If you’ve been reading this blog, you know just how important using animated videos in your marketing is for communicating your message. While there’s many types of videos, animation can give your company that edge in setting itself apart from the competition.
If you don’t have an internal video department and need an outside company to put together an animated video, who should you choose? There’s 5 things you should be looking for as you take into consideration who you will entrust with putting together this major marketing tool:
Just as there are many different types of books and styles of writing, there are many different types of animation and styles. There’s 2D & 3D, hand-drawn style, and uber-technical animation, just to name a few. It’s important to know what style you’re going for and why. In your research, determine if the company you’re investigating has the ability to accomplish the look you want. It’s not just a matter of using animation, but they should be able to produce top-notch work that’s really going to catch the attention of your intended audience.
You’re also going to want to discuss with the animator what their vision is for graphic design. If you need a technically-complex animated video, and the animator for Company X only has far-out, Picasso-like ideas, you’re going to be miles apart. Make sure you see plenty of samples before shelling out your hard-earned cash for this investment.
A great example of high-quality animation — produced by Suite Imagery
2. Technical Experience
With the explosion of technology, so many people have access to tools that can create animated videos. Just buy a computer, download software, and BAM! You can whip out a video overnight.
However, it’s one thing to have a scalpel; it’s quite another to be able to operate correctly. The company you choose to animate your project needs to be able to do it proficiently. They might have some of the best programs for animation – like SoftImage, Blender, or After Effects – but if they’re not well versed or experienced in the type of animation you’re looking to produce, you won’t be happy with the results.
Being married to a graphic designer, I know just how fickle the process is for creating a graphics project. There’s the initial discussion, the mapping out of the work, the crafting, and the revisions. (I’ve also learned that as long as I’m not the client, I should not make comments unless they’re asked for – for the sake of my marriage and my health!)
Sometimes designers are so high on themselves and have too fragile an ego that they don’t like having their work critiqued. Yet they’re not working for themselves. Have the discussion about how your designer likes to work, as well as your expectations for having changes made to your project before signing any agreement.
Because you’re investing into the life of your business, you should have as much leeway and access to your designer as you see fit. Ask for references of their previous clients and request for them to share their experiences of how their project was designed. Make sure to inquire about the response time in returning messages, as well as how flexible your potential animator was accepting critiques and changes during the process. You want to know they’re going to be at your service, not the other way around. The more you can know about the process of having your animated video produced, the better.
4. Turnaround time
No one ever gets it right the first time. There will always be changes that need to be made as your animated video masterpiece is created. You need to be upfront as to when you would like the final product, but they also need to be make clear on a) their process for addressing changes and b) the amount of time required for changes to be made. It should be a reasonable turnaround time (at least within 2 weeks), depending on the difficulty of the change request. A good animator need to be readily available to accept changes in a timely manner.
The old adage, “You get what you pay for,” applies here. Certainly you can find companies or individuals who will give you what seems to be a ridiculously good deal in terms of price. But if they don’t have a great deal of experience and/or you’re not familiar with the quality of their work, you could end up with an animated video well below what was promised to you when you signed their quote. You’ll feel ripped off and may end up paying another company more money down the line to fix the problem.
So do your homework beforehand. Don’t let price be your main determining factor, for paying a little extra on the front end for an animator who can take your vision and successfully make it come to life will help to bring a great return on your investment.
Now it’s your turn: What other things do you think people should look for from an animated video company?