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Trendwatch: Communicating your message with animated videos
DHR News | 7th September 2016

Trendwatch: Communicating your message with animated videos

When looking at your social media feeds, have you noticed the explosion of video and animated content that is shared every day? It’s increasingly rare not to come across at least one video when scrolling from the top to the bottom of your screen.

Towards the end of last year, Facebook reported 8 billion daily video views from 500 million users. The figure had grown from 4 billion views per day just 7 months earlier. That’s a 100 per cent increase in just over half a year.

An article published on Brandwatch earlier this year has some more interesting facts:

  • US adults spend an average of 1 hour 16 minutes each day watching video on digital devices.
  • 78 per cent of people watch online videos every week, 55 per cent watch every day.
  • 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
  • On average, there are 1,000,000,000 mobile video views per day.

These figures give a good indication of the overwhelming popularity of online video content, and the report from Facebook, in particular, shows that this popularity is continuing to grow in leaps and bounds.

At DHR, we have recognised the potential of social videos and, over the past year, produced and edited a large number of videos on behalf of our clients. Have a look at an earlier blog entry for some tips on embedding video into your PR toolkit, and check out our YouTube channel for some examples of video we have created in the recent past.

However, today we would like to shine a light on the advantages of using a particular type of video: the animated video.

While the benefits of including videos as a central element in your communications strategy are well documented, in some situations, animated videos can help to tell a more compelling story. A great example is the recent animated video ‘The journey to a free call number’ from Samaritans Ireland – have a look at it here.

Some advantages of animated videos include:

  • Simplifying complex information: Animations work particularly well when the story an organisation is trying to tell is complex and contains many facts and figures. Showing a 63 per cent increase in visitors over an 18 month period, for instance, can be represented much more easily with the use of an animated infographic than by means of a video interview. Animations allow for narration to an infographic, which walks the viewers through the information and allows them to focus more on the visuals instead of reading text.
  • Eye-catching: People’s attention span when scrolling through their social media feeds is very short. As such, it is hard to capture the attention of a viewer in a noisy online world. An interesting still from an animated video can work particularly well here. After all, who doesn’t like watching cartoons?!
  • Storytelling: Telling a good, engaging story is a great way to explain a complex situation or abstract ideas. Through an animated video, a narrative voice can easily be combined with highly visual information therefore making it a fantastic story-telling medium. In addition to visuals and a narrative voice, appropriate music can also be included to set the right mood and enhance the storytelling further.
  • Retention: Information delivered in both a visual and audio format is much easier to recall than information presented in text or audio alone. If an animated video tells a good story and is enjoyable to watch, it will also be memorable.

Despite all of these advantages, it is important to remember that a good idea and story are paramount. Animated videos are a perfect storytelling medium but they only work if there is a good story to tell, and if this story has been cleverly adapted for use as an animation.

Done right, animated video is a perfect vehicle for communicating your message to a wide audience. It engages and entertains viewers and offers a stand-out alternative to text content. It also avoids any complications that may arise in face-to-face interview situations, and takes viewers by the hand on a journey through your story – whatever it might be.

After all, if a picture is worth a thousand words, an animated video must count for a million!

Cover photo: Samaritans Ireland

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