An overwhelming 40% of the population doesn’t read blog posts or articles. They get their information through videos, podcasts, and animations, or so they say.
While you may still be clinging to your old-fashioned pen and paper, it’s time to get with the times and start spicing up your content with attention-grabbing visuals, particularly animations.
Animations have the power to catch people’s attention and keep them invested.
Note that animations aren’t the only visual graphics you can use to boost engagement.
You can also use GIFs, videos, and other visuals just as effectively. But animations can be compelling because they can quickly tell stories and sum up complex concepts in a short amount of time, often with some humour thrown in.
Enough of that hocus-pocus. Here are ten ways to boost your website engagement with animations:
1. Use Animations to Distract and Delight Visitors as Your Page Loads
Your site’s visitors don’t have the patience to wait for your website to load, so why not give them something fun to look at as they wait?
You can use animations to deliver a delightful distraction or highlight something about your brand. The trick here is to keep the animation short and sweet — no more than three seconds.
Examples of animations you can use include an animated logo, a character that moves around a page doing something.
You could even highlight a product’s feature or a special offer.
It’s all about being creative and entertaining, not just informative.
2. MicroInteraction Animations
Microinteractions are small animations that help make interactions with your website more fun and intuitive.
They can be used to give feedback on user actions such as clicking a button, hovering over a menu item, or scrolling down the page.
For example, you could animate an icon that changes size when a user clicks on it or a button that shakes when the user hovers over it.
A good example of a microinteraction animation is the “Like” button on Facebook and YouTube. It produces a little animation when you click it, letting you know your action was successful.
These animations can help make your website more interactive, user-friendly, and engaging.
If your site has a lot of user interactions, microinteractions can help make your users’ experience more enjoyable.
Here are a few cases where microinteraction animations can be used:
- Error messages: Animate an error message when a user enters an invalid email address or other form data.
- Navigation menus: Animate a menu item when the user hovers over it.
- CTA buttons: Animate the CTA button when the user clicks on it.
- Loading pages: Animate a loading page to give users something fun to look at while they wait.
- Showcasing Important Information, like price tables and sign-up forms
The good thing with WordPress is that you can use animation plugins to add these types of animations easily.
Examples of plugins you can use are Animate It, LottieFiles, Advanced Typing, and Blocks Animation.
3. Use Explainer Videos
An explainer video is exactly as it’s written: it explains a process, situation, or product in an entertaining and easily digestible way.
Explainer videos use visuals and animations to summarize a concept or service.
The key is to make it interesting, informative, and entertaining at the same time. As much as the video should be educational, it should also be fun to watch.
You can use explainer videos for various topics, such as tutorials, product launches, announcements, special offers, or your company’s vision and mission.
Explainer videos can be used on product pages, homepages, and landing pages.
You can hire a designer or animator to create an explainer video for your website.
However, if you don’t have the budget or time, there are many free and low-cost animation software solutions to take advantage of.
Some popular software includes Powtoon, Animaker, Renderforest, and Moovly.
These tools will help you quickly create an explainer video with no animation experience.
Additionally, they have thousands of stock templates you can customize with your text, images, and logo.
4. Create Whiteboard Videos to Explain Complicated Topics in a Simple and Engaging Way
A whiteboard video is a special kind of video created using a whiteboard, markers, and an explainer’s voice.
Whiteboard videos combine animation and voiceovers to make complex topics easier to understand and digest.
Whiteboard videos work especially well with abstract topics, sales content, and educational topics.
You can use whiteboard videos to quickly break down a complicated concept into simpler, easier-to-understand chunks.
For example, suppose you’re trying to explain a difficult concept or process. A whiteboard video may be the perfect way to convey your point in an engaging and memorable way.
The presentations mimic the traditional use of a whiteboard in the classroom, with a teacher explaining a concept as they draw on the board.
Several whiteboard video software, including VideoScribe, Doodly, and Animaker, can help you create these videos easily.
You can also hire a professional animator to create the video.
So, Why Whiteboard Videos?
Whiteboard videos are an effective way to explain complicated concepts simply and engagingly.
They can be used on your website, social media, email campaigns, and other marketing materials.
These videos can help you quickly capture your audience’s attention and keep them engaged for longer.
So, if you’re looking for a creative way to explain your product or service, then whiteboard videos might be what you need.
5. Character Animations
Using characters to explain a concept or process can be very effective.
These types of animations involve creating 2D or 3D character animations with animated texts and other visual elements to enhance user engagement.
You can use the characters to effectively communicate your message to your target audience while engaging and entertaining them.
So, How Do You Create Character Animations for Your Website or Post?
Tools abound. Popular examples include Cinema 4D, Adobe Animate, Adobe After Effects, LottieFiles, Pencil2D, Powtoon, Animaker, and Blender.
Some of these tools have a learning curve, while others require little to no animating experience.
If you’re looking for a free tool to create animated characters, then Powtoon is the tool to use. They have thousands of stock images you can use, lots of music soundtracks, and drag-and-drop animation.
Adobe Character Animator is another easy-to-use animating software solution that lets you turn virtually any artwork into an animated character. It’s an excellent choice of tool for beginners or anyone with limited animating experience.
6. Create Animated Charts and Graphs
Let’s face it: charts and graphs can be a total snoozefest.
While we don’t want to knock their utility—they are great for displaying and presenting data efficiently—we want to bring them to life with the magic of animation.
We can use animated charts and graphs to turn the mundane into the mesmerizing.
Animated charts can be used in presentations, webinars, product demos, and tutorials.
Most importantly, they engage viewers by helping them quickly understand complex data in an easily digestible format.
Here are some tips for creating animated charts and graphs:
- Choose an animation style that supports your message – Whether you want to highlight connections, changes over time, or show a bunch of data at once, choosing the right animation style can be key.
- Use visuals to help viewers interpret data – Instead of just numbers and text, try using visuals like icons or illustrations to help viewers interpret the data more meaningfully.
- Keep it simple – Too many animations can be overwhelming and confusing. Stick to one or two animations at a time to keep the visual flow simple and easy to follow.
- Pair the animations with audio – Audio can be used to add another layer of engagement by providing verbal cues or explanations. It’s also helpful for viewers with different learning styles, such as those who prefer to follow along with a narrator.
So, how do you create animated charts and graphs? You can use software programs like, After Effects, Adobe Animate, and Apple Motion to create custom animations with images or video. You can also use popular online tools like Prezi and Canva to create interactive charts, graphs, and infographics with animation effects.
Doodly is also an excellent option for creating the charts. Plus, it’s super simple to use.
Here’s how you create animated charts with Doodly:
- Log into Doodly and go to charts and graphs.
- Choose the type of chart you’d like to animate. Customize your animation by adding animations, effects, and voiceover narration.
- You can hide the chart and set it to reveal one bar at a time.
- Adjust the video settings to your liking
- Adjust the duration of the animation
- Duplicate the first scene
- Move the rectangle to reveal the next bar
- Repeat until you’ve animated all the bars
And that’s it! With a few clicks of the mouse, you can create an engaging animation with data points that make sense to your viewers.
7. Create Sketches and Cartoons
Illustrations can be excellent for breaking up dense text, but they don’t always have the same impact as animations.
Animations breathe life into your illustrations and make them more dynamic.
For example, you can create a cartoon character representing different data points or sketch a complicated concept.
Animations can also help reinforce ideas and make them more memorable. Here are some tips for creating animations with sketches and cartoons:
- Choose an animation style that matches your message: Match the motion of your animations to the message you’re trying to convey. For example, if you’re explaining a concept, consider using panning or zoom animations to move viewers through the scene.
- Use simple shapes and characters: Simple shapes and cartoon-style characters can help viewers interpret data more efficiently. Plus, they’re fun and engaging, which can help to keep viewers interested.
- Keep it short and sweet: Too many animations will suck the life out of your message. Keep it short and sweet by limiting the number of animation sequences in each scene. Two or three cartoon images and only when necessary should be enough to spice up your message.
So, how do you create animations with sketches and cartoons?
Many software programs like Adobe After Effects and Apple Motion can be used to create custom animations. You can also use online tools like Toon Boom and Powtoon to create the cartoons.
8. Use Animated Infographics
Animated infographics are as informative as they are visually engaging. They combine text, images, and animations to help tell an exciting story about your data. Plus, the motion effect makes it easier for viewers to comprehend the information.
Here’s an example of an animated infographic.
Image source: tabletop white
Here are some tips for creating animations with infographics:
- Choose suitable graphics and animation: Select appropriate graphics for your message, such as charts or diagrams. Then, use animations to bring it to life. For example, you can use fading or scaling animation to emphasize key points and draw attention to key elements.
- Don’t go overboard: Too many animations can overwhelm viewers. Use subtle motion effects to bring your infographic to life without distracting the viewer from the message.
So, how do you create animated infographics? You can use software programs like Adobe Animate and After Effects to design custom animations.
Or, you can use online tools like Visme and Infogram to create the infographics in minutes. They have ready-made templates and animation effects that you can customize.
9 Tips for Creating Engaging Animations
Now that you know how to create animations, here are nine tips for making them more engaging:
Tip 1: Master the Art of Storytelling
Animations can help you to tell a story.
You’re not just showing data; you’re conveying a message with a goal in mind.
You want to share your story, convey the emotions behind the data, and make viewers feel connected to your message.
The idea isn’t just to throw a bunch of animated graphics on the screen but to establish a narrative that’s easy to follow.
Here’s an example:
The product in the video is Android. But they do not mention it anywhere until the very end.
The whole story is a journey of discovery. Android believes in collaboration. They envision a world where people come together to build something better.
Does this video make you want to use Android? Probably!
It establishes an emotional connection between the viewer and the product, with underlying tones of exploration, collaboration, and optimism.
Tip 2: Keep it Simple
A lot of animations tend to be overly complicated. You don’t need to overload your viewers with too many details and features.
Simple, get the look right, choose a fitting soundtrack, and ensure the motion is smooth.
Don’t go overboard with the details. If a viewer doesn’t understand what’s happening, you lose their attention.
You want to take a more straightforward approach to storytelling.
No need to complicate things. Tell a story, establish an emotional connection and keep it simple.
If you’re using animation to explain a product, focus on the core features, not everything. Or use the animation to address a pain point instead of presenting the entire product.
Tip 3: Get to Know Your Target Audience First
Imagine addressing baby boomers with the same animation as Gen Zers. It won’t work.
You need to know your target audience and what they want to see in animation.
Do they prefer cartoons or realistic graphics? Do they like a certain colour palette?
Knowing your target audience will help you create animations that are more tailored to their needs.
First, find out how old they are, where they live, and what kind of lifestyle they lead.
Next, research their preferences. What topics interest them? Do they prefer visuals or text? What music do they like?
After getting to know your target audience, you can tailor the animation elements to their needs and preferences.
A better approach would be to assume you’re addressing the audience directly.
Describe their circumstance and pain points, speak to them in their language, and use visuals they can relate to.
Tip 4: Focus on the Positive
You might be tempted to use animations to show the negative side of an issue.
But this won’t get you very far with your audience.
Instead, focus on the positive outcomes. Show how things could be improved and how viewers can benefit from your product or service.
Animations are a great way to show the power of your message and focus on what’s possible instead of what could go wrong.
Plus, positive messages are more likely to go viral and spread.
You don’t want to paint a dystopia but show people what a better world looks like with your product or service.
What are you doing to better the world? Show it in your animations.
Here’s a simple trick you can use:
Think of some of the problems people face in their daily lives. Instead of highlighting these problems in your animations, start right from where their lives start to take a positive turn with your product or service.
By focusing on the positive, you can easily get viewers to keep watching and even share your animations with friends and family.
Tip 5: Make Sure They’re Appealing
When creating an animation, you want to make it visually appealing.
Choose a color palette and style that match your brand identity.
Make sure your visuals are high quality, and the motion is smooth. If you’re using 3D animation, make sure it looks realistic.
Also, use the right music and sound effects. They can make or break an animation.
Your soundtrack should be catchy and set the tone for the animation. It should be in sync with the visuals and, if possible, emotionally connect with the viewers.
Don’t skimp on the quality of the visuals and sound. The more appealing your animation, the better it will drive engagement.
Plus, people tend to associate high-quality animations with professional brands, so don’t be afraid to invest in high-quality visuals and audio.
Tip 6: Get the Rythm and Timing Right
Your animation needs to have flawless pacing and rhythm.
If it’s too slow, viewers will get bored and move on. Too fast, and they won’t understand what you’re trying to convey.
The key is to find the perfect balance between storytelling and visuals that keeps viewers engaged.
You want to ensure your animation doesn’t drag on too long. Keep it short and sweet — no more than two minutes, if possible.
You have to get the right balance between visuals and narration. Ensure the script is concise and easy to follow, and the visuals complement it.
Tip 7. Don’t be Too Shy to Thow in Some Personality
Animations can be an excellent opportunity to show off your brand’s personality.
Humor, wit, and creativity all help engage viewers.
Don’t be afraid to show some of your brand’s quirks and charm.
You can also use subtle but effective references to pop culture – just make sure they’re appropriate and don’t come off as forced.
And don’t forget to have fun! People love animation, so get creative and have fun with it.
Tip 8. Stay On Brand
Your animations should be consistent with your brand’s message and identity.
Don’t cram in too many ideas – stick to one or two main points.
Ensure the visuals and sounds you use match your brand’s stylistic elements. You want to use the same fonts, color palettes, logos, etc.
Keep the language consistent with your brand’s voice, too.
For example, if you usually use a casual tone, don’t switch to overly formal language in your animations.
A simple but effective way to stay on brand is to write your animation script in the same style as your other content.
The idea is to make your message easily recognizable, all while building a robust and cohesive brand identity.
Tip 9: Use Clever Soundbites
Soundbites are short, catchy phrases that quickly grab people’s attention.
You can use them to close off a scene or transition to a new scene in your animation.
Think of them as mini-hooks that keep viewers hooked on what happens next.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your soundbites – use puns, rhymes, and other clever wordplays.
Make sure they’re consistent with your brand’s tone of voice.
Also, make sure they have a clear meaning and purpose. Otherwise, they’ll just seem like random words thrown in.
For example, if you’re trying to promote a new product, use a soundbite that quickly conveys the product’s key benefits.
Tip 9: Make Your Animation Interactive
Animation doesn’t have to be a passive experience. Put some interactive elements in there to engage viewers and encourage them to participate.
You can use polls, quizzes, and other interactive elements to get people involved in your story.
Ensure the tasks are relevant and engaging — this will help keep viewers engaged and make the experience more memorable.
At the end of your animation, specify the action you want your viewers to take.
That could be a call to sign up for your newsletter, visit your website, or encourage them to take the next step.
Some Final Words
Animations are a great way to engage audiences and drive engagement.
But just like any form of content, it requires strategic planning and careful execution. You don’t need to be a professional animator to create a compelling animation, but you must be thoughtful about how you approach it.