There’s a thing that’s true both in marketing and in life: If you want your message to go through, it needs to resonate with your audience.
That’s what communication is all about! All messages should be tailored to the people that are meant to listen. And while in daily life, a failure of communication can usually be easily fixed, in marketing, they usually carry more serious repercussions to your image and bottom line.
As any experienced animated video company worth its salt will tell you, there are a lot of strategic decisions that come into play to communicate a company’s message and have it resonate with their audience.
However, what those decisions are might not be readily evident from outside the marketing world.
So, in this piece, we’ll go over some of the key points to account for when creating animated marketing videos tailored to reach and have an effect on your audience.
1. Understand Your Target Audience Before You Start!
Before you even start creating an animated video, you need to understand the people it's meant to appeal to. It sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? But you'd be surprised by how many take it for granted, and then suffer for it!
Get to know everything you can about the people you are speaking to through your video. Who are they? What do they do? What do they like? How do they speak, think, learn? Even details that don’t seem immediately relevant to your piece can help you craft a message that actually reaches the type of person you are going after.
Once you have a clear idea of who you’re trying to appeal to, you’ll be able to shape your content in a way that’s interesting and relevant to them. And relevant content is the one that performs the best!
Speaking to your audience instead of speaking at them is a very subtle yet powerful change of mindset. One that will dramatically influence your videos' performance in the long run and give you engaged audiences interested in what your brand has to say.
ProTip - Buyer Personas
Are you familiar with the concept of buyer personas?
They are fictional representations of your ideal customers, created as a way to internalize the people you’re trying to attract, as well as relate to them as real humans.
If you haven’t implemented buyer personas in your marketing strategy, then you should start ASAP. With these personas in mind, you’ll be able to direct your message to an actual human being instead of an abstract concept, making your message that much more powerful.
There are other ways to take advantage of these personas in your animated videos, but we’ll touch on those in a bit!
2. Storytelling & Relevancy: The Keys to a Good Video
Animated marketing videos deliver great results… If.
It’s true that video content is the preferred promotion vehicle for most marketers and business owners right now. Done right, a marketing video can easily engage viewers long enough to deliver the message you need to convey.
“Done right," being the operative words there.
To make an awesome marketing video, you need to hit certain characteristics that fulfill different goals. And where engagement is concerned, it usually boils down to storytelling and relevancy.
What makes a good message for an animated marketing video? Well, it needs to be short, simple, and capable of explaining a complex message in a clear and natural way — All washed down with a good dose of storytelling.
Storytelling is the driving force behind every effective video. Turning a complex topic into a narrative is the perfect way to keep viewers interested — everybody loves a good story.
However, the story alone will only get you so far, and that's where relevancy comes in.
Your topic needs to be relevant to your audience’s needs, knowledge, and interests. That’s why it is such a good idea to get to know your audience through those buyer personas!
● Relevant to their needs: If your target audience is looking at your content, it is because they expect something out of you.
Whether that’s an answer to a specific question, information about a general topic, or just entertainment, you need to know what your audience is looking for and make sure you deliver on their expectations with your video.
● In tone with their knowledge: If your target audience is composed mainly by pre-teen rebel skaters – for example – the topics, tone, and language you use shouldn’t be the same as when your audience is middle-aged business owners.
Keep your message as technical or light as your audience’s level of knowledge and expectations.
● Aligned to their interests: Find new and novel ways to tie your audience's already established interest in your content or message. It's a great way to have your path cut out for yourself, even before you start.
3. The Importance of Quality in Video Production
What makes an explainer video great? Results, of course! But creating high-performing pieces of content – video or otherwise – calls for more than just quality of information. It takes quality of presentation.
If you want your animated video to deliver results, you’ll need to combine an effective structure with illustration, animation, sound design, and other production elements tailored to your audience. But you’ll also need to wrap it all up in a high-quality finish that speaks to the value of your product or message.
The thing to keep in mind here is that credibility is key. And only high-quality videos will give your brand the recognition and credibility it banks on.
Nobody buys from a company they don’t trust — this is true for any kind of product or service out there. You won’t buy a car from a brand that uses poor quality pieces, and you won’t buy a tomato sauce that tastes awful either. People buy what they feel they can trust.
High-quality content inspires trust. When they look at a video that’s carefully crafted, with beautiful visuals, and a professional-level production, audiences – either consciously or subconsciously – perceive the worth of the piece. And will be much more willing to engage in a transaction with the people behind it.
4. Customize your Video with your Audience in Mind
Remember those buyer personas we said we were going to come back to?
How would you feel if I said that you should always customize your animated characters to be just like them?
If your ultimate goal is to customize your video to make it resonate with your audience, making them the protagonists – by proxy – is a fantastic way to go about it. What you do is create characters that your audience can identify with, that work as an idealized representation of them.
Pay attention to your site’s analytics, run some catchy quizzes to gather user data, or study your existing lead’s demographics. See which type of people are most drawn to your business, and use that information to flesh out accurate buyer’s personas and the characters that reflect them.
Then, you use storytelling to put these characters in familiar situations that your audience can instantly connect with. You know your audience’s pain points — the problems that they’re trying to solve by using your product or service – and those should usually be set up with your video’s narrative!
When you put it all together, you get to introduce your character (inspired by your audience) by putting them in a problematic situation (inspired by your audience’s pain points), and then introduce your product or service as an ideal solution. It is a killer recipe for amazing animated marketing videos.
5. Brand it, Brand it, Brand it!
All animated videos are part of bigger marketing strategies and need to be created using the same voice as the rest of the brand’s content. A brand’s voice is nothing more than the unique personality and emotion consistent throughout a brand’s communications.
However, the tone is not the only way to brand an animated piece. Animation shines precisely because you get to customize your piece to the smallest detail!
ProTip – Essential Branding Elements for Video Content
● Animated logo: Make sure that you include your logo in a tasteful way. Animating your logo and including it at the end of the piece is a very nice way to do so, but make sure to keep the animation consistent between all of your videos!
● Watermark: You can also include your logo as a watermark on the corner of the frame. Make it small and subtle, and it will give your videos a professional feel without being too invasive.
● Color palette: Animated videos have lots of advantages — you can make your characters fly, explain abstract concepts without being tied to real objects – or people! – and take a lot of liberties with color.
Make sure that your video’s color palette is the same as your brand’s, to give it that subtle punch of brand recognition!
● Style: Animation style is also something that can be taken into account. If your brand is recognized for using an iconographic style, or a certain type of cartoon animation, try to stick to it, and you’ll keep a consistent visual language.
6. Promotion and Distribution
Creating a branded video is important – some would say that it’s a must! But just having it there is of no use to anyone. To get the most out of your piece, you should also be thinking of distributing it the right way.
You should look into widening your reach and including as many channels of distribution as possible, as long as it makes sense with the medium, and your strategy.
As distribution channels go, you should always prioritize the ones that best fit your marketing goals, your business niche, and your product or service. Not every channel will work for your specific business (and that’s okay!). But what you do need to keep in mind is that your video needs to be where your audience is.
Organic or paid?
... Why not both?
Most platforms are evolving to prioritize ads over organic content, but this doesn’t mean that you should neglect your organic strategy either!
● Organic distribution: To distribute your content organically, you should start by nurturing your own network with your video.
Send it to your current subscribers, share it on your brand’s social media, upload it to video platforms such as Vimeo and YouTube, and have it featured prominently on your website. You can also distribute it to social groups and niched-forums — prioritizing those that gather the target audience that you’re aiming to.
● Paid distribution: The great thing about paid distribution is that you can use tools like Google Display Network and Facebook Ads to reach a lot of people in a short amount of time.
But what's even better than that, you can use segmentation to reach people that might be actually interested in buying your product — because of their demographics, their interests, the accounts they follow, or the brands they admire…
A good animated marketing video should make your audience feel like you’re speaking directly to them. That they are the star of your piece. Accomplish that, and they'll feel like you know them, and they'll stay to listen to what you have to say.
Making a video that’s specially created for your audience is what will make your brand stand out from the competition. While most brands are using video content more than ever, not all of them are taking this personalized, professional approach!
Trust us, creating a video that fits your audience’s needs is easier than it sounds, once you understand what to do.
Are you ready to create high-quality animated videos that resonate with your audience? It’s never too early to start!
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