By Christina Ferris

Creating content for your brand is an integral part of building a business. Whether you are selling a product, service or an idea – words alone are usually not enough.

Enter Visual Communication. Not a New Concept.

Using photos of your product is a given; potential customers want to know what to expect when they purchase / use your product or service. If your good is a service or idea, however, taking a photo isn’t always an option. Words can get the idea across, but often you need something to catch the eye and draw the audience in.

How Animation Can Help

Technology has evolved to allow websites to contain massive amounts of visual stimulation, and audiences have grown to expect this. Marketers are learning that the surest bet to get someone’s attention is motion. 65% of us are visual learners, and therefore are drawn to and are more likely to remember visual content. For example, using infographics to relay the potential value of your service can be a very persuasive tool. The viewer can interpret the stats, see the calculated data in the form of charts and graphs, follow a journey﹘whatever the graphics are displaying. Animating infographics can make digesting this information much more eye-catching, entertaining and memorable.

If you do use a lot of photos in marketing your brand and haven’t yet made the jump to utilizing the power of video, adding animation to your images is a great way to level them up a notch or two. Below are some ideas to think about:

1. Use text-based motion graphics to make product / service explanations more dynamic

Instead of making a static digital ad, make an animation. If you don’t have a huge library of images or graphic assets, you can use text-based animations. As mentioned above, motion is more attention-drawing and memorable —use this to boost your impact. Color and typography alone can create some powerful visual interest. As an added bonus, you can make this into a video or a gif, have it play longer for some mediums (websites, video channels like Youtube and Vimeo) and create shorter snippets for others (Facebook, Instagram, etc).

2. Gifs are everywhere

Gifs don’t have to be pop-culture based clips you text to your friends. Businesses, too, can utilize the power of the gif. Your audience is more likely to watch a gif and remember the message﹘not to mention that gifs lend themselves to sharing, which makes them perfect for social media marketing. Think about using gifs for:

  • Product descriptions / functionality
  • Tutorials
  • Product / service teasers

Gifs have come a long way since their invention in 1987, and creative people are finding more ways to exploit the capabilities of them. Think of your current content library and imagine what you could do.

3. Use the cinemagraph technique to add interest to still photography

Cinemagraphs are a relatively new form of media – defined by the creators as “a still photograph that contains an element of movement looped seamlessly to create a never-ending moment.” Cinemagraphs Originated in 2011– but right away giant brands utilized them to elevate what normally would be still photography. There are loads of opportunities here to create emotional, thought-provoking, gripping images.  You can’t just use any photo to create a cinemagraph: there has to be a feature or aspect to the photo that would lend itself to animation. Features such as light, water, wind, and many other motion aspects have been demonstrated.

4. Animate those graphic assets

If you have established your brand, you probably already have a library of graphic assets that are used in your marketing materials. These might be basic shapes or icons that are used often, or even a more intricate illustrated graphic. These materials are ripe for animation, and make it easy to liven up your content quickly. Mailchimp uses animation beautifully on their website. 

5. Animate your logo

A good logo can go a long way when it comes to differentiating your brand, but add animation to that logo, and it’s going to draw a lot more attention. Not only will it help your brand stand out, but it is an asset that you can use over and over, in various ways. A few ideas:

  • On your website
  • As bumpers for video content
  • Social channels
  • Digital ads

These ideas are just skimming the surface of the possibilities of how to use animation to get more mileage out of your current graphics and breathe new life into your brand. 

The bad news is that animation can be more time-consuming than static design, and requires a slightly different skill-set. Many designers realize the trend however and are jumping on board. The good news is that if you do need help, you are already in the right place. Outlier has years of experience creating original and effective motion graphics and animations – not to mention videos. We’re good at figuring out visual strategies, too – so if you are convinced that animation could help boost your brand’s appeal, but aren’t sure which path to take, schedule a call with us.