Videos are a staple in our day-to-day lives. They help us keep in touch with loved ones, inform and entertain ourselves, and allow us to connect with our favorite brands. That's why any brand that doesn't have a video marketing strategy is missing out on something big.
But sometimes, just creating a video isn't enough. If your video doesn't stand out, it risks not being watched, which has the same result as not producing a video in the first place.
Luckily, there's a video marketing style that's fun, keeps the viewer's attention, and makes people engage more with their favorite brands online. It's called animated videos.
If you want to unleash the engagement power of animated video content, you need to have a strategy behind it. With that in mind, within this blog I present the steps that animated video companies follow to create strategic animation pieces that engage their audiences.
Understand your target audience
The first step in any animated video production process is to know to whom you're targeting your video.
This is important because if your goal is to engage a defined group of people, you need to create a message that appeals to them—one that's tailored to their needs.
You should start this process by researching your audience: their age, gender, interests, likes and dislikes, etc. These are critical factors, and you need to know them all.
An excellent way to proceed is to create customer personas, which are ideal representations of your audience that will help you put a name and face to all of the demographic and sociographic data you’ll be gathering.
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Customize your video to your target audience
If people can identify with a story, they’ll be more likely to engage with it. That’s why, after you've defined the characteristics of your target audience, you need to use that data to shape your video content.
A great thing about animation is that you can customize every aspect of your video to fit your needs. Thus, you can create animated characters that look and behave like members of your target audience.
Yes, it’s a bit narcissistic, but it’s OK. Most of us love to see ourselves reflected on a screen, and this helps us pay attention to the message. Check out this animated explainer video:
Creating characters shaped after members of your target audience is just the beginning. You should also write a script that resonates with your potential customers by creating a storyline that feels familiar to them.
How to write a compelling script
A script is the backbone of your animated video. It's what will set the tone, so it's essential to get it right.
Start with a question
When it comes to writing a video script, you need to catch your audience's attention immediately. Begin your video with a question or perhaps a phrase that strikes a chord in your viewer's mind.
If the question or phrase that you choose is something that your audience can identify with, they’ll most likely watch the entire video.
Make your script concise
Make sure that your video isn't too long. Animated videos should be about two minutes, which is long enough to deliver a message without losing your viewer’s interest.
To achieve this, limit your script to two pages―as one written page roughly translates to one minute of video.
Focus on your customer, not your product
Last but not least, make sure that the story that you tell with your script focuses on your customer’s pain points and not so much on your product’s benefits.
A well-crafted animated marketing video revolves around its audience, only introducing the product as a solution to their needs.
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The power of high-quality visuals
You might’ve heard of "The Halo Effect," which is the tendency to perceive beautiful things as good and high-quality. In other words, people feel attracted to things they consider pretty. This applies to fields as diverse as social psychology, graphic design and animation, among others.
Basically, your video’s aesthetic will influence how much your audience engages with it. If your video has beautiful illustration and animation, "The Halo Effect" will be transmitted to the product that you're looking to sell. In the viewers' minds, a high-quality video equals a high-quality product.
But there's another reason why you should go for outstanding visuals: When a video is made by professional visual storytellers, it usually means that the illustrations will go hand in hand with the narration, making your message clearer and more impactful.
All of those elements are essential to help your viewers get immersed in the story, which is a big part of what engagement is all about.
Branding your video
Yes, your video needs to be beautiful, have high-quality visuals, and be tailored to your audience’s needs. But what about your brand? You need to introduce it at some point because, after all, these videos are meant for marketing.
Branding your video needs to be a conscious decision, and it should be planned strategically. Adding your logo everywhere and making your brand the center of your video will feel too promotional, and it can repel your audience’s attention instead of attracting it.
So, the presence of your branding should feel organic and blended within the story. That way, your brand will stick in your audience’s minds without them even realizing it.
A few tips:
- Using the colors of your brand as the main palette of your video is a great way to brand it without being too obvious about it.
- Instead of using your logo throughout the video, consider including it within your storyline. Begin your video talking about your clients and their pain points. Then, when you're about to introduce your product as the solution, insert your brand’s logo in dramatic fashion.
Making a high-quality animated video is not the easiest thing, but all the effort pays off in the end.
Each animated video―especially when fully customized―is a unique piece of content that can connect deeply with your audience, making them feel identified with your characters, with the story that you’re telling, and, most importantly, with your product.
About the author
Victor Blasco is an audiovisual designer, video marketing expert, and founder/CEO of the corporate video production company Yum Yum Videos. Besides running the business, he’s a lifelong student of Chinese philosophy and a passionate geek for all things sci-fi.