Motion Graphics 101: Should They Be a Part of Your Marketing Mix?

Infographics have quickly become an often-used and highly-shared type of web content, as they make it easy to present complex ideas and statistics using clever data visualization. The evolution of this content type has led to the development of motion graphics, which offer an animated take on this popular means of communication. Just as infographics serve as a visually appealing way to present data, motion graphics take the concept a step further.

What is a Motion Graphic?

Motion graphics are animated versions of infographics that utilize animation or kinetic typography to create motion. These graphics are usually combined with audio and presented via electronic media as noted by Visual.ly. Some motion graphics utilize music as the audio element, while others employ a voiceover to present information.

While these pieces are generally created digitally, traditional animation and special effects are also utilized, as explained by Smashing Magazine. Regardless of the means through which they are created, motion graphics open the door for deeper meaning and more thorough exploration of complex ideas thanks to the element of motion.

How Are They Used?

Using moving images and audio, motion graphics are able to tell stories, convey ideas and explain information. In comparison to Power Points, graphs and other presentation tools, motion graphics serve as an entertaining and creative means of communication with your target audience.

An excellent example of motion graphic implementation is this Bath Salt Zombies by Clarity Way. This motion graphic presents itself as a tool for educating people about the harmful nature of bath salts, introducing the viewer to a cute and creepy zombie that personifies the symptoms of bath salt addiction. While this explanation could have come in the form of written content, it would have been far less engaging.

As you watch this motion graphic unfold, it efficiently articulates what would normally be a lengthy and complicated story to interpret. Just as infographics make it easier to digest statistics, motion graphics allow for a more elegant presentation of complex information.

What Makes Them Popular?

Infographics and motion graphics tend to be popular pieces of content due to their visually appealing nature; take the previous example, which was published in The Huffington Post’s Weird News section. In comparison to an excel spreadsheet or a data table, these animations are far more stimulating. They’re easy to consume, easy to comprehend, and easy to share. While motion graphics are still increasing in popularity, they will likely continue to spread in a manner similar to that of infographics. One thing is certain: video content is spreading like wildfire. According to Uberflip’s State of Video in 2013, 87% of marketers are already using video for content marketing.

How Can I Make My Own?

Programs such as Adobe After Effects and Adobe Flash allow users to create and edit video content. Also, these programs can generate animations if you choose to work without video footage. Developing these pieces in-house via these programs can save your company money in the quest for valuable content. Smashing Magazine offers a few examples of interesting motion graphic ideas ranging from designing fiery titles, to creating the illusion of hand-written text.

While the earlier bath salts example used an animation built from the ground up, static images can also be manipulated as shown in this SuSTAYnable Vacationing motion graphic by Mustang parts retailer CJ Pony Parts. A comparison with the original SuSTAYnable Vacationing infographic gives you an idea as to how the various pieces can be edited and manipulated to create motion. Once the moving elements were created, the music for the motion graphic was then incorporated using YouTube’s free audioswap service.

Although professionals can be hired to produce this content, someone with knowledge of the Adobe Creative Suite may wish to do further research and create their own motion graphics.

Should They Be in the Mix?

You might be wondering whether or not motion graphics belong in your own marketing mix. Although they can be expensive and time-consuming to produce, motion graphics are an effective and interesting way to present information and well worth the investment, especially if they go viral.

In sticking with the first example, an article regarding bath salts wouldn’t be nearly as memorable as that animated motion graphic featuring a real zombie proves to be. If you are searching for a new element to include in your content marketing scheme, a motion graphic can be an impactful addition.

Motion graphics present a unique twist on the infographics that have taken over the internet. These animated mediums for presenting information make for a unique and engaging element that can be included in content marketing strategies.

About Adrienne Erin

Adrienne Erin is a blogger and online PR specialist for WebpageFX who has written for Content Marketing Institute, Search Engine People, Muck Rack, and other publications. See more of her work on her personal blog, Pongra.
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