The use of animation or motion graphics is an excellent tool in documentary-style videos, or those with a strong message to tell.
Animated video enables us to show and explain sensitive subjects, without filming and putting anyone vulnerable at risk at being shown.
This is quite often the case with videos produced for a charity. They can be tough to film because of the strong content of the video, or because of geographical / legal restrictions.
Animation gets over this hurdle and can explain complex and challenging concepts easily, simplifying them for a global audience to comprehend and want to take action. And shown below, you can still tell a strong heartfelt message with just moving images.
Here’s a round-up of some of the best recent animations for causes and charities, highlighting some of the significant issues to be addressed worldwide.
100 Years of Planned Parenthood
The New Promised Land. Chapter 1
Pathway Through Care
Wonderlust | Anchor Point Animation
An Introduction to Climate Change
Trapped with Abuse - End Male Guardianship in Saudi Arabia
Anchor Point Animation
WWF | Water Stewardship
Nice and Serious
Unicef: Unfairy Tales
Don’t be a bully, loser.
USAID Conference - Amazon Rainforest
Ignacio Florez & Adriana Ogarrio
Health Systems Leapfrogging In Emerging Economies
You can see that although there are similarities between the videos, there are many different ways to approach this kind of heavy-hitting animation.
A more hand-drawn or handcrafted approach can bring motion graphics video away from a very corporate look, which often isn’t appropriate or relatable for videos for a cause. It creates more emotion and empathy, giving the video a more filmic feel.
Video design and art direction are quite important here. Using a voiceover from someone directly involved (where possible) can also invoke a lot of emotion in the story and boost the message instead of a corporate professional.
There are so many options for animated video for charity and non-profits. It all depends on the content, and who you’re aiming to watch it.
Visual content for blogs is a must-have, and there are so many benefits – it improves site SEO, more blog views, increased time spent on the page, improving your brand image and more.
But, you don’t always have to create it yourself – In this post, I’ve laid out a few different types of great visual blog content, and the different methods for producing it yourself, or finding a good piece that already exists.
Creating Visual Content vs Finding and Curating It
The content you’ve made for your blog will always be more relevant to your audience and perform better, because it’s made by you and for a specific purpose.
However, we know there’s not always the time and/or budget for original visual content, and you have to look elsewhere for visuals.
The key is to find a good balance, and figure when it is really necessary to create your own, and when you can use something that’s already been made to illustrate your point.
I guess the first thing people think of in terms of visual content and a blog is photos. If it’s relevant, just take some photos, phone camera usually have a fairly decent lens these days – certainly good enough quality for a blog post, providing you have good natural light.
Types of photos that can work well for blogs, are specific product shots, or photos of your staff, events you’ve been to, your space, any gadgets you use. Showing your company culture can make you much more personable and add a real voice to your blog posts.
If you’re not up for photography, a few places to find specific imagery are Wikimedia Commons & Flickr CC – just make sure you get the attribution right (sometimes you need to add the author for example).
Or for more generic stock photos you can head to Death to the Stock Photo. They pride themselves in being non-cheesy, which is great! However, any photos you choose still need to reflect your company, so pick carefully – it really needs to be applicable to the blog content and reflect your brand accurately.
Often, a photo isn’t enough – you need a few words to fully explain your point, and help people remember your content better. If you have some design knowledge, then Photoshop or Illustrator are great for creating fully bespoke graphics, that will be the most relevant to your content and really represent your company in terms of style.
However, If you’re inexperienced in design, then I would head to something like Canva. Canva can be a free service, and if you have no clue about design / layout / colours/ fonts/ whatever, don’t worry! It’s extremely user friendly for creating visual content that works well.
Remember that while you may want to use lots of font and colours, often less is more. And as always it needs to be in keeping with your brand and easy to digest.
It’s worth picking 1 style and keeping within that, or only varying slightly while you’re finding your feet. This will create more unity.
Infographics & Charts
If your blog post is numbers based at all – an infographic is perfect for Condensing lots of information into an easy to understand format. Rather than just a list of numbers, you can represent them visually, and give much more impact.
There’s many ways a professional would make these – if it were me, a mix of Illustrator and Indesign probably (but I’m very nerdy) – and keeping a nice grid layout for good comprehension.
Creating infographics may seem daunting if you’re less nerdy, but again, there are foolproof ways if you have solid data! Canva also has great functionality for this and so does infogr.am. You’ll have lots of options for the best way to visually show your data.
To find premade infographics, you can look onSlideShare and coolinfographics but one of the best ways to find infographics most relevant to your industry / niche is searching in google using your specific keywords + infographic.
Graphs & charts
If you don’t need a whole infographic, but you just want to illustrate one point at a time with a impactful chart, you can create these easily by using Google Sheets or Google Slides.
They may not be the most ‘beautiful’, but they will be extremely relevant to your web audience and a useful asset to display data, and make it more easily understood.
Videos are known to be impactful on blog posts, and it can be fairly easy to create them. You can go the DIY route and have a go (but do invest in a tripod!), you can make a video with your smartphone – and the end quality will matter less if the content is good.
Videos that are good for blogs are; animated infographics, tutorials, client case studies (whether animated or filmed) short videos with staff about specific topics, showing new products / premises, yuor if you’re more regular with production, then you can start a Vlog. A vlog is a great way to add a human face to your business, and give real, personal feeling, insights to customers.
Tips for Using Video on Your Blog - Tubular Insights
If you want to step up your game, you can hire a professional. If you’re using a video production company, I would recommend filming / producing a few videos at a time to create some economies of scale – especially if it will form a series, this means you’ll have a consistent output and a consistent look.
Again, finding the time and resources to create blog videos may not always be possible, but there’s so many videos already online now, we’d hope that at least 1 shows your point!
Finding relevant videos can be a bit of a minefield but Youtube, Ted Talks and Vimeo and are good places to start – have a keyword in mind, and keep trying variations of that until you find it. If you find someone or a channel who creates good videos quite frequently – it’s worth bookmarking!
It’s been shown that visual content on your blog will earn you higher engagement, and there are so many options – with different levels of difficulty and cost – so just find what’s right for your company right now.
You can invest as little or as much time as you want, and still have more impact with your blogs.
In an ideal world, we’d always create our own content, but not everyone is at this stage.
So, the key with finding the right content for your blogs online is very careful consideration – question each item – does this speak to my audience, does it suit my brand, does it say what I want to say, does it have the right tone for my site?
If you’re ready to start producing bespoke content for your blog, and you want a hand with graphic design or video for your company, have a look at our portfolio and get in touch!
We’ve had quite the year in 2016 – so here’s a quick highlight reel to show what we’ve been up to. And just a snippet what lies ahead.
2016 was certainly a busy one. We worked with 34 new clients (as well as loads of our existing customers) last year across USA, UAE, UK, and throughout Europe. Though sadly as studio nerds we don’t get to visit all this great places, we can only imagine!
We’re constantly upskilling here, and although Victoria is trained in fine arts and graphic design – classes specifically for design for motion didn’t really exist until very recently. So we jumped at the chance, and we completed the highly regarded School of Motion Design Bootcamp Course.
Not one to be left out of the fun, our animation expert, Harry, has been delving further into the work of 2d character animation and rigging.
It’s pretty tricky work rigging a character correctly, but it makes a world of difference when it comes to movement – and getting it realistic (not just kerky and sporadic). He completed training at the end of last year to further improve – and we’ve had some great results!
For us, 2016 saw a low of new video and design work across the medical, education and technology sectors in particular. We love learning about new businesses and organisations – and their markets. There’s nothing like a video production to help you learn in depth about a new field relatively quickly. It’s so interesting!
We now have a second base at LX Factory in Lisbon. From Summer 2016 and continuing into this year we’ve been working between both locations. It’s great, Lisbon has really grown as a creative and technological hub in Europe.
This year ahead
So we’re heading to #OFFF17 . It’s a multi disciplinary design and art festival in Barcelona. In their own words “It is more than just a Festival hosting innovative and international speakers, it is more than a meeting point for all talents around the world to collaborate, it is more than feeding the future.”
We’re looking forward to hearing from some amazing speakers and meeting some like minded people!
We’re also making some great advances with 3D design and animation. This is still under wraps at the moment, but we’ll be unveiling some great new 3D projects soon and are looking forward to fully expanding our offering.
We’re working on a web page just for our gif animations. It’s going to a be fun and very silly, there may or may not be a dancing taco…
Lastly – if you want to see some of of our latest projects, whether design or animation head to our lovely Portfolio Page. We update it all the time 🙂
Browsing online we’re seeing more and more videos showing with captions – what’s this all about?
This is due to the rise of mobile video which is growing massively, recent research shows mobile video views grew 6x faster than desktop views in 2015. (Invodo, 2016)
One of the main problems for marketers is that mobile users may not always have the sound turned on – or want to turn it on. So although the visual message may come across – crucially half of the video could be missing.
So how do you get your message across if your video is voiceover or interview-based? This is the same issue, whether filmed or animated video production.
Captions are a great way of letting people preview the video content, and letting them decide to watch with the volume turned on. Or letting them take on board the full message when the volume isn’t an option.
Making the assumption people will always listen from the start is a mistake.
However, sometimes you may not want or need captions, and it’s not always straightforward.
3 Main Types of Captions
Animated Captions – inbuilt into the video that just show highlights and keywords
Open Captions – like subtitles but can’t be turned on and off – they’re embedded within the video
Closed Captions – abilities to turn the subtitles on and off, set by the video player.
If your marketing is very social media-based, for example, Facebook adverts, (and who would blame you!) 100 million hours of video per day are watched on Facebook. (Tech Crunch, 2016) There can be a lot of silent video playback, so you’ll want to incorporate full sub captions, or make your visuals very self-explanatory. The latter is only really possible with animation or motion graphics based videos.
And so now more often on Facebook and youtube, we do see full sub captions are being used. Which means people can still get the content, but without having to turn the sound up – it’s a great user-focused approach.
For those heavily invested in social video, Open captions are a great option, as it gives you more flexibility with the design than video player generated closed captions.
This means your video will never show without captions by mistake, the full message will always get across.
Obviously they still need to be clear, so you can’t be crazy with font choice or colour, but you can be sure they don’t overlap with any visuals, the font is suitable, and you have full control of the process.
If you’re still dabbling with social video production – then Closed Caption system is a great way to start and increase engagement.
For your website, you may not need full subcaptions. If your service or product is heavily B2B – you may still have a good majority of desktop users, who have access to speakers or headphones more easily.
So for a website video or a video just for presentations, you may find that a few key highlight messages, animated nicely do the trick along with the voiceover.
The best to way to find out if your visitors are coming by mobile, tablet or desktop, is to check your wenbsite analytics for the screen size and device used most frequently. You can also check the time on page – to see if you’re putting off mobile users with your site.
There are a few downfalls
It can take a bit of effort and knowledge required to produce the right files for Closed Captions – it requires generating an SRT (or similar) file, which is basically a text file of the script that is formatted so that each line is associated with a time code – so if you’re not familiar it can be a little daunting and time consuming.
Facebook and Youtube now offer automatically generated captions – woohoo! But sometimes what it hears is incorrect, so this is not a foolproof method. Especially when you’ve spent time and money producing a video to generate sales (imagine loads of a typos in a proposal!).
Here’s a quick example where I have put Youtube Closed Captions on a preexisting video. You can see the client didn’t plan to have this, as the captions over overlap the animated text somewhat. And Youtube initially did quite a bad job of guessing the captions! So, it’s not always straightforward.
If you’re not up for a DIY approach, You can hire companies to easily make a perfect transcript if you’re getting errors, then upload that SRT file to youtube or facebook.
If you choose to have animated captions that are ever present and part of the video design – then it’s crucial they are timed well for those who are listening and match the voiceover – as hearing and seeing them as different messages will create a little confusion.
This seems obvious, but marketers are still doing this! It’s so difficult to take one message fully on board if you’re hearing another.
So to get started, first look at your analytics and your marketing efforts. Is your audience website and desktop based or do you drive large amounts of traffic through social media and mobile?
After you have a clear idea of your own users you can decide what level of captions to use.
It’s good to know this info at the beginning of a video project, so that nothing is overlapping that area of the screen, or that the video producer can add animated highlight captions which capture the message in an elegant way.
If you already have videos online on youtube or facebook – see if the automatically generated captions work for you – and there you go, you’ve already increased watching potential!
We’ve been so extremely busy this year so far, that it really called for a new Showreel to reflect our latest work. It’s amazing how quickly our most recent portfolio has built up in just a few months.
We’ve been lucky to work with a range of fantastic creative agencies around the world, to produce soo many different kinds of video. Thank you everyone!
TED talks are enjoyed by millions world wide. They really capture our spirit of human interest and the invention new ideas.
Here are a few of my favourite TED talks on the business of business. I’ve picked these videos to cover a fairly wide range of topics and discussion points; from marketing, motivation, being creative in business, to productivity and leadership. As I believe as a business person, you should have a grasp on all these concepts – even if it’s not strictly your department.
Why read yet another long blog post, when you can watch a short video with a truly motivational speaker and feel really inspired and alter your perspective. So while you have a few moments spare, watch a few of these carefully curated and thought provoking business TED talks – and let me know which ones stimulate you!
1. Seth Godin: How to get your ideas to spread
2. Margaret Gould Stewart: How giant websites design for you (and a billion others, too)
3. Ricardo Semler: How to run a company with (almost) no rules
4. Roselinde Torres: What it takes to be a great leader
5. Josh Luber: The secret sneaker market — and why it matters
6. Dan Pink: The puzzle of motivation
7. Bill Gross: The single biggest reason why startups succeed
8. Sheryl Sandberg: Why we have too few women leaders
9. Seth Godin: The tribes we lead
10. Yves Morieux: As work gets more complex, 6 rules to simplify
Although it can be said that they simplify concepts too much for entertaining bite-size viewing, sometimes you just need that little boost and a break to help refresh and make you think little differently.
Let me know your favourite Business TED Talks! I’d love to watch.
Remember that while your design may look good, it might not be the best possible communication for your audience – it needs to relate.
The design and tone of the poster will look very different if you’re communicating to business people or communicating with teen gig-goers, or to children.
Keep the tone of the poster (which includes text language, font, colour and image style ) relevant for the audience. If you keep the audience in mind from the beginning, and think, ‘does this appeal to them?’ that’s a great start.
This is a poster aimed children, and the tone is perfect, it’s playful, clear and the info text is short enough and simple enough for a child to comprehend quickly.
So now you’ll realise they don’t always want to read about your product or service.
They may be interested in it, but posts just full of special offers are only interesting to those who are already considering your business.
It would help if you appealed to those who don’t even fully know about you yet. What else would they be interested in? Do you have any insight into the industry or related issues?
This kind of wider content also tells Google that you are an expert in the field.
For example, if you own a Kitchen company, you can post about top recipes for the season, new fashion styles, coordinating the right colours, and tips for picking the suitable taps/chairs.
The list is endless, and none of it needs to be directly about your company.
It provides useful or interesting info to your potential buyer, so the benefit is two-fold.
It shows you are an expert in the field, making you an industry leader – which boosts credibility. And regular blogging on these expert topics also makes you more likely to be found by search engines. Win-win!
Types of posts
There are many ways to approach a blog post once you have a topic. Her are few a quick format ideas
A Case Study
Have you completed a project that would make a great case study, write about it. It will give prospective clients a real insight into what it’s like to work with you, and they can see the results.
A Free Offering
If you offer something for free, it needs to be genuinely helpful
A list post is a very popular and easily digestible format for readers. It’s easy to get a few ideas and make it a listable
An In-Depth Guide
A step by step guide is a great resource to have your website: they are very helpful and will likely to be shared and bookmarked. They will typically be longer which is also great for your SEO.
Just make sure to update it in time so that any new steps are quickly added or adapted.
People often search in Google with a question or query. So how can you solve their problems? Is there a common question you always asked?
Be prescriptive and give real help or advice – if applicable, explain how to do something, or go about it, not just describe a process superficially.
You can use ahefs or google keyword planner to check that the keywords in mind have traffic potential
As an example, queries about the cost of video production and animation are widespread on Gooogle, so we wrote a post going into the details of what makes up the cost of animated video production.
Images and videos
You really should add images to your blog posts. It makes them look more engaging, exciting, and it will aid the memory of whoever is reading, whilst also helping to establish credibility.
There are plenty of places where you can get free stock images for your blogs. But it’s also advisable to use your photos where they are relevant, as they may be much more relevant.
If you can afford to purchase them, then that’s even better as they will be less likely overused
Using an online graphic design DIY service like Canva to create interesting images is helpful too, you can create your own graphics.
Generally, a photo every 350 words is considered acceptable – a recent study showed the world’s 100 most popular blogs followed this rule. But if you can’t reach that, just use it as an aim.
My conclusion from this is that it breaks up the text a little and give the reader a small rest with something visually engaging, before the carry on reading.
Videos are also great in blog posts to add further information on a topic or to give a quick example.
Here’s an infographic video on the Picture Superiority effect – for info on image retention too.
Where possible, give evidence for your statements. This isn’t applicable for all blog posts, but if you’re trying to convince people of an idea and you’re making bold claims, then you need something to back this.
It doesn’t need to be metric-based, though it helps if some figures and facts relate to your idea. You can also give real-life examples (like a case study) as evidence.
For example, here’s a quick one from Hubspot this year – “Video remains a key priority for marketers with usage and spend both, overall, increasing slightly throughout 2020, and plans to increase again in the next 12 months..” (Source Hubspot) So if you don’t already, consider a marketing video for your next campaign
The old guidelines for blogs posts used to be around 300 words minimum. Now, the average blog post should around 700 words minimum. Many of my favourite blogs have posts regularly 1000 words or over.
Long-form blog content gives readers and Google a better understanding of what you’re about. A post that is 2000 words plus is genuinely informative and can be a real resource to refer back to.
You always don’t need to write quite this much, but you can see the trend is for more in-depth knowledge.
If you’re struggling to reach the target word count, please don’t waffle or use over-complicated words! More research around the topic might help you find additional points or points of view.
Your blog title and first few lines matter more than you think. They are the first thing viewers see before they even decide to read more, so keep it exciting and relatively short (less than 70 characters).
Lists with numbers always work well (though the post should reflect this), and don’t be afraid to use strong words to create excitement. ‘How to’ type titles or questions are also popular devices.
Generally, I have 3-4 attempts at the title before settling on one – it’s worth spending some time on. Think, would I read this post, based only on this title?
You can link to your relevant pages and pages on other website – it will help boost your page, guiding the viewer.
But please don’t spam the page and add lots of links that have no relevance! Keep it just to a few.
Here’s a quick example of a Printing company—the example link in the text that is bold and underlined. It would go to a case study that’s related to the post topic.
Here’s a recent leaflet print project we did, that demonstrates this example of paper folding and cutting well.
Adding links allows the viewer to explore further if they want to, and is directly relatable to the blog post. It also boosts SEO if the links are relevant and helpful.
Another way of linking is to link to similar blog posts you have written on the same topic.
If you’re interested, you can learn more about designing flyers in our in-depth post How to Create the Perfect Flyer
Linking to other websites on a similar content will also give your blog post more credibility, just don’t link to a competitor.. and check that the website is genuinely informative and have a high domain rating.
These links all aid the viewer, and lets them discover more, but interlinking also boosts your site SEO.
People don’t read online; they merely skim. Many usability studies over the years have shown that people do read very differently online to printed materials. So long paragraphs get entirely missed.
Use Headings to separate large pieces of content; this is for SEO purposes and accessibility. The title should be H1, then any major subheadings are H2, and lower than that H3, H4 etc – it adds much-needed structure.
It helps the user to decide what they want to read very quickly.
As well as short paragraphs wth clear headings, it’s best to keep sentences short – usually under 20-25 words.
If you’re making a list, then you can use bullet points to aid reading. They catch attention and are often well-read.
If you want to bring emphasis to particular words or phrases, you can also make them bold.
These factors allow a user to scan through your post – finding just the parts they are looking for and the main features you want the user to read.
If you incorporate these ideas into your future posts, soon enough, you will get the type of results you’re hoping to achieve from your blogging, both from the reader point of view and for SEO purposes. And if you want a hand, to boost your marketing – then just let us know.
Testimonial videos run the risk of being dull and too lengthly.
It’s too easy to have a static camera, capturing one shot – of a static interviewee.
Resulting in a lifeless video that no one really wants to watch.
To tackle this issue, here’s a selection of different ways to spice up your testimonial videos:
Film on the go
If you film someone while they’re walking, it has a very dynamic effect and can bring great energy to a video.
Filming on the go also steers well away from from the stagnant, someone sitting on a chair in a small office, looking bored kind of video production – that we’ve all seen a million times.
Static shots can be done well, but you see the same thing all the time – so why not try something new!
Film with multi-camera
Using 2 cameras or more for your video shoot is becoming more and more common and for a great reason!
Editing seamlessly between two different shots gives a much more interesting feel to the video – especially if they are quite contrasting.
For example, a wide shot that shows the world behind them – giving more context to the interview, then perhaps a close on the face or the hands (if they move them a lot) the final video uses a mixture of both these angles.
It also has another benefit, the video editor can easily remove sections that don’t sound as good. For example, if the interviewee rambles a little bit, or has a long pause – cutting this out and switching the new shot keeps the overall flow of the video very smooth.
Why not try standing your customer in front of a green screen whilst filming. This is means that instead of a natural environment, you can add graphics behind.
This is great if you want to have a more ‘technological’ feeling approach, and want to include lots of support from charts or data.
Or with green screen video, you can also include lots of captioning, which helps to reinforce their statements.
Film in their environment
If you film your customer at their offices or workplace – it’ll help them feel more at home, as they’re in their own surroundings. Which can make their testimonial sound better, as they’re not as nervous.
This is especially good, if their office or shop environment is quite typical of your customers, as it’ll be even more relatable to watch for the audience.
Film at your premises
Filming the interview at your places of work can work out really nicely. But really only this if this is a typical scenario – ie customers often visit your work.
Filming there can show the interaction between you and your customer, and helps the viewer to imagine themselves in this harmonious working relationship.
Film Lots of B Roll
If the person on camera is a bit shy, then B roll is your best friend. B Roll is simply footage that appears over the top of the person talking.
So you continue to hear the voice – but instead of seeing their face the whole time, you cut to shots of them working, them interacting with colleagues, etc.
Usually, these are related shots like the person working or carrying out an action that’s relevant to what they are saying.
B roll footage is really helpful for putting the whole interview into context and bringing you into their world.
Film a few people
If you film 3-4 people and have a video that includes a combination of all – it creates excitement.
And it also gives the impression that everyone is already on board! So if you have several happy customers – you can film individual testimonials, then make a combination video.
Above all – try and keep testimonial video shooting natural and unrehearsed!
Obviously, you want positive, genuine statements, delivered as best as possible, but rehearsing can come across false and a bit stifled.
Hopefully, you can use one or more of these tips in your next Testimonial Video Production – click to read about our video production services