From live-action videos to live stories and motion graphics, more brands than ever are relying on video to connect with their audiences. That's because, as of this year, 80 percent of all web traffic is video. So if you want to go where your audiences are, embracing video is a must.
But just like many marketers and advertisers, you might be stuck in a rut with traditional video formats. You've stuck to tried-and-true live-action video, the stuff that cereal and car commercials are made of. You might be worried that a fully animated video, or a live-action video overlaid with animations, might seem too much like a cartoon. But it can be so much more than that.
You might also worry that animated motion graphics aren't within your budget. However, there are a few things you can do to make sure they're within your reach. Shorter videos cost less, but aren't necessarily less effective. Can a 20-second motion graphic get your message across? With the right planning, it probably can.
All the assets created for your motion graphic, from illustrations to graphs to icons, can be used again and again in other marketing materials, making your investment go much further. And motion graphics increase conversions by an average of 80 percent -- meaning your investment could pay off in spades.
Animated video and GIFs aren't right for every brand. But if you're trying to accomplish one or more of these three goals, it's time to consider whether animation is right for you:
1. You're telling a story that live-action video can't capture.
Perhaps your brand simply doesn't lend itself to creating compelling live-action video. For manufacturers of computer chips or software designers, this often proves to be the case. Or perhaps the most aspirational aspects of your brand can't be photographed. If you're in a medical field that works on the microscopic level, this may be true for you.
Many brands simply can't tell their whole story with live-action video. But they still want to produce great videos, given just how essential video marketing is for keeping brands relevant today.
That's where animation comes in. It can visualize abstract concepts, transport viewers to the surface of Mars, and dive down to the atomic level. And animation doesn't have to be "cartoony." It can tell every kind of story. Check out NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio for examples of just how essential animation is for telling compelling stories in technical contexts.
2. You want to share compelling information.
Sometimes, live-action video just doesn't tell the full story. Imagine, for instance, that you're trying to sell a core processor that boosts computing power and speed. Let's be honest: it might be exciting, but it doesn't look exciting. What's more, looking at it just doesn't tell the full story.
That's why, when a company like Intel sells its products, it relies heavily on animation. Intel in particular likes to use live video with text and animation overlaid onto that video. Check out this commercial, which calls out key features like 4K video. You wouldn't know the video is 4K simply by looking at the computer screen shown in the commercial. Instead, you need some help:
Or look at this Intel commercial, which overlays fun animations indicating the games people are playing and the apps they're using while they're sitting at the computer. Without these animations, this would be nothing more than, well, video of people sitting in front of screens. That's pretty boring. Yet the animations combined with custom music transform this into an exciting, high-energy experience:
3. You're speaking to a younger demographic.
You might associate animation with Saturday morning cartoons. And, sure, a newly launched Goldfish crackers campaign aims to speak to kids, first and foremost.
But animation also appeals to millennials and young adults. In some cases, that's because it can achieve a fun-loving tone that live-action video just can't. In other cases, it's capable of achieving a uniquely aspirational look and feel.
Take, for example, another new campaign from Goldfish's parent division, Campbell Snacks. This fully animated video for Kettle Chips touts the brand's dedication to keeping the planet clean with the help of an animated truck that drives around the globe in an instant:
That simply can't be done with live-action video. Meanwhile, it achieves a hopeful tone that's designed to appeal to millennials. Considering that younger generations have been shown to be more attracted to socially conscious brands, this is a great approach.