Lights, Camera, Blog Part 06: Free, easy animation gives you video content without going on camera

Steve Davis OBM Keynote Go Animate character

Steve Davis as marketing lecturer – my rough attempt at animating myself using Go Animate

The great proverbs of the world claim that ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ and the renown poet and songwriter, Leonard Cohen, claims, ‘there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.’

In other words, when disaster strikes, there can often be an upside and this week’s blog is living proof.

Last weekend, I had the misfortune of blacking out, falling, and smacking my head on a hard surface. The result has been a couple of scars that would make pirates jealous (or fearful).

This means that plans I had for shooting another video for this series featuring me turned sour – I didn’t want to force such gruesome imagery onto you.

So I set off exploring ways of making video content through online tools and animation, and discovered Go Animate.

Go Animate has a basic set of free tools that will have you up and running in about 10 minutes, and you can access it directly within your YouTube account.

So why would you bother?

Here are a few thoughts and a sample I whipped up in less than ten minutes.

Why create a cartoon for your video marketing?

In the course of working with thousands of small business owners and managers of organisations, I have found that about a third of all people I have worked with have been so shy about getting on camera for their marketing, that they would rather saw off a limb.

Obviously, forcing the issue with such people is fruitless and will only result in some of the starchy content I highlighted in Lights, Camera, Blog Part 02 about speaking naturally.

This is why using animation through a service like Go Animate can be so attractive.

In fact, there are a number of reasons:

  • You can choose a character that suits your message
  • You can type in some dialogue
  • You can easily send it to YouTube for sharing
  • You can have your characters act and say things that you might not feel comfortable doing on camera

What’s more, some scientific research suggests that humans warm towards animated characters with the same affection and depth that we connect with humans, making this the best of both worlds if you are nervous about going on camera yourself.

While the free version of Go Animate is fairly restricted, for a few dollars a month you get access to extra tools that let you create your own sets, characters and props that, once set up, could make it as easy as pie to keep churning out new marketing material for your brand, such as:

  • regular how-to segments
  • question and answer segments
  • storytelling
  • feature demonstrations
  • fun (imagine placing your goods or services on the top of Mount Everest? You can do it through animation for just a few dollars)

If fronting the camera is not your thing, I urge you to practice with a free video or two using Go Animate – all you need to be able to do is type and log on to YouTube. Oh, and have a message to share!

Or just have a desire to talk to yourself, as I did below in this sample video that took ten minutes to produce. NOTE: This is not the one using my look-alike image above.

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