8 seconds, and you’re out.
That’s the length of the average person’s attention span as we move into the age of immediate gratification. There is nothing wrong with that—we just have to adapt. So when you’re living in a world of Buzzfeed and Tasty videos, one surefire way to grab someone’s attention on their newsfeed is animation.
I don’t know about you, but when I was working in higher ed, resources and time were always limited. I understand the struggle, and the struggle is real. That’s why I’ve made it my mission to find ways to be on par with million dollar companies without having to use the money you find under the couch cushions.
So how do you get the cool effects of animated videos, when your couch cushions are running low on cash? I’ve done some of the research, and found three apps campus marketers can use to create movement without putting a finger their wallets. These apps are all user-friendly and easy to navigate, too. It took me less than one day to create the video examples below.
PROS: Get your animation on with Kanvas. This tool lets you include multiple images and
customize the speed at which you rotate the images. You can make a GIF without being an InDesign or Photoshop pro while having more leeway to be inventive with the options it offers. If you have the time for creativity, you can set your video up like a stop-motion film and insert images frame by frame. Warning: This is time consuming, but an option. You are also able to design a graphic if your artistic capability surpasses a four-year-old’s—mine do not.
CONS: You can’t animate the text or video itself (i.e. no fading in or out, basically, nothing you can do in a PowerPoint presentation). There are ways to still get the effect of changing text or images, but it does take a lot of creativity and precision. If you already have a 6-second video, it makes it that much easier. You cannot add layers of text. Everything you type up will be there front and center.
PROS: Legend is a simplistic tool that only offers one thing: animated text. Take a still image and add a bit of animated text to give it movement and make it something that will capture attention. It’s clean. It’s simple. It gets the job done, but doesn’t give you much to choose from. If you are a one-person show, this is the perfect option for you. It takes me a handful of minutes (and that’s if I stopped to get a snack) to complete the animation and get it into Facebook manager. I do have to say, this one is my go-to if I’m working in a pinch or if I don’t have enough assets, plus I just like it.
CONS: Well, it only offers one thing. There are only three pages of the different animations to choose from, and they have a set list of color combinations to use. The only option I’ve used is the white text with no background color. However, that doesn’t negate that it’s a solid app. I say, don’t put all of your eggs in that basket, but put as many as you like because you got the basket for free.
PROS: This is the one that I would deem the winner. You get the best of both worlds from Kanvas and Legend. Throw in the fact that it is also free, and we’ve got ourselves a grand slam. I’m just getting acclimated with this tool, but so far, I’m loving it. You are able to use a still image and add multiple layers of designs and text. You are able to have one text overlay with two animations.
CONS: The only thing I see preventing Adobe Spark from claiming its crown is that they have their branding on the corner of the design. I still have to play around with it, and see what we would need to do to have our own branding. UPDATE: there is an option to remove the branding and, as far as I can see, it seems to lack hidden costs. I’ve used it three times so far, but I have an inkling that it will allow me to remove the branding for free for a set number of times before it pulls the rug and charges all the nickels and dimes
I’ve done the research, now you do the fieldwork. Test them out. See what works for your brand, your team or your schedule, and tell us what fits you best. Use it for advertising, use it for social media engagement (because you should be engaging), use it for anything to start making waves into the #newandnext way of marketing.
Tweet us examples of your motion graphics and other animated visuals @convergeorg.