Content Marketing in Motion: Animation and the Sensory Experience

December 1, 2014 by Patrick Harris, originally for Six Degrees

As a digital media designer and animator I may be a little biased, but here goes nothing ...

Motion graphics are everywhere. And they are awesome. Odds are that if you don’t live in a cave, you are exposed to a number of them every single day. From online videos to TV commercials, the amount of animated content we see is growing like crazy.

In a world where content is king and the attention spans of Internet users are diminishing, brands need to look to the outlets that will relay large amounts of data as simply as possible. Motion graphics have and will continue to become a popular way to push out a lot of content in a small amount of time. They provide marketers with a way to turn content into something of visual interest by offering it to the viewer in a sensory environment.

A visual representation of content paired with a voiceover or catchy tune has the power of grabbing the viewer’s attention with minimal work on their part. For that reason, the viewer may be more apt to process the information presented in a motion graphic than if they had to read a long article containing the same stuff.

A close relative to the motion graphic is the infographic. Oftentimes a motion graphic is simply its animated counterpart. Animations are most commonly born from a series of still graphics compiled together with animation software and brought to life.

Not only does animation help convey that your brand is utilizing up-to-date methods of content marketing, but it will also open up many doors for you when it comes to sheer exposure to the content.

Let’s say that the main outlet for your animated content is YouTube. Here’s some food for thought:
• More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month
• More than 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube – that's almost an hour for every person on Earth
• 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minuteAccording to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more U.S. adults ages 18-34 than any cable network

Now factor in hosting that same content on your own website and then on other video hosting sites like Vimeo (which, by the way, streamed 4.9 billion videos in 2013) and your exposure is going to continue to explode. It’s a no-brainer.

Motion graphics serve purposes ranging from playful to political and everything in between. They can bypass language barriers, spark viewers’ interest in new topics and ideas, and even help shape opinions and emotions. Whether you are trying to describe a scientific process or the easiest way to get around town, odds are it can be accomplished through animation.

So, next time you are surfing the Web or flip on the TV, keep an eye out. Motion graphics are all around us and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.