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Your 5-step guide to producing amazing animations for your business

Searching for a new way to make your marketing stand out? A short animation could be just the job.

Why choose an animation?

In today’s digitally saturated, always-on world you need to cut through the noise and get your message across quickly and clearly. Images do that: we process visual information a whopping 60,000 times faster than text. This instant uptake may be why we love the pace and action of videos so much — and this includes your business audience, too: 92 per cent of B2B customers watch videos online. And an animation is a flexible way to tap into this market and create whatever you want to visualise.

A good animation will turn your complex messages into a short sequence that’s eye-catching, perfect for sharing and easy to understand. And a strong understanding boosts effectiveness, increasing your conversion rate by up to 75 per cent. Plus, if at any point you want to tailor your animation to increase its appeal to a specific audience, it’s quick and easy to adapt sections of your visuals, so you can change your messages in a matter of hours.

Talk to us about an animation for your business.

5 steps to a successful 2D animation

Creating a cost-effective animation that gets your messages across in seconds requires an integrated planning approach. There’s a clear pathway to follow, but each step doesn’t happen in isolation. It’s an interlinked process and success depends on holding all steps in mind as you work your way through.

1. Develop your core idea

It’s unlikely the idea for your animation will spring, fully fledged, into your mind. Luckily, you can work up a strong idea using a brainstorming process.

Start by establishing your parameters with the following questions:

  • What core messages would you like to get across?
  • What information MUST be included, and what are your nice-to-haves?
  • Who’s your target audience?
  • How long would you like your animation to be?
  • What brand and tone of voice guidance will apply?

If you can’t come up with an idea that meets all your criteria, this information will form the basis of a comprehensive brief to your animation agency.

2. Develop your script and voice over

In an animation, every word counts, whether that’s your voiceover or the copy that appears on screen. As a rough rule of thumb you can only fit 130 unhurried words of voiceover during one minute of animation, so think about the number and complexity of messages you want to get across when deciding your animation length. And, if you intend to slice up your animation into short clips to share on social media, think about creating your script to suit this, writing several small chunks rather than one larger whole.

There’s a world of difference between the visual expectations set up by a script that says: ‘Company X took the plunge…’ and one that settles for ‘Company X began…’. Let your words spark your creativity and reflect any visual ideas you already have in the language you choose for your script.

Invest time in getting your script right, and make sure you include all stakeholders in the sign-off process. The script needs to be locked down before you commission a voiceover, or you’re looking at expensive re-recordings that will delay your project. Remember, too, that the animation will be customised to fit perfectly with the script/voiceover, so any changes to the script after sign-off will bring extra costs for animation amends. You’ll need the voiceover completed before animation can start, because the animated elements will be timed to match its pace.

If you’re using a voiceover, explore all the options, getting a range of samples sent to you so you can find the one that best reflects your brand and the spirit of your animation, ready to move on to the next stage of development — the storyboard.

3. Work up your storyboard

A storyboard is where the look and feel of your animation starts to emerge through a sequence of illustrations that outline all the visual elements, with accompanying notes. A good storyboard clarifies the style your animation will use, how you’ll bring in your branding and how you’ll transition from one story element to another. You can break this process down further, starting with drawn sketches and then, once they’re agreed, working them up into designed illustrations. This two-step process can work well if you’ve got ideas to share with your agency, but don’t have the design skills in-house to create the illustrations.

The storyboard stage is also when you work out the transition effects you’re going to use in your animation. Think beyond creating a series of stills and try to specify how these transitions will look. Start by developing just the first thirty seconds of the script as a taster. Sharing this with your stakeholders at this stage will save you time and money in the end; you’ll get an early steer on style, colours, backgrounds, graphics, and the way people are represented before too much time and budget are used up. Once agreed, you can then progress to storyboarding the full script, confident you’re heading in the right direction.

4. Create the first 30 seconds of your animation

As with your storyboard, start by developing just the first part of your animation and sharing this with your stakeholders to get feedback that will then inform the rest of the process. Even if you think that the first 30 seconds match the storyboard exactly, others may not agree, so it’s prudent to check early on.

5. Complete your full animation

With the feedback on the first 30 seconds to guide you, developing the rest of the animation should be relatively straightforward (and consequently cost effective). Upon completion, compile one set of comments for a single round of amends, then proceed to sign-off.

While your animation is in this final stage of development, work out how you can get the most mileage from this long-lasting piece of content. Consider using it on exhibition stands, in presentations and on your website. Bring it to the attention of your audience through all your marketing channels: make sure your sales teams have access to it, include it in an email campaign, or use clips from it on your social media accounts.

Delivering stand-out animations

At asabell, we have all the expertise you need to bring your animation to life. We offer an end-to-end service that takes you from developing your core messages through to a slick animation. Our team has a strong track record of script writing, storyboarding and animating with a wraparound of friendly and supportive management. From the quirky to the complex, we’re skilled in creating animations that perfectly suit your brand and purpose.

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