Making the Most of Your Motion Graphic: How to Identify What Your Company Needs

Illustration of computer showing a play button for animated video or motion graphics surrounded by data visualization elements

Motion graphics are an increasingly important part of a marketing strategy for any company. In fact, 87% of businesses are using video in their marketing strategies — a 6-point increase compared to 2018. If you’ve identified that a video can support your organization’s needs, make sure it has the features to drive success. Whether you’re courting motion graphic design firms or taking on the production yourself, ask these questions to figure out what elements can help your video shine.

“Do I Need a Voiceover?”

Hearing narration as a video plays can be a great tool to help develop your storyline. But depending on the goals of your video and where it’s going to be used, it might not be necessary.

A voiceover is essential when you have:

  • A complex story or product
  • Multiple voices or testimonies

In these cases, a voiceover helps you balance what and when information is delivered to viewers. That’s because narration can accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. And, it does so without overwhelming the screen with copy.

But, voiceover isn’t always necessary for videos that:

  • Rely purely on data
  • Are going to be featured primarily at tradeshows or on social channels

For data-centric motion graphics, visual communication can often effectively deliver a story using well-animated visual cues. Does your company often head to tradeshows or post motion graphics on social channels? You may not be able to count on a viewer hearing the full story without being right up close or clicking “unmute.” In these cases, a voiceover may limit quick audience understanding.

“Do I Need On-Screen Text?”

On-screen text can be a dynamic addition to your motion graphic. You can use it to emphasize points and draw attention to key phrases, product names, and more. Just as with a voiceover, however, make sure to be strategic with any on-screen copy. Keep these factors in mind:

  • Time: It takes longer to read a phrase than it does to hear it. Ask yourself if your on-screen text is essential to add to your story or if it’s just a “nice to have.”
  • Localization: If your company has audiences with multiple languages, identify if your motion graphic will need to be translated. If so, that could apply to on-screen text, too.

One essential use for on-screen text is when supplementing data visualizations. Strong graphic designers and design firms know that incorporating data into a motion graphic is an excellent way of communicating key information in memorable ways. Just make sure to choose the right kinds of visualizations and include clear labels and callouts when necessary.

Curious what visual communication can do for you?

“Do I Need Music? What About Sound Design?”

No matter what kind of motion graphic your company needs — and (almost) no matter where it’s going to be used — music adds sensory texture. It builds emotion by drawing in viewers and developing a captivating environment. Especially if you’re not using a voiceover, music can take a story to the next level and turn a video into an experience.

  • Stock music: The right choice can bring products and stories to life. It’s a strong option that fits into most budgets.
  • Custom music: This can transform the spirit of your video into sound. It’s especially recommended if you’re producing an emotive video — one of the 3 types of motion graphics.

Sound design is helpful when you have scenes or visual elements that reflect real-life moments.

  • Consider it for real-life scenarios: If a character rings a doorbell or if a product assembly line is set into motion, activating these details will enhance the world of your motion graphic for listeners.
  • Avoid it for straightforward approaches: If your video is icon-focused, for example, sound design may only be a distraction. You don’t want to clutter the video experience with unnecessary information. That applies to sound, too.

Effective motion graphic design firms will take various threads of information — data, script, sound, and story — and weave them together into a seamless experience for your company. While all the bells and whistles can seem attractive at first glance, just remember to be strategic when applying them.

Abi Pollokoff

Author Abi Pollokoff

Abi Pollokoff is the Director of Content for Killer Infographics. Originally from the Chicago area, she moved to Seattle in 2014 from New Orleans. With a BA in English, French, and Italian and an MFA in Poetry, she is dedicated to exploring the nuances and possibilities of language. Before joining Killer, Abi spent time as a writing instructor as well as the associate editor at a book-publishing company. These experiences bolster Abi’s work with Killer and enable her to write for diverse audiences, and she strives to apply this perspective to target the unique goals of every Killer project. Abi enjoys developing strong working relationships with clients and creating a human connection through the writing process.

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