With Common Craft, RSA and other explainer videos going viral across the web, animated videos have gained popularity as a fun and effective way for businesses to quickly explain their product or service.

Video alone already has a big advantage over plain text - we know, for instance, that viewers retain 58% more of what they see versus what they read. Animated video adds another layer of sensory information to your viewer's experience. When the action onscreen reinforces what the audio is saying (versus, let's say, video of the speaker standing on a stage), this helps you tap into the brain science behind what makes videos so memorable.

5 tips for Maximizing the Impact of Animated Video Production

1) Be Selective

While there's probably a lot you want your viewer to know about your company, you've only got about two minutes to hold their attention so be very focused with your message!

2) Keep it Simple

While we do want to provide these two layers of sensory information, we don't want to overload the brain. Use stick figures and basic outlines, rather than complex scenes and backgrounds.

3) Have Fun

The most viral videos are usually the ones that make us laugh. When we're laughing and having fun, we're more relaxed and receptive to learning. We also tend to have good feelings about whoever made us feel that way!

4) Make a Connection

Use metaphors to help your viewer connect your new information to something they already know.

5) Speak Up

Be honest with your animators about what you do and don't like. The sky's the limit on what they can draw up for you, but it gets trickier and more expensive to change things further along in the process.

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If you want your prospective customers to quickly understand your message, and remember it when they're ready to buy, consider adding animated video to your marketing plan.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=656974794 John Carr

    Don't mean to sound like a contrarian Andrew, but you say "you’ve only got about two minutes to hold their attention so be very focused with your message"!

    I have been tracking cartoon type a animated videos for 2 years and I have noticed that most of them go beyond the three minute mark and up to seventeen minutes.
    These type of videos seem to break most of the traditional marketing rules. They are not always professional looking, the tackle some very.
    heady' and difficult subjects and they hold and audience for much longer.

    A Toronto Doctor uploaded a health video the first week of December 2011. By the end of January it had close to 2 million views. By the way, the subject matter, health and exercise has been covered millions of times on the web.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=222893924430966 Topic Simple

    This goes along with #2 (Keep it simple), but it's often good to end with an clear call-to-action, even if its just "Check out the website"...

  • Mk

    excellent tips and agreed with Charles

    Thank you

  • videos4good

    Thanks for this, Andrew. many good insights here. I think readers will appreciate the highly polished, yet simple, videos we produce over at Planet Nutshell -- www.planetnutshell.com

  • publicity1

    This is a great succinct explanation and I would also add storytelling to your list. While telling a story may seem intuitive, many web videos preach a message when they should show their a message through a vivid, memorable story. As a result, many potentially “viral” videos that follow all of your tips still never get off the ground. The key with videos, and all types of marketing for that matter, is to create a story that resonates with audiences and then enhance it with humor, metaphors and honesty (as you’ve pointed out). I recommend you check out this post http://bit.ly/ecVIqu. If you comment, you’ll be put in the running for a brand new read on business storytelling.

  • videos4good

    Thanks for spreading the word on this, Andrew. I think your readers will enjoy the simple, yet highly polished, videos we produce over at Planet Nutshell.

    Joshua Gunn
    Owner, Planet Nutshell

  • Creativa Web Videos

    Couple more:
    -Don't underestimate the power of your story, how the company or product was invented / produced and the thoughts that generated the idea. It really adds a level of trust if your prospects can understand what's behind your offer.

    -Let the creatives use and embrace your personality, and be really detailed when describing your ideal client's personality and motivations.

  • Aurelius_Tjin

    I agree with those tips. But I loved #2 most. "Keep it simple". :) Complicated scenes and backgrounds sometimes are so annoying in your eyes.

    • Andrew Angus

      I totally agree. It can be hard for animators and clients to just keep things simple when people have the skill to make incredible things happen on screen. The restraint to just focus on simplicity can be hard but it well worth it!

      • http://www.facebook.com/charles.haggas Charles Haggas

        I think the trick is finding that sweet spot between simplicity and affective animation that represents the brand.

        Do you think these videos are too complex visually?