Brands in motion: how movement is the way forward when it comes to short engaging content

Brands in motion: how movement is the way forward when it comes to short engaging content

The world has changed. Social media has mutated the way we consume information.

The rise of entertainment on demand has eradicated the need to sit through the standard 3.5mins of adverts in the middle of your favourite TV show.

Take Gogglebox – a single show that gives an overview of all the other shows – effectively turning them into bite-sized bits of content for us to consume quickly. It’s the same with social media platforms, with Forbes reporting the average number of platforms per person as between 6 and 71. We have a layering of low attention spans. It’s like using a comparison site to compare comparison sites.

Videos – typically less than a minute in length – are capturing the attention of 66% of consumers. That’s 2.5 times more engaging than longer videos. Globally over half of all videos created were under 2 minutes. Welcome to the age of short-form.

Why does it matter?

So the audience attention span is small – in the last 15 years, it has reduced from 12 seconds to just 8. This (despite common understanding) is actually less than that of a goldfish which is 9 seconds.

Let's just say that again - our attention span is less than a goldfish!

It’s clear that, with audiences retaining 95% of a message when watching it on video (vs. 10% through text), they are less likely to remember (or even see) content that doesn’t move.

Like tiny little T-Rex's, our vision is based on movement. We need to ride that wave. The wave that crashes into animation and video… into motion. Or risk getting lost in the sea of dull communication, stranded by the feed-refresh.

What do we need to do?

In order to remain relevant, content needs to be in motion. The same principle applies to branding, it needs to move.

Motion doesn’t need to be a complex, a hand-drawn animation masterpiece or the next Bladerunner, where every shot is a work of art (although they go down quite well). But adding some movement – a simple, well-executed logo animation, moving graphic device, animated title, or a CTA button that loads clearly – adds value and increases the chance of engagement and retention.

Many websites feature what we call ‘micro-animations’, tiny bits of movement which give visual feedback to the user. 

At a basic level, a button might glow, change colour or wobble when the user rolls over it. But there are few limits to this feature. Some websites feature incredibly engaging and dynamic micro-animations and, unsurprisingly, these are the sites users may stay on for longer. 

The small interactions bring those little hits of dopamine we all know and love.

We see them every time we navigate through our phones too. Small movements and transitions, visual feedback helping us to navigate the interface and, ultimately, help keep us engaged longer. I believe this approach should be brought through into branding and online presence. Applying simple movement or ‘micro-animations’ to a brand and content in general can add that extra hook.

There are several brands out there doing just that and doing it well – Google being front of mind.

Many of Google’s brand assets feature these ‘micro-animations’ (take a look anytime you open the search engine or Google app). They add character and draw the eye. At face value they are simple, but they have a real charm to them and quickly draw the viewer’s eye and attention.

And take branding house ‘SomeOne’. Its approach to branding places motion as an integral part of the visual identity and presence. It’s built into the branding solutions they create and fundamental to the ideas. It’s also ingrained in the way in which they showcase the work they do. Each case study features movement in its storytelling. Creating a piece of motion that demonstrates the evolution of a logo, or adding an animation that helps rationalise the concept, brings added engagement to the case study itself.

Our position here at Team Spirit on motion is ‘do less and do it well’. Better to have a logo build or move simply from one place to another with grace and purpose, than to attempt something complex that is hard to execute. And it’s better to have some small movements than no movement at all. Start small and build. Establish motion as part of the branding process right from the beginning, ask yourselves not, “will this brand move?” but “how will this brand move?”.

So let’s add a little motion. Add a little extra engagement. Let’s keep ourselves afloat on the waves of short-form content.

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