10 Creative Ways To Use Animation In Online Marketing

Use animations to tell a compelling story and actively engage with your audience. Here's a look at 10 creative ideas to use animation for online marketing.

Photo: Gosia Kucharska, Studio Pigeon
Photo: Gosia Kucharska, Studio Pigeon

In the last decade, online marketing has created a crowded digital environment. It’s more difficult than ever to stand out from the crowd.

In many ways, internet marketing has become a battle ground for consumer attention. People have less time – and even shorter attention spans – to sift through brand messages.

However, for the astute marketer, the use of animation is an effective marketing tool when tailored to your target audience. Animations, though they come in different forms, serve to communicate brand messages in a visual and attention grabbing manner.

If you set out to use animations to tell a compelling story and actively engage with your audience, your customers are more likely to engage with you. Here’s a look at 10 creative ideas to use animation for online marketing.


1. Animate your website

One of the best places to start using animation is to animate your website. Whether it’s with interactive animations, GIFs or videos, animation can liven up your website and increase conversions. Clickable animations and widgets can also help users navigate your website.

Two Chimps coffee, for example, offers users an opportunity to prepare their own morning beverage by clicking on interactive buttons. Meanwhile, a German website, Denkwerk in collaboration wit Deutsche Synästhesie Geselschaft e.V., uses animation integrated with sound effects to depict the phenomenon of synaesthesia, the combination of senses.


2. Email marketing

Using animations in your email marketing can help to differentiate your brand. A bland sales announcement is more appealing when you dress it in a dynamic GIF. Animated GIFS can be eye-catching, unobtrusive and fun.


Source: Shoemint, Mailbakery


3. Motion graphic videos

Motion graphics are one of the best ways to communicate with your audience on a visual level. Through the use of colourful diagrams and graphics you create the illusion of motion in any video; and make videos more exciting.

Digital Democracy Survey of Deloitte is a great example of engaging motion graphics. High quality graphics help to condense information into a concise format. You can share information with your audience without boring them to sleep. For example, No Food Wasted campaign explains the complex environmental issue in a motion graphic video format while educating and entertaining at the same time.

If you’re on a tight budget, platforms like Motion Array offer premium quality stock motion graphics that are compatible with popular editing software.


4. 3D animation videos

3D animations allow you to create elaborate, state of the art animations to draw prospects into a 3D world. It’s a good idea to contact an animation studio if you lack the resources in-house.

Most people are used to seeing 3D animations from massive companies like Pixar, so the use of 3D animation looks impressive. It sends a message that you’re head and shoulders above the competition. The 3D animation of Norton or an animated TV commercial of Tortilla Land definitely help both brands to be remembered.


5. E-cards

You might think E-cards are only suitable for personal communication, but they are also a great way to engage with customers during the holidays. Animated e-cards are entertaining and can bring some color and humor to a recipients day and reinforce your brand image. Check out the Cogs Agency business e-card and a Christmas e-card from PNC for inspiration.


6. Whiteboard animations

If you need to explain your product or service on a budget, there’s no better option than whiteboard animations. A whiteboard animation with a voice-over can tell a story with drawn animations. The whiteboard animation concept keeps the presentation simple and easy to follow.

For example, Ultracomm manages to explain their technology in an understandable manner and BPP Business School makes a boring industry, like accounting, sound interesting.


7. Animated GIFS

Animated GIFS have become somewhat of a viral phenomenon in recent years. But they are also a great way to add a touch of humor to your internet marketing strategy. Whether you create your own GIFs, using platforms like Giphy, or personalize a famous GIF with a reference to your business, you can use GIFs to boost your brand message.

The great thing about GIFs is that they are short and snappy. Starbucks does a good job at creating branded GIFs for new product launches.



8. Animated logos

One clever idea is to integrate animation into your logo. The core purpose of your logo is to reinforce brand identity and create brand awareness. Animation will help to keep your brand top of mind for customers. Just look at the fun animated logos of leading brands like Google, Firefox, IKEA and Intel.



9. Explainer videos

If your brand personality aims to take the lighthearted route, explainer videos with cartoon animations are a great way to grab attention. For instance, this Bayer video, and present comedic caricatures of customer problems like this LGO or Pixafly app offer entertaining explainers.

If you have a solid understanding of your demographic, cartoons are a great way to engage with your audience and address their problems, all in a reasonably short production time.


10. Stop-motion animation

Rather than telling prospects how your product works, stop-motion is a great way to simply show them. Take Lego for example. Stop motion also works well in the public sector; Canadians do it well in this video promoting Montreal’s public transport system.

If you want a real-life, hands-on depiction of your products, stop-motion animations are the way to go. You can visually display how your products are made and used in real-time. These animations are great for the food industry and businesses with a design focus, where visual demonstrations and how-to’s are frequently required.


This article has been edited.

Gosia Kucharska is an Account Director at Studio Pigeon – an animation studio specialising in animated explainer videos for business. Connect with @StudioPigeon on Twitter.


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