brand’s products or services
- Educate or train your brand’s existing customers
- Acquire new leads and customers
By being clear about the objective of the video, the client can better determine other aspects such as the script, animation style and length, among others.
There are many types and styles of animated videos. Some styles work better than others for a particular objective. Working with a professional studio allows brands to choose which one is best for their purpose and goal:
- 2D character animation – One of the most used styles in video animation, the simple graphics offer flexibility and the best options for customization.
- 3D character animation – Reminiscent of animated movies, its high-quality finish provides the best immersion experience. This style requires a lot of time and manpower to produce, customize and implement.
- Motion graphics – Typically used by the tech industry to explain a company’s products or services, the colorful and dynamic elements keep viewers engaged.
- Whiteboard – Commonly used by B2C or B2B companies, whiteboard animation video services provide brands with a simple but effective way to illustrate how a product or service works. The dynamic line graphics keep the audience engaged while delivering complex messages.
- Stop motion – The style involves photographing the elements as they are moved in the screen in incremental amounts, which creates the illusion of movement. It is a style typically used in animated movies and big brand videos.
Longer is not necessarily better. Creating longer videos can lead to boredom and lower conversion rates. Plus, a longer video is more expensive as it requires more hours to produce.
Animated videos are designed to be engaging to deliver complex messages in a short span of time. The most effective videos are no longer than two minutes. Due to shorter attention spans, experts advise splitting marketing messages into several shorter explainers instead of producing one long video.
Producing a compelling animated video is the result of all of these factors. By keeping these factors in mind and working with a reputable animation studio, your brand can make the most of the experience and create a video that best suits your objectives.
Anthony Lam is the founder of Punchy Digital Media, a creative agency that helps organisations grow using animated videos and creative visual content. Punchy has a team across Australia and Asia and has worked with clients such as Apple, Westpac and the Australian Government, running campaigns and reaching millions of people.