Marketing with animation: get moving to increase engagement

Marketing with animation: get moving to increase engagement

Learn the types of animation (with examples!) that are most effective for marketers to create lively, engaging and flexible content.

Learn the types of animation (with examples!) that are most effective for marketers to create lively, engaging and flexible content.

October 29, 2020
Marketing With Animation Article Hero

Visual content is a key component of any content marketing strategy today. In a 2020 trends round-up, Hubspot reports that video has become the most commonly used format in content marketing, overtaking blogs and infographics.

So where does animation come in? While video is a recording of real-life objects and people, animation is the art of drawing or creating objects, digitally or by hand, and crafting them into a series of frames which gives the impression of movement.  As both involve moving objects, animation is generally considered a type of video in marketing.

Animated content has entered the sphere of content marketing in a powerful way.  Brands are using it everywhere from a richer web experience to shareable social content to engaging product demos.

Here is a visual overview of the commonly used types of animation in content marketing:

Motion Graphics

Often used interchangeably with the term animation, motion graphics are a distinct form of animated content that creates movement with text and static graphic components. The use of motion graphics is an engaging, cost-effective  way to tell a story and simplify complicated messaging.  Below we share a 2D example of motion graphics.

2D Animation

Best known for the hand-drawn animations of classic cartoons, this method creates the illusion of movement when individual drawings are sequenced together over time. Every aspect of the video including characters, objects and background are rendered in two-dimensional (i.e., flat) space.


3D Animation

Created in a three-dimensional space using computer-generated imagery (CGI), 3D animation depicts life-like characters or objects with plenty of details and depth. Although more time-intensive than 2D animation, it provides exciting potential to demonstrate ideas, products or services in marketing without shooting in real-life.



Through stop-motion graphics, objects are physically manipulated and photographed in increments to appear independent from the previous frame. The object is brought to motion with the movement of the frame. While this technique has been around for a while (think of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer), brands are using it in new and innovative ways to entertain and educate their audience.  It’s often used in recipe videos for example to speed up the cooking process by only displaying the result of each step in the recipe. (We’ve got a “sweet” example of this below.)


Web Animation

From micro-animations to GIFs (the first type of web animations to catch on), web animations move things on a web page in a natural, intuitive way as people scroll and attract attention. Web designers can now create motion on the web using a variety of coding techniques including CSS and SVG animations that produce high-quality and interactive animations for modern-day browsers and applications.

In its many forms, animated content has powerful potential to move an audience to feel or act. Here are some of the benefits for brands:

  • Increased Engagement: The heart of engagement lies in the ability to create entertaining content that grabs the viewer’s attention. A Twitter study of 3.7 million users revealed that posts with animated GIFs garnered 55 percent more engagement than posts without. Web-based animations like micro-interactions increase web engagement on websites, social networks and bring your display ads to life. And ads and posts using animated content can help improve the click-through rate and convert leads to sales.  According to a study by Wyzowl in 2020,  87 percent of video marketers say that video has increased traffic to their website and 80 percent of claim that video has directly increased sales (Wyzowl 2020).
  • Cost-Saving Control & Flexibility: Animation today is more accessible and affordable and can export to multiple platforms and applications. The switch from real-life product content and models allows for full control of the scene; no special lighting or large crews required. Updating content is also more efficient and cost-effective than having to re-shoot a live scene. Brands can depict scenes through animation that might not have been feasible in real-life.
  • A means to simplify complex messaging and liven up mundane topics: The combination of realistic product imagery and motion liven up mundane topics and simplify complex messaging using exciting visuals.  For example, 2D animation is a great way to enliven explainer videos with motion graphics applied to text and images.
  • Future-proofed content: We will gradually see more retail brands apply 3D animations to VR and AR platforms to increase sales of their products. 3D will soon become the standard of engaging content that consumers come to expect.

Here’s a look at two recent examples of animated content we’ve created for our clients. (Can you identify the type of animation?)


Alphabroder website explainer video

This video applies several 2D motion graphics to text and objects to explain the new digital catalogue process. The overlaying of animation allows marketers to make better sense of what they are selling, grab the viewer’s attention and increase engagement.


My Brick Home recipe video

Recipe videos like the My Brick Home loaded sweet potato are a great example of stop-motion animation.


Whether it’s a product spotlight, a website page or a social media post, animation is a creative, flexible and engaging content marketing tool to drive clicks, shares and conversions.

If you want to get moving with your next content marketing campaign, reach out to us at

Beyond Content newsletter

Beyond Content is SJC’s monthly newsletter sharing media & marketing insights and inspiration across print and digital. Plus, get hand-picked stories and invites to upcoming events shaping the Canadian conversation from the brands of SJC Media.