Animated video production: your complete guide to using animated videos in marketing

Animated video image of children in Belfast
Local animation: a scene from one our videos

Why animated videos are so effective for business marketing in Northern Ireland

The benefits of animated video production are many, but they generally hinge around two central concepts:

  1. People remember and retain information from video
  2. Animation is simple, engaging and gets directly to the point

More specifically, animated videos are very effective marketing tools because:

Animated video production is a simple, direct approach to marketing – and animated videos created for businesses in Northern Ireland are the ideal solution.

Animated videos, sometimes called animated explainer videos or just explainer videos, are a proven effective form of digital marketing in the digital age.

A MARKETING TOOL WITH NO USE-BY DATE

Animated videos are evergreen - use them for years, they won't age

Here are more reasons specifically why animated videos are so effective:

 

We like using local accents, but we can also source voice artists across the British Isles and internationally

Don’t have a script? Don’t worry, SmartVideo can write one for you.

A still from an animated video showing script preparation

All the videos in this page were made by us, using local voice talent and local scriptwriters, and made for local clients.

Note: it’s critical that your videos are of good professional quality. Amateur animation and poor scripts can be fatal!

The different types of animated videos

Drilling down into the world of animated videos, there are a variety of types most of which have a range of use cases.

2D Character Animation: This is one of the most popular types, being highly versatile, engaging and effective. In this type of video, characters and backgrounds are created in a two-dimensional space. Music, emotion, script and pace all move the story along to it conclusion, which is to highlight your key marketing message.

The jaunty, upbeat approach is very effective, as I think you’ll see from our video for NI company Total Bathroom Installations:

Our video creation process is local, trusted and transparent. We love animated videos so much, we made one for ourselves to explain our process to clients. Our four-step process makes it easy (see below).

Motion Graphics Video Style: This shares a similar 2D approach to 2D Character Animation, but uses lovely moving graphics to illustrate your key marketing message. The overall effect is smart, upbeat, dynamic and positive.

Motion Graphics Video Style has a range of uses and is particularly good for complicated services or products like tech companies or people or firms offering services as opposed to tangible products. Here’s one we made for ana international accountancy network:

Whiteboard Animation: You’ve seen the videos where a hand appears to draw cartoons or graphics and the writing or a voiceover sets out the key marketing message. This is known as whiteboard animation and can be good for delivering complex messages or to delve deeper into complicated products, services or workflows, for example.

3D Animation: Proper 3D animation is more complicated but can also be very effective.

It can be deployed with time and budget to give a very high-end look and feel. Or it can simply be used to breathe life into a product video.

We created a 3D model of Belfast company Haemoband’s new product and then used it to make this video for them:

Typography Explainer: These use animated type fonts to get the message across. It’s a simple style but can be very effective when teamed with a good script and a bit of creativity.

Screencasts: We’ve all seen screen recordings, but do you know they can be brought to a very professional look and feel the use of scripts, voiceovers, magnifying tools, text placement, 4K screen recording technology and a bunch of effects.

Bespoke or Custom Animation: Most of the styles above use animation libraries to speed creation up and cut down on labour and time. But large companies and organisations with bigger budgets often commission hand-drawn or other bespoke animation that aligns more closely with their brands. Our video for the HSC Foster & Adoption Agency included some bespoke animation (as you’ll see from some iconic images of Belfast, which were created by our animator, not taken from a library):

Scripts are key for animated video production

Animation and marketing can be complex processes, involving a range of experts and disciplines.

It’s essential that your animated explainer videos are professional and high quality. If you produce an amateur-looking video it will reflect badly on your brand and inflict reputational damage on your company or organisation (not to mention your own personal reputation and career prospects!)

For the video to look professional, scripting, format, animation, voice, music and the final CTA (call to action) – all must flow in the right direction.

Scripting: This is key – the rest of the video flows from the script. You need words that will take the person on a journey, illuminating their pain point and arriving at a solution. And not forgetting that final CTA that drives viewers to take action – without it, you’ll lose potential customers.

Planning: Also important. We will start with a kick-off meeting – almost always virtual these days – in which we will understand your company or organisation and its requirements

Voiceover: It’s critical to get a good voice artist that will chime with your audience

Animation: This is a complex skill. Only the largest companies will have in-house animators, so you need to find a good animator

Music: Don’t forget to source rights-free music that adequately reflects your brand values

Copyright: Don’t forget to understand the ownership process and select the right approach for you Format and optimisation: depending on which platforms you wish to use, the size of the video may need to change.

Our 4-point animated video production plan

Different companies have different workflows, but at SmartVideo we use a four-point process to create animated marketing videos for customers.

The key is that we are a one-stop shop where all the elements of an animated video come together. In other words: we do all the work so you don’t have to.

Here’s how our four-point process works:

Here’s how it works in detail. First off, you have a free consultation with SmartVideo, and we come back with a no-obligation quote. Once the script is created and approved, we’ll record the voiceover.

We’ll provide you with around four seconds of trial animation for approval; that way you know what you’re getting. (Most other providers don’t do this, by the way.) Then the animators will create the video. We can add captions at this stage if required.

You’ll have up to three opportunities to make small revisions, and then we’re all set. You now have a powerful digital marketing tool at your disposal.

If you’re wondering about price, our videos start from £395+vat for a 30 second video. Unsurprisingly, the price will rise with more extras like hiring voiceover talent, scripting, more video length, etc.

Local talent is key for the best animated video production

At SmartVideo, we’re big fans of local production. Why get some fancy American or English company that doesn’t understand the local market to make a video for you when you can use trusted local talent?

That’s most obvious in the local accents on voiceovers – but you’ll often see local landmarks or references in our animated videos, too.

Why stay local? It’s the best way to ensure your video reflects local customs and practices – both business and personal etiquette.

And you’ll avoid Americanisations, or the stilted English too often seen from content bought in from people living abroad for whom English isn’t their first language.

And that’s not counting embarrassing misspellings of place names or surnames.

You have full accountability when you use a local company and not a fly-by-night foreign grouping.

Also, you’ll have recourse to local law when it comes to copyright and other legal issues. So, trying to save a few quid can end up being much more costly in the long run.

Regarding copyright, remember to always take care to ensure you have proper rights to use the material you commission.

In law, the content creator retains the rights to the material unless he or she signs them over.

At SmartVideo, our standard Ts and Cs give the commissioner unlimited rights in perpetuity to use the video for their promotional and marketing purposes. We also have an option for you to purchase the copyright of the video so that you own it yourself.