The Use of Animation in Digital Marketing

This is a guest post by Manroop Takhar.

It’s pretty clear from the buzz around them that this is the year of the web video. You’ve probably seen statistics claiming as much. According to YouTube’s vice president of global content, video will soon account for 90% of Internet traffic. Videos in emails can increase the open rates by 6%, and Forrester found that video increased email click-through rates 2-3 times. Videos in universal search results have a 41% higher click-through rate than plain text results.

And that’s just the tip of the statistical iceberg! comScore, Econsultancy, TechCrunch, and Mashable all keep tabs on these amazing web video statistics – it’s well worth seeking out some of these statistics and reports to see just how staggering the results really are.

Given all of these phenomenal web video statistics continuously released, it seems odd that animation is yet to receive much attention, especially when some of the biggest companies across the world are using animation in their digital marketing.

In this blog post, I am going to highlight a few of the big companies using animation in their digital marketing and how animation can be a highly effective method of getting key messages across to target audiences.

Animation and apps go hand in hand

GE recently released a series of animations promoting a health related Facebook application. In this blog post, I am going to highlight a few of the big companies using animation in their digital marketing and how animation can be a highly effective method of getting key messages across to target audiences.

It’s important to think of interesting ways to visualize online activities, to direct traffic to your social networks or to get people to download an app. Instead of using screenshots and footage of someone using a computer, GE made these short promotional animations. A lot of animations that pop up online are used to promote apps or products and services that can’t really be explained by using live footage. Let’s use Spotify as an example. Their quirky house style can be seen across all of their animated promotional videos – of which they have many. In the Spotify player there are animated banners featuring the same characters from these ads. Take a look at their 2011 video showing how Facebook integrates with the Spotify player.

Because they already have a great aesthetic going with their branding – the quirky hand drawn effect – the illustrators simply applied this style to the screen shots of Facebook. These animations appear on their YouTube channel in various languages as the company expands across the globe.

Cloud Computing and Animation

Salesforce use animation in their digital marketing to great effect. They have a whole host of amazing web videos that explain their various products and it all started with an introductory video that explained the basics of cloud computing.

In fact, cloud computing is one of the most animated subjects in the web video world. Amazon and Google both have animated web videos that explain their individual “clouds”.

Google have a great portfolio of web videos in general, but the most recent addition to their web video artillery is a great animation explaining their fiber optic broadband network.

Animation adds an exciting and engaging element to demonstrations of how these products are going to work and how they can benefit the viewer. Animation provides a far more interesting way to showcase information about these often complex ideas.

Amazing antipodean animation

Let’s take a quick detour for a moment. We’ll head down under and discuss what an antipodean airline is doing with social, animation and web videos.

If you’ve never flown with Air New Zealand before, you’re missing out. The Kiwi airline is well known for their lighthearted safety videos. Over the past couple of years, their safety videos have included eighties aerobics instructors, rugby players, puppets, body painted flight attendants and this year, animated celebrities.

The sketch animation blurs the line between educating passengers about the safety procedures and just being downright entertaining – and handily doubles as online PR. They give insight into the overall brand that Air New Zealand strives towards: a jokey, upbeat vibe that embodies the Kiwi spirit itself.

Within a month, the video has already had over a million views on YouTube. Combined, Air NZ’s online and offline presence has resulted in its place amongst the top 10 of the most successful airlines in social media. That’s pretty impressive for a country pushing a population of 4.5 million. They are the sixth largest airline for social media presence in the world.

A small airline creating safety videos that will double as marketing fodder, go viral and enhance their social media presence – clever, isn’t it?

What does it all mean?

Web-based companies are cleverly using animation to explain their services and showcase their individual personalities. They’re also really effective fodder for digital marketing – Salesforce’s cloud computing animation is the first result in a YouTube search about “cloud computing”, which just goes to show the strength of the animation.

This medium is a way to animate things that are otherwise inanimate. Sure it’s been done before – just look at any Disney movie. But animation to promote products and services in an engaging manner, that’s where things start to get really interesting.

The Air NZ safety video just goes to show that animation can be the perfect way to give a new spin to something that can be a struggle to get people to connect to. The forward thinking company not only has a great animated video but they also knew they could use the video across their digital marketing.

The advantage of using animation is that it’s not only easier to explain concepts with, but animation can show off the flair of a company. Animation is creative, it’s entertaining and it’s fun.

Summary

So in summary, the potential benefits of animation in digital marketing include:

  • They can help get across complex (and often uninteresting messages) in a fun, engaging manner, especially when compared to relying solely on text to communicate the same message.
  • They can significantly boast the conversion rates of websites and e-marketing campaigns.
  • They can help directly generate traffic by getting indexed in search engines such as Google and YouTube.
  • They can help create a memorable brand identity.

In addition, animated web videos can potentially help enhance organic rankings by improving analytics, reducing its bounce rate, and increasing the average visitor time spent on it. Improving such measures causes Google to view the associated website as being more relevant for the related search phrases which can have a positive impact on its search rankings.

What do you think about the use of animation in digital marketing? I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject in the comments!

Manroop is the Managing Director of Qudos Animations, an animation studio specializing in producing high impact animated web videos at an affordable cost. To directly contact Manroop to discuss how you could potentially benefit from an animated web video visit the studio’s website and connect with Qudos Animations on Facebook and Twitter!  

Tamar Weinberg Disclosure: While I didn’t work on this particular campaign, I have done video marketing on Air New Zealand video campaigns to help them achieve millions of views.

2 Comments

  • I agree that it’s important to think of creative ways to visualize online content–it certainly helps to hold the attention of the viewer. It may be more difficult for some businesses to create this sort of animated content for their marketing purposes, but that doesn’t mean businesses can’t create compelling videos. My company (http://www.kzoinnovations.com) helps businesses to create, manage, and distribute their own online videos without prior professional experience. Businesses shouldn’t be ignoring the online video trend–I hope you’ll check us out!

  • Arjun K M says:

    Animation and videos is the good idea now a days for more internet traffic. People prefer to watch video than reading. You can also check out the video by Infosys BrandEdge about digital marketing. Hope it might help your topic.
    http://bit.ly/Ob7L0r

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