How to Measure the Success of Your Animation Project
Animation is more than just moving images. It’s a powerful engagement tool that directly impacts marketing results.
But to understand how to use animation effectively, it’s important to know how to evaluate it and which KPIs are associated with it. This will enable you to speak about it in an educated way with your clients and deliver better results for them.
In this article, we’ll cover how to set the right animation goals, which KPIs are most relevant to animation, and we’ll give tips for ensuring that your animation performs well.
Setting the right goals
No KPI measure can start without defining goals and objectives. Goals come in all shapes and sizes, depending on the end purpose of what you’re creating. Here are the goals we see most often with our clients.
- Animation for Advertising – When you use animation as a way to promote a product or brand, goals usually include:
- Increase in sales
- Become top of mind
- Generate brand awareness
- Increase leads
- Animation for Product/Service Launches – If the intent is to use animation to introduce and present a new product or service, goals can include:
- Generate sales
- Reduce friction for early adopters
- Generate brand awareness
- Make it easier for customers to understand the product
- Animation as Content – There are times when animation becomes the content itself. Brands that produce animated content are looking to:
- Better engage an audience
- Generate a fanbase
- Grow a social media channel
- Generate brand awareness
- Animation for Education – One of the best ways to educate is to make it in a format your audience enjoys consuming. Educational or Instructional animation goals can include:
- Make a message easy to understand
- Engage viewers in the content
- Make it clear which steps or actions a person needs to take
- Establish a brand connection
Understanding your client’s goals enables you to both measure the project results and steer development of the project.
Now, let’s look at specific KPIs that can be associated with animation and some hints on what to focus on during the strategy and production process.
KPIs for Animation Projects
The play rate, or number of clicks, shows how many people clicked on your video when it appeared to them on social media. In paid media, a high number here is a direct indicator that your video is being shown to the right target. If the content of the animation is relevant and appealing to the audience you’re targeting, you will see a great response in this metric. When you compare it with the total of impressions, it shows you how effective your visuals are performing.
To increase the play rate of your animation projects, you should be looking at two factors: your thumbnail and the initial seconds of your animation.
To produce a good thumbnail, you don’t need arrows pointing at small objects, or random red circles to attract interest. Avoid those clickbait solutions. In animation, three elements contribute to a thumbnail: colors, text, and characters
Good contrast in the colors you use for your thumbnail helps it to stand out a lot better. Using a title right in the thumbnail image is also very attractive for viewers. But what performs best is the usage of human figures. If your animation includes a character, make sure to include it in your thumbnail. If it doesn’t, don’t worry. As a rule of thumb here, a good composition, varied in contrast and/or colors, will do the job.
Also, remember that the first few seconds of your video are essential to locking in the viewer’s attention — especially on social media, where videos usually autoplay — so make sure your opening scene is visually appealing.
It’s better to spend a lot of time perfecting the first 5-7 seconds than obsessing over a detail that comes later in the video. If you plan on using characters, cel animation, big camera moves, and/or some crispy 3D in your animation, make sure to have those impactful elements in the beginning.
View Duration and View-Through Rate
View-Through Rate (VTR) is a reliable indicator of the viewer’s satisfaction and the overall quality of your video. Your VTR will be the percentage of people actively interested in your content and brand. Hence, the longer someone watches your animation, the more effective it’s being in communicating your campaign’s message. It’s one of the most critical KPIs for video and animation marketing.
The average View Duration gives an indicator of where in your video people are losing interest, and it can be great feedback when planning additional marketing materials or creating new campaigns. It can be related to the messaging at specific points of your animation or based on how engaging your visuals are to sustain the viewer throughout the whole video.
To guarantee excellent retention of viewers until the end of your videos, you should use the full potential of animation. Align visuals with emotional connections and a great message.
Shorter videos usually perform a lot better here. As a rule of thumb, always aim to send the message the best way possible, in the shortest time possible. It not only reflects on your KPIs but also reduces your initial investment in production.
A difference in rhythm and flow throughout the animation plays a big part here as well. As you worked on developing an excellent starting point at the beginning of your animation, find ways to keep the bar high. Start with the most attractive scenes and create a sequence that supports this initial state.
Finally, abuse of transitions to connect different moments of your message and to bridge the gap when changing subjects.
With animation, we’re not just looking for passive viewers — we want positive interactions so we can better evaluate brand performance and organic reach. The PR your campaign generates is essential. And keep in mind that these days, Shares and Comments are a stronger indicator than Likes.
Having thousands of people sharing your animation means that your thumbnails were good enough for them to click play (Play Rate), your content is engaging enough that people watch until the end (View-Through Rate), AND that your video was so impactful and relevant that people are willing to show it to their friends and peers (Interactions).
In animation, as in every campaign and ad you produce, you want people to be talking about it. You want to spread your client’s message, but even more importantly, you want positive feedback. That’s why sharing is not enough if it comes with negative comments. Looking at what people are commenting on your animations is key to understanding the impact it’s making on them.
Look at what the audience is saying about your animation marketing materials, and you’ll be surprised. In an ad, there’s no higher praise than people saying they stopped what they were doing to watch and comment on your animated video. Below are a few examples of comments one of our clients received in a recent Animation Ad.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. If we are selling a product or service, it means the number of people who bought or subscribed to it after watching your animation. Most of the time, the Click-Through Rate is an excellent metric to use to evaluate conversions. All the KPIs mentioned above come together to generate conversion, the ultimate measure of success for a campaign.
A well-crafted Call-to-action helps in the conversion, and CTA in animation is no different from live-action. But instead of ending your ads with just, “Get started today,” “Subscribe now,” or “Join us,” use a “smart CTA” that more visually appealing and incorporate it into your content. This creates a seamless transition that compels viewers to take action.
Here’s a snippet of a smart CTA incorporated into the animation itself.
In the end, the message you send to your viewers throughout the whole animation is what will generate the connection and willingness to move forward. With these KPIs in mind, whenever you start strategizing your next animation, make sure you’re optimizing your visuals with your message to obtain tangible results. There’s no secret recipe on how to achieve good results, but whatever is the end goal of your campaign, animation can help you maximize it, and the KPIs are here to measure your results.
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