Marketing is one of the most important things you need to focus on as a creative, and most certainly as an animator in the animation industry.
Whether you’re working for a big animation studio, or as a freelancer out of the comfort of your own home, you need to ensure that you’re consistently marketing yourself and the work you put out there.
You need to make sure that the content you produce is viewable by the public, by both current and prospective employers, and clients.
Content is after all your digital portfolio that you must carry for as long as you plan to work, and as such, it needs to be managed well.
Consistently pushing content out into the world will divert a lot more traffic to you and your brand, and having an animation content marketing framework will assist you with planning and managing your content.
This article will deal with the steps you need to follow to create, manage, and maintain a Content Marketing Framework as an animator.
Planning Your Animation Content Marketing Framework
You have to think about the future, and the best way to think about the future productively is to have a plan.
Planning is extremely important to make sure you have a concrete idea of what content you’re creating and publishing such as animated videos, and that it matches the content or videos that you’ve been putting out before.
Creating a content creation timeline for your animation business that balances short-and long-term planning can be very helpful and can assist you in ensuring stability throughout the year.
Short-term Planning For Your Animation Content
Short-term refers to the next few days or weeks. It can even refer to the next couple of months if your overall goals span several years.
Short-term planning can often refer to the next piece of animation content you plan to release.
Short-term planning is necessary to help fulfill your long-term goals.
An example of short-term planning includes ensuring that the next post or video content is similar in style to the previous post and video content so that all the content you’ve made in the last few weeks hasn’t deviated from the norm.
Long-term Planning For Your Animation Content
Long-term plans usually deal with months and years, and sometimes decades when dealing with large animation studios.
Long-term planning often aims to serve the needs of your audience and evolve alongside them.
Long-term planning creates goals and standards by which you should hope to achieve and raise.
An example of long-term planning is to increase your audience reach on social media by 100% over the next year.
Consider Using Planning Software Tools
Trello is a great tool for planning, both in an animation studio group setting and if you work by yourself as a freelance animator.
nTask is a fantastic free online project management tool that can help you plan and keep your priorities in focus.
How To Build An Animation Framework For Marketing
Naturally, before you begin creating and publishing content, you need to have at least some idea of what content you’re planning on working on.
Having a list of topic ideas and keywords that you create at the beginning or end of every month allows you to pull from a vast source and assist in conceptualizing the content you wish to produce.
Examples of animated concepts include:
- Educational content
- Character-based storyline content
- Promotional content
Some keywords that would relate to these concepts could be:
- Educational videos
- Animated characters
2. Set Goals
Having a set of goals and a timeline that you can follow that leads you to said goals allows you to hone in on what’s important.
Having goals also creates a responsibility to ensure the content gets created and matches the goal. Your goals can be directed towards your career development or skill advancement.
Examples of goals can include:
- Learn a new style of animation by the end of the year.
- Increase online following on Instagram by 200% by the end of the year.
3. Create A Flow For The Workload
Breaking up the overall work into smaller pieces that go into content creation allows for an easy inside look into how the content moves from process to process.
It also really helps manage the process by looking at what is important at that moment in time.
Instead of managing large finished processes like “Edited” and “Published”, consider breaking them up into smaller processes like “Outline completed”, “Second draft”, etc.
An animator can break up a single project into a multi-tiered process. Consider the following process:
Pre-production Stage --> Production Stage --> Post-production Stage.
Pre-production can include:
- Concept art
Production can include:
Post-production can include:
4. Create The Animated Content
Determine what it is you need to be doing to create the content you want to publish. Do research, interview people, whatever it may take to get the content made.
You don’t need to count this as a definitive step in the process, as you should be creating and editing your content at all times during the process.
Examples of animated video content include:
- 2D & 3D Animated videos
- Motion graphic videos
- Whiteboard animation videos
5. Edit And Review Constantly
Constantly return to your timeline and your overall plan. Double-check that you’re working according to schedule and that all the details are accounted for.
Ensure consistency with all your other content. Using style guides helps significantly with ensuring you keep your work consistent.
Some tools like Google docs can help track progress. Review the changes you have made during the content creation process.
Consider the editing process as detective work. You’re sifting through and picking apart the content and making sure it’s suitable for publication.
Sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to. If at the end of the process you realize the concept you’ve worked on doesn’t match the initial idea from the start, or simply doesn’t follow your guidelines properly, consider keeping the content for another time.
A tip for your consideration is to stop and review your work at the end of every stage of the process.
Don’t fall into the trap of publishing content that isn’t finished. After all, your animated video content is the thing that markets you to the world. The last thing you want is for your audience to think you don’t pay enough attention to your work.
6. Optimize Animation Content For SEO
This falls under the concept of analytics, where you review your content and see how it shapes up against similar pieces of content on Google and other search engines.
Having SEO-friendly content is the key to ensuring future success. Make sure that the search engines can easily comprehend and compartmentalize what content you’re trying to produce and promote.
Ask yourself these questions: can you consistently create the same amount or more of content or does it take too long to work through all of the processes?
7. Publish And Promote
This is the easy part. Publish your content and think about promoting it using whatever methods you may choose. Make sure to utilize social media and email platforms to promote your content.
This final process allows you a final look into the content you’ve created and provides an opportunity to optimize one last time.
Types Of Animation Content Marketing
You can create and publish many different types of content, but we’ll mention just a few here to get you started.
Blog sites and blog posts, much like this one, are a great way to pour a form of educated and researched content into the world that people are likely to trust. They allow space for your audience to discuss and share knowledge and help people connect to your brand.
Social media posts
Social media posts are incredibly important as an artist, especially an animator. Having a social media presence allows you to connect with your audience in a more personal way.
In the digital age, you need to be constantly promoting yourself on social media to ensure you stay relevant as an artist and a content creator.
To your audience, animated video content is far more interesting from a visual perspective. Consistently balancing publishing static visual as well as animated video content will put you head and shoulders above the rest.
- Making YouTube video content
- Creating short Facebook and Instagram animated videos
Make sure, however, that when posting video content to more than one social media platform, that you aren’t simply posting identical videos on every platform. Doing that will adversely affect your brand.
Paid vs Free Advertising
Advertising is a form of content that most content creators and animators need to think about, especially if you’re hosting content on your blog site or portfolio website.
Paying for Google Ads is a cost-effective way to reach what is essentially an unlimited audience. It can seem daunting paying for ads as a freelancer but utilizing these ads allows for potentially infinite growth of your brand.
Social media ads
Email campaigns are a great way to connect with your audience in a personalized way. It’s an incredibly easy and affordable way to connect and share your content.
Mailchimp is a great tool that helps with creating, publishing, and managing your email campaigns.
Analytics of Content Marketing
Analytics ties into the reviewing process for your content. Consider using Google Analytics to track the effectiveness of your content creation and promotion, as well as the effectiveness of your advertising.
Both Facebook and Instagram have built-in analytic metrics that you can follow which allows for free easy access into how effective your brand is.
Consider also comparing how you’re doing as a content creator to how other creators in the animation business are doing.
Tools For Animation Content Marketing
This is a Content Management System - a tool for creating, editing and, publishing content.
HubSpot and WordPress are examples of great systems to utilize.
2. Analytics Tools
We touched on this above but to reiterate, it is incredibly important to analyze your content and your advertisements.
3. Planning tools
If you’re in an animation studio setting, you may already have tools that you are required to use.
Consider searching the web and forums for what tools professionals in the field are using.
4. Storage tools
It’s incredibly important to store and backup your content and to make use of a variety of tools to do so. You can never be too careful.
Two of the most common types of storage are cloud and physical storage. Make sure to make use of a combination of different types of storage facilities such as Google Drive and Dropbox, and external and internal storage devices to ensure the safety of your content.
Some Animation Marketing Tips For Your Consideration
Organize Your Animation Content
You need to make sure you have your content organized, not just for you, but for your audience too. Organizational skills are exceptionally important not just for your professional life, but for your personal life too.
If you’re a freelance animator, consider creating a naming system that you can consistently use to effectively organize your content.
Utilize The Tools That Work For You
Remember, everyone is different. Don’t be afraid to try new things, especially if you can feel yourself becoming slack or lazy with your management and planning.
But don’t change for the sake of change. If it ain’t baroque, don’t fix it!
Your work should always be evolving as you as an artist evolve. The last thing you want to realize is that you’re stagnating as a content creator.
Reevaluate and update your goals at the start of each year and consider them throughout the year at regular intervals.
Always Optimize For SEO
It has become increasingly important over the years to effectively optimize your content for search engines. Your content needs to be compelling and shareable, so you need to ensure your titles make your audience want to engage with you and your content.
Examples of things to consider for SEO include:
- Correctly titling your animated videos
- Ensuring the correct keywords are in your video or post descriptions
- Utilizing your main keyword somewhere towards the beginning of your post or description
Once again, if the search engines cannot figure out what kind of content you’re creating, or where to place it, you’re not going to grow as a brand. Treat search engines like people; they need the right information to do the right things.
Why You Should Make An Animation Content Marketing Framework
The content creation process can be arduous at times, but it has become increasingly necessary to consistently create, publish and promote content in a meaningful and relatable way to ensure audience gain and retention.
Creating and sticking to a content creation framework will create a sense of accountability for your work and ensure consistency in the quality of your content.
Animation Content marketing is an ever-evolving process and if you want to know more about the ins and outs of that side of animation, be sure to watch our free masterclass, and download a copy of our free marketing handbook.