Using Video, Motion and Animation to Increase User Ad Engagement

Animated GIFs? Motion Graphics? These are some of our favorite things.

By eleventy marketing group

A cinemegraph
Even the subtlest of motion effects can have eye-catching results, like in this "cinemagraph" example.

With the amount of content vying for our attention these days – and endless Facebook and Instagram news feeds – it’s easy to get lost in the noise. A great way to stand out as an advertiser is to introduce motion graphics, video content and animation into your ads on Facebook and elsewhere.

In years past, many online ad platforms only allowed for static (nonmoving) and irritating – and often blocked – Flash graphics to be used in advertising. The ability we have now to incorporate motion graphics and video content, however, has dramatically changed the way ads display to users.

Blending Motion and Stillness

Cinemagraphs, the “rich man’s GIF,” have grown in influence and use over the past few years. Even stock photography companies have joined the game with an increasing selection of these slightly moving photos.

“It really feels like advertising agencies are starting to see the potential here. Not because it’s new and trendy, but because there’s real value. There’s a stickiness to it. People want to look at it.” Kevin Burg of Ann Street Studio, which has been creating cinemagraphs for brands since 2012.

Mudslinging ad

Digital Video/Animation Success

We at eleventy have had great success with incorporating animation into our digital advertisements.

Animated content helped boost a national political campaign, where eleventy was able to increase Facebook interaction and campaign donations with record success. We’ve also seen great lifts in other online marketing efforts, even by the simplest bits of motion.

Video ads also give us a one-two punch for our online campaigns. Specifically:

  • Video allows us to bypass Facebook’s restrictions on words in our ad content. (Facebook ditched its “20 percent rule,” but still favors static ads with few words.) The video’s initial thumbnail must contain few words, but the video itself allows us to weave in as much text as we need.
  • Video helps us increase click-through rates and conversion in many campaigns by allowing us to serve a mixed stream of video and static image ads to users.

Design for No Sound

You need to design your videos as if no one is listening. Multiple studies show at least 85% of users do not turn on sound when watching video on Facebook. Facebook itself recommends you caption your videos to help make them understandable to this large audience of nonlisteners.

Despite the user preference for no sound, Facebook has recently created a way for ads to automatically play sound. (Of course, it’s easy to disable this option and a quick Google search reveals many articles showing how to.)

What are the best tools for creating motion graphics?

Adobe After Effects or Flash (now Adobe Animate) are the traditional the go-to programs for creating animated content. However, these days, even design programs such as Photoshop have animation capabilities. Other tools, such as Flixel, make cinemagraphs and animating images a breeze.

Next time you’re on Instagram or Facebook, take a look at your feed and notice what kind of ads stand out to you. Chances are they caught your eye with some kind of motion or animated effect.