They grab you by the eyeballs and don’t let go. But they don’t just put a smile on your face: they tell you what you need to know, which is why you clicked on the “play” button in the first place.
What we’re talking about here is the marketing phenomenon known as animated explainer videos, and we’re not the only ones who love them. Google is a great fan and it’s a company that has built its fortune around advertising!
One thing has to be perfectly clear – we’re not here to diss other types of explainer videos. We think the world of them and sing their praises every opportunity we get! But we happen to believe that the animated variety will work best in most cases. And we’ll also concede that there’s the odd case where going a different route might be better.
When you want the personal touch
You can present your product or service through a live action or a whiteboard animation video. The former don’t do the job in many cases, not to mention that they typically cost an arm and a leg. As for the latter, it deserves credit for pushing explainer videos into the spotlight, but it now seems outdated and has all sorts of limitations.
With animated explainer videos, the sky is the limit. You can time-travel or battle monsters, fly or move objects with your mind. Well, the characters you choose to speak on your behalf. The point is that you can create a story and use characters that will leave a lasting impression.
Sometimes you can achieve your goals by simply being human. This means you can speak though Joe the neighbor, Sarah the co-worker, Walter the manager, Bill the delivery guy or whoever can best drive your message home.
In other words, you can use the magical or the mundane to connect with people, inform and convince them you have just the product or service they need. At the same time, you stay in their minds as the company whose video had “that funny young fella trying to get the hang of online accounting” or “that stressed-out office worker who discovered the magic of cloud-based collaboration tools.”
When technology is your thing
Animated explainer videos are the best friends of technology companies. It can’t be hard to understand why. Those that deal in hardware have it a bit easier, but software and cloud service providers offer solutions beyond the grasp of most people. Their complex products and services get demystified through the power of animation.
Very often, the company’s creation is presented as the hero saving the day. Through characters the viewer can relate to, the animated video shows the product in action, explaining what it does and how it can benefit the user. Live action explainer videos will hardly work for you if you want to tell people about your social media analytical tools, your online rental services, or your new microprocessor. OK, maybe they can but certainly not in about a minute and definitely at much, much greater cost.
Think of it this way: people don’t see how technology works, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to know how your product works. Animation offers a solution because we are wired to approach it with an open mind. Abstract concepts and inside workings become much easier to understand when animation is the means of presentation.
Why bother with social media?
Video marketing has become the focal point for marketers and social media platforms have taken center-stage. How could they not? Just take a look at these statistics: Facebook users watch more than eight billion videos a day, which translates into 100 million hours of video watching time. Snapchat users lock eyes on 10 billion videos daily, while video views on Twitter surged 220 times between December 2014 and December 2015. And let’s not forget YouTube: its users watch more than 500 million hours of videos every day!
But you want to sell your product or service so watching per se may not be enough to convince you that a video is good for your business. Shall we get more practical? PwC has found that social media reviews shape the buying behavior of 67% of consumers. According to Social Media Examiner, a majority of brands that have used social media for at least two years have recorded an improvement in sales. Moreover, almost 80% of marketers have established that minimum six hours a week allocated to social marketing result in increased traffic and stronger brand recognition.
What about the almighty ROI? According to research by Aberdeen Group, brands that include videos in their marketing campaigns increased their sales 49% faster year-on-year compared to those that went video-free. That research also established that the use of videos led to a 27% increase in CTR and 34% in web conversion rates.
Why bother with animated explainer videos on social media?
The majority of the online population lives and breathes social media and their oxygen seems to be video. With an animated explainer video, you can reach a gigantic audience and let them do some of the work for you through sharing and commenting. One caveat though: you absolutely must serve them a quality video! Anything less will not only be a waste of time but will also leave a smear on your brand name.
So why are animated explainer videos good for spreading your message through social networks? Animated clips naturally attract our attention and engage us. And social media users are sharing animals – when they like something, they hit the button. If you come up with a truly captivating and informative video, you may very well end up the proud owner of a viral clip.
And here’s one very important thing: when you invest in an animated explainer video, you get a calling card that fits perfectly into multiple environments. You can upload it to your landing page for immediate impact, use it in e-mail marketing and incorporate it into business presentations.
In the final analysis, animated explainer videos seem to have it all. They are cost-effective, provide ample information in a short time span, entertain and engage, drive conversion rates and boost brand awareness. In a world obsessed with video content, social media and sharing, they are the answer to a marketer’s prayer.
Does your marketing campaign include animated explainer videos? Have you thought of commissioning one and how to use it? Go on and share with us, we love all things that have to do with animated videos.