For those of us who would rather spend our time watching cartoons than making them, the idea of using animated video in marketing campaigns sounds a little daunting. I, for one, can’t even draw a decent circle.
The last thing you want to worry about when you’re planning a marketing campaign is your artistic skill, but you also don’t want to miss out on the viral potential of visual content.
Inbound marketing is all about staying on top of the content and platforms that appeal to your buyer personas, and your target customers are often evolving as quickly as the social networks and other tools you use to reach them.
If you’re artistically challenged like me, don’t worry! There are lots of ways to produceprofessional, engagement-worthy visual content without the slightest hint of graphic design skill. In fact, that’s pretty much the mission statement of one of my favorite new content tools, PowToon:
PowToon will create the world’s most minimalist, user friendly and intuitive presentation software that allows someone with no technical or design skills to create engaging professional ‘look and feel’ animated presentations.
With a free entry-level plan available, PowToon is an affordable and user-friendly way to create animated videos and presentations that have all the charm of custom cartoons without the expense or the work. Animated templates and a PowerPoint-like user interface make it easy to communicate your message using playful graphics rather than boring plain text.
What word processing did for terrible spellers, PowToon hopes to do for those with a design deficiency. Let’s talk a little more about how it works.
How PowToon Works
Right off the bat, PowToon asks what you’ll be using it for, and each category—Business, Marketing & Sales, Training, Education, Personal/Social/Fun, and Events & Greeting Cards—includes the templates that are most likely to fit your needs. You can either start from scratch and work with the elements of the theme, or customize the template presentation to meet your needs.
The software looks and functions much like PowerPoint’s Presentation Gallery, but with a much more playful feel. The free version includes a limited number of templates, but is still robust enough to create fun, informative, polished presentations and videos (even though they do include the PowToon logo in the lower right-hand corner). If you want access to more tools or to remove the PowToon branding, you can upgrade to the Pro ($89/month) or Business ($197/month) plan, both of which offer steep discounts when you pay annually.
Once you’re in the “studio,” as they call it, you’ll have access to a toolbar with background images, characters, animation, props, royalty-free backing music, and more, including effects and animations unique to the theme. A timeline at the bottom lets you control how characters and text appear and when movements occur.
Why Create Animated Presentations?
Visual content is already huge, and it’s only going to get more prevalent. All types of photos and videos get better engagement on social media than basic text and links, and visuals also reduce bounce rates on blog posts and website pages by keeping readers interested in your content.
And don’t forget email—in a 2014 video marketing study, including the word “video” in the email subject line increased open rates by 20%; the same study projected that video would account for three quarters of internet traffic within the next few years. As an inbound marketer, you probably want to stay ahead of the content curve, and embracing video now is a great way to do that.
Best of all, the kind of informative videos you’ll create with PowToon can be repurposed across a number of platforms, including the second largest search engine in the world—YouTube.
Animated videos are powerful marketing tools for reaching people who aren’t engaging with your other inbound marketing tactics. With platforms like PowToon, you can now start reaping the benefits with very little effort.
Don’t feel like your campaigns are very cohesive? There’s an ebook for that…