A key to succeeding as an animator - whether that be as a freelance animator or the owner of an animation studio - is to effectively advertise your animation services to potential animation clients.
In the past, the process of advertising animation services was a complicated and often time-consuming endeavor, requiring animators to spend copious amounts of time and money to create and publish an effective advertisement.
This process has become much simpler in recent years due to the popularization of social media.
Check out this blog on the best social media tools for animators to kick off your journey into social media marketing!
Social media platforms like Instagram and even Twitter are great resources for advertising animation services. However, these social media platforms aren’t perfect and sometimes make it difficult to have your post reach as many people as possible in a short amount of time.
Along with usual stories and posts, Instagram also supports short videos, but there is no way to go viral on the platform. This limits your exposure to only your followers and the few people that happen to see your post on their feed and decide to share it.
Twitter can make a single post spread across the platform and be seen by thousands of people. But it’s hard to make this happen a second time.
Unlike these platforms, TikTok may be the only platform with an algorithm and dynamic that works well for animators looking to make a name for themselves by starting an animation studio or freelance business.
The platform also provides a great resource for animators looking to advertise their already-established animation studios to newer and wider audiences.
With a billion active monthly users, TikTok represents a goldmine of marketing potential, especially to TikTok animators who have a massive advantage on visual-based social media platforms.
TikTok provides an invaluable resource for animators to advertise their animation services and grow their animation businesses because of its short-form content and the speed at which content reaches viewers around the world.
In this blog, we discuss with you what advantages TikTok offers animators and how those primarily using TikTok are dominating the animation industry through their skillful use of the platform’s algorithm.
The Advantage of Creating Short-Form Content for TikTok Animators
TikTok vs YouTube
TikTok offers an advantage over platforms like YouTube, which provides animators with a space to create longer format videos and animations.
If you’re a new animator, YouTube is also a great place to gain knowledge of animation and the processes that go into running a successful animation studio or freelance business.
YouTube has dominated the animation space for quite a long time because of the potential for learning and sharing knowledge. Because of this, YouTube is also a popular platform where many animators have found success.
Unfortunately, those animators who have found success on YouTube by gaining millions of subscribers and many brand deals are breakthrough cases, and not every animator is going to be as lucky.
Because of the way YouTube’s algorithm works, the platform boosts videos that keep viewers tuned in for a long time. This means that animators need to make videos that are about 10 minutes long to keep up with other popular content on the platform, such as vlogging and gaming channels.
YouTube’s algorithm creates a problem for most animators since creating an animated video at that length can take up to a month or even more create. This is an especially big issue for solo animators working as freelancers and trying to grow a YouTube channel at the same time.
Even if an animator can maintain a YouTube channel while working full-time, the amount of time needed to create a 10-minute YouTube video is a huge gamble. All of that work might not pay off and all of that time might have gone to waste.
Animation Takes Time
Image by Victoria Heath via Unsplash
The bottom line is that animation takes time, so finding a way to create short videos that will reach as large an audience as possible is important for animators today.
TikTok provides this advantage by granting TikTok animators the ability to create short-form content, giving them an extreme advantage over other animators in the industry.
Being able to create short, impactful videos is extremely useful for getting your work noticed by potential animation clients. TikTok consists of short videos between 15 seconds and 3 minutes, so creating these videos is a relatively quick process compared to creating videos on YouTube.
This enables animators to create multiple short videos a week, which not only boosts their chances of being noticed, but TikTok also rewards frequent uploads.
Using the algorithm to your advantage by frequently creating content will increase the chances of your work ending up on the For You Page.
Videos on the For You Page get viewed by millions of people around the world every day, which can also lead to TikTok animators’ videos going viral. For a guide on how to create animation videos for TikTok, check out this video explaining how to use FlipaClip!
FlipaClip is a comprehensive drawing tool for creating animated videos on various devices ranging from PCs to smartphones. The app simplifies the process of creating animations and importing those videos onto TikTok.
FlipaClip is is a great tool for people interested in animation who want to learn the basics or for experienced animators who want a simple tool to import animations to TikTok.
Even though FlipaClip is one of the most popular tools for creating and importing animations to TikTok, there are many other ways in which this can be done.
One of these is to use the animation effects available in TikTok itself to create colorful and spontaneous short clips. Another way to create a short animation on your phone or PC and import that video to TikTok.
It’s important to remember to make your animations short and eye-catching to attract as many viewers as possible.
Animation Videos Get the Full Attention of Users
Another advantage of creating videos on TikTok is that animation videos get the full attention of users. Videos created on any platform typically demand a viewer’s full attention since they have to pause what they’re doing to look at and engage with the video.
One of the biggest advantages of TikTok is that the platform is all about creating videos, so viewers have already dedicated their attention to the platform and its content.
A big bonus for animated content is that it is far more interesting than videos of people dancing or lip-syncing to a popular song.
In contrast, animations are colorful, full of movement, and are not restricted to practicalities when it comes to character design or following popular trends.
Wondering why people are drawn to short-form content? Check out this blog by ToonBoom explaining the cultural shift that has happened over the past few years and how this has influenced how content is created and consumed.
The Importance of Audience Engagement and Advertising for TikTok Animators
TikTok is the Perfect Platform for Experimentation
Image by Alex Kondratiev via Unsplash
Tiktok is great for animators because it is the perfect platform for experimentation.
If TikTok animators want to test if an idea will be successful with animation clients or audiences, TikTok provides the perfect platform because of its short videos and the fact that viewers can comment and engage with a video as much as they want.
TikTok users can ‘stitch’ their video with others to react to and comment on it, giving TikTok animators honest reviews of their animation projects. Check out this video for hacks on how to boost audience engagement on social media!
This video will show you how to increase engagement on your social media posts by getting more people to see your posts and encouraging those viewers to comment on and like your posts.
In addition to this, the video also explains how to increase your following on various social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok!
The fact that videos can be uploaded and distributed to a huge audience in a very short amount of time also means a quick response time from potential animation clients. This quick response time from audiences allows TikTok animators to know immediately if an idea will be successful or not.
There are no Consequences if an Idea Does Fail
Image by Bradyn Trollip via Unsplash
And one other big advantage is that there are no consequences if an idea does fail. TikTok provides a relatively safe space for animators to experiment without the risk of losing animation clients or money.
TikTok is free to download and use, so the monetary loss is non-existent, making the app a great place for startup animators to kick off their careers and animation businesses. Not to mention the benefit of potential free marketing for well-established animation studios.
TikTok is Cheap and Effective
There are three reasons why testing out animation ideas on TikTok is cheaper and more effective than traditional advertising campaigns and audience testing:
- There are minimal to no upfront costs to test the appeal of a character or design. Creating a few short videos takes a tiny fraction of the time and money required to develop a traditional pilot or demo.
- TikTok animators can earn revenue from the get-go when using TikTok. Utilizing branded merchandise like stickers, books, and calendars, as well as branded content partnerships and sponsorships, can help TikTok animators earn money very early on in their careers.
- TikTok animators have access to instant audience testing. Freelance animators or animation studios can tell within a few weeks of a video being on TikTok whether their animation has enough appeal to capture a targeted demographic.
With the feedback from TikTok users, TikTok animators can tune their content to have greater appeal to their target audiences.
For Animators, TikTok Provides Opportunities for Collaboration
Image by zobeebop via TikTok
When a TikTok user gains a lot of followers (from about 500 000), brands start reaching out for sponsorships. The larger an animator’s audience, the more value they have to work with them in terms of brand deals, equipment, and employment opportunities.
Affiliate marketing is also a great way to generate revenue as an animator. Check out this blog for advice on how to start affiliate marketing as an animator. As explained in the blog, affiliate marketing is a great way to avoid upfront costs and minimize risk while increasing sales!
There is a great animation community on Tiktok. Fellow animators on the platform often engage with each other’s content by commenting, stitching, or reacting to the content. This generates more interest for all parties involved and increases the possibility of gaining animation clients through TikTok.
Animators can Use TikTok as a Launchpad for Other Projects
Image by Alvaro Reyes via Unsplash
Tiktok is great for discoverability because it’s all about quick and entertaining content for mobile. TikTok's algorithm gives every first-time creator a chance by giving them an audience and rewarding them with an even bigger audience when the response to their content is good.
TikTok provides a huge audience because the app is available to users around the world. TikTok animators can follow popular trends to boost views and get noticed by more potential animation clients. For inspiration on popular animation trends, check out this blog!
In addition to providing a platform for marketing, TikTok can also serve as a way for animators to direct viewers to other platforms or a website.
An animator’s followers can make their way to other platforms like Youtube or Instagram, which also increases an animator’s value as an influencer and pay through monetization.
TikTok Animators and the Animation Community on TikTok
Image by TootyMcNooty via TikTok
Many TikTok animators have capitalized on TikTok’s growth in popularity since its launch in 2016 and have since dominated the animation industry using the platform.
These animators work in a wide range of styles from stop-motion animation to classic illustrations. Some of the animators who have cracked the TikTok algorithm include Noodle and Bun, TootyMcNooty, and Justin Rasch.
Noodle and Bun is a series created by Gottfried Roodt and Lloyd Wilgen and is produced by Polycat Visual Effects, an animation and VFX studio based in Cape Town, South Africa.
This is a slapstick CG series with a following of 3.6 million on Tiktok. The series follows the mischief and adventures of Noodle the cat, a pug named Bun, and bean the mouse.
One of the most popular TikTok animators is TootyMcNooty with over 7 million followers. She creates colorful, musical illustrations and combines a variety of different animated styles that range from simplistic cartoons to more realistic skits.
Her musical animated clips have earned her commissions from the likes of Snoop Dogg and Converse.
While the creators of Noodle and Bun created their TikTok channel to promote their new animated series, TootyMcNooty started as someone who knew nothing about animation, other more experienced TikTok animators also use the platform because of its marketing potential. Justin Rasch is one such animator.
Justin Rasch is a California-based artist who has built a successful career as an animator. He specializes in stop-motion and CG animation and has worked on projects such as the animated children’s film Kubo and the Two Strings and Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch game franchise.
In addition to using TikTok to advertise his animation services, Justin also uses the platform to send out original stop-motion animation and educational videos to his 1.2 million followers.
All of these TikTok animators agree that there is a great supportive community of fans and animators on TikTok. The platform serves as an awesome source of inspiration for animators across the world. TikTok is also a good place for networking and to find a community of like-minded animators.
How and Why TikTok Animators are Dominating the Animation Industry
By using TikTok to advertise their animation skills and services, TikTok animators can create a handful of short animations per week, boosting their chances of getting picked up by the TikTok algorithm and ending up on the For You Page where more people will see their videos.
TikTok animators take advantage of the platform’s algorithm which rewards short and interesting videos that generate a lot of audience engagement.
Animations are often bright and quirky, which stands out on a platform that mostly consists of people dancing or lip-syncing to popular songs.
TikTok provides a risk-free space where animators are free to experiment with new ideas without the risk of losing animation clients or money.
In addition to this, gaining a big following on TikTok can generate interest from brands looking to use these TikTok animators’ platforms for advertising, generating revenue for animators.
TikTok is also great for discoverability, making it the ideal place to generate interest in projects on other platforms such as YouTube or Instagram.