How To Make An Animated Video: Everything You Need To Know

28 November 2022
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Whether you’ve seen them on TV or scrolling through social media, animated video has become a part of everyday life.

Animated videos are engaging and enjoyable to watch, making them the perfect marketing tool to use for your campaigns. Just about every brand that utilises video marketing will have thought about or used animated video in the past.

At Ideal Insight we know the secrets to making London’s best-animated videos, and today, we’re here to share them with you!

In this blog we will be covering; what are animated videos, why they’re so useful for marketing and even the first few steps to creating your own. Let’s get creative!

What is video animation?

Animated videos are created using designs, drawings and illustrations. With the power of computer effects, these illustrations ‘come to life’. Just like when you’re sketching on a piece of paper, the possibilities are endless with these types of videos.

Animation videos can be as simple or as complex as you want; you can feature simple stick men or go as far as to create a realistic-looking 3D animation. The best way to decide which way to go is to consider your target market and go from there. For example, if your audience is younger and/or your message is simple, you could consider using more simplistic styling.

Why is video animation important?

Social media is the most popular platform to engage with audiences and share company updates video animation can enable your business to communicate complex ideas quickly and in an engaging way. As you’re not constrained by recorded footage, you can condense even the most abstract of messages into a video using animation. For example, we made an animated video for a company called Entropy. Entropy is a web design and development company, check out the video here. We condensed the messaging and what this brand does into one video to make it easy and quick to understand.

Condensing concepts and messages into digestible formats is incredibly important in digital marketing. If you’re going to convert your audience into customers, at some stage you might need to interrupt their happy scrolling time on social media. An accessible and novel animated video can be the perfect way to interject with a key message.

To us, this is the best thing about animated videos; they provide an opportunity to make something truly original and unique, every time, for every client.

Why are animated videos great for marketing?

Animated videos can be used in pretty much any campaign, whether it's by email, social media or TV, they are bound to attract your audience. By now, we shouldn’t need to explain why video content is the no.1 most important content piece for your business in 2023 (if we do - check out this blog.)

Animated videos can often prove to be a more cost-effective option for clients. This is especially true for clients in the energy, financial, healthcare & real estate industries as we find messages can rapidly become quite complex & abstract, so stock footage just won’t do.

Animated videos don’t require studio time, lighting, actors, and any travel planning in advance. At Ideal Insight, we can get started on an animated video within just 24 hours of delivering the quote.

So, what more could you want? Animated videos can be cheaper and more engaging. That’s every marketer's dream…

Why should I make an animated video for my business?

Animated videos can resonate with your audience much deeper than a normal static-image post. Animated videos have been shown to ensure marketing campaign’s up to a 95% higher retention rates of the key message amongst the target audience. Engaging the audience with accessible and clear messaging, in a novel way, is a recipe for success!

Can I make my own animated video?

The simple answer is yes! As we explained earlier, there are many different types and styles of animated videos. Therefore, there are a fair few tools you can use to create your desired video.

If you want to learn more about the different types of animated videos, check out this blog

The internet holds many different tools that everyone can use to get creative. Our advice - start simple, and build from there. The more complex and detailed you want your videos to be, the more software you may need, and each piece of software comes with a learning curve! Ready to get started? Check out our quick-start guide:

How to make an animation video: 4 steps for success

We’re busy making animated videos every day at Ideal Insight HQ. We’re happy to share some of our quick tips with you to get you started!

1. How to make an animated video for free

The internet offers so many tools and websites to help make animated videos for free. You could start with classic favourites such as Canva and Animaker. Whether you want to create something more complex, or just a simple video, these are great options to begin making your video for free!

Canva is great if you want simple but meaningful videos. The steps are simple:

  1. Type in ‘video collage’ on Canva to begin making videos.

  2. Choose a video template. Canva has so many to offer for you to edit to your liking.

  3. Next, start adding in your text, drawings and videos.

  4. Now, this is where the magic happens, click animate on the tool page and choose from a range of animations. Enjoy experimenting until you have your perfect video!

Animaker is great if you want a bit more of a complex video. It takes a little longer than Canva, but it's great if you want to use characters in your animations! It’s super simple to use:

  1. Begin by creating your characters using the tools Animaker has to offer.

  2. Choose a video template; Animaker offers thousands for you to use.

  3. Begin animating your character. You can choose from a range of actions and expressions to really bring your animated characters to life.

  4. Add music, voiceovers and text to finalise your piece.

Both of the above options are great if you want to start making animation videos. They’re free and they are great for beginners.

2. The cost of animated videos

Companies such as John Lewis will spend a few million to ensure their TV ads stay as the ‘no.1’ example of animation. In fact, John Lewis said their 2017 (Moz the Monster) and 2016 (Buster the Boxer) Christmas adverts both cost around £7 million to make!

However, for smaller companies just targeting a social media campaign, you could expect to see a great animated video delivered from Ideal Insight for under £6,000.

3. Types of animation videos

Knowing the different types of animation you can use will help you brief your video production partner effectively, as well as ensure you’re positioning your business as best you can. Below are the three most common animation styles we work on. Let us know what you think!

Each of the above holds benefits which can help you massively. 3D product promotion is great for showing off your product with little to no explanation required. If you want your product to do the talking, look no further!

If you need to hold the audience's attention for a little longer or get into different concepts, you can bring in 2D explainer videos. This is where you can answer possible questions and really give your audience an understanding of your business. When done properly, it can still provide some entertainment, and will almost definitely deliver higher engagement rates than static image alternatives.

The final type of animated video we love to use is ‘character animation’; these videos are a great way to combine informative content and product promotion. These are great for storytelling and are probably one of the best ways to engage your consumers, it’s like a mini-movie about your brand.

All 3 of these are great types of animation to use for your brand; each one will drive engagement; just remember to choose a suitable style to resonate with your audience.

The 3 secrets to creating an amazing animated video

So, what top tips can we share to make your animated video as compelling as possible for your audience? First up, the basics: include background music. If you have a voiceover in the video, make sure you have subtitles. Read on for the advanced tips!

Tailor your animated video to incite emotion

While animated videos can offer something a bit different for your business & audience, it’s still marketing at its core. Utilising the power of emotion is key. It won’t surprise you to read that it always comes back to your target audience, and what action you want them to take.

You can incite emotion in a number of ways during your animated videos, just a few of these methods could be;

  • Emotive language

  • Background music

  • Rhetorical questions

  • Relatable scenarios

  • Storytelling

There are so many different ways to create emotion through your animation, you just need to choose the perfect way to do it. An amazing example of this is the previously mentioned John Lewis Christmas adverts. (Our favourite is 2019’s instalment with Edgar the Dragon.)

Keep your animated video believable

Give your audience something they can relate to!

Now of course you can do anything in your animation videos, but be sure your brand sounds believable. The goal of these animated videos is to make your audience feel they need to buy from you, so of course, you want to show them the reality of what you can offer them.

This is not to say you can’t be as creative as you want with your video, of course, keep it engaging and entertaining. Just make sure you keep the information about your brand believable and relatable.

Tell a story with your animated video

Telling a story is a great way to keep your audience interested. It’s like reading a book or watching a movie; your audience wants to know what happens next. We see many big companies such as Sainsbury's, Marks & Spencer's and John Lewis use storytelling as a great way to attract customers, especially around Christmas time. Although their videos are a mix of live-action and animation, they pretty much always tell a story and they get a lot of engagement all over social media.

The beauty of storytelling goes without saying - the person watching becomes engaged and wants to know more. This is your chance to educate them with all the information about your brand and your campaign’s key message/s.

Why should I outsource my animated videos?

Outsourcing is sometimes the most effective way to get your content done and published. With combined decades of experience, we’re here to deliver you professional and cost-effective animated videos, without you having to spend days working on them yourself!

Outsourcing can give you high-quality animation videos and enable you to use your time more efficiently. Why not get in contact with us today and see how we can turn your animation dreams into a reality!


Do animated videos sound like the way to go? We’ve given you the tips to start making your animation videos amazing! Trust us, they’re simple and probably one of the best marketing strategies to use in 2023.

We’re experts when it comes to video content. We have a page of blogs which you can have a look through if you’re looking for any more information about video content creation and the best ways to reach your audience.

Want to start your journey in animation video for your business or have any projects in mind? Talk to us today and see how we can help!

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