Marketing Tools and Tips Archives - Clarity Animations

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Are you smarter than a goldfish? Attention spans and the 8-second rule

Recently, I installed a new Google Chrome plugin that blocks out certain sites that tend to eat up my time. I figured it will help me stay focussed at work and improve my productivity.

A fun feature of this particular app is that it has a counter for every time you try to access a particular blocked site. By the end of my first work day, to my horror, the block counter for Youtube had climbed to 26.

I’d flicked over to Youtube 26 times in one day without even noticing.

*mind blown*

This made me curious about how my attention span and work habits had changed in the digital age. Was I always this unfocused? Or, has a fast-paced, over-stimulated work life affected me on a deeper level than I thought?

The more research I did into attention spans and the internet, the more fascinating the picture started to become.


The 8-second attention span

In 2015, Microsoft released findings from a study on Canadian consumers of digital content. Assessing 2000 participants, they found that the average attention span of the average user had dropped from 12 seconds (in they year 2000) down to 8 seconds. Officially, digital users could hold their attention for less time than a goldfish.

With the exponential rise in sources of information, our attention is constantly split between a multitude of different inputs. As the study says, consumers are ‘less effective at filtering out distractions – they are increasingly hungry for something new’. This effect is compounded by multi-screen information access – the fact that everyone has an advanced media processing machine in their pocket at all times. The overall effect is that it has become far more difficult for users to stay focused on a single task for extended periods.

The rise of rich media

This isn’t, Microsoft claims, necessarily a bad thing for marketers. It states that “tech-savvy consumers are actually getting better at processing information and encoding it to memory”. This simply means that in order to be successful we need to adapt to more immediate forms of communication.

It seems like short, punchy methods of communication are the order of the day, and that rich media sources like video, animation, and interactive web platforms increase the chances of keeping your customer’s attention. In general, attention is less likely to manifest itself as sustained periods of intake and more likely to appear as short bursts of extreme focus.

Something we can draw from this research is that text, or at least, long reams of content, is not going to absorb the reader as effectively as it used to. One of the reasons we love video is that the bright colours, fast movement, and emotional messaging helps to grab and hold attention. Video provides a narrative platform for emotional engagement with an audience and helps to deliver the key information in a way that’s stimulating and memorable.


That’s why it’s so good at encouraging your audience to make the right purchasing choice. A well-written video calls out to your audience, jolts them to attention, and draws them in.

If you’re looking for a way to increase your audience engagement, send a message to or fill out our contact form here.

The unanswerable question – how long should your explainer video be?

“How long should I make my video?”

Every animator hates being asked this question, and the reason is that the correct answer is never satisfying to hear.

It sounds a lot like one of those wishy-washy, nothing answers – the kind that politicians and marketers give when they’re not sure what they’re talking about. However, in this instance, the wishy-washy answer happens to be unassailably true.

The answer is this: as long as it needs to be.

I know, annoying right? That doesn’t really give you any guidance on what you should be aiming for. It’s left you generally bewildered and more confused than before you asked.  

The problem, of course, is that we’re not asking the right question in the first place. The right question is ‘how do I know when my video is long enough?’ – now we’ve really got something we can work with.


Engage, create value, direct

Let’s forget about length for a minute. If you want your video to be successful, there’s a few key things you’re going to have to do.

Chief amongst these is the creation of value for your audience. If people are going to hang around and watch your video, they want to know that they’ll get something useful out of it. The definition of ‘value’, though, is going to change drastically depending on your target audience and their own personal goals.

For example, if you’re marketing to an audience of young hipsters, entertainment might be a key value point that will keep users engaged. If your audience is experienced business owners, however, the focus might be more on solving a highly specific problem in a cost-effective way.

Defining value for your audience is the first step in creating a successful animation. Once you’ve done that, all you need to do is present it in an engaging way and make sure you direct the viewer on to their next step. So, an alternative answer to our question ‘how long should my video be’ could be this; as long as it needs to be to provide value.


The law of serious buyers

Curious readers and serious buyers interact with content in different ways. A purchasing decision takes time, and most serious buyers use that time to learn as much as they can about your product and business. The benefit for you is that the longer they stay on your site, and the more information they take in, the more likely something is going to resonate with them and convince them to convert.

This means that in many cases, more content is usually better. However, if that content isn’t constantly providing value for viewers, there’s a high chance they’ll lose interest and bounce. So, another answer to our question could be; as long as you can make it without your viewer getting bored.


When it’s long enough

The only real way to know if your video is long enough is by its efficacy. Check your conversion rate and sale value against your cost per lead; are you getting enough conversions to justify your ad spend? If not, you might need to extend your video to include more key value propositions and conversion triggers.

Another way is to check how long people are spending on your page. Are they bouncing after a few seconds? If so, you might need to push up the engagement factor and encourage people to invest more time.

To conclude, try to avoid basing content decisions around time. Instead, base your video length around your content, what you need to say, and how much value you can create for your audience.


If you want to know more about our explainer videos, feel free to get in touch with here.

3 Ways An Animated Explainer Video Puts Your Marketing on Steroids

Selling is tough. It is the backbone with which business is built on. Without sales, there is no company. A marketing department needs to help keep a steady volume of potential sales leads coming into the sales group.

Marketing has a number of challenges. They need to quickly convey what their company is about. They need to oftentimes convey messaging about complex products or services. The magic bullet for you is an animated explainer video. We will discuss 3 ways that it will sky-rocket your marketing (and how to use it effectively):

1. Showcase Your Company

An animated explainer videos allows you to showcase your company and demonstrate your audience exactly who you serve and with what products and services. Most companies are boring and simply write a 1960’s mission statement on their website and watch as their customers leave in a snooze-fest.

Here are a few creative ideas on this:

— Use the animated explainer video to tell a story. Use real life customer experience examples that illustrate to everyone what your company is about. Or take nightmare customer experiences from other companies in your industry and make light of them and contrast how your company is different.

— Crowdsource ideas for your company’s animated explainer video. Use your social media channels and ask for collaboration and ideas on what should be included in the video.

— Take bits or pieces of the explainer video (say 6 seconds to share on Vine) to use for other video based platforms to increase distribution.

— Shoot video of people’s reactions to your explainer video. Those are always fun to watch and can generate some very interesting results. Plus, you then have more ways you can re-purpose your original video.

— Go “Behind the Scenes” and shoot video of the behind the scenes of the idea process of making the video and then working with to create the finished product.

2. Use it as An AMA (Ask Me Anything) Tool

Take your most frequently asked questions and then turn them into an animated question and answer session. This is an excellent tool to visually address topics that most customers want to know about. You can do this in a creative way with an animated explainer video.

A few ideas:

— Compile your most frequently asked questions and then create some ideas for fun ways to address them. You then use these as a baseline for your AMA (Ask Me Anything) animated video. You can even use an animated character to resemble your likeness in the video.

— Then based on the explainer video, you can create a cheat sheet that gives the customer the meat and potatoes of you and your company.

— Ask your employees for feedback on the most popular questions they receive. Ask them about hurdles they have in selling or in marketing to your customers. Then you can address those items in your explainer video to eliminate those barriers.

3. Use it to Sell Products And Services

If you have a service or product, there are always challenges in presenting it to customers. Photos can leave a lot to be desired. An animated explainer video can help put your sales on fire.

A few ideas to do this successfully:

— Portray a real life scenario that demonstrates your service through the video. Make it real and people will watch.

— Use an animated explainer video as a Facebook advertisement and use it to drive traffic to your web page to sell your products.

— Place animated explainer videos on your product pages on your websites to increase conversions and sales.

— Post your explainer videos and get feedback on them in large Facebook Groups where your target audience resides.


Finally, you can be ubiquitous with your animated explainer videos and post them everywhere from your website to social media to video platforms to your digital communications. The idea is to be everywhere.

By utilizing these 3 methodologies you can develop animated explainer videos that will supercharge your marketing.

Why Video is the Most Effective Form of Digital Marketing

52% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.

Marketers are placing extra weight on the importance of video in determining the ROI of their content marketing efforts and rightfully so. With the help of video analytics, marketers can learn not only that their content was viewed, but how much of their content was viewed, in what order, from what geographic location and much more. They can then use this insight to gauge the success of their content, and improve on their strategy going forward.

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65% of video viewers watch more than ¾ of a video.

With retention rates for video content far outpacing those of text-based content, it’s clear that video is the preferred communication style for viewers. Marketers can embrace this trend by not only developing new video content for their audiences, but also by transforming existing text-based content into rich and engaging video content assets.  Turn a data-laden report into a video infographic, create attention grabbing video invitations to promote events, and with the help of a simple voiceover, convert customer case studies into authentic, video testimonials.

93% of marketers use video for online marketing, sales or communications.

Not only is video content preferred by viewers, but it’s also already popular among marketers with an overwhelming majority already using video content for a number of functions.  Of the many benefits of video content, one of the greatest is the ability to efficiently repurpose and combine segments of existing video, to create an entirely new communication to reach new audiences faster. This way marketers can create once, yet produce multiple video content assets that can be embedded on their website, shared in personalized email campaigns, and used to communicate with their sales team, existing customers and more.

Video in email can boost open rates by 20% and increase click-through rates.

As inboxes are continuously flooded with email marketing messages, it’s more important than ever for marketers to find ways to stand out from the pile. Video is the perfect medium to do just that.  Replace those busy, text-heavy emails with a simple introduction accompanied by a video to communicate the rest of the message.  Video in the body of an email can catch the attention of a casual inbox pursuer, and increase the likelihood that they will engage with the content in the email. Not only are retention rates higher for video compared to text content, video gives marketers greater insight into exactly how much of their content was viewed – something that’s difficult (if not impossible) to glean from traditional email communications.

B2B and B2C marketers worldwide name video as a top 3 most effective social media marketing tactic.

Video has fast become the preferred content type for sharing information via social media. Whether it’s short form video and creative pieces for the more visual social channels, or video featuring professional content to enhance a brand or an individual’s presence on LinkedIn, video content is king when it comes to social media.