7 Reasons Why Animation Is The Best Strategy For Audience Engagement
If animated video isn’t already a big part of your messaging strategy, it really needs to be. Animation is a powerful tool for businesses which can encourage your viewers to not only pay attention to your messaging, but to act on it too.
Whether you’re trying to launch a product, explain your business, expand your employee training offering or zest up your internal communications, animated video is a flexible, engaging option for a host of reasons:
Animation grabs attention and keeps it
We’re all aware of the average internet users’ short attention span given the wealth of stimulus they’re presented with. When they have a choice between static material or animation, the latter is always the more appealing option. According to Wistia, this can be up to 2.6x more time on pages with video than without.
A recent study has shown that attention span is dropping ever further, goldfish now look upon the lowly human with pity. From 12 seconds in 2000, we now only spend 8.25 seconds paying attention to something. I hope you’re still with me because this is quite alarming! This means that you need to make an impression within these 8.25 seconds and hold it for any of your viewers to actually stick around.
If we are to take the famous quote from Jurassic Park seriously (and I always do), viewers are like a Tyrannosaurus Rex: “Its vision is based on movement.” An animated video is a perfect answer to this modern problem because it grabs their initial attention and then proceeds to supply information in a visually pleasing way in order to ensure the viewer doesn’t immediately bounce.
Even the mere promise of being able to watch a video is an effective engagement tool. Using the word ‘video’ in an email subject line boosts the open rates by 19% (Syndacast). Take advantage of this predisposition to prefer video by making sure you have your own animated video at your disposal.
It’s the best way to tell your story
Introducing a narrative component to your messaging is a very powerful tool. Animated video can go further than many other competing messaging methods and make people really care about where your company has come from and what they’re is trying to achieve.
Animation is, at its core, a storytelling mechanism, one which people are familiar with and can be very easily understood. The ability to evoke the human aspects of your business in a relatable way and actually connect to your customers is one of animation’s strongest advantages.
The most effective animated videos paint a picture of a problem which can be solved by the product or service which they are featuring – it’s a tried and tested advertising technique and its potency here is definitely intact.
You can place your viewer in a recognisable situation
Creating relatable characters for the viewer to emotionally bond with can ensure your brand resonates with them, priming them for conversion. If the character’s journey is presented in a believable and interesting way, a mere cartoon can pave the way to a very grown up messaging success.
Take a look at our animated information governance training video for NHS Health Records.We took one of the driest topics you could imagine and made it relatable with cute characters to that represented the staff in situations that they would recognise. Being able to see the benefit in your own life for a company, product or message is one of the most effective ways to inspire action.
Also, viewers are much more likely to overlay their own experiences on an animated character than an actor. If they can see themselves in the situation that you’re showing them, they’re much more likely to engage, act and be loyal to your company.
It’s great at using emotion to inspire response
Obviously this is something that is a challenge to get right. If you feel like you’re having your heartstrings plucked too obviously, it just feels icky (I’m looking at you, banks).
Look at our list of best animated ads, there are some tear-jerkers on there but most of them have something in common: they tell a story and they succeeded in playing on your emotions. This powerful, involuntary emotive response is where changes happen: you buy or you learn or you share.
The video of the Spanish Christmas lottery shouldn’t be something that makes you an emotional wreck, but here I am sobbing all over my keyboard so they must be doing something right! If I was in Spain, perhaps I’d be persuaded to get a ticket, buying into the world that they establish in their advert. I’d definitely be more likely to share the ad, I’ve already shared it with you here! This behaviour is what animation excels at, increasing your conversion rate, brand recognition and company visibility.
Designed to be consumed at speed
When you’re fighting a hundred other things on the internet vying for the attention of who you’re trying to reach, you don’t want to jeopardise your chance by boring them. Animated video can present a huge amount of complex information in an audio/visual way which eases information retention and recall.
Short and sweet is the name of the game here. We have a golden rule which we try to stick to which is: if you can’t fit your message into 140 characters (or the length of a Tweet) then it won’t fit into one video! According to Animoto, nearly two-thirds of consumers prefer video under 60 seconds.
Try to separate your content at a meaningful juncture or be brave and cut some; two shorter, more focussed videos are always better than one long, clumsy video. This rule is really helpful when you want to narrow down exactly what you’re trying to say and get rid of some of the fluff that’s clouding the creative process.
Adept at breaking down complicated ideas
Businesses looking to communicate a new or complicated product or concept are increasingly turning to animation in order to make themselves clear and hold the interest of their prospective customers.
Specifically, the animated explainer video is their weapon of choice. This is a short video which is fully animated or executed using motion graphics with the purpose of making a complex idea, company or product, simple and understandable before inspiring action in the viewer.
Take a look at the now famous explainer video for Dropbox, widely considered to be the deciding factor in the platform’s success. Yes, it really shook things up that much. The mix of audio explanation, symbolic and textual cues as well as characters demonstrating scenarios prove to be an incredibly resonating force for the viewer.
They’re very versatile, fit in a variety of places, work for virtually any industry and they’re comparatively cheap and quick to make. A real winner!
They prime your viewer for entertainment
When you see animation online, it’s not an immediately identifiable marketing instrument, so the viewer’s own internal ‘adblock’ doesn’t automatically phase it out.
Now we’re not saying that animation is the best way to trick your staff into training or your customers into converting, but rather that people are used to animated video in the context of entertainment.
This predisposes the watcher into paying that extra little bit of attention because (especially in a business context) their brains are thinking “this is refreshing and different and interesting, I’m going to see what’s going on here!” Animation’s strength is that the form alone is deemed worthy of notice.
It’s different and interesting, even inspiring nostalgia for some of us thanks to its association with cartoons. You shouldn’t sniff at the idea of nostalgia either – according to recent studies, the sensation can fight negative emotions and increase the likelihood of a positive association being affected. Just the sight of animation can do some pretty powerful things to our brains, you don’t want to miss out on the strength of its engagement capability!
Marketers and messaging executives are well versed in the impact that video can have on your audience, but now animation is taking over. It’s incredibly versatile, relatively cheap, easy to produce (for the right studio) and it gets your audience to engage and act like nothing else.
If you need any more reasons to go for animated video, check out our post of the most common myths about animated video.
Do check us out on Twitter @fudgeanimation or Facebook.com/fudgeanimation and get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org if you think you have a some ideas you want to bounce around with us! See you next week.