The rise of visual media within content marketing
In the modern digital marketplace, content is king. If you want to attract the eyeballs and clicks needed to survive online, you have to produce something worth seeing, reading, and sharing. While a number of sites use click-bait or outright plagiarism to bring in potential customers, quality content always rises to top...and nothing adds more quality than solid motion design.
Sure, we are a little biased in this case. We run an online school for motion designers, and we think all of these artists deserve a ton of paying work. That doesn't mean we aren't right. Modern online content can always benefit with the addition of motion design graphics. Whether you're dropping an informative GIF or a full-on animation, plugging in some MoGraph will set your site out ahead of the pack.
In this article, we'll take a look at:
- Why content marketing is here to stay
- The rise in video content
- Creating content for social media
- Why motion graphics are an effective medium
- Why motion graphics are cost-effective
- How you can train your team and add motion to your tool kit
Content Marketing is Here to Stay
What is Content Marketing? Simply put, it's most of the internet these days. Content marketing is a way for companies to reach out to their communities and potential customers through articles, videos, podcasts, and social media messaging. These can come in a number of forms, but the main idea is to provide some form of free information in exchange for the viewer's attention.
Surprise! You're reading some content right now. Okay, that wasn't much of a surprise.
Content Marketing can be an article about "10 ways brighter smiles improve your work life" written by a toothpaste company, or a video showcasing all the unconventional uses of a blender. It's entertaining with a pinch of educational, and it advertises a product without feeling like an advertisement. According to HubSpot, roughly 70% of companies are using content marketing to push their products and services.
With so much of the online world saturated with content marketing, it's become harder and harder to stand out. Articles and social posts just won't cut it...which is why more marketers are turning to video content.
The Rise of Video Content in Marketing
As more and more companies flooded the internet with listicles and click-bait, marketers turned to video content to grab viewers' attention. If you've watched YouTube for more than ten minutes, you've noticed the new ads. They can range from the high-end (professional videos with actors and effects and 1-7 cute dogs) to the cringe-inducing (hiring D-list TikTok stars to pretend to be wowed by a mobile game/Tinder competitor).
Regardless of the quality, these video ads are likely still more effective than even the best article. Why?
Larry Mutenda, Anthill Magazine, May 2020
Video marketing is a highly effective strategy when trying to appeal to and convert your target audience. Due to the sheer glut of information available to us on a daily basis, the average attention span of the modern human (for ads) has dropped to 8 seconds. This means that marketers have to make a stellar impression right away. An article can provide an incredible amount of valuable information, but a video is simply better equipped to grab attention.
With the impressive video capabilities on smartphones today, it's also an affordable and easy tactic to implement, no matter your business type or resources. Nearly every company with an online presence is vying for attention, and the internet has grown crowded with branded content. These statistics offer insight into how other companies are using the medium to reach, educate, and nurture their audience.
More to the point, Video has become the most commonly used format in content marketing, overtaking blogs and infographics. These can be promotional videos and brand storytelling, but they can also come in the form of native advertising (hiding the ad inside a seemingly unrelated bit of content). Best of all, these videos are highly effective. 87% of video marketers say that video has increased traffic to their website.
Of course, none of this matters if the advertising doesn't lead to conversion. In this area, video still reigns supreme. 80% of video marketers claim that video has directly increased sales.
Creating Content for Social Media
If you have a company in the 21st century, you have a website. It is extremely difficult to remain competitive in this saturated marketplace without an online presence, and that includes various social media sites. This doesn't just include the Big Three of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook, so it's kind of the Big Two). New marketplaces (such as TikTok) open every few months, and it can be tricky picking where to invest your time and resources.
Social media is pervasive in our modern society, and it has become one of the most effective channels for distributing blog content from a website. 94% of marketers use social media for content distribution.
But as we said, article content is quickly being overtaken by video, and more brands are now creating ads specifically for their social media channels. Since these sites can vary in their requirements for posts (i.e. the video must be a certain dimension, limited to certain run times, etc), this advertising style requires a more focused creation. In 2020, 96% of marketers have placed ad spend on video.
Motion Graphics are an Effective Medium
So you know that you need to invest in Content Marketing, and you know that video content outperforms other types...so why should you implement Motion Graphics?
If you're unfamiliar with the term, Motion Design is a field similar (but not totally alike) to Animation. Motion Designers use a variety of software to animate 2D and 3D graphic designs in order to tell stories, deliver emotional impressions, and highlight brands. Motion Graphics are used in music videos, feature films, video games, applications, and more. In fact, you've likely encountered a number of MoGraph designs just navigating to this page.
Motion Graphics are great for explaining a complex concept, product, or service while conveying your brand.
“…iconography, illustration, charts, and graphs are powerful storytelling tools that motion graphics are better equipped than video to provide. These allow you to take the details of your brand and elevate them.”
Lucy Todd, Killer Visual Strategies, June 2020
While putting together a professional video can be cost prohibitive, hiring a talented motion designer to create a simple 15-30 second animated ad can fall well within your budget. These animations can be more effective to viewers since they avoid the usual speed bumps of video content.
Even top-tier brands have stumbled with video advertising. Maybe your "selfie-style" promotion of an exercise bike caused a backlash due to sexist overtones. Or you just can't demonstrate the value of a really nice wallet. Motion Graphics can showcase your product in new and unseen ways that demand to be seen.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ADDING MOTION GRAPHICS TO VIDEO MARKETING AND SOCIAL MEDIA?
As we said earlier, the market has grown more and more saturated in the past few years. That means that companies have to employ every tactic in order to stand out and grab viewers' dwindling attention. Motion Graphics are highly effective.
Per data from a report by the Content Marketing Institute, close to three-quarters of marketers consider video production as the top task in their content strategy. Nevertheless, a majority of them don’t create anything out of the ordinary. Watch through any number of ads on YouTube, Instagram, or even Hulu. You'll see the same tactics applied again and again, and consumers are growing far more savvy to recognizing these manipulative methods. So what makes motion graphics more effective?
- Motion graphics make boring content more digestible, engaging, and memorable
- Motion graphics are easily shareable
- Motion graphics create and increase brand awareness
MOTION GRAPHICS MAKE BORING CONTENT MORE DIGESTIBLE, ENGAGING, AND MEMORABLE
When the Melbourne Metro wanted to run an ad campaign for safety around trains, they had a few options. They could invest heavily in posters, hire a few local actors to enact "safety scenes," or break the mold and try out a motion design animation...along with an ear-worm of a song.
210 million viewers think they chose right.
Yes, this is a silly video with an even sillier song, but it is highly effective at taking a dry concept (train safety) and making it memorable. This video came out in 2012 and it was one of the first suggested pieces when we discussed this article.
Moreover, it is effective. It uses simple language and hyperbole to make an extremely important point: Playing around train tracks is just as dumb as setting your hair on fire.
Using Motion Graphics as a way to explain a concept (commonly known as an "explainer video") has become a go-to method for marketers. The most common types of videos are presentations (65%), followed by ads (57%), and explainers (47%).
MOTION GRAPHICS ARE EASILY SHAREABLE
Motion design is inherently shareable, creating organic growth for any marketing campaign. In the modern parlance, your animation can "go viral" by being entertaining enough to warrant a retweet or share on social media.
For example, if you needed to explain something overly dry and scientific, you could work with the incredible minds at Kurzgesagt to make something that begs to be shared.
YouTube and Vimeo make embedding videos extremely easy. This means that content is just a few hot keys away from appearing in someone's social post, or linked in another site's blog.
MOTION GRAPHICS CREATE AND INCREASE BRAND AWARENESS
In a 2020 survey of 500 different marketers, 93% of brands got a new customer because of a video on social media. Since so much of the world is online, it is incredibly easy to put your product or brand in front of new customers every single day. However, a lot of younger consumers don't want to sift through pages of information to figure out what you offer and why it could be of use to them. That's why these videos are so effective. In just a few short seconds (remember that attention span from earlier), you can explain who you are and what your brand can do for them.
Brand awareness is a difficult metric to crack, but it is so important for new and existing companies. By putting your brand in front of the customer in a new and exciting way, you're demonstrating that you are an exciting company...even if you're not so new yourself.
The above video also demonstrates how abstract motion design effectively communicates the Who and What of your company. There are no products on display, no characters performing tasks, but the information is easy to understand and digest. It doesn't hurt that Ordinary Folk are some of the best in the business.
Effective video content not only introduces your brand, but it can help reduce buyer's remorse and post-sale issues. A number of companies now employ video support channels to cover the most common calls from customers..and the results are very encouraging. 43% of video marketers say video has reduced the number of support calls they’ve received.
Motion Graphics are Efficient and Cost-Effective
Any marketing campaign is measured against the return on investment. If you're spending $10,000 on a new video, it needs to bring a solid ROI in terms of sales or brand awareness to be seen as a success. And what happens if you suddenly need to change the information in the content? Maybe the product had an emergency revision, or is no longer offered in some areas, or any number of scenarios. Going back into production balloons your costs and reduces the chance of breaking even on expenses.
Motion Designers work in programs with highly-modular capabilities. If you need to add in new audio, or swap out images, or even add entirely new animations, it's a fairly simple process. In effect, you can make changes to your video at any time, which is virtually impossible with live-action.
2D and 3D videos vary in cost depending on complexity and timing. If you hire a premier studio—such as Buck or Ordinary Folk or Cabeza Patata—you will need to factor in a higher budget to compensate for having an entire team of trained professionals. You could also go to the freelance community, although you'll need to add a bit more time to your plan as some of these artists work alone. No matter what you choose, the versatility of a motion design project is normally a more cost-effective approach when compared to a traditional film shoot.
How to Train Your Team for Motion Design
So you get it. You're sold. You want to add motion to your tool set...but what if you didn't need to bring in help from the outside? What if you could have a motion designer in-house to design for your website, advertisements, and user-interface?
At School of Motion, we encourage companies to bring in talented artists from the MoGraph community. In fact, we've partnered with a number of companies to promote job openings through Creative Careers. If you would like to open up a position within your company for a new designer, this is a great way to get your positing in front of a wide audience.
Or, if you're ready to put in the time and work, you can train your team in the skills needed for motion design. As you might have guessed, School of Motion offers courses that can give your team the skills needed to create engaging, effective animation for all types of products and services.
Motion Design is a powerful tool for any company...so are you ready to use it?