Comics Challenge Readers’ Perceptions of What Truly Makes a Hero
Show the World as You Want it to Be
One of the best parts about creating a comic book is that you can show the world as you want it to be. You’re not bound by the reality of your business, service, or product. You’re not even bound by the real world.
Businesses that use video marketing enjoy 49 percent faster revenue growth than those that don’t. And 90 percent of customers say that videos help them when deciding to buy a product, while 59 percent of company decision makers would rather watch a video than read text.
Videos yield such results because they help audiences engage with content better than the written word. They’re also able to command viewers’ attention for much longer than the average online attention span. Instead of checking out after eight seconds, people watch online videos for an average of 2.7 minutes.
Animated videos in particular offer myriad benefits for customer outreach and experience. And organizations should take advantage, because today’s animated videos aren’t your grandparents’ cartoons.
Create Branded Characters
1. Create branded characters for brand attachment and understanding. Choosing a brand-specific character or characters as “your star” that viewers resonate with — such as a mascot or even a caricature of your organization’s well-known president — is essential to translating video content to the experience your company offers.
When the nonprofit St. Louis Arc wanted to illustrate how it delivers therapy for children with disabilities, we helped them create an animated video starring four superheroes who personified the way therapy enhances kids’ abilities: Walk, Talk, Read, and Write. Not only did these superheroes promote audience engagement, but they also simplified the complicated and rather abstract concepts underlying therapy, another big benefit of animation.
Expand Current Marketing Tactics
2. Expand current marketing tactics to diversify outreach. With 54 percent of survey respondents wanting more video content from businesses they support, video should be part of a coordinated campaign that lets your audience choose how it engages your organization.
Animation can help create visual consistency so that multiple components of a marketing campaign reinforce each other. While an animated video may appear on a company’s website or social media, for example, complementary illustrations could appear in its print materials and presentations. The St. Louis Arc’s superheroes even appeared as costumed characters at a 2017 fundraiser. This kind of coordinated messaging helps reinforce learning and allows the brain to retain more information.
Let Your Audience Speak for You
3. Let your audience speak for you to build rapport. Animated videos can (and should) capture customers’ own words. But with the addition of sound, motion, and visuals, you’re not relegated to only words. These videos can help you shape disparate testimonials into a compelling story that’s accessible to your entire audience and can elicit emotional reactions that forge deeper bonds.
In 2016, we created an animated video that helped the nonprofit museum The Magic House capitalize on this emotional resonance and increase support for its Access for All initiative. The video highlighted the initiative’s free educational experiences it offers tens of thousands each year by reminding viewers of the wonderment initial trips to the museum elicited. Most importantly, that video helped The Magic House realize a more than 100 percent increase in individual donors that year.
Don’t Just Focus on the Foreground
4. Don’t just focus on the foreground — use the background, too. Sometimes, letting your audience take a peek behind the curtain can be one of the best ways to get past the promotional taglines and soundbites. It can also enhance your organization’s authenticity and transparency, which consumers these days value.
In fact, as of 2015, 80 percent of consumers said they preferred videos about how products work or how they’re made as opposed to what they offer. After all, videos are meant to be an experience, not simply a regurgitation of the products or services you offer.
Video is expected to account for 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2021. And one of the best parts of animation? It’s much cheaper and faster to produce than traditional, live video. Animated characters don’t require a paycheck, and editing a frame of illustrations is much easier than re-shooting a live scene.
With their creative flexibility, heightened capacity for engagement, and cost effectiveness, animated videos are a boon for any organization. So, what are you waiting for?