Should you create animated social media posts for your business?

Social media marketing has long held a simple truism; visual works best. With Pinterest, Instagram, and similarly visual-focused platforms continuing to thrive and expand, it’s hard to argue against it. General internet trends support this too, with billions of. GIFs being shared every day and simple, visually stimulating memes exploding in virility across social media, seemingly overnight. This truism has, over time, evolved to encompass animated social media posts, as a natural next step. We at Digital Dot NYC are no strangers to social media marketing, and many of our clients have used them to great results before. Thus, let us discuss animated social media posts for your business, and explore their merits.

The case for animated social media posts for your business

To begin by answering the question posed by the title, yes. Animated social media posts are absolutely worth your time; they can grab your audiences’ attention more effectively and for longer. They’re more engaging, more shareable, more memorable, and more fun.

To support this claim, let us provide a visual example outside of marketing. First, let us relay the image the NYT used to honor Walter Cronkite’s life and legacy when he passed:

A black-and-white photograph of Walter Cronkite in a suit.

Then, let us share this Google Doodle which served the same purpose:

A Google Doodle honoring Walter Cronkite’s career.

 

Both tackle a serious topic that’s personal to many, and thus they’re both bound to elicit emotional reactions. However, as seemingly unrelated to marketing as this seems, which one attracted your eye more? Which one kept your attention for longer? Which one are you more likely to remember? The likely answer is, “the Doodle” – and those are exactly what animated social media posts for your business can offer.

#1: It’s science

Now, let us explore exactly why that is the case. First and foremost, it’s science, as multiple studies have shown. Among others, consider the following findings:

  • 65% of all people are visual learners. This means they’re more likely to engage with visual-rich content than with traditional text-based content.
  • Visuals occupy long-term memory, while text mostly occupies short-term memory. This finding alone begins to explain why such content as .GIFs and Doodles are so memorable.
  • People remember 10% of what they hear and 20% of what they read – but 80% of what they see. In tandem with the above, this settles the matter of memorability; we’re highly visual creatures, indeed.
  • 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Our brains themselves admit as much, as they are extremely more receptive to visual stimulation.
  • Our brains can process visuals a staggering 60,000 times faster than text. Finally, we’re magnificent at processing visuals, which should partly explain the advent of visual storytelling in marketing.

Should you find this interesting, but perhaps unrelated to marketing, we’d respectfully disagree. Such scientific findings drive marketing forward; consider, for example, Neil Patel citing neuroscience to increase sales. Or how neural coupling fuels modern storytelling. Or even the psychology of colors, which has found endless applications in marketing and web design.

#2: Increased engagement rates

Now, with our scientific foundation in place, we may explore the exact benefits of animated social media posts for your business. The primary ones, as regards your audiences, are 3, starting with engagement rates.

Engagement rates are among the most crucial metrics of social media marketing, and for good reason. After ensuring wide reach, it’s engagement that will allure audiences into conversions. Here, citing the above example, we may safely argue that animated social media posts are indeed more engaging.

In essence, animated social media posts bridge the gap between solid images and video. With the effectiveness of both being well-documented, they offer the best of both worlds, in a bite-sized, interactive fashion. 

#3: Swift communication of complex ideas

Their second benefit, perhaps explaining the first, lies in their ability to swiftly communicate complex ideas. Marketing, whether inbound or outbound, is far from simple “buy now” CTAs; it requires flavor, depth, soul, and wit. Realistically, solid images can only offer so much space, and that’s where animated images can truly shine.

To explain in visual terms, let us use the following illustration by Uberflip Blog:

An illustration of the effectiveness of visuals versus written text.

 

This is the foundation of visual use in marketing, in social media or otherwise. However, this doesn’t answer if animated images outperform static ones. This case study by Crello does, however, noting some staggering A/B test results. Namely:

  • “[The]animated ad attracted 1.5x more clicks than the static image.”
  • “[In turn, t]his made [their] cost per click drop 50%.”
  • “[And,] despite [their] animated ad reaching notably less users – 18 thousand for video vs 25 thousand for the static ad, the number of clicks on [their] advertised link was more than double for the animated ad[.]”

These results, while not entirely indisputable, should still provide great context. In Crello’s case, simply enriching the static visual with animations of marketing tool illustrations conveyed the idea much more efficiently. And, in most likelihood, animated social media posts for your business can serve very similar functions.

#4: Shareability and the fun factor

The third main benefit of animated social media posts comes in plain shareability; social media users want to have fun. As they steer toward mobile devices and, in turn, mobile websites, this continues to hold true over the years. Indeed, Hootsuite highlights this in no uncertain terms:

A graph on the reasons why people use social media.

This simple fact alone can help elevate your social media marketing, through such factors as:

  • Positive predisposition. Social media users are far more likely to engage with animated content that appears authentic, natural, and fun. This is why they’re there, after all.
  • A wider reach. In turn, fun content gets significantly more shares. Consider viral marketing; animated social media posts can offer organic shares, exactly because they appeal to audiences’ need for amusement.
  • Organic referral traffic. Finally, shares effectively produce organic referral traffic. Plain traffic volume aside, referral traffic typically attracts more engaged audiences, as marketers typically agree.

#5: Affordability

Finally, audiences themselves aside, animated social media posts are increasingly affordable. As highlighted above, animated images bridge the gap between static images and video – making them more effective than the former. What’s more, as regards cost specifically, they boast the notable perk of lower production costs than the latter.

As of writing this article, there is a wealth of tools and solutions that can allow you to craft excellent animated posts – and most of them come with modest price tags. Even ones that don’t may come within software bundles your business needs anyway, such as Adobe, making them natural choices.

Some such tools include:

  • Apple Motion
  • Adobe After Effects
  • Canva
  • Toonly

Conclusion

To conclude, there are multiple reasons why animated social media posts for your business may deserve your attention. They offer increased engagement rates and an easier, faster way to communicate complex ideas. The end results delight users more and get more shares, in turn producing more conversions and expanding your reach. Finally, producing them is now more affordable than ever, and may even be an option within the software you already use. Thus, you may start simple, and conduct A/B testing to confirm the findings above. If you do, your social media campaigns will no doubt benefit visibly.

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