As new markets emerge, companies start to look for more effective ways of promoting their products. They’re looking for opportunities to present their products in the best way possible and get to their target audience in the fastest way possible. And the SaaS field is no exception here.
Today we’re going to talk about what motion graphic animation is, and why software companies gravitate more and more towards this method of promotion when developing their marketing strategy 📌
- Why Use a Motion Graphic for SaaS Marketing
- How to Make a Motion Graphic Video: Step-by-step Process
- How Much Does it Cost to Create a Motion Graphic for SaaS Companies
- Consider Blue Carrot Your Trusted Partner
- Final Thoughts
👉 Before we discuss what motion graphics are and what motion graphics are used for, let’s briefly go over the definition itself.
What is the definition of motion graphics?
Motion Graphics is an animation technique used to turn still illustrations, texts, and objects into moving scenes. In the video industry, this term is normally used to indicate a 2D-animated video that does not come with character animation.
You may wonder what’s so special about this type of animated video and why use motion graphics for SaaS projects. Let’s try to find out.
When was the last time you saw a TV ad trying to get you to buy inventory management software? Or a poster near your favorite store showcasing the benefits of a complex gas tracking system? The answer most likely is NEVER.
The reason you don’t see such ads is that SaaS products don’t fit there. The traditional methods of advertising don’t normally focus on complex products since they either are hard to promote or require a significant level of technical knowledge to produce an ad that a potential customer could understand.
Traditional marketing doesn’t offer the relevant means/tools/expertise that SaaS startups can use to promote their products.
Even though the term ‘Software-as-a-Service’ dates back to the 1980s, it was only ten years ago or so when the general public started to learn what SaaS products are about.
In other words, the SaaS market is quite young, and it may take another ten or fifteen years before the traditional marketing agencies figure out how to promote these products effectively.
The main problem with intangible products lies in a simple fact: you can’t physically touch them.
When a new iPhone comes out, people line up in front of Apple Stores around the world. They know they will get to see the new product, experience it with their own hands, and make a decision whether to buy it or not…well, of course they will, because it’s, you know: an “all-new” and “never seen” — even a year before — iPhone (sarcasm).
But anyway, you get the idea 🙃
When it comes to intangible products — like software — the task of convincing a client to buy, becomes much more difficult.
Printing flyers? The product itself is complex, a small piece of paper won’t do the job effectively. Making a textual or live presentation? Possibly, but can bump into a TL;DR situation or a presentation could take too long to organize. In both situations, the result may not be worth the effort.
So, that’s where motion graphics and explainer videos come to the fore.
By using motion graphics companies can convey complex subjects effectively and help prospects visualize the product. All within a very limited time frame.
Imagine you need to compile a PPT presentation that not only comes with dozens of technical terms, explanations, charts, and graphs but actually sells your product to an audience. Given that a large percentage of SaaS users today are not tech-savvy, selling such a product via a PPT presentation becomes a mission impossible.
In order to buy from you, your audience should be able to understand what they are shown, and innovations are hard to explain. So, the easiest way to do that for SaaS companies is by using motion graphics.
Motion graphics makes even the most complex subjects easy to understand and allows for the presentation of large sets of data and other technical information in a digestible format.
Aside from the subject complexity, another problem when promoting SaaS products is how to find your target audience. Yes, you can simply start emailing people, or calling companies and going like: “Hey, I’m Eric; I’m working for company A and want to talk to you about product B?”. But let’s be honest, going this way will take you a century and a half to grow a sufficient client base.
On the other hand, having an explainer video that clearly showcases the advantages of your SaaS product will greatly simplify the lead generation process and will help prospects move down the sales funnel faster.
👉 For more on how to create a sales funnel for your product read our article here.
Since motion graphics are a relatively new method of promotion, those who utilize them can also drastically increase brand awareness and begin to stand out in the market. The benefits of motion graphics instead of other types of animated videos are:
- Budget friendliness — videos that include motion graphics are more affordable compared to those that have animated characters, are shot live, or utilize complex animation. On average, motion graphics videos cost 15-30% less. If your budget is limited and you’re looking for an animation video, contact us to discuss what we can do for you.
- Relatively short production time frame — with motion graphics video, producers don’t have to spend time hiring actors, drawing characters, and creating sophisticated CGI. This all speeds up the production process.
- Can be used on different platforms in different formats — content produced during a motion graphics production (graphs, charts, illustrations, etc.) can also be reused on different platforms and repurposed for other marketing campaigns. This all makes motion graphics extremely attractive in terms of a potentially high ROI.
This was a short recap of all advantages that come with motion graphics. If you want to learn more, check 5 Benefits of Motion Graphics Explainer Videos for Business.
So, how to make a motion graphic? The process of creating motion graphics has a pretty straightforward structure and logic; however, it still may vary depending on what production approach you choose to follow. In this section, we’ll show how we do it at Blue Carrot!
The very first step in our motion graphics production process is meeting with the client (live or via video call) to get to know the goals they want to achieve, project requirements they want us to meet, and to get more information about the product itself.
At this point, we also ask the client to fill out a project brief (questionnaire) that will serve as a foundation for the future project concept. This is an integral part of the production process and we ask clients not to underestimate the importance of the briefing stage.
👉 For more about the briefing process, read our article: Tips For Writing an Animation Brief
Following the meeting and completion of the project brief, our team develops a creative concept, project structure, and script scenario.
This entire step normally takes about a week to complete.
Once the concept has been developed, our team puts together a storyboard — a sequence of sketches that show the main scenes from a video and help to explain the general narrative.
For some projects, our team also creates an Animatic which is basically a storyboard that comes in a form of video combining sketches and live footage, and, at times, a rough voice-over.
Once the storyboard is done, we hand it to the client for review. Following that, we proceed to cast the right voice-over artist according to project requirements.
👉 More information about the specifics of choosing a VO artist read in our article here.
The estimated time-line for this stage is also about a week.
At this point, we create a style-frame for the project. Basically, it’s a single finished shot of your video that includes all the objects, characters, colors, backgrounds, etc.
By creating a style-frame, it’s possible to better understand the visual part of a video and make all the necessary edits or adjustments before completing the entire project itself. After we agree on all the style details that will make it into the final video, our team starts to create all the illustrations.
On average, it takes about two weeks to produce visual content for a mid-sized video project.
At this stage, all the magic happens and still illustrations get turned into animated sequences. Here we also add all the necessary sound effects, VO. In other words: perform compositing by putting everything together. Once complete, the explainer video is ready to be submitted for the client’s review.
As a final step of making a motion graphic video, the client checks the ready result and asks for edits or corrections, if needed.
About two weeks is normally needed to complete all the animation activities.
Important! All the time-frame estimates provided above are relative numbers and may vary depending on project size and how fast we receive feedback from the client on each particular production stage.
It should be noted that at each production stage the client gets to see the results and gets 1-2 rounds of edits. So, when we get to the final stage, there’s only some cosmetic polishing left. Such an approach also ensures that:
- A client stays fully aware of what’s going on at any given moment with their project.
- Since most of the edits have already been done on the previous steps, we don’t get into a situation where we have to introduce drastic changes into the project in the final stages.
- We stay within an initially agreed budget and don’t waste project resources on neverending edits.
The production costs of motion graphics video depend on various factors, such as:
- Production approach — whether you choose to work with a freelancer or hire a professional video agency.
- Project size — will it be a short explainer video for social media or a 5-minute long video presentation for potential investors?
- Style complexity — the more complex a video gets (in terms of visuals) the more time a team needs to produce all assets.
- Additional requirements — these may be anything that comes from the client’s end. For example, oftentimes clients ask us to produce several voiceovers in different languages for a single video. Or produce different versions of the same video for different purposes: IG reels, website, etc.
👉 This is just a short summary of all aspects that influence the production costs. In fact, we’ve dedicated an entire article to this subject, so make sure you check it out to know more about video production pricing.
It’s very difficult to give a precise answer to the question of motion graphics production costs — especially if you don’t know the project size, requirements, etc. However, to give you a general idea of the potential price range: the production of motion graphics videos starts from $1,500 per minute and can go up to $5,000 per minute of produced content.
PQDT or ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global provide students, librarians, deans, and faculties access to a collection of more than 5 million citations and 3 million titles. The main goal of this platform is to help researchers and learners speed up the knowledge-discovery process, as well as contribute their own content to a connected scholarly ecosystem.
For this project, our team produced an explainer video that included unique motion graphics and product demo screencasts. Our task was to show how ProQuest works, its benefits and the value it brings to users — all within a 90-second timeline.
Toggle is an AI-powered platform that gathers insights into crypto futures from different financial markets by monitoring signals, trends, news, and key financial events. Its main goal is to provide users with financial opportunities and allow for making more informed investment decisions.
In a little over a minute, the explainer video we produced for Toggle presents the platform to users, shows them how it works, and why they should consider giving it a try. As can be seen from the video, we decided to go with a minimalistic style — all because the subject (financial markets and cryptocurrency) can be quite tricky to understand for some.
To ensure users without a background in the financial industry can easily understand what is being presented, we decided not to complicate visuals too much.
Auka (Settle) is a Norwegian-based fintech startup that specializes in developing finance management products for companies from Europe. They came to us with a mobile app designed to provide a seamless fund transfer between any bank account.
Auka’s team wanted to boost their marketing efforts and get an animated video that would be able to explain the benefits of their P2P mobile product to a target audience — European financial institutions and bankers. This proved to be one of the biggest challenges for our team.
Our goal was to somehow appeal to a B2B banking audience that is quite conservative and used to working only with old ‘tried-and-true’ tools. However, after conducting quality research our team was able to come up with a 120-second explainer video that, in a very clear and simple manner, describes all the advantages of a product.
Auka’s team was completely satisfied with the finished product which was also reflected in the great feedback we received from them.
Interested in what our team can do for your project? Reach out to us and we’ll talk about your successful animation video 🚀
Motion graphics videos have proven to be effective in promoting intangible products and those that simply don’t fit into the traditional understanding of the term, ‘product.’ Such animation videos work well for explaining complex technical subjects, demonstrating UX and UI, and turning large chunks of data into manageable pieces of information that users can process.
👉 Keep in mind though, that when it comes to choosing a type of animated video for your project — motion graphics, character animation, whiteboard, or other — we recommend focusing on your marketing goals first. Even though motion graphics videos are quite a popular choice for software products, in some cases (depending on the visual concept of a project) other animation techniques may fit better.
We hope that this article helped you to better understand what motion graphics animation is. If you want to learn more about how to create a motion graphic video, how to use motion graphics, or are simply looking for an experienced video production team with relevant skills and expertise in different fields, reach out to us. At Blue Carrot we’ve been delivering effective animated videos since 2014 and can help you with a project, no matter the complexity!
ARE YOU CONSIDERING CREATING A VIDEO?
🥕 Check out what Blue Carrot has to offer.
Our manager will get back to you within one business day with a FREE consultation for your project 👇