Well, greetings all fellow marketers, social media professionals, public relations, entrepreneurs and folks out there trying to get some attention and increase sales on their products.
We’re all on the same team – working to succeed in an increasingly confusing and competitive marketplace – and that’s no exaggeration.
Austin Visuals has been working with a greater than ever variety of dreamers, scientific marketers, technical innovators, multi-national companies and new to the world entrepreneurs than ever before in our history. It’s caused us to stretch and improve our technology, staff, and resources. We’re enthusiastically grateful for their trust!
We’d like to share what we’ve learned this year from experience and from our clients at our Texas-based animation company as we serve our customers’ coast to coast and abroad. And, we’d like to hear your success stories and your frustrations, your triumphs, and trials.
You can email those to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We all know that marketing is a complex process, it involves knowing your customers, researching their wants and needs, coming up with a great product and/or service and making sure it’s available. There’s no one advertising or promotion answer to make it visible once you’re ready to advertise. Sometimes it’s live video or drone shots or 3D animation or 3D animation or Motion Graphics or VR or AR or a combination of these. There ARE are common lessons to be learned to succeed in that effort – here are the ones we’ve learned (or been taught by clients.)
Marketing Lesson 1 – It’s about content, content, content
It starts with words people, there’s just no shortcut. Oh yes, it’s fun to start right with the pictures but resist! Words will launch a million images from dragons (and who doesn’t love a great dragon?) to cartoons to the detailed molecular interactions of a scientific discovery or medical treatment. Even if you don’t plan to have a narrator read your script, you need to make a word map (script) to make sure you include a beginning, a middle, and an end (call to action.) For more information on that subject, if you haven’t read our StorySelling blog, take a minute to do that. https://austinvisuals.com/free -storyselling-report/
You know your product, idea, or service better than anyone in the world, but it can be easy for you to get lost in what you want to sell. My role as creative director at Austin Visuals is to keep an eye on what people want to buy by researching categories then weave your message into a video script that will make you stand out and move your products, explain your process, or excite customers about your idea within your budget.
So, if you will let us add our experience to your knowledge, I’m sure we can come up with something amazing We do legal/forensic animation and medical/scientific animation frequently and work with corporate teams to script the technical necessities into a visual world.
Austin Visuals creates realistic 3D animation in combination with live video for some of the world’s largest producers of scientific advances.
Content and story selling isn’t critical for just “the big guys.” At Austin Visuals Animation Company, we spend time interpreting the message to be delivered by smaller (but no less important) clients also. Life and the challenges for all of us who market or promote is not always a party…….but sometimes the inspiration is a song. We were lucky to have the opportunity to work with an emerging artist on a VERY limited budget to promote his latest hit.
2D animation can be used to story tell and storysell very effectively by our USA artists.
Marketing Lesson 2 – Quality, quality, quality
Even constrained by budget, quality is everything in the competitive marketplace. Your customers are flooded with images. Whether you’re doing live video, 3D animation, 2D animation, motion graphics, VR or AR, demand that the images are excellent.
Portraying the active molecules in an innovative treatment is critical to user understanding of an advanced scientific breakthrough.
If you have to use fewer images or a shorter video to meet your budget do that. If you have very severe budget constraints, our animation pros can even make those “do it yourself” programs look superior by adding in their photoshop, illustrator, or after effects motion graphics skills.
Premade 2D animated characters augmented by skilled motion graphics artists at Austin Visuals produces budget videos that pack a punch.
Marketing Lesson 3 – (We learned this from our customers!!) “Offshore” mostly isn’t cheaper OR easier
I know you’re getting those emails from India and the middle east and other offshore providers promising great videos at bargain prices. And, no doubt it’s tempting to save money. For some reason I can’t understand, those folks send Austin Visuals their inquiries too. (I guess they don’t scrub their email lists very well.) Let me just tell you right now, you are probably NOT going to save money. And, probably not going to get your product on time, or really enjoy working with folks in a time zone far far away. This year we’ve worked with several who thought “why not?” and gave it a try. We ended up starting all over with them. They ended up spending more than they should have because they paid twice instead of once. Working offshore challenges include not just a lack of accountability, language, culture – it’s a combination of those and staying up until midnight to talk to your vendor. Just so you know, we make sure we deliver value for your investment. Our prices for artists right here in the USA are often very competitive with offshore providers.
Marketing Lesson 4 – You are your brand – everywhere.
Remember that the sometimes elusive thing called “branding” extends beyond the formal videos you prepare for commercials, investor presentations, and social media. We can create the most dynamic video or logo for you, the best website, the most incredible Virtual Reality or investor presentation, and the positive effects from it can be undone in a minute.
All of us in marketing are familiar with the spokesperson disasters and negative brand fall out that hit Subway with Jason Fogel and Jello with Bill Cosby and others like Tiger and OJ because media coverage made sure we were all aware.
For some of our clients, a spokesperson solution is an animated character. They work 24 hours a day 365 days a year and are never going to let you down.
Sock City’s knitting sock monkey is their logo and appears as a quick ad in movie theaters.
Sunny is a 3D spokesman that spreads sunshine for a car dealer..
But a spokesperson is only part of the equation. Just as damaging to a product – is what happens when the face of a brand (like Elton Musk) get caught failing. If you’re the face or name of your brand, everything you do matters.
Are you doing something to sabotage your brand? Posting parties of your staff on Facebook? Showing gala’s or golf outings too often? Sure, you want to humanize the company but you need to take care to stay in tune with your brand and generating trust among consumers. However, this is critical if you’re a startup or a solo entrepreneur. Ask yourself, “do I look like the kind of person someone would invest $$$ with?” However, reconsider those vacation photos, nights out with a “babe” postings, and more importantly, how you conduct yourself at meetings and networking events. Fair or not, it all adds up and in the world we live in now someone is always watching, taking a video, and forming an opinion.
Marketing Lesson 5 – Ask for the business and say “thank you” for getting it.
In videos, we refer to this as the “call to action.” It tells the viewer what to do after they’ve been
convinced to take action after watching your video. Most often, it sends them to your website. Pretty passive. And, bad news if after they go to the website they don’t hit a landing page that welcomes them. Then shows them the product and how to buy it. We always counsel our clients to make a special landing page. I’m not a fan of going to a site and getting a robot AI person. That’s just me and it might work for you. Mostly it’s just one more step you’re making me take to do what I was excited about doing. Make sure their comments relate to what you’re advertising.
Personal note: one of the BIGGEST frustrations for me as a consumer is to see a Facebook ad with a piece of jewelry or a dress I like. I hit their button and go to a catalog page. Hey! I wanted to see that particular thing I liked, I’m not going to spend fifteen minutes to try to find it.
Let me see what I want, and THEN invite me to look around.
Bonus points if you give an email address direct to someone that can help you personally, or a phone number that will be answered. Like this: I’m Nancy Schirm, Creative Director at Austin Visuals. And, I’d like to have the opportunity to earn your trust. Email me directly at email@example.com. I don’t give a phone number because we work with clients all over the world, and I’m not at my best at when it’s 9am in London and 3am in Dallas 🙂
AND SAY THANK YOU
Our client relationships last from four to six weeks for 2D and 3D videos. Up to six months for larger Virtual Reality projects. I express gratitude along the way, and always say thank you at the end. It’s important and it’s sincere. So, thank YOU for sticking with this blog and reading it to the end!