By Josh Anish, head writer at GoAnimate
Video is booming across the web because content audiences like consuming rich, dynamic media. This warmer, visual medium transfers the message with much less friction than text does. Content consumers can sit back and be delighted by compelling images, avoiding the unnecessary exertion often needed to complete an article. Businesses are beginning to understand how to capitalize on online video’s natural advantage, which is a win-win for consumers and the industries delivering services to them.
The data bears this out. Videos have a much better return on investment (ROI) than text-based articles do. For example, a recent study by the Hayzlett Group forecasted that, by 2016, online video will make up 55% of consumer internet traffic.
An increasingly popular subset within online video is animation. For marketers, the draw of animated video is evident. It is dynamic, cost-effective, and enjoyable to produce. There also aren’t any concerns about paying and working with large creative teams and actors, or worrying about factors outside of one’s control — like lighting and the weather. Almost every single element of an animated video can be controlled inside the friendly confines of an online cloud-based videomaker.
Then there’s the medium of animated video itself; something about the nature of the content makes animation inherently more appealing. Our experience shows that audiences occasionally struggle when trying to connect with actors on the screen — but when viewers look at broad-themed drawings, they identify with the simplification. This creates a deeper connection with the content, as audience members use the opportunity to fill the narrative gaps with their own personal experiences.
So how can marketers use animated videos to drive traffic into the top of the funnel, and convert those already within it?
The most popular method today is the use of animated videos to anchor a marketing campaign.
Bellacor, the lighting fixture specialists, made a great animated video on GoAnimate’s platform to promote a new feature on the Bellacor site. The marketing team there was eager to promote Bellacor’s new “Now List,” a curated list of discounted products appearing weekly on the site. The video features whiteboard animation and (uploaded) high-resolution product shots to depict the concept of the “Now List,” while also showcasing the discounts users can take advantage of on their site.
Another excellent example of the marketing powers of animated video can be seen in the small business space. Many SMBs use animation for “explainer videos” to detail their offerings and illustrate the goods and services they can provide to potential customers. Everyone knows McDonalds sells hamburgers, but that isn’t usually the case for smaller brands. For example, people likely don’t know what TalkRoute does, because TalkRoute is a brand new small business in Chicago.
The company set out with a pretty small video budget of $500. As a small business hoping to serve other small businesses, TalkRoute wanted to use the tools that its customers were using. The marketing team didn’t want to hire an expensive outside agency to put together a grandiose and pricey video. Instead, TalkRoute decided to use GoAnimate for a one-month, unlimited use $79 subscription, with the added benefit that the video could be made by the people who know the company best – the employees themselves.
The purpose of these explainer videos is often to create the “aha! moment” for the customer when it comes to the question of What does this company actually do? These instances of recognition are extremely valuable for young and small businesses as they seek to explain their services to potential customers on the internet and beyond.
These two examples hammer home the benefits of animated videos for marketers. The Bellacor video deftly serves a dual function of illustrating the site’s relatively complex promotion, while also framing the products that will be discounted. The TalkRoute video accomplishes something very similar for the company’s service; it illustrates the solution to a (phone) problem many businesses deal with — all in just 100 seconds, with the help of animation. Traditionally, the dominant channels to get out the word have been text-based blog articles and social media posts. The problem is, words have limitations when it comes to illustrating fairly intricate promotions and providing value to the consumer. Animated video, by comparison, does a much more visceral job of depicting almost any promotion.
Like video marketing itself, animated video is here to stay for businesses of any size. The ROI is clear: it’s top-notch collateral that can be enjoyed and shared, after getting produced inexpensively. Animated video can be put to many uses including serving as the anchor for online marketing campaigns and as explainer videos for small, growing businesses.
Look for animated videos to continue to spring up across the web throughout 2015; this is a very exciting development for marketers and consumers alike.
Josh Anish is currently the Head Writer at GoAnimate, where he provides users with expert tips about online videos. He’s led content operations for numerous successful startups, but has found his voice creating and discussing animated videos.