Are you looking to take your video marketing strategy to the next level? Then you’ve come to the right place.

While videos made using regular footage only can often do the trick, motion designs can add that little something that will make your videos more memorable.

motion design

In this beginner’s guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know to get started with motion design as part of your video marketing strategy.

But first, what exactly is motion design? 🤔

Motion design, or motion graphics, is a video technique that involves pieces of animation or digital footage that often includes illustration and typography elements such as logos, text, data, or even character animation.

To put it simply, motion designs are graphics put into motion to create visually engaging moving sequences.

Why you should add motion designs to your videos💡

Motion graphic designs have been becoming increasingly popular and we’re sure you’ve heard marketers discuss them before. But what is it exactly that makes them such an attractive digital communication tool?

According to a Wyzowl study, 66% of consumers prefer video to other content formats. This explains why more and more brands are adding videos to their online communication strategy.

Because it is increasingly difficult to stand out as a brand on video platforms and social networks, motion designs have emerged as a way to catch the eye and get noticed more easily.

Keep in mind that social media platforms autoplay videos on mute, which means that having an animated logo or title as an intro helps make sure that people don’t keep scrolling.

But mere attractivity isn’t the only benefit that motion graphics offer: they also help communicate complicated or abstract ideas visually!

If your product or service might seem confusing to potential customers at first, adding motion animations and visual effects to a video could be an opportunity to showcase them in a way that is easier to comprehend.

For example, an animated infographic might be a good way to share key data from your company’s latest financial statement with your team or shareholders.

What’s more, a lot of brands are hopping on the motion design bandwagon because creating such animations is often faster than regular video production--as you know, planning a shooting, and editing a video can be very time-consuming.

As a motion design video doesn’t require shooting any footage, it is often much faster to make, which means it can be added to your communication strategy more easily.

How to create motion design graphics 🛠

Before you get started with motion graphics too, let us give you a quick overview of your options when it comes to creating these animations.

Learning motion design or hiring a motion graphics designer

This can be a tempting solution--once you’ve mastered this skill or have someone in your team who does, you’ll be able to create animated videos as often as you want.

However, this isn’t as easy as it seems as you will need to:

  • Learn graphic design. Designing skills are required even if you’re just looking to animate text-based elements and choosing the right shapes and animation patterns is a skill too.
  • Learn how to use creative software such as Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop, or Illustrator on the Creative Cloud. However, these are far from being intuitive. If words like layers or vector graphics don’t ring a bell, it will take you a while to get started with graphic design principles. You should also know that these software programs tend to be pricey and require a lot of hard disk space.

However, hiring an in-house motion graphics designer might be worth it if you are planning on relying on motion graphics heavily, for example for both internal and external communication purposes.

Booking a freelance motion graphics designer

There are a lot of freelance motion graphics designers and specialized agencies on the market, so collaborating with them might make sense if you are only planning on using motion graphics occasionally or if you are working on a very complex project, for example involving animating characters.

This solution does have its perks but there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Increased turnaround time. Make sure to plan ahead as it might take a while before your initial idea turns into a completed project. Think of briefing time, conception time, rounds of edits, etc. This means your project might take weeks or even months before you can release it.
  • Limited flexibility. Once your video has been delivered, it will be more difficult to make any changes without having to hire a designer again. While this isn’t necessarily an issue if you are commissioning evergreen content, most content does need a quick update from time to time.

Using a dedicated video maker

There are more options than the Adobe Suite on the market these days, and some of these programs actually include motion design features. This means you can easily create short videos that will be welcome additions to your brand content strategy 😉

This is a convenient option to create simple videos such as:

  • Top 5 or Top 10
  • Presenting key data or results
  • Animated tutorials for internal use

💡 But what video maker should you choose?

There are a lot of criteria to consider here, such as ease of use, video format compatibility, price, training, collaboration features, etc. and deciding between different programs might be intimidating.

To help you make an informed choice, we suggest you download our handy ebook called “Creating Video Content: A Practical Guide to Selecting the Right Resources”. It will tell you everything you need to know about these criteria as well as our tips to choose the right provider and convince your manager to allocate an extra budget to your preferred solution.

Motion design inspiration 💭

You might be worried about the complexity or added cost of motion design at this point, but remember there is no need to be an aspiring Oscar-winning director to add animations to your toolbox. Plus, taking your videos to the next level will help you reach your marketing goals more easily by harvesting the power of video content.

You’ll find some great examples below. We hope these inspire you to give motion design a go!

For marketing purposes: Slack

While most people have heard of Slack at this point--especially in the start-up world-- its concept and the reasons why it does make collaborating and communicating within a company easier might need an explanation. This video does a great job of using the company’s signature colors and visual elements to explain what makes Slack such a useful tool. And… you guessed it: motion graphic designs are behind it!

For external communication purposes: Ikea

While the brand is known for its fun and colorful commercials, challenging times call for a more sober form of communication. This video was released by IKEA UK to announce the reopening of its restaurants after the COVID-19 lockdown and go through its safety measures.

A friendly voiceover, a white background, and animated icons in the brand’s colors make it easy to get a sensitive point across.

For CSR communication purposes: Procter & Gamble

Classic video images and motion designs go hand in hand: you can easily add branding elements to corporate videos with this technique.

Check out this CSR communication video by Procter & Gamble.

By combining inspiring images showing its employees, products, and target audiences with upbeat voiceover and animated shapes, the company is able to highlight its current CSR policy in a way that inspires trust.

For the media: Vice News

For the launch of its nightly broadcast, Vice News heavily relied on motion graphics elements to differentiate it from the rest of its video content. Notice how black and white images prevail but bright colors are used to highlight specific sequences.

These animated elements do a great job of capturing the spirit of the brand all while making the broadcast stand out on its own.

7 steps to making your own motion design video 💪

No matter what solution you choose to make your own motion design videos, you’ll need to go through 7 key steps to be able to quickly create eye-catching content that will make your audience keep watching until the very last second.

Get started with a script

If this isn’t your first video making rodeo, you probably know that a script should be your very first step towards creating high-quality and relevant content.

Applying this to motion design specifically, you will need to specify:

  • The outline of your video: Define what key messages and arguments will be included and in what order they should be brought up.
  • What the voiceover will be saying. Take the time to write a well-structured script so that the person who will be reading it gets a good understanding of what you are trying to communicate.

Prepare a storyboard to preview your content

A solid storyboard is even more essential when planning a video that features motion graphics elements. You need to make sure they seamlessly interact with each other and with the way you are going to tell your story.

You can absolutely use a simple PowerPoint presentation to create your storyboard. Just be sure to go through every sequence and go into as much detail as possible when it comes to graphic elements such as:

  • Any text or keywords that should appear during key moments
  • Any icons or illustrations that will be used to explain your concept
  • A description of the animated transitions you wish to include.

Remember this document aims to give yourself or a provider a good overview of the expected result and will help you plan ahead in terms of design and content needs.

Design all visual elements and create mockups

Time to let your creativity run wild--your next task is designing the elements that will be animated later. Your usual graphic designer can help you here, even if they do not have any specific motion graphics knowledge.

These elements can include:

  • Your logo
  • Infographics or charts
  • Text content
  • Characters or avatars

If you are working with an external designer or agency, remember to ask them what their preferred file format is before sending your elements over.

Start working on your animations

The animation phase is the most technical one--this is when you will start making all your graphic elements move! If your project is complex, this is also when you will get a motion graphics expert involved.

💡 Simple project? How about a simple platform!

If your project only involves animating text elements or motion graphics transitions, a video making platform can definitely be enough.

PlayPlay is a great option as it offers dozens of preset motion graphics templates. You’ll be able to add your own images, GIFs, or text content and let the platform do all the work for you.

Adding a soundtrack

Now that your first motion graphics animations are completed, it’s time to find the right music for your video and add any other sound elements your final video should contain.

  • Voiceover. Record your narrator reading the text, make sure their tone of voice matches the overall vibe of your video and you should be good to go!
  • Background music. Speaking of vibe… Obviously, the background music you choose will strongly influence the kind of emotions your video will convey. Choose wisely! Check out platforms offering royalty-free music if needed, such as PremiumBeat.

Just add those sound elements to your video using a video editing program and you’ll be good to go.

Don’t forget to include subtitles

Most people watch videos without the sound on, and that is especially true on social media. And since you wouldn’t want them to miss out on your message, it is essential to add subtitles. We recommend integrating them at the editing stage.

Feel free to shorten the initial text if needed and make sure your subtitles can easily be read.

Encode the video in the right format

Here’s the very last step of the process: encoding the video. This is where your graphic elements will be translated into computer language, which means your final file won’t be as large but will keep its quality.

You will need an encoding software here and there are free programs available for both Windows and iOS, such as VideoSolo Free Video Converter.

Now’s the time to select:

  • Your video’s format--this does matter if you are planning on publishing it on social media.
  • The image frequency, which will help you keep the final file as small as possible
  • Its resolution, such as 4K or HD.

Adjusting these parameters wisely will let you export a video file that is high-quality but can still be uploaded anywhere easily.

Congratulations, your first motion design video is ready to take over the world! Now, why don’t you try PlayPlay for free for 7 days and see how it can help you with your video strategy?