Disrupting the feed with motion

16th October 2020

As 2020 continues to be somewhat of a surprise, one thing that shouldn’t surprise us is that more and more brands are adopting a social-first marketing strategy. This has been the trend for a while but this year has solidified the movement. Consumers are gleefully and tirelessly scrolling the smorgasbord of bottomless feeds, yumming down colossal portions of content. So it stands to reason that, regardless of the size of the company, any solid marketing strategy should have at least some focus on getting brand presence into the feed.

When it comes to ‘feed success’ video is dominating our attention with 48% more views and 1,200% more shares than text or image only posts (Source: Adobe Spark’s 2020 social media trend report). Of course, video isn’t new but its positioning has shifted from a luxury only for big-budget campaigns to an accessible, achievable, and hard-working everyday tool. Brilliant for small regular comms and larger brand positioning pieces, becoming a vital player to those that have already adopted it. Confirming its position as head boy of social media, video is preferred by the magical ‘algorithm’, giving it more eyeballs per inch of scroll [EBPIS] increasing your chance of a high performing comms.

Contrary to popular opinion, the algorithm isn’t actually evil. Merely a process of smart, behavioural calculations to get more of the content people like in front of their faces. We need to be leaning into the algorithm, not only because it works best from a statistical sense but because it’s telling us what our target audience wants – boldly assuming your target audience is people.

93% of businesses who use video believe that it has increased user understanding of their product or service. Source: Wyzowl’s survey on The State of Video Marketing.

Of the video digital marketing world, animation is the trending juggernaut because it is cost-effective, versatile, and easily updatable (you know, for when things inevitably change in 6 months’ time). Extremely good at delivering your message with approachability, clarity, and delight to resonate with your audience. And, in a nutshell, that’s what marketing is – you, letting people know some information based on what you are selling. Great product, great service, great staff, price, range, quantities, colours, flavours, smells, sizes… the list goes on but the principle is simple: If you have something that you think other people want and you want to let them know that you have it = marketing. Getting noticed = good marketing. People buying your product = successful marketing.

Who we are speaking to? What do they want? And why should they care about what you’re offering?

Why is animation so good at telling your tale? Because of its flexibility and aptitude for bespoke output, easily tailored to any brand, combining; typography, illustration, icons, moving footage, photography, colour, shape, and pattern in delicious pick’n’mix fashion. Being able to custom select from these elements allows animation to squash and stretch letting you to accurately communicate precise messages to your customers. When animation is done well, it’s slick and feels nice, irresistibly satisfying to consume. But more than that, it can simplify tasks or information – ’how to’ fill in a form or use/build a product. It can make dry information more palatable – changes to rules/regulations/processes or potentially dull but important internal comms. Or, with the right character, it can elevate a brand into something really memorable, see Tony the Tiger, the Duracell bunny, Compare the Meerkat, or the canned veg Goliath himself, Green Giant. RIP Geoffrey from Toys “R” Us…

But animation is expensive, right? Wrong. It sure can be, but the scope of production value is enormous. Think about a scale from 1 to 100 where Julie from compliance’s PowerPoint on GDPR is 1 and Disney’s The Lion King is 100. Budget is a ‘how long is a piece of string’ question but in this day and age; powerful computers, Adobe, and easy online distribution have sped everything right up. Animation is magic so we can do incredible things quickly. Well, it isn’t really magic. But it is an optical illusion, so we can do a lot with little – and a lot more with lots!

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible” Walt Disney

The digital world and social media feeds are made for animation. The way in which we consume media suits it – more content, more communication, more quickly. It’s only a tool but when executed well it is an attention-grabbing weapon that should be something you are at the very least considering as part of your marketing strategy. And once you’re on board with that, phase two is creating the scroll-disrupting messaging that oozes view counts, click-throughs, interactions, and yummy conversion rates. But that’s about creating winning content and is for another conversation altogether.