How Animation Can Help in Video

Clients often forget how useful animation and motion graphics can be in videos.  It can support any type of video from internal comms, training or a promotional video. Whether it be for the full video or part of it there are a number of different ways you can and should incorporate animation in your video.

Top 3 ways to incorporate animation into your video

1. Visualise & Simplify 

2. Save time 

3. Educate & Entertain

 

Visualise and simplify 

If what you or your organisation offers is complicated, then animation can help your audience to visualise what you are trying to explain. Rather than someone talking through the process (which can sometimes be very boring!) animation can enable you to showcase this in a much more visually pleasing way.

 

 

Save time
Screenshot 2020-06-10 at 10.49.57Screenshot 2020-06-10 at 10.49.45

Animation and indeed motion graphics can also be used to save time within the actual video – the above still images from one of our client’s videos shows students talking about how to keep safe in the city of their University but the question is there (without needing to be said) resonating with the viewer and the surrounding graphics bring this to life.

 

Educate and Entertain 

Cartoons by their very nature are entertaining, even if the subject is a little dull or indeed depressing.  Take the Dumb ways to die video as an example, a depressing subject brought to life in an entertaining and educational way.

Here’s a quick example of how we have recently used video for our client.  Enterprise Call is an online platform that provides users with a diagnostic tool to discover their enterprising talents and skills – your personal qualities, what you know, what you do and how motivated you are to improve.  This is useful for both employers, employees, investors and entrepreneurs.  The video explains much better than we can….

How can Video help to improve your SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation, if you needed one reason to use video content, that should be it. Many people’s first thought when seeing the words SEO is Google and keywords.  With SEO potentially having the biggest impact on engagement, conversion, and ultimately revenue, being savvy with the content you put out there is vital.

 

How can video content improve SEO

 

  1. How video can help improve your organic Google ranking

Google cares about video so you should too. If your site has a mixture of text and visuals, video being one of those visuals, this shows your pages are as varied as they are informative. Google searches for high-quality content and relevance to what you are searching for.

 

  1. How video can help to increase traffic.

People are more likely to visit your website after watching a video on YouTube or other social channels. Another quality that Google considers when ranking your page is the amount of traffic you receive. A lot of traffic means people are visiting your site and returning for a reason. With video likely to increase your traffic to your website, it’s a no brainer to use it, right?

 

  1. People will spend longer on your page if there is a video to watch

If you have a two-minute video as the first thing people see on your website, they are more likely to watch this than read 4 paragraphs about what your business or brand does. With video, people are more likely to spend more time on your page, this being something else that Google pays attention to. If you have tonnes of traffic that leaves after a few seconds, this shows your content can’t be that engaging, and people are going elsewhere for answers

 

 

  1. Video can help to increase referral traffic to your site

It has been thought that the more shares on social channels something gets, the better the ranking on Google, therefore the more places you publish your video, the more shares you encounter the better ranking that may gain. This is a great opportunity to not only gain referral traffic to your sire but also boost your rankings.

 

  1. How video can help with conversions

With all the effort you have put into your video and the ranking on Google, this means nothing without conversions. People are twice as likely to make a purchase after watching a video with engaging content. This means that at all stages, video can not only help to increase your SEO and get more views to your site but also have a greater return on investment.

 

 

If used correctly, video can have a massive impact on your SEO and ultimately your ROI. If you are interested in using video, or maybe you want to use video but don’t know where to start, our team is here to help every step of the way. Contact us here for more information about your next video project.

14 Ways you could be using Animation

Animation videos are another way for you to get your messages out both internally and externally. We have devised a list of what we believe are the top 14 ways you could be using animation in your video marketing strategy.

 

  1. Animation can save you time and money as you don’t have to source expensive actors or locations.

 

  1. Animation can help to simplify complicated processes, training, or even products that you are offering. They help your audience to visualise things. Here’s an example of an animated explainer video.

 

  1. Once we have your brief, your time can be spent focusing on other jobs. You don’t need to be around for shoots, we create your animation from our desk.

 

  1. Anything is possible with animation – you want flying pigs; we can make flying pigs. You want a house that changes colour, we have done that too!

 

  1. One size doesn’t fit all – Animations can be customised for different audiences, resulting in better engagement and better ROI.

 

  1. Animation and motion graphics can bring your live-action videos to life! Watch Birmingham City University Safe in The City Campaign come to life with the use of live-action and motion graphics.

 

  1. Camera shy? No problem. We can create a miniature you! You can still do all the talking and be the face of your business, but never have to sit in front of a camera.

 

  1. There are lots of different types of animation from stick drawings to full 3D animation. Something to suit everyone’s needs and budget

 

  1. Often an animation can be an extension of a brochure or an application or even your website. Animation brings these already existing marketing materials to life

 

  1. You want to get your team together in one place for a shoot but it’s proving impossible – why not animate your team

 

  1. Animation is timeless. Unlike live action where the clothes and set can date, animation has more shelf life

 

  1. Once your assets are created, they can be used over and over and over again so you can develop your story or use the same assets for different things

 

  1. Animation enables you to be really diverse, creating characters of different gender, race, age etc.

 

  1. With animation you can be as creative as your like, inventing stories that you would never have been able to tell with live action

 

Animation has the possibility to be endless, whether that’s from communicating to clients, prospects or staff or training new employees or even animating your entire team. If you want to find out more about animation visit out animation and motion graphics page, if you already have some idea’s maybe you are unsure of what to do with them, contact one of our team here.

11 Types of Videos Businesses Can use for Internal Communications

Video can provide a number of key benefits to organisations. Those who receive internal communications via a video are more likely to absorb the information. According to AllThingsIC.com;

 

69% of Internal Communication pros are using video to engage employees and 41% plan to increase its usage.

 

Video can help put faces to names, resulting in stronger bonds between employees and company culture.

 

  1. News & updates to the entire company

  2. Newsletters – delivering the same message to all employees

  3. Animation – a great way to keep employees engaged

  4. Thank you video – say thanks for all their hard work

  5. Training videos

  6. New health & safety training videos

  7. PPE training videos – how & when to use it

  8. New employee onboarding

  9. Staff vox pops – videos to engage and keep employees feeling connected

  10. Employee spotlight video – someone who has gone the extra mile

  11. Interactive videos – great for training and keeping employees engaged.

 

 

11 Types of videos businesses can use for internal comms

 

  1. News & updates – a great way to put faces to names and keep employees engaged in the company, letting them know of any new key messages or any new targets and goals.
  2. Newsletter – Giving monthly updates to employees, but not just through an email that takes up four pages of text, use a video to keep them updated and engaged.
  3. Animation – maybe you want to start giving annual financial reviews, animation can be a great way of keeping employees engaged and absorb the information. Animation helps to bring to life those subjects that we tend to label complicated or boring
  4. Thank you, video, – thank your employees for their hard work, using a video will have a greater impact than just words on an email, it will help to create a more emotional connection. You can even personalize the video with both audio and visuals.
  5. Training – this is the perfect opportunity to use interactive video in your internal comms strategy. The employee will watch a video and then choose which answer to give, for example, in a fire safety video, the video may take them around the company warehouse which the employee then has to pick out the fire hazards as they go.
  6. New Training Videos – With some normality beginning to return, your employees need to be made aware of new rules and regulations that you make have in place such as health and safety – the brain responds quicker and better to visuals than any other kind of learning.
  7. PPE Videos – Your employees need to be made aware of personal protective equipment, when to wear it, how to wear but also why they are wearing it. Video can help to ensure employees are all given the same message
  8. New employee onboarding – use video to introduce new employees to colleagues and company culture, this also saves time for those current employees not having to introduce themselves each time.
  9. Staff Vox Pops – for larger organisations or those with staff working remotely it can sometimes be hard for teams to feel connected, videos of staff talking about their role, and how this fits within the company can help with employee engagement.
  10. Employee spotlight – use video as a platform to celebrate employees, those who have gone that extra mile to help achieve company targets
  11. Interactive Videos – Great for employee engagement, interactive videos can be branch style, have hot spots for weblinks or quizzes to check understanding.  There are so many possibilities, from training to fun engaging ideas to keep employees motivated.

 

If you work in internal comms and are looking to start using video production as a means of communicating quickly, easily, and symmetrically with all your staff, contact Ark Media. Our creative, innovative team will be able to bring your ideas to life and achieve those employee engagement targets.

Changes to business during Covid-19

We hope you and your loved ones are keeping healthy.  In these uncertain times, we wanted to bring you a little bit of certainty about how we are working and how Ark Media can help you.

The impact on our customers

We are very much still open for business:

  • Client meetings are taking place albeit in the form of video calls (or a phone call if you prefer).
  • Our film crews are now off the road but our team, who are all now working from home, are ready to help with your next project.
  • As a small business, we are thankful for your support. A few ways we can help you are listed below.

How employees are being protected through social distancing 

The entire Ark Team are all now working from home and are no longer out filming. That said there are still lots of ways we can help you (see below)

How will customer service be affected?

Our customer service will not be affected, we are all still contactable via email, the only difference is that we are no longer in the office, however any meetings, video strategy sessions or calls that may be planned in can still go ahead via video.

How can we help you during these uncertain times?

Whilst live filming can’t happen there are still lots of ways we can help you communicate with your internal and external audiences. This could include:

  • Animation – 2D, 3D and motion graphics can really help to get a message out in an easily digestible format. See our showreel for inspiration
  • Quick Edits – you record at home with your smartphone and we will edit it to look much more professional (to include graphics, subtitles etc). Prices from £99(+vat). Find out more here
  • Stock imagery and videos – we can use these to deliver a film that appears live action
  • Existing Footage – If you’ve already got footage we can re-purpose it for you with new graphics, voice-overs and/or mixed media to deliver a new message.

We are also offering free online video strategy sessions for organisations wanting to use the time to review their video communications strategies and plans.

If the above is of interest please contact our team to discuss.

How long will these changes be in place?

We are following all government guidelines to keep our staff, clients, and suppliers safe.

If there is any other way we can help you please let us know.

Let’s #KeepBusinessMoving

How video can help businesses in the fight against coronavirus?

The news is changing on a daily basis with regards to COVID-19. It’s affecting our video production clients in different ways depending on their business. We thought it would be useful to outline some of the ways video and animation can help businesses to deal with the disruption:

Using Video for Important Internal Messages

Many organisations are encouraging their staff to work from home. The beauty of the internet and the many tools and technologies available to businesses means remote working can help.  Remote working can maintain your productivity as well as keeping your workforce healthy.

Communicating properly to remote workers can sometimes be tricky.  Calling employees separately can be time-consuming. Similarly writing lengthy emails that may never be properly read can be detrimental.

75% of employees are more likely to watch a video than read text. (Source: Ragan)

Video can be useful to ensure the same consistent message gets out to everyone in an easily digestible way. There are a number of ways you can achieve this:

  • A recording of your MD giving a motivational message to the staff
  • A simple icon animation explaining your organisations approach to the virus
  • A 2D animation explaining key messages that you want to communicate to staff
  • An animation training video getting across how to do something so all staff are aware instead of attending in-house training sessions.

Using Video Instead of Events

If your event really must stop why not think about recording the content.  This can then be shared with the people who are booked to attend.  It could even be something you employ for future events as an added value option or even a saleable product for those people unable to attend in person.

Using Video to Live Stream Events

People who are booked and can’t attend because of COVID-19 can watch the live stream.  This ensures they are not missing out.  It also means your business is not missing out by having to provide big refunds or rearrange internal events.

If you would like to discuss how video production can help your business please get in touch.

What are interactive videos & how can I use them?

Interactive video means the viewer has control over the story, they choose what happens throughout the video, leading to an ending that they have chosen. Interactive videos are not only a great way to capture attention, but also to keep it.   The viewer can pick the route of their own story, they will only pick content that they care about. This enables companies to gather more information about a prospect, which makes converting them to a customer simpler.

 

Interactive Videos for Internal and External Communications

Interactive videos also have great value for internal use. For example, in training videos, the viewer has the chance to pick out the fire hazards as a video walks them through your company’s premises.

 

Types of Interactive Videos

The possibilities with interactive videos are endless, here are just a few more examples of what can be used in an interactive video:

  • Quizzes
  • Links to websites or products pages
  • Custom forms – collect leads & schedule in appointments
  • Branching – the link between videos to create your own story
  • Lessons – make any video an interactive lesson
  • Add to the shopping basket – if your video is promoting your products, customers can add to their shopping basket as they watch your video
  • User sentiment – gathering information about your audience in real-time.

 

According to Video Smart ‘Interactive video content generate double the conversions of passive content. Interactive content generates 4-5 times more page views than static content, and 91% of B2B buyers prefer to consume interactive and visual content.’

 

Social Media Today has written that ‘interactive video is used by 2% of marketers, yet 43% of businesses plan on using interactive video in the future.’  They also claim that ‘90% of interactive videos get views until the end or have completion rates.’

 

Our favorite interactive videos

 

We have had a look around at some interactive videos that are already out there. Here are our top three;

 

Deloitte’s Recruitment Video

This has made our top five as it showcases Deloittes as a fun place to work. But also puts you, as the viewer, in control. It also allows Deloittes to shout about their brand values, if you don’t meet the values, you won’t make the team. This is a fantastic recruitment video that entices the viewer to apply, but also creates a sense of what Deloittes is all about.

 

Screenshot 2020-03-10 at 11.30.37

See the full video here.

 

Major Lazor Know No Better Music Video

We picked this video as one of our favourites because of how easy it is to switch between the young boys’ dream and his reality, but also how you never know what to expect when you switch between the two.

Screenshot 2020-03-10 at 10.30.11

See the full video here

 

Bob Dylan Rolling Stone

This interactive video stood out to us as we think it is so clever. When you click to turn the channel over, those on that channel, whether it be animation, a music video or a documentary, everyone is singing the Bob Dylan song.

 

Screenshot 2020-03-10 at 10.39.28

See the full video here.

Do I need subtitles for my social media videos?

By 2022 it is predicted that 82% of all consumer internet traffic will come from online videos. It is also predicted that the number of monthly active social network users will reach 42.88 million in the UK alone. Therefore, creating a video that has the potential to reach that many people is a no brainer, right?

 

A question we get asked a lot here at Ark is, do I need to subtitle my social media posts? The simple answer, yes. Imagine yourself watching a video on Facebook, or LinkedIn, how often do you open that video to hear the sound? From my personal experience, it’s hardly ever. According to Social Media Today, ‘85% of [Facebook] users prefer to watch videos on the platform without sound.’

 

People watch without sound (especially in public)

 

Therefore, with this many people watching videos without sound, subtitling could have a real effect on how successful they are. Research has shown that videos with subtitles, on average, were watched 91% to completion, compare this to the 66% without subtitles, it’s a big leap. Using video on your social channels helps attract attention, add subtitles and this increases engagement. Subtitles actually let viewers know what the video is about, a viewer without headphones on a public bus or open office, gets to watch your video and understands what is happening.

 

Talk their language

 

Additionally, not everyone may speak your language, take your target audience into account and create subtitles that benefit them. It will also mean your video has more impact.

 

If you really don’t like subtitles

 

If you are really dead against having subtitles (our editor, Joe, can’t stand them) there are ways around it. For example, you could have on-screen graphics that enable you to get the message out with visuals that support without the need for sound.  Overall though we find our clients are getting much better reach and engagement with subtitles.

 

What are your experiences – do you subtitle your social media posts?

What is a Video Strategy Workshop? Sign up for your FREE session! (limited time only)

A video strategy workshop will help you to explore how your organisation can be using video for either external or internal communications.  After a workshop, your team will feel inspired by what’s possible with video and how it can help you to do one or more of the following

  • Sell more
  • Reduce costs
  • Get your internal messages out in a more engaging way.

 

In an article written by Biteable, it states:

‘59% of executives say they would rather watch a video than reading text. (Wordstream)’

 

So, WHAT is involved in the video strategy workshop?

During the session, you will discuss what you’re trying to achieve from an overall strategy perspective.  We then look at the different types of video – this includes interactive videos, personalised videos, mixed media and much more (check our services page for more examples).  This part is often quite inspirational and is where we start to collaborate on ideas for you based on your objectives.  We also look at distribution channels and bring together the ideas for video along with the distribution strategies.

Sometimes the organisation already has ideas that need refining, other times it’s up to us to bring our creativity to the table.

Following the workshop, the Ark team will provide you with your own specific video blueprint with lots of ideas and suggestions as to how video can help you to achieve your objectives.

A video strategy workshop could be really helpful for your business and brand. Setting clearly defined objectives for video and identifying areas that may be falling behind where video can help bring them back in line.

 

How does it work?

The workshop will last 2 hours, we would need a wifi connection (unless we are conducting the workshop online!).   Depending on the structure of your organisation you may like to invite representatives from at least 1 or more of the following departments:

  • Marketing
  • Internal Communications
  • HR

To ensure full benefit it’s best to keep the numbers under 10.

After the workshop, we will provide you with a written document, tailored to your needs and objectives which you can use as your blueprint video plan.

 

What does it cost?

For a limited time, we are offering these workshops for FREE! If you would like to book in for a session with two of our multi-award winning team, please email us at info@arkmedia.co.uk and we will be able to offer dates and times for you to choose from.

Does the language used in the film industry leave you scratching your head?

As a video production company, the team at Ark Media tries to talk your language. Within the film industry though there are some technical references and language that we can’t get away from.

We have created a list of words and phrases that we commonly get asked:

Video terms used in the Film industry

2D Two dimensional, this refers more to animation the images are sitting flat on the screen.
3D Three dimensional. Again, this refers more to animation, the images that are on the screen have more depth to them.
360 Degree Three-hundred-and-sixty-degree video – this is a type of video that can be viewed from all angles and also a VR headset!
4K Ultra-high-definition resolution. Each image on the screen is made up of little tiny squares called pixels, 4K means there are 4,000 horizontal pixels and 2,000 vertical pixels.
A-Roll The footage of the main subject of the film or shot with a primary camera in multi-camera setups.
Aerial Filming Footage that is taken from the sky using drones or helicopters.
Amends Changes that are made to your video.
Animation A video made from designs and drawings rather than real life and real people.
Audio levels This refers to the volume of sound on a video.
Audio mix This means that all the audio levels are balanced so that it isn’t really loud one second and really quiet the next. This is something that is done during the editing stages of a project.
Autocue A device used to project a script up onto a screen in front of the camera, so the subject can read it whilst still looking into the lens.
After Effects Software that is used for animation and visual effects.
Assembly Edit The very first version of a video once it’s been shot and is uploaded to a computer. It is simply putting the shots into the right order.
Assets Anything that is in a video – from photos to video to audio files and music.
B-Cam A second camera that is used in addition to the main camera, gives the editor more choice of shots.
B-Roll Footage that is captured in addition to the main event, for example, an interview of how an event went, b-roll could be footage of the event itself.
Call Sheet This is a document that is sent to all involved in filming, actors, camera crew and host. It is a document that has all the details of the day in, from locations to phone numbers, timings of the day to any additional notes the camera crew may need.
Camera operator The person behind the camera capturing the footage.
CTA Call to action. Instructions for the audience to follow, such as “get in touch”, “call today” or “visit our website”.
Cutaways Footage that is used over the top of another piece of footage, to ‘cut-away’ from the previous shot, usually used in interviews or highlights videos.
Delivery When the client receives the final file from the production company.
Depth of Field The visual effect that separates the foreground from the background, the background may be blurred out.
Edit When all the shots are compiled together, and the story of the video is made.
Editor The person responsible for editing all the shots captured together, adding in music and logos.
Export Once everything has been edited it needs to be exported in order to be used.
Frame Rate The number of frames in one second, a high frame rate can be used making a video look sleek, a low frame rate can be used to create slow-motion effect.
Gimbal A device that the camera is mounted to, this is used to make handheld footage look a lot smoother.
Grade Colour grading is used so that all shots are matching in colour. Outside shots are going to be completely different in colour compared to inside.
Graphic Something visual that will appear in the video, for example, you may have statistics on the screen when someone is talking.
Green Screen A green sheet set up as a background with multiple lights, in order to be able to change the background of the footage during the edit.
GV General views. A set of cutaways usually captured at events for use as b-roll, such as arrivals, guests chatting, shots of the location exterior, etc.
Handheld When the camera is taken off the tripod or gimbal and used by the camera operator in their own hands. The shots won’t be still like on a tripod.
IV Interview.
Lens The part of a camera that allows light to pass through it in order to capture your video. They come in various different sizes and can be attached and de-attached in order to get closer shots or wider shots.
Lower Thirds This refers to anything in the bottom third of the video, this could be a name tag or logo.
Motion Graphics The same as graphics, but they move. So statistics that could fly across the scene whilst someone is talking in the video.
Mood Board An arrangement of images, materials, pieces of text used to set the style of the video.
Post-Production This is where any footage that has been shot it edited together in order to create a story.
Pre-Production Any work that takes place prior actually capturing footage, mood boards, storyboards, scripts and shot lists.
Premiere Software used to edit videos.
Pick Up Shot Re-filming a selection of shots that need to be recaptured to ensure there is enough material for the video.
Production This is when filming is taking place with a camera crew, or the animation is being created.
Proxies This is where lower resolutions are created of the original files in order to make editing easier and quicker. A smaller resolution means a smaller file size, meaning it is quicker to load.
PTC Piece to camera. A video where the subject looks directly at the camera lens and talks to it, to imitate talking directly to the viewer.
Recce A visit to a film location in pre-production to determine how suitable it is and to identify risks for a risk assessment.
Render Similar to exporting except this time it’s when motion graphics are exported.
Rough Cut The first version of the unfinished video. Often includes a sample of a voice over or music. Feedback is given here to make sure we are all on the same page.
Rushes The raw, unedited video files come straight from the camera.
Shot List A list of the different footage you would like to be shot and included in the video.
Showreel A short video that showcases you at your best!
Storyboard Images that are usually drawn to help imagine what the final video will look like.
Subtitles On-screen words that match what the person is saying. Perfect for use on social media posts as not many watch videos on social with sound on.
Timeline The place where all the footage is placed whilst editing.
Titles On-screen text or moving images that complement the video or sound.
Voiceover or VO Someone speaking over a video works well with explainer videos.