How Brand Video Can Put People First During the COVID-19 Crisis

illustration of animated explainer and brand video production company

No matter what industry you’re in, working in marketing or sales in the era of COVID-19 is no simple task. Not only is the ever-changing news cycle hopelessly distracting — you might also be struggling to determine what types of content and interactions are appropriate during these difficult times. Still, you want to keep your company healthy, and upping your digital content production — especially in the high-engagement realm of brand video — is the natural choice for most organizations, with animated explainer videos occupying a particularly important niche right now. 

Right now, the first role of content marketers and sales teams is to listen. Find out what your audiences are worried about, and what they need. Then put their needs first. It’s the best way to develop relationships that are built on trust — and built to last. 

Let’s take a look at how to produce branded video content that’s sensitive to your audiences’ needs — and truly useful to them — in times of crisis. 

The Role of Brand Video in a COVID-19 World

Why video, and why animated? First of all, videos and motion graphics already dominate online traffic. The vast majority of online traffic, even before the emergence of coronavirus, involved video. And now that some 9 in 10 Americans are sheltering in place, people are looking to digital channels more than ever before to drive human connection and do business. This makes video the perfect medium as the average brand seeks to reach audiences. 

But live-action video production can seem like a pretty challenging proposition when everyone at your company is social distancing — which is where animated video and animated explainer video enters the picture. Animators, unlike live-video producers, can create from the safety of their own homes. (That’s exactly what our team of motion graphic animators is doing.) That means they’re fully available to bring any story to life.

Motion graphics can take on a huge variety of styles and topics. They’re particularly useful for healthcare and pharmaceutical company marketing efforts. That’s because they can easily combine data visualization, icons, and illustrations of complex or abstract topics. For example, check out this motion graphic on the Nuclear Threat Initiative’s global health security campaign, featuring key data visualizations:

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Why Animated Explainer Videos Can Help Your Company Connect

Explainer videos, too, have particular value in this moment. Already, an impressive 96% of people have watched a company’s explainer video. That’s because these types of video provide truly useful content. 

They might describe how to use your product or service, or they might address a more broadly applicable topic. For instance, if your company manufactures kitchen appliances, you might want to produce some videos about how to make a quick dinner, or what to buy at the grocery store to maximize how many meals you can cook. Customers will appreciate that you can hear them and are responding to their needs and their concerns during a difficult time. 

One example of an animated explainer video that seems particularly relevant right now, with everyone hoping that a coronavirus vaccine is on the horizon, is a motion graphic we produced for Carrington College. This isn’t an advertisement. It’s a piece of educational content — and it garnered a huge response. Within the first few weeks of launch, it earned more than 1 million views. Take a look: 

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Right now, audiences need brands to offer real value through their content — not try to sell. Explainer videos are uniquely positioned to provide that value. 

Curious what visual communication can do for you?

Telling a Human Story

We’re all looking for ways to stay connected. And it seems like no matter where you are on the internet, stories are driving that connection. That’s why more brands are looking to harness the power of visual storytelling to reach their customers right now. 

Motion graphics and video are uniquely positioned to bring such stories to life for your brand. Maybe you want to show how your company is giving back to the community. Or maybe you want to explain how you’re going to be there for your customers. Whatever the case, when you partner with the right production team, a human element in the form of animated characters can bring your brand explainer video to life. 

Take a look at this medical motion graphic that Killer produced for a group of nonprofit healthcare facilities. Relatable, animated LifeBridge Health team members make the process of reaching the LifeBridge call center look easy and unintimidating: 

In fact, the whole video follows a single, fictional patient: George. Learning how George’s experience works from start to finish humanizes the whole process. 

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Looking to discover more ways to make animated explainer video a part of your content production? Check out these resources: 

Successful marketing and sales content is still possible in times of crisis. Try these brand video production strategies, and you’ll be able to drive that connection we’re all seeking. 

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Download these free social-media assets and share them widely to show your support for organizations working in coronavirus relief.

Erin McCoy

Author Erin McCoy

Erin McCoy is director of content marketing and public relations at Killer Visual Strategies. She earned her BA in Spanish with minors in French and Russian, and holds 2 master’s degrees from the University of Washington: an MFA in creative writing and an MA in Hispanic literature. She has won nearly 2 dozen awards in photojournalism, and has dedicated those skills to boosting Killer’s brand recognition and thought leadership in visual communication. Since Erin took on her marketing/PR role, Killer has been named a member of the Inc. 5000 for 4 years in a row; has been featured in such publications as Inc., Forbes, Mashable, and the Huffington Post; and has been invited to present at such conferences as SXSW and SMX Advanced.

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