In 2021, boosting social media presence is the ultimate goal for brands. No matter where you go, how to come up with a unique social media strategy is the talk of the town.
And why not?
Content is pouring like never before. And in such a huge crowd, brands must figure out ways to stay competitive and relevant.
But then the question comes… How do they *really* stay competitive and relevant?
Animated videos on social media are the composition you need.
Did you know social media posts with videos have 48 percent more views?
With over video consumption across the web on the rise, this trend will only deepen. And with an animated video, you can effectively tap on it to drive maximum returns.
Here’s why animated videos are now an integral part of the overall social media strategy for big brands and new-age start-ups:
People love to engage with shapes, colors, and different textures that compel their intellect to consume for wider perception. Also, some studies prove that there are 10X higher chances of engagement as visual cues trigger emotions.
Animated explainer videos can become a new voice for your brand as consumers will recognize your presence in an altogether different light.
Even your most complex business ideas, technical aspects, and new product launches can be explained in a simplified, animated way, and can enhance your brand engagement like never before.
So you have unique SEO and social media strategies head-to-toe combing through analytics and growth metrics? Great!
But do you think visibility alone is sufficient? As we said, competition has never been more fierce for your customers’ ever-diminishing attention.
Even if your brand appears on the top of the searches, consumers are still stuck in a loop of imagining what they are exactly getting from your brand, with perceptions that need to be broken, and ideas that need to be better and more clearly explained. There’s only so much you can do with traditional marketing and media.
And to stand out from such a probability scale, animated videos will not only deliver higher chances of conversion rate, but also let you stand out as a brand with its own distinct presence, style and story to tell.
Animated videos give you a platform of artistic influence. This can be leveraged to deliver a sensitive brand story and creative direction to grab and hold the attention of the masses effortlessly.
You start by being heard, getting your message out there. Once you have the mass attention, you can navigate it to drive incredible results, irrespective of the kind of results you’re looking for… whether it’s more organic traffic, better brand recognition, higher retention, more sales, improved brand loyalty, and more.
The big secret here is that trust is created in the audience’s heart through simple and honest storytelling. Animated videos give you the power to explain things in detail and also to simplify complex topics, all without overwhelming the audience with too much information and/or losing their attention.
It’s just something that no other format can pull off quite so easily.
Creating video is prohibitively expensive. Casting professional actors and voiceover artists; hiring production crew, lighting people and editors-- all that just for fleeting brand awareness and brief influence over consumers. There’s just not a lot of payoff or return on investment for all that effort and expense.
To make it worse, with ever-changing fashion trends and styles, it is hard to keep up with the pace of change to re-shoot and deliver fresh content with every season. The age of the internet means that what goes viral today will be forgotten by the end of the week at best. It’s a lot of effort to reach people and stay memorable when the turnover is that high.
Therefore, video is simply out of the reach of all but the biggest players.
This is where animated videos can be extraordinarily cost-reductive. With a relatively minimal set-up, you can produce outstanding content that’s easy to customize, wherever and whenever you feel, for a myriad of platforms. In animation, you are limited only by your imagination and not so much the budget, compared to live shoots. So your videos can be far more creative, artistic, fresh and original without breaking the bank, so to speak. You can better target your audience and shifting needs, without the hassle of “recreating everything”.
This saves money. And more importantly, this also saves time. But all that does not mean much if you cannot be heard and understood. Which leads us to the next point...
All brands have technical and non-technical sides of their company. And it’s often a struggle to explain technical ideas to non-technical people. Quite often, the key decision-makers and CxOs are not engineers / scientists / designers / etc and if your offering is heavily technical and complicated to understand, there’s a problem.
You can go for a very simplified route. But that only goes so far, and can end up dissolving and diluting your explanation to what sounds like mere cliches with no details.
Meanwhile, if you go the more technical route, you’ll invariably lose the reader’s attention and patience, because you’ll need more time to explain and go in-depth, and a non-technical reader usually won’t make it past the intro. In fact, even technically-minded people can find technical details boring, even when they do understand them; imagine how much worse it is for the casual layman.
The resulting loopholes in understanding will invariably lead to disinterested and confused consumers!
Brands struggle to effectively communicate a myriad of things: it can be a long list of technical product specifications; an overview of how-to guides; and all that complicated information that any brand struggles to deliver as a social media post or even a blog.
Now, to make your consumer understand your brand top-to-bottom, explainer animated videos can act as a perfect medium for an easy, fun, and entertaining knowledge/information transfer of complicated concepts.
There’s no other kind of content that sticks in your mind other than stunning visual animation or a funny short video, isn’t it? Also nowadays, we see living examples of how any viral short video can leave its influence on our mind playing in loop 24/7.
This is a power that brands can (and do) leverage. All you need is to continually publish such eye-catchy visuals on different platforms so that you can slowly create a long-lasting imprint and a unique way that consumers can keep recalling your brand. Animation goes beyond merely grabbing the viewers’ fleeting attention; it stays in their minds and memories for a long time afterwards.
Fresh and original content is being constantly created and celebrated on social media. If your animation can boast its own unique style and rawness, it will engage a user at a powerful level while they are scrolling through their various daily feeds. Not only that, they would sincerely enjoy your creative masterpiece as well.
Also, if you keep up with consistent publishing of such artistic and simple motion designs, it will benefit you in making your brand image distinctive and exclusive. There’s really nothing that does this as well as animation.
It’s a well-known fact that we understand and digest any information more quickly when it happens to be entertaining at the same time.
Animated videos on social media usually run anywhere between 30 to 120 seconds, or usually under two minutes. That’s all it takes for any consumer to know and remember your brand for a long time.
And if inspired by a unique creative storyline and sense of direction, it can do wonders for your brand image and value!
Fun and entertaining animation is an excellent way to tell your brand’s story on social media. Consumers need something they find relatable in their daily life so that they can share amongst friends and family to feel connected.
We all love stories. That’s why movies are a multi-billion dollar industry, even during recessions. Storytelling is as old as the human race itself-- according to anthropologists, storytelling has been around since man started walking upright. It’s a fundamentally powerful and natural tool that humans have been using to teach, share stories, amuse and entertain, and even shape their cultures.
This is a power that brands can cash in on, too.
Even your consumers will thank you for quick and short creative shareable content that entertains them while learning. No matter how serious your services might sound, a light-tone-delivery can create that magic of understanding, leading to a powerful sense of trust that lasts.
There isn't clear segregation of what works for videos on social media and what doesn't. So we're going to list the points out explaining both sides:
Short videos (<30 seconds long) work best on social media. Your audience has a short attention span, so make it count.
Now, this won’t fit all needs. There will be times when you would need a longer video. For example, when telling your brand story or doing an FAQ, 30 seconds won’t be enough. You would probably need a couple of minutes. And that’s fine as long as it’s relevant and engaging.
Let’s look at this video by Land O’Lakes to understand it better:
The company has nothing to do with elevators. It serves the food industry. So what connects the company with this video? The tagline toward the end. Since the main product they deal in are dairy spreads, their tagline “add a little good” is linked to both a random act of kindness and their product. This helps build a recall value for the brand. And it does it all in 30 seconds.
An interplay of education and entertainment can hook the right audience. If you’re a B2B or even a B2C company that doesn’t directly work in the entertainment sector, you should know that your audience wants educational content that is also entertaining. It makes them feel productive.
Look at this video by Verizon:
It uses the example of a door to explain what a better network looks like. What makes this video great is the fact that it doesn’t use any technical jargon. It explains the concept in a simple and entertaining way.
If anything, it decreases your video's visibility on your audience's timeline.
Let’s look at this video by Oscar Insurance:
If you’re in the insurance industry you probably know that people can perceive insurance to be a serious matter. And historically, that’s been the messaging style from insurance companies. So this video stands out because of the humor.
Now that you know what works and what doesn't, let's take a look at how you can use social media videos.
Social media is the most cost-effective platform for generating leads. The ads are affordable, and the reach is unbelievable. After all, almost everyone you know is on social media.
But you don't need to blast your message to everyone. In fact, there's a specific audience that'll benefit from your content. Your videos must be geared toward this audience.
For lead generation using social media videos, we’re going to focus on education. But the topics you need to educate the audience about would vary from one audience to the other.
Reaching out to a Marketing Manager, your content could revolve around lead generation, for example. But if your audience is someone from the CXO level, lead generation might not work for you. Instead, you would want to make content revolving around brand identity or something else that concerns them.
That said, in our experience, these are the types of social media videos that work well for lead generation:
Educational videos are good for both lead generation and nurturing. The depth in which you explain the topics, however, increases a lot in the latter.
For lead generation, you could educate the audience about simple solutions for the problems related with your industry and products.
As you’ll soon see, HUB worked on the same concept. The company works in the insurance sector. Instead of talking about in-depth topics about insurance, the company picked news from top brands and plugged an insurance-related concept with it.
From the Starbucks employee/customer incident to the Washington-based construction business’ incident, HUB plugged its services in a natural way. In all of these situations, they talked about crisis management which is something they’re actually pretty good at.
Here’s one of the videos we made for our client, Hub International:
Our client safeguards different businesses against external and internal risks. They wanted to educate their audience about insurance-related topics.
We handcrafted a series of five bite-sized animated videos for them. These videos helped their audience know about these topics.
With the help of these videos, we redirected traffic from social media to the client’s blogs. This helped them get relevant and better quality traffic.
Read HUB's success story to know more!
You spend countless hours and a lot of resources in making an ebook. After all, they are a great means of lead generation. It's simple, you give them information, they give you their email address (and a few other details, if you ask nicely).
But if you share it on social media and expect the ebook to go viral, you’re going to have a hard time.
It all comes down to how you're enticing your audience to check your ebook out.
And for that, we recommend ebook trailers.
You don't want (or need) to tell the audience all about your ebook. All you need to do is convince them to go to the landing page where they can find and download the ebook.
It is challenging to attract your audience’s attention and convince them to move from social media to the landing page.
What you might be thinking of doing is to write a few lines of amazing textual content for it. But when you’re competing for attention, you need to make sure that you grab eyeballs. And that’s where ebook trailers stand out.
They are not only attention-grabbing but also engaging. So you can rest assured about conversions when you try them out.
For a lot of companies, the decision-making process is quite a complex one. This holds true for both B2B and B2C companies. But in the case of B2B companies, there are a lot of people involved in the decision-making process. And that adds to the complexity of the process.
What makes decision-making so difficult? For most companies, it’s the lack of data to support the decision. For businesses of all sizes, a wrong decision could be expensive. So they get stuck in the decision-making process until they find relevant data.
Thought leadership videos can help such businesses make the right decision. When you make these videos, you give statistics and your analysis of those statistics. This helps the decision makers choose wisely. And when your audience sees positive returns on those decisions, they trust you more.
It is out of this trust that they keep coming back to you when they need data. They listen to what you have to say, and see you as a leader. And that is what makes thought leadership videos important.
But when you make thought leadership videos for social media, you need to be careful.
Look at how Qualcomm did it in this video:
The video explained the 5G technology. Great. But that’s something many people have already done. What makes it a leadership video is the kind of insights given. These come straight from the experiences of Qualcomm, which makes it valuable.
Everyone knows that commercials should be short. But when it comes to social media, you have to get extra creative and make it fun.
Keeping it short and punchy ensures maximum response to your call to action. This doesn’t mean that it always has to be short. There are long commercials that work just as well.
Commercials give you a high ROI while improving the quality of engagement from the audience. And it does that by building curiosity. Commercials leave you wanting more; and this “more” is on the landing page. This way, they drive a lot of traffic to landing pages, thus bringing ROI up.
Let's talk about how they worked for our client, Raptor Plumbing, to understand it better.
The video uses storytelling to tell the audience about the company’s services in just 30 seconds. It is engaging and builds curiosity, leaving the audience wanting more. This is where the CTA comes in, so the audience knows that to learn more, they need to act on the CTA.
When you work on lead generation, there would be many people who would visit your landing page but not fill the form. There could be multiple reasons why. But if they showed up on your website, they’re pretty close to becoming a lead. To bring them to the other side, you need to nurture them.
Or there could also be people who have filled the form. You need to nurture them too, to turn them into customers. We made this section to help you out, as we believe this step is one of the most important in your customer’s journey.
Nurturing is a lifelong process. You don't stop when your leads when they become your customers. And the best place to do it is where they are-- social media.
More often than not, nurturing is in the form of educating about core competencies. But it doesn't have to end there. You could also keep updating them about the company.
You could let them know what other customers had to say about your services. You could also inform them about your latest feature, product, webinar, or event.
There's a lot you can communicate with them about. The only catch is you need to be quick and engaging. Animated social media videos thrive in such situations.
Let's look at how you can use animated social media videos in different ways to nurture your leads:
Remember when we said educational content can also be used for nurturing on social media? Explainer videos are how that happens.
When you need to explain concepts related to your business in-depth, explainer videos help. You might think that explainer videos aren't a great fit for social media. Untrue. Explainer videos work great for nurturing, even though they're pretty long.
The duration of social media videos increases when it comes to nurturing. And the reason why longer duration works is because now the audience is interested in your products and services and wants to make a purchase. But something holds them back. This something can be trust or timing and the best way is to keep in touch or gain trust by establishing that you're a leader.
And that is something explainer videos can help you out with. Look at this video we developed for McAfee:
The aim of this video was to educate the company's existing and new customers and build trust that McAfee is more than an antivirus company. They liked the style so much that it was adopted worldwide across the company and became part of their branding guidelines.
How many times have you bought a product after someone recommended it to you?
You trust the people you know more than you trust the brand. So why not try testimonials?
Testimonials are effective on social media because of how they connect people. Do that in the form of a video and now you're turning heads.
Look at how Erie Insurance won the hearts of their audience with their testimonial video:
Even though the video takes you through the journeys of three clients, there's clarity. At no point did the video stop making sense.
Sometimes, you release a product and also get decent traffic on your landing page, but people don’t convert. More often than not, the reason is that people come to your landing page expecting features your product lacks.
To solve this, you can release a new version of the product. This helps convert the ones that went away at first.
You obviously work hard to make your product the best. So when you release updates, why not let social media know?
Feature update videos are quite engaging and are easy to consume.
Look at this video by Asana:
The video talks about Asana’s new timeline feature. What makes this video great is that it not only informs the users about the new update, but also talks about how it benefits them. This ensures customer loyalty.
Launching a product is a big deal. You've worked countless hours on it. When you've left no stone unturned in making the product the best it can be, why not launch it right?
The launch should build hype about the product. Riding on this wave, your product hits the ground running. But that wouldn't happen if you aren't able to pique your audience's interest in your product.
This is why you need a product launch video. These videos are eye-catching and have a high retention rate. This raises their conversion rates as well.
When you launch a product with a video, you show the people a glimpse of what their life would be with the product. It intrigues them and makes them convert to see the product in action.
Look at this video by Goldi:
With this video, the viewers get to know what to expect from the product. And if it is right up their alley, they convert.
One of the best ways to humanize your brand is with the help of your brand's story. When you talk about what led to the creation of your brand and its journey, people listen, because these are stories we inherently like.
With brand story videos, you can connect with your audience on an emotional level. This humanizing of your brand increases its relatability, overall appeal and creates lasting connections.
When a buyer connects with your story, they become loyal to your brand and stick by your side forever. But you need to keep in mind that you need to earn this loyalty by giving your brand story video your best shot.
Look at how TOMS did it:
Not only did it take the viewers through an amazing journey but it also established a connection. And that is what builds loyal customers.
Whatever size your company, events are a big deal. And what better way to do so than with an event promotion video on social media?
These videos perform many tasks at once. They get noticed by users, increasing conversions. It builds hype for the event and attracts more people. Lastly, it gives the audience hints about what to expect from the event.
Look at how Tedx Kalamata's organizing team did it:
When you're making social media videos, there are a lot of things that affect their efficiency. If you're not careful about these things, you might end up making a video that doesn't perform well.
So it is best to get the video right in the first go. Here’s how.
Without a strategy, you're like a cloud drifting in the direction of the wind, wasting your marketing budget.
With a proper strategy, however, you can define a path for your company to reach specific goals on social media. While you're at it, remember to put it all in numbers. Define the number of followers you would want the page to have by the end of this week, this month, and this year.
Likewise, you would need to define numbers for the rest of the aspects of your presence on social media. Remember to keep these numbers realistic.
Moreover, you have certain marketing goals. Gear your content toward these goals. Without a strategy, you wouldn’t be able to see measurable results, so you wouldn’t know if you’re putting the right content online. So always have a strategy.
Following your competitor's journey on social media can tell you what's working in the industry and what isn't. This helps you prepare your campaigns better.
Moreover, you want to stand out. So you wouldn't want to do much of what they do. For example, if they're into live-action videos, you could try animation. If they're into a specific style of animation, you could try some other style of animation.
Do whatever it takes to stand out.
Your failed campaigns can tell you a lot about what you should be avoiding. The learnings from these campaigns can help you define the newer campaigns in the best way.
Tracking successful campaigns can help you templatize things. This helps you speed the creation process up. Moreover, you can run A/B tests against these campaigns to know the extent of success that you can achieve.
When you track everything, you learn what your audience wants to see on social media. And then you give them that.
Most of the people on social media prefer to run the videos on mute. This is because you aren't always alone and/or near your headphones.
This is why it’s a good idea to add subtitles to your videos. Also, this ensures that those with hearing impairments can consume your videos.
When a video goes viral, everyone copies it. And soon, everyone has the same kind of video on their feed. This is boring.
Stand out by being unique. When you put out fresh content, you are easily discernible, and people remember you for it.
But rolling out videos is not that easy. For such times, we have a technique that worked out for us. So read on!
Stop thinking of educational videos being about your product/service. While it is an important subset, there's certainly more to videos than that.
With that out of the way, let's talk about topics you could pick for educational social media videos.
Not sure about what to post about on social media? Events like Mother’s Day or Independence Day work well in such situations. Since they fall on the same dates every year, you won’t easily miss out on any of them.
This type of social media video helps you easily connect with the audience on an emotional level. But it’s more than simply wishing your audience. It works when you start important conversations around the events.
This kind of video can turn your audience into a community. When this happens, lead generation is no longer a problem.
Look at this video by Kronos:
This video was made for International Women’s Day. It’s a great example of videos around specific important dates. It leaves the viewers with a question that starts a conversation, “What’s possible for the next generation of workforce management?”
Sometimes, using current events can work well for brands. For example, let's say a topic is in the news that you think relates with what you do. So you make a video talking to your audience about it, as well as your own views/analysis.
But you must be careful not to force a correlation between the news piece and your company, or it comes off as disingenuous and fake. This can annoy your audience and harm your company’s image.
Let’s look at this example with HUB International. When Uber was hacked, it was big news. Being in the insurance industry, HUB International released a blog educating companies on how they should respond to such attacks.
To drive more traffic to this blog, they chose to go for a bite-sized video to be used on social media.
Upon the success of this video, they came to us for more videos about other events.
You might not always have the right piece of news. Fortunately, there’s always a host of other topics you can pick up. For example, if you see a recent trend in the industry, make a video about your analysis of the trend. Did any ground-breaking research recently? Share it with your audience in a video.
Look at this video by Dell EMC:
This was the company’s key observations from their TCO report for their product. A lot of companies use such infographic videos for sharing their research reports visually.
While this report was about a product, you could analyze your industry and share the reports of that too. It boils down to what you want to share with your audience that would add value to their lives.
If none of that applies to you, try going for some evergreen topics that resonate with your brand.
For example, you could go for pop culture references. So if you’re a marketing company, you could make a video about the things you can learn about marketing from Netflix. Or try making videos around some inspirational people. Videos showing your company's values work great too!
Think about your audience, their aspirations and motivations, and make videos around that.
Look at this video by Gatorade:
This video talks about famous sprinter Usain Bolt, thereby attracting both Bolt’s as well as Gatorade’s followers. That resulted in a huge success for the brand, as the video stands at over 15 million views.
There's a lot you can do when you know the direction you should be working toward. With these ideas, you could make videos for your audience.
You likely already have a clear understanding by now of how a well-designed and creatively-directed animation video can be a powerful marketing tool for your brand.
It helps reshape your brand image in a sense of evoking emotions and connecting to your audience in an impressionable way.
Here at B2W, the way we like to explain it is as follows:
Information can speak to the mind. It’s logical and understandable, but not especially exciting or soul-stirring.
Art, meanwhile, can touch the heart, your emotional center. The impact is more organic and visceral. If done well, it can grab the audience’s attention easily.
But only a story can hit both of the above, with a powerful punch. Not only can you grab the audience’s attention, but you can hold on to it to make a heart-level connection. The end result is that you build a sense of trust in the audience that cannot be achieved with art, information, or advertising techniques.
If you’re not sure about this, consider the last movie you really enjoyed. Remember how you were drawn in to it, how emotionally invested you became in the character as they overcame challenges and embarked on a life-altering journey? The tension and hope that your hero would fight and win and rise above their circumstances and reach a happy ending? This is the power of storytelling.
There’s an entire art and science behind good storytelling that we do not even have time to go into here. But suffice it to say that we have ten years of experience and counting, and we have slowly and continuously been perfecting and honing our technique. We’ve drawn from a myriad of sources from advertising, psychology, to Hollywood scriptwriting, to craft our scientific formula for effective, powerful storytelling through short-form animation. And our results speak for themselves, all you have to do is refer to our long list of delighted and repeat customers of all backgrounds and sizes, from individual entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 giants.
Businesses of all sizes, from all over the world, are slowly realizing the impact of creative animation on their brand. Animation videos will expectedly become a force in itself to empower and influence the market because of their unique and incredible conveying style.
So, if you haven’t added animated videos to your social media content calendar yet, it’s time to rethink!
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