“It’s not enough to know your market,” said Brendan Baber of Brella Productions to a crowd of digital marketers at the Social Media Masters Summit that I attended last month. His colleague David Less added, “The key thing to understand is the user experience.”

The science behind animated content

David and Brendan went on to tell us about psychologist Richard Wiseman. Wiseman is a Professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom. He is well-known for his research on different aspects of social media and marketing, including a study on the effectiveness of whiteboard videos. Wiseman had 2,000 people participate in his study where half of them watch a video clip of a man speaking and the other half watch a whiteboard video with the same information. Results? There was a 15% increase in retention of information among the whiteboard video viewers and an astounding 66% increase in the number of people willing to share the animated video.

Four big ideas

David and Brendan presented us with four big ideas regarding video and mobile. Here they are:

  1. Use animation for complex information. Done right, animated video can be extremely effective. Be thoughtful about casting the voice over. “The voice of your video is the voice of your brand.”
  2. Think mobile. With so many people consuming video on mobile, you need to understand the mobile user experience. For example, there is too much text in most videos today. Keep it simple, simple, simple.
  3. User generated content (UGC) is effective. People are willing to watch a user-generated video as much as a professionally created one. Today it’s easy to create high quality UGC, but note that if it’s inaudible people will tune it out. User-generated styles can create a genuine feel, but cannot make up for good audio.
  4. Repurpose your content: It takes resources to create a video. Always think about repurposing the content by cutting shorter videos and clips, still shots, and creating GIFs.

Feeling sorry you missed this great presentation? You’re in luck! We – of course – created a video of it! You can find a video of the full presentation here.

Thanks for the tips Brendan and David!


About the Author: LuCinda Hohmann is a marketing professional with expertise in digital marketing and consulting for business and non-profit sectors. She is a recent graduate of the Integrated Marketing Communications Master’s program with Medill at Northwestern University. You can find her on LinkedIn.