It is usually straightforward to source an interesting image when attempting to attract consumers’ attention in a website, email or social media post. However, a static image, in this increasingly digital age, is less likely to generate the standout it once did, with huge numbers of these images already being used by other brands to fight for the attention of the same consumers.
It means that if marketers want to engage with consumers at a time when attention spans are decreasing they need to try something new.
Also, with the proliferation of broadband, particularly fibre broadband, and better and more affordable smartphones with inexpensive data contracts, there’s a big opportunity for brands to be more creative when it comes to the images they use online.
Motion design as a static image substitute
There is plenty of evidence that a moving image is much more powerful than a static one. It could be 20 seconds of video that explains a concept much more effectively to the mass audience than several paragraphs of body copy or, indeed, anything else. Of course, not everyone will make it to the end of your video, but you have a chance to create an experience for your brand and leave a lasting impression.
One motion graphic that’s very subtle but works well in attracting attention is the cinemagraph - essentially a living photo - where one aspect of the image moves, maybe rain droplets or swaying leaves, for example.
So why do people connect with video and other motion graphics?
The answer is simple: they create an emotional connection with the viewer far quicker than any other content platform.
Motion graphics, like video, allow for a rich story to be carried through multiple channels of communication, but they demand a delicate balance of interwoven components. Music swells and ebbs with key turning points. Artwork gives a face to abstract language. Animation adds energy to the story, moving the narrative forward. Sound design draws attention to important messaging, and the voiceover adds a human connection. All must work together harmoniously throughout the duration of the motion graphic to keep the audience engaged.
When everything works together motion graphics can delight, inspire and guide your audience to take whatever action your brand wants.
In the end, the greatest value of motion graphics is their ability to quickly tell your brand’s story in a way that instantly creates a connection with the consumer. Whether your end goal is to launch a product or drive social shares and brand awareness, motion graphics are the fastest route from contact to conversion.
Motion design on the user interface (web animations)
For savvy marketers motion design is not just about having a video or cinemagraph on a home or landing page to help attract the attention of consumers. This is because small motion-driven animations play a vital role in helping to ensure that the customer experience flows intuitively throughout the user interface. It’s these animations that play a vital role in taking the consumer on a journey to purchase and help them clearly see and understand the journey they are taking.
With the advent of touch interfaces, especially those on small screens such as tablets, phones and watches, motion design is a necessity for making those interactions smooth, as well as satisfying the consumer’s desire for interactivity.
Take a shopping cart flow, for example. The details of the micro-interactions: the button clicks, the page transitions can greatly improve a consumer’s experience in your store, meaning they are far more likely to return. It could be shading an area of the screen where they have clicked on a bullet point, highlighting their action.
The more you can justify an animation, the more it adds value to the overall user experience, the higher it should be prioritised.
In today’s world, brands serious about delivering standout, engagement, increasing dwell time and driving sales must embed motion design throughout their sites, email and social activity.
By James Pruden, studio director at Xigen