The advantages of video in general, and animated content in particular for marketing purposes are well established. The percentage of people watching videos online every week and every day (78 and 55 percent respectively), the increase in conversion rates wherever video is introduced, and just plain scale at which its share grows (by 2019 video is expected to constitute 80 percent of all Internet traffic) clearly demonstrates that video is the future of marketing. The animation is particularly important because it is much more accessible than shooting professional-looking live videos and, quite often, is easier to achieve the desired effect. It is expressive, unique-looking and emotionally charged. If you don’t use animated content in marketing, you should. If you do, you should do it correctly – which is what we are going to talk about. 1. Try Interactive Videos Interactive video experiences are still fairly rare, but they are likely to be the forerunners of what is going to be a mainstream marketing approach. For now, you have an excellent opportunity to ride the feeling of novelty and curiosity people feel when they encounter them before they get as used to this kind of marketing. The main appeal of interactive video is, well, interaction. Businesses are always looking for ways to engage with potential clients, and this kind of content does just that: the viewer performs certain actions and immediately sees their results. Take the Give a Fuller Life campaign as an example – it is a campaign by Mended Hearts, a nonprofit supporting children with congenital heart disease. Its animated interactive video shows you a day in the life of one such boy and encourages you to donate. The more money you pledge, the more colorful and joyful the world around the boy gets. Your efforts don’t need to be this complicated, but a certain degree of interactivity is just the thing to attract the attention of jaded internet users, bombarded with boring ads, and motivate them to engage with your brand. 2. Keep Your Videos Short “Short” can mean different things in different situations – different platforms have different opinions of what is short and what is long. For Facebook and Twitter, it is better to keep within 90 or even 60 seconds, while YouTube videos can be longer. However, don’t try to follow this principle mechanically – if you cannot deliver your message in such a short amount of time, you can exceed it. Keep in mind what kind of content you create – an instructional video can afford to be longer while ads should be kept as short as possible. It’s all about compensating for a dwindling attention span in a competitive environment. 3. Hire Professionals Creating animated videos isn’t all that difficult with the right tools. However, creating good animated videos is another matter entirely. If you don’t count design (and probably programming) among your core skills, the results might not be eye-catching. On the other hand, hiring an experienced animating team like Spiel isn’t particularly expensive, doesn’t distract you from your primary activities and provides superior results. One of the key takeaways from their site is how they use their main page to showcase their work. In a matter of milliseconds you understand the value of what they do. And when animation is done correctly, that’s exactly what it does. 4. Animate Other Types of Content Video is certainly the most important type of content right now, but animation’s application shouldn’t be limited to it. In fact, short-form animation is rare enough right now that you have a chance of hitting the jackpot by creating an unusual experience for your audience. Social media platforms like Instagram are actively experimenting with animation – making Instagram business marketing even more exciting. For example, infographics is another example of content that universally attracts attention and drives shares (and, therefore, more traffic). While they are usually static images, nothing prevents you from showing your potential clients animated infographics with the interesting information they will want to share and save. An animated logo is another way to showcase the uniqueness of your brand and express the nature of your business. 5. Create Animations That Evoke Strong Feelings According to a study by BuzzSumo, 10,000 most shared pieces of content showed a very clear breakdown of which emotions people are most likely to share with others: awe, laughter, and amusement (25, 17 and 15 percent respectively). With animation already perfectly poised to be entertaining and funny by its very nature, you can use it as a very effective tool to amuse the viewers and encourage them to share your content among their friends. Who knows, you might even go viral! 6. Introduce a Lead Capture Form within the First 20 Percent of Your Video Using a tool like Turnstile you can introduce a lead capture form of your design at any point in the video. Common sense might lead you to place your animated lead capture closer to the end, once the viewer has had a chance to be impressed by your content. However, tests by the tool’s creators, Wistia, show that the opposite is true – Turnstile at the end of the video provides 3 percent compression rate vs. 16 percent at the beginning. The highest rate, however, is achieved at 10-20 percent mark. 7. Use Animation in Direct Mail and Newsletters Instead of using an image or two and a lot of text to carry most of the information load, why not introduce animated gifs and videos to showcase your products, explain how they work and what you offer? It is undoubtedly going to attract more attention than usual text-heavy letters that users tend to drop into the bin without reading, even if they willingly subscribed to them. The only problem here is making your animated images compatible with users’ devices and taking into account their potential download times. 8. Use Custom Thumbnails All your investment into an excellent and well thought-through animated video can be hurt if you let YouTube’s algorithm choose a thumbnail for you. People won’t find out how interesting your video is if they never get to clicking on it, so make sure to carefully study it and select a moment that is bound to drive interest – that’s your thumbnail. Video is one of the most powerful marketing tools right now, and animation is its most promising trend. As a marketer or business owner, you just cannot afford to neglect it – so be among those who master it early on!