A good picture is worth a thousand words. So how many words are animations worth? Perhaps unsurprisingly, that question has been answered. According to insivia.com, a single minute of video pulls as much weight as 1.8 million words.

Animation is an extremely powerful method of reaching your customers. It instills imagination into the minds of your web users and allows you to express ideas that can be otherwise difficult to explain. How-to videos let you demonstrate products or equipment you may sell, or show the effectiveness of your services. Animation attracts customers, draws the eye, and splits up the design of your website.

Many website owners think of animation as something specific to commercials, YouTube, and television. Yet marketers and web designers are finding tons of ways to integrate animation into landing pages, blog posts, and more.

Why You Should Use Animation

Let’s face it, videos are far more impressive than text. Web users are fickle, and they want to maximize their enjoyment with the least amount of effort possible. Animation is entertaining. Advertising jingles are catchy and quickly become punchlines for jokes. Ask yourself this: how many people do you think know the GEICO gecko? What about the “can you hear me now?” cell phone commercials?

The best part of animation is that it can also showcase your brand. Good Books recently produced a video called Metamorphosis that has broken 300k views on Vimeo. Their business skyrocketed. Most importantly, the animation was stylistically consistent with their brand and drilled the idea of edgy, effective professionals into their customers’ minds.

By using animation in your site, you make your business more easily shared. Web users like nothing more than blasting hilarious videos across Facebook and Twitter when they find content relevant to their lives. The trick is to include information about your product and services in order to promote your brand. In the case of Good Books, they seized their opportunity by including the multitude of awards they had won.

Animation has absolutely no limits. 3D animation can show how engines and complex processes work, zoom into the microscopic for scientists, and showcase the promise of projects to investors. Many startups and indie developers heavily rely on crowdsourced funding to get projects off the ground. Animation makes it possible to show aspects of uncompleted work. Fully-funded Kickstarter projects almost always include animation.

Presentations to boards, executives, and investors are more interesting, engaging, and more likely to facilitate approval with animation. Projects in engineering, science, and architecture often are sold on imagination, not prototypes. Animation adds realism to the unsold product so the target audience can see the finished project before it begins.

One last benefit, and not one to take lightly, is that animation makes your company look more sleek, modern, and sophisticated. Automobile manufacturers use animation to make themselves look savvy and up with the times. Web designers and animators can literally use video to show off their skills. Marketing teams can prove their ability to promote brands. Animation is an unbelievable tool, especially when products are sold on their visual appeal.

The Hard Facts

One of the biggest reasons to use animation is, simply put, your competitors are doing it, too. Since 2011, animation has been the fastest growing form of ad format. Between 2013 and 2014, marketers increased their video ad spending from $1.97 billion to over $5.5 billion.

Even more telling, animation increases the likelihood of landing a sale. For instance, integrating animation into your ads increases customer engagement by 22%. And according to Forbes, 59% of executives and more than half of web users prefer watching videos than reading text on the same subject. Animation also increases retention. Web users retain over 90% of the information provided by a video, as opposed to 10% of the text they read.

Ways to Integrate Animation into Your Marketing Strategy

Web Design: First and foremost, web animation keeps users on your web page. Many companies take the easy way out by providing scrolling images. However, countless ad agencies have found that using Analytics animation boosts web user retention on landing pages and blog posts.

Features like moving graphics, interactive icons and buttons, click-able demonstrations, and fun Easter eggs, add depth and character to your site. It leaves users with the feeling that there is always more to explore, and that exploration is for their benefit. In the modern days of web design, personalization is crucial to engaging with customers, and makes users more likely to purchase products. There are few things more personal than customized web animation.

Animation provides effects and location shots that would be impossible to film otherwise. Drone makers are using animation, because actually attaching a camera to a drone and filming shots flying through mountains and under bridges would take too much time and cost an arm and a leg to produce. Cartoon characters give companies mascots that are extremely interactive. Products aimed at children have been long adept at using mascots, but a website provides that demographic a place to play around with their beloved caricatures.

Emails: Animation in marketing emails provides spice and style. It draws attention to the important aspects of the marketing campaign, easily highlighting goods and services instead of a droll wall of text that simply explains it. The trick is integrating an animation that is viewable across all platforms. Never provide attachments or links to videos. Not only is your email more likely to end up in a spam folder, but these tactics also make web users wary.

B2B Marketing: Boardroom presentations are so boring they’re a common punch line in sitcoms and movies. Not only does animation do more work than several PowerPoint slides, it saves time and more readily engages the audience. There is no need to spend time outlining the benefits and demographics of your goods and services if a short, three minute video can do the same thing.

B2B sales, while more professional, require the same skills and tactics: engage the customer, gain their trust, and close the deal. Animation succinctly rolls several of these aspects into one. And remember, animation can show the complicated aspects of your sales pitch. Products with several complicated elements are more difficult for executives and salesmen to understand when the real demographic is aimed at doctors, scientists, and other highly-trained professionals. Use animation to put them at ease.