November 2019 - Zaini Media

Developing an Animated Character to Represent Your Brand

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Animated characters have proven to be an excellent method of humanising a brand in the eyes of your customer demographic. There are a number of reasons why animated characters are able to do this, but the primary one is that they tap into the viewer’s emotions more than is the case with any other character.

Nostalgia is very powerful, and animated characters are not only fun to watch but also remind the viewer of their childhood watching innumerable cartoon characters on television.

Animated characters are a great way to entertain people and put them at ease while getting across the message of the services or product your company provides, and a strong and memorable character can become instantly identifiable with your brand.

Making a brand ambassador

Many brands choose to hire well known celebrities for the purpose of promotion, but this can be expensive and only last a short time. Brand characters on the other hand have proven to be a valuable alternative, not least because they do not come with exorbitant wages and complicated contracts. There is also no danger of a brand character having a messy personal life that can negatively impact on the public perception of your brand.

The use of animated characters as a brand ambassador is not necessarily new, but the arrival of social media has offered businesses new methods to engage with these customers via these characters.

Why animation?

Some brands can be resistant to the idea of being represented by an animated character as they fear not being taken seriously. However the reality is that traditional corporate speak is very boring even for people within the same industry, and animated characters are just a better way of holding people’s attention and interest for a much longer period of time.

Rather than harming a “serious” brand’s reputation, a carefully developed animated character that targets the appropriate audience demographic will instead likely result in a number of ongoing benefits.

Recognisability

65 percent of visual information is remembered by people up to as long as three days after they have seen something, in comparison to just 10 percent of text-based information. This means that the use of an animated character will have the audience remembering your brand’s marketing activities much more than would otherwise be the case.

Versatility

Animated characters can also be incredibly versatile. An animated character can appear in everything from company presentations to blog articles, explainer videos and advertising. Any marketing activity can benefit and have its effect boosted by the presence of an animated character. Any kind of content can also be made a lot more shareable simply because of the presence of an animated character.

Who uses animated characters?

Many brands in a number of different industries have already developed animated characters to represent them. The sectors most likely to make use of them tend to be ones such as food, insurance and utilities.

In recent years much success has been caused by animated characters such as Gio Compario for Go Compare and Aleksandr Orlov, the meerkat character used by Compare the Market. Brands from a number of other sectors may well see the appeal of trying to connect with their customers in such a manner, while eschewing the use of celebrities for this purpose.

The bottom line is that developing an animated character to represent your brand will ultimately be a boost to your entire business. Zaini Media offers a cost-effective solution to help you develop an animated character that will enhance your company’s connection to its customers and its overall brand recognition.

Image: flickr

Why People Often Connect Well With Animated Videos

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There are many different types of videos, one of which is animation. Animated videos are particularly useful in getting the audience to understand complicated concepts and products.

According to statistics, as many as 65 percent of people are actually visual learners, and the brain receives 90 percent of the information it is sent as visuals. Visual information is also processed by the brain at up to 60,000 times more quickly than text.

Animated videos are therefore an excellent method with which you can bring a story to life and ensure that people can connect with the message you are trying to send in a dynamic way that will engage them anywhere and at any time.

The expressiveness of animation

Live action video is great, but it also comes with a number of undeniable limitations that do not apply to animated videos. Animated videos enable factors such as characters, context, tone and perspective to be expressed in fun, inspiring and original ways.

In order to ensure that the audience is able to connect directly to the central concept of the video, animation has been shown to create a higher engagement level than that can be provided just by live action video.

Holding attention

Animation is also better at holding the attention of the audience better than any other form of video. Animation is capable of evoking emotions that will resonate with people, make them interested in following the story that you are trying to tell and increase the likelihood that they will want to talk about what they have just seen once the video has concluded.

One great example of this that almost everyone will always be familiar with is Google Doodles. These animations are just so adorable that they make people want to immediately click on them.

Audience identification

One of the best things about animated characters is that a fully customisable animated marketing video allows animated characters to be changed to come with specific features.

This means that the animated characters can actually be presented in a manner that looks like their audience. If your audience is able to identify with the characters that they are watching then it will help them to connect with the video even more. It may even cause people to become trusting of your brand as they feel represented and that you know and care about who they are.

The creative possibilities of animation

Animation comes with a vast array of creative possibilities in regards to telling your story in an artistic manner. Beautiful animation can even be used to deal with the most emotionally difficult concepts by tackling tough subjects in a neutral way.
The production of animated videos is also a lot more adaptable and flexible because you have complete creative control all the way through the process.

The types of animated videos

There are a number of different types of animated videos.

Whiteboard animation is one type of animated video that is particularly good for getting across complex topics in an accessible manner. These videos usually last between thirty seconds to just one minute but even when longer than that still have the ability to hold the attention of the viewer and enable them to remember more of the information for a longer period of time.

Typographic animation is essentially moving text, which helps keep the viewer engaged because the text on the screen is actually moving. Entire sentences can be animated along with music and beautiful visuals.

Cartoon videos are the most familiar type of animation, and are very engaging, capable of being used for any kind of video from general corporate brand overviews to tips and tricks etc.

Zaini Media can create the video you want with the animation style of your choice and begin helping you to connect with your audience immediately. Contact them today!

Choosing the Right Kinds of Visuals for Memorable Corporate Videos

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More companies than ever before are becoming aware of the importance of visual content.

Visuals are a powerful tool for engaging the audience, making them a crucial factor in the production of memorable corporate videos.

Visuals make a crucial first impression on anyone watching a video, in much the same way as the cover of a book. However the style of a video needs to be there for the entirety of its duration, making it all the more crucial to choose a visual style that tallies with the overall aesthetic and personality of your business.

Why does the visual style of your video matter?

There are a number of different visual styles used in corporate videos today. These styles include the likes of stock footage and animated video, animated graphics and still images, animated text, an animated presenter, live video with a presenter or interviews, and animated scenes and characters.

When choosing which of these styles to include in your corporate video in order to make it as memorable as possible, it is important to use logic to work out the style that would work best for your business.

COMMON VISUAL STYLES

Arty

An arty style is popular with some corporate videos, able to encapsulate intriguing fonts and attractive illustrations or graphics. These visuals work well with businesses in more creative industries, be they product-related or service-driven. An arty visual style provides a great deal of freedom for businesses to show off the creativity of their talent.

Bold

Bold is the name of another common visual style. This can be achieved by using the likes of snappy text animations, large fonts, geometric graphics and text that is all capitals.

Another method of conveying an image of boldness is with the use of colour. Go for vivid hues rather than muted backdrops.

This style is well suited to businesses that want to be noticed and make a statement, such as those in the fashion, tech or restaurant industries.

Clean

One of the most common visual styles used in corporate videos is known simply as a “clean” style. This is a pared back, very simple visual style that usually makes use of modern fonts on a solid colour backdrop. This is very common for the simple reason that it is suited to many different kinds of businesses.

Whether you choose a text or vocal narration style, it also needs to be kept simple and crisp as there is no point in having a simple visual style only to clutter it up with long-winded descriptions.

A clean visual style is often seen as an indication that your business is efficient, established, trustworthy and above all professional.

The visual style is thus suited to videos made by businesses that want to emphasise either their reliability or the simplicity of their products and services.

Elegant

The other most common visual style used in corporate videos is elegant. An elegant style lends itself to sophistication, and usually features gradual panning within video clips, slow motion, and extravagant font styles as well as other forms of visual embellishment.

This style is often used by businesses that pride themselves on being timeless and traditional and offer premium high quality service or products such as weddings and high class real estate.

How to choose

There are a few ways in which you can work out the visual style that would be best suited to your corporate videos. One good tip is to work out who your main industry competitors currently are, and check out the visual style of their videos. Make your own judgement as to how effective and appropriate you believe those visuals are, and adopt your own approach in response.

Common Video Mistakes That Hurt Your Brand’s Reputation

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Video can be a great tool with which to market your services and products and enhance the reputation of your brand. However the flipside can also be the case. Making a mistake with your promotional video can be costly and actually do your brand’s reputation a lot more harm than good.

While some mistakes may be specific to your particular company or industry, there are a number of common video mistakes that are made by marketers across many different fields.

The good news is those mistakes are so common that they can be easily avoided just by following a few simple tips.

No story, no video

One of the most common mistakes in video marketing is failing to include an actual story within a promotional video. Storytelling is integral to the process of communication and has been since the dawn of human history.

Using stories in marketing videos help the viewer to remember your brand and may even result in them making an emotional connection to it. Some brands, such as Nike, have used the art of storytelling in their marketing videos so effectively that they are able to dominate the industry that they are in.

Stories need a beginning, as well as a middle section, and an ending. The beginning should present the problems your customers are likely to face in order to grab their attention.

The middle part of the story is demonstrating that that problem can be solved by the products or services offered by your brand.

The end of the story should be your best USP to ensure the viewer will remember your brand and want to find about more about it.

Lack of preparation

One of the biggest single mistakes in regards to video marketing is brands that make a video just for the sake of doing so. A video that is produced without the brand having a wider marketing strategy and distribution plan is almost guaranteed to fail.
Videos need to be just one aspect of a much bigger branding and marketing strategy.

It is crucial to understand precisely why the video is being made, the audience it is being aimed at, and what you are hoping to achieve after completing the video.
This mistake can thus be avoided by being aware of the reasons why the video is being made and who you want to see it. This should also include the platforms on which you are intending to post and share the video.

Trying to do too much

Many marketing videos fail because they are trying to achieve too much in such a short space of time. The best marketing videos for brands are those that have a singular focus.

Including an overabundance of different messages within a single video can make it overly complicated and end up just confusing your audience as to precisely what it is you are trying to say.

In some cases it may be unavoidable to have two messages within a video, but it should never include more than that. The result will be a video that is shorter and more digestible, as well as being more entertaining for the viewer.

Think about the message you want your target audience to hear and narrow it down to one or two vital points. You cannot solve every problem with just the one video, so if there are many different messages you want to put out, you may want to make multiple videos.

This will not only make these messages simpler for the viewer to consume, but will also have a healthy impact on the SEO of your brand’s website.
Avoiding common mistakes will ensure that the marketing videos you produce do the job you want them to do and cement your reputation as a quality brand.

5 Tips for Brainstorming Engaging Storylines

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Engaging storylines for videos for your brand are generally acknowledged to be a perquisite in this day and age, but the brainstorming process to try and come up with those storylines in the first place can be as somewhat trickier endeavour.

Brainstorming is important because while it can be very difficult to try and think of new ideas when you are on your own and just staring at a blank piece of paper, when creative people get together and are allowed to bounce ideas off each other, wonderful things can happen. However there are some tips to follow that can ensure the brainstorming process will be able to actually succeed in coming up with ideas that are new, exciting and above all useable.

Creating a routine

You cannot just sit around and wait for an idea to materialise when the deadline for the next video is fast approaching. Inspiration needs work, and work needs some kind of routine to be established in order for anything to get done.

Having a regular brainstorming routine gets people into the mindset of using their creativity and imagination and constant and regular brainstorming sessions will allow the brain to get used to the practice and start coming up with new ideas for videos much more easily.

Defining the process

Brainstorming meetings will have a lot more focus if everyone who is participating in them understands the level of output that they are expected to produce. Brainstorming can pay particular dividends in two particular places during the process of making a new video.

The first of those places is in the conceptual stage. This kind of meeting is usually used to find at least three of four solid ideas that your company’s Creative Director or your client can seriously consider. The story the video wants to tell, the technique or the style that it is going to use and the dominant message or metaphor that the video needs to make use of are all questions that should be considered during a brainstorming session.

Watching other videos

One of the great keys to sparking our own creativity and imagination is to watch other creative content. This isn’t about stealing or plagiarising other people’s ideas so much as it is about how other people’s ideas can inspire new ones of our own. Watch other videos, not necessarily even limited to brand videos within your own particular industry, and see if there are any character types or concepts that you could turn on their head and make your own. You could take a moment or notion that is a small part of another video and make it your main focus, or even flip the central idea to best suit your particular company or industry.

Building the right brainstorming team

A common mistake made by companies is inviting just too many people to a brainstorming session. It is important that everyone present in such a meeting is able to contribute, and anyone who is unable or unwilling to do so will actually just serve to inhibit those who would otherwise be more productive.

Generally speaking two or three people is probably enough for a meeting in which to brainstorm ideas for a new video for your brand, although there are some instances in which more people may be appropriate or necessary.
Mixing together those with copywriting and visual arts skills can produce excellent results.

Make use of your resources

Having a list of all available resources can also be a help to the brainstorming process, making it easier to come up with a story if you have access to certain location, props or even people that that story could then be wrapped around.
Brainstorming can be a powerful tool for productivity and help to plan and develop new ideas that can keep your videos engaging for a long time to come.

There Isn’t A One Size Model For Engaging Videos

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Video improves the conversion rate for customers according to the majority of businesses, but most scale-up and start-up firms have not yet really taken full advantage of the medium when it comes to using it to market their brand and in spite of this success rate, the most popular video website, YouTube, is only used by 52 percent of B2B marketers, according to a report on the social media industry by Social Media Examiner.

But videos marketing and the use of YouTube to deliver those videos can be incredibly powerful tools for B2B brands as they help to humanise their brands, engage potential customers, improve their SEO ranking on Google and create experiences that are much more memorable for customers.

The importance of creativity

The upfront cost of making marketing videos can be an issue for many companies, of course, yet possibly an even larger obstacle is a dearth of creativity. Marketers who do not diversify their videos will find their audience dwindling rather than increasing.

The truth about making engaging videos is that there is not a “one size fits all” model for success, and that making videos engaging is reliant on variety and creativity. Being creative can sound like it is easier said than done. However there are a number of different ways of creating and presenting videos that will result in diverse content and inspire even more creativity just because of their inherently different style.

Telling a story

Many people believe that the future of content marketing is using videos to tell a story. Viewers are more likely to be grabbed by a compelling story and to then keep watching.

A narrative format is a good fit for a B2B video and there are a number of ways to present such narratives, but even just having one person tell a story to the camera can be a simple way to create a worthwhile video in a very short space of time.

Getting to know you

Another good idea is to conduct an interview with your brand leaders, as this will not only humanise your brand but also showcase your expertise and assist your company to build authority in your particular niche.
Videos such as a “day in the life” of your organisation’s employees can provide a similar function. Such videos do not have to be focused solely on work and can include elements such as office birthday parties and fun and games, and can be very beneficial when it comes to recruiting new clients as it makes your company more relatable.

Event videos

Videos can also be used to help promote the fact that your brand will be a presence at a particular industry event, or showcase your attendance after the fact. These events offer plenty of chances to engage your industry fellows as well as capture fascinating sounds and sights and increase your overall brand awareness.

Sharing success stories

Case studies and video testimonials can be one of a brand’s most effective marketing tools when utilised in the correct manner. Video testimonials offer your audience the chance to look at the actual work that your company engages in, while also allowing your satisfied existing clientele to provide their own perspective on the positive experiences they have had with the services or products that you provide.

The main point of videos such as these is to hit on an angle that will genuinely interest an audience without being too self-congratulatory or overly promotional.
There is no end to the different kinds of videos that your brand can make, from running series to industry news updates, animations, and interactive Q&A sessions and beyond, all of which can be effective in marketing your brand.

Image: Flickr

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