10 Questions for a Better Animated Video

Feb 13, 2024 | Multimedia

Creating an animated video that resonates with your viewers requires thoughtful planning. Here are the questions our animated video production team uses to start their own projects.

A sample storyboard for an animated video production

Walt Disney said, “Animation can explain whatever the mind can conceive.” That’s a big reason that animated videos have become such go-to assets for digital marketers.

Marketing today isn’t about selling or seduction, it’s about explaining—what the service is, what the product does, or why a deal is meaningful. Animated videos on YouTube and your website can be powerful and cost-effective tools for communicating your message or value proposition, especially when you want your audience to share your content organically.

Animation also allows you to add video to your marketing campaign without the expense of hiring professional actors or paying for a day (at least) of shooting on-site, complete with multiple cameras, and lighting and sound equipment.

With the right animated video production services, creating a new animation can be simpler than a live production—but it’s not just about firing up your software and playing around. To create a effective, targeted video, you need a thorough plan. Answer the following 10 questions used by our in-house creative teams, and you’ll be off to a great start.

Animation purpose

1. Who are we trying to reach with our animated video? Many marketing plans make the mistake of targeting a broad subset—“anyone who watches video online.” Each campaign, and therefore each video, should be targeted to a specific audience and made with them in mind.

2. What is the purpose of this video? The marketing funnel consists of four steps: awareness, interest, consideration and purchase. Your animated video should be fine-tuned to not only address a specific audience, but an audience in a specific part of their customer journey. A video made to raise brand awareness will be different than one designed to persuade a customer that your solution is the right one for them.

Animation style and visuals

3. What platform is the video designed for? This goes hand-in-hand with the video’s purpose and the customer’s position in your sales funnel. Wherever your customer will be encountering the content—embedded on your website, in an Instagram ad, posted on YouTube—the video needs to be optimized for viewing on that platform. This is partly technical, and partly stylistic; viewers on YouTube have different expectations that those on Instagram, for example.

4. What style of animation will we use? This might be dictated by the animation tools you have at your disposal; working with an agency specializing in animated video production services will give you more options. The design team at Informatics uses Adobe Animate and Adobe After Effects, which are robust, industry-standard tools, but you can find a range of free to professional-grade tools available online. Your video could be based around stock art, words or cartoon people. What look and style fits your brand best?

Learn more about our in-house video production bay in our recent gear series.

5. How will we maintain brand consistency? Customer trust is perhaps a business’ most valuable asset, and trust is developed and maintained through brand consistency. If this animated video will be posted next to other YouTube videos on your channel, how does it fit in? Are there logos or other identifiers that connect customers with your brand and build trust, or are you sowing confusion?

Animation concept

6. What story are we telling? Identifying your audience and your purpose, and keeping those choices in the front of your mind, will help you develop a clear and concise message for your animated video. The script may have dialogue between multiple characters, or it could be a message delivered by a single speaker. Aim to create a video under 2 minutes, which is where engagement starts to flag.

7. What does each step of the story look like? Once you have a draft of the script, it’s time to pull it apart into scenes and organize it into a storyboard. Think of this as a map that can be read and understood by anyone taking part in the production of the video. You can do this on paper, with online documents, or using storyboarding software like MakeStoryboard. In the storyboarding process, each scene should have clear directions for timing, action descriptions, a sketch of the key images, and any corresponding voiceovers.

Animation audio and production

8. Who is telling the story? Recording the words to go with the visuals is a key step to animated video production, and it’s important you get it right. While your company’s CEO may be the most knowledgeable about your products and industry, they may not have the right tone or voice for your video’s intended audience and purpose. Once you’re recording, don't be shy in asking for extra takes. It's better to have a lot of audio files to edit than to fix a single sub-optimal recording you're stuck with.

Learn more about our in-house audio and podcasting studio in our recent gear series.

9) Will we use music? The right soundtrack can elevate a story from humdrum to emotional. Just imagine removing the swell of violins from every romantic movie. Your music choices should be driven by audience, purpose, and style. There are many online resources for licensing music clips, as well as royalty-free options available. Just don’t use copyrighted music without permission, or your platform may remove your content, or even bar you from making more posts.

10. What are the timeline and milestones? Someone will ultimately be responsible for seeing all of the steps above executed, and taking your animation idea from concept to completion. How long is it estimated to take and will they have the resources they need to get it done in that time? You will also want build in opportunities for feedback and editing. The scale of your animated video production is much smaller than a Hollywood film, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid screening it for a test audience and making improvements.

Creating an animated video doesn’t have to be daunting, but the work does require attention to detail and process. Of course, “process” is one of our favorite words at Informatics, and our media team provides results-driven animated video production services from start-to-finish if you’re looking for expert guidance.

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