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Benefits of using Animated Video for Internal Communications

20th October 2016

 
You don’t need us to tell you that the popularity of video in internal communications, is on the rise. In fact, it actually has been for many years now.
 

– Improved viewing accessibility
– Reduction in production costs
– Recognition of higher engagement levels
– Ability to cut through the communications clutter and noise
 
Above are some of the key factors, that have come together to lead to an increase in the use of video within the workplace.
 
Although mention ‘corporate video’, and the chances are thoughts will turn to the ‘talking heads’ type of videos. You know the one’s, a senior leader has a camera fixed on their upper body, which they often avoid directly looking into – in an attempt to give the video a more natural feel. Clearly the right topics, questions and of course, answers can make for great talking heads videos. But they have their limitations. Notably they can be fairly stale, and have too much of a corporate feel to them.
 
It’s why we are great believers in animated videos. And so why we wanted to write something about them here.
 
So, first we’re going to run through what we deem to be the key reasons as to why you should use animated videos. Following on from that we’ll identify the things you should consider before you get animating – All in an attempt to convince you of the merits of animated videos. And to get you well prepared for when you approach creating one.
 
 
 

Reasons to use animated videos

 

1. Cost effective

Live-action videos could require:
 
– significant equipment
– professionals to shoot it
– professionals to take time out to be in it
– a suitable location
– perhaps even actors
– editing costs
 
As you can imagine, the cost of a traditional video could soon add up. And it is ‘budget’ that is widely cited as a key reason as to why videos fail to get through the planning stage. Animated video, on the other hand, can be a far more affordable option. Essentially, all that is required is:
 
– a talented illustrator/designer and animator.
– access to an animation platform, such as After Effects.
 
The reduction in factors involved for creating an animated video – opposed to a live video – also shows that animated videos are easier to manage. This means the management process can not only be more cost effective, but also swifter, and less constrained by factors. Talking of constraints, that brings us nicely on to the next point…
 
 
 

2. The ability to bring any concept to life

Simply put, animation lets you create whatever you want. You are not bound by reality, so really you can bring any concept to life.
 
This is particularly beneficial when the topic of the video is somewhat abstract, or too complex to represent through film. With a little bit of creativity and the right design, any ideas can be brought to life by animation.
 
 
 

3. The right tone

In a similar vein to the previous point, animation allows the tone of communications to be more easily set.
 
Relying on real people within videos to be able to portray the right tone, can be difficult. Especially when they may be touching upon delicate topics and difficult issues.
 
Animation however, can dial directly in to the right tone, again without needing to worry about the influence of other factors – i.e. people/actors.
 
Video is great because it has the power to engage people on an emotional level. And animation has the ability to engage people on an even deeper level, given how it can very easily and effectively capture tone and feeling – compelling people to emotionally connect with the content.
 
 
 

4. Greater longevity

By this we mean a couple of things.
 
Firstly, once you have the assets and look and feel sorted for a single animated video. It becomes a lot easier if you then wanted to add other animated videos, maybe creating a series of animated videos.
 
Secondly, updating animated videos is much easier than trying to update film videos. With animations you can jump back into them and change text, graphics or even the story, all very simply. It makes animated videos a much more flexible piece of content. And also gives them a much longer shelf life.
 
It’s another story when it comes to filmed content. Sure you can edit and piece together the raw footage in a different way. But you only have the raw footage to play with. If you want to add to it, you’ll likely have to recreate the set-up of the last shoot, and film again. And this isn’t exactly ideal.
 
 
 
Right, so now you’re clear on the benefits of animated videos, and so why you should use them. It’s now best that we run through some of the key things to bear in mind before you get creating.
 
To point out, any animator worth their salt will be fully focussed on the following points. But it is advisable that the client is also well versed on the parts that make an animation great. As they will be required to assist the animator with key pieces of relevant information.
 
To the considerations…
 
 
 
 

Some points to consider before the animating begins

 
 

1. Length of video

In our experience, animated videos ideally should be around a minute in length. You could always have a longer version that people can watch if they are seeking deeper detail. Alternatively, given the rise of social media in the workplace, you could also have a shorter ‘made for social’ length video. The social version, needs to offer enough content to get the message across. But also just enough to intrigue the viewer to watch the longer version.
 
 
 

2. Storytelling

This is what the best video animations have at their core – a strong story that the audience can easily follow and connect with. Below is an example of an animated video telling a great story. It helps that the focus is on the central character. Perhaps something to consider in your future animated videos?
 
 

 
 
 

3. Voiceover

What the Coco animation also has is a great voiceover. You can see – or rather hear – just how much it adds to the overall animation. It adds to the emotional connection we have with the story. That’s why you should always use a professional voiceover. There are many out there, and they’re affordable. And just like choosing a colour of paint for your front room at home – get plenty of samples!
 
 
 

4. Subtitles

Given that most of us now view videos on our smartphones, subtitles must be considered. This is because when we’re on our smartphones consuming content, it’s very likely we’ll be doing so with the sound muted. And so if the video is communicating vital information in the voiceover, then the video will be less effective when listened to in silence.
 
You’ve only got to look at videos in your Facebook feed. You’ll quickly notice that the majority of them – those which have someone talking in them – now have subtitles. For the reason I previously gave – people consume content on their mobiles, in silence.
 
 
 

5. Music

Did you notice the music in the Channel animation? Did you see what it so brilliantly did? It not only helped to better set the tone of the video, but it also created the pace at which the story was told. The music was both sad and uplifting, and really was the perfect choice for this animation.
 
Spend time finding the right soundtrack. Again as Chanel show, it can make an animation. Rush the choice of music however, and it can instead break it.
 
 
 

6. The script is crucial

Perhaps in this instance the Chanel animation is not the best example – as we believe less is more when it comes to words in a script.
 
You want people to remember the messages, so avoid giving them too much to take in.
 
Again, much like seeking a professional for the voiceover. We’d strongly recommend getting a professional to create the words that are to be voiced. They’ll be able to write it in a way that engages, and in a way that people can better understand what is trying to be said.
 
 
 

And cut…

There you have it.
 
Reasons why you need to be creating more animated video. And also what you need to give thought to before you do.
 
It should be obvious that we’re big advocates of animated video. Largely because we regularly see first-hand at just how powerful and effective it is, when done well.
 
On the subject of animated video done well. Please do get in touch if you’d like to discuss with us any potential animation projects you’d like help with.
 
Until next time…
 
Rima
 
 

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