Have you discovered Animation Maker for making animated graphics that stand out from the crowd on social media? You're about to!
In this post, I share a fun tool that you can use to create animated graphics in seconds to wow your audience (without any animation skills whatsoever!).
DONNA MORITZ | 30 AUGUST 2018 | PAID PARTNERSHIP WITH CRELLO
So tell me. Are you a wannable animation artist too? I will confess that I am. You see, I'm a huge Disney fan. I have been since I was a kid. I would watch classic animated cartoons in awe and dream of being a cartoonist.
Arriving at Disneyland's gates as a 17 year old is one of my fondest life memories.
I'm not too bad at drawing. I can whip up a basic cartoon character. But animation has eluded me, despite a secret desire to be able to run away and join the Disney Animation Team. (I've had to settle for a few fun visits to Disneyland instead).
So when Crello asked me to check out their animation tool, Animation Maker I knew my audience would love it – a tool that allows me to make easy animations with very little effort and no design skills. In an era of GIFs and video, my readers are always asking me for ways to add animated features – so it was good timing. Of course it's not Disney but it's a great DIY-option.
Let's start with why we should consider animated graphics in our social media marketing.
Why Should we Create Animated Graphics?
Just about every platform has become visual and with that we hear recommendations to add social video and video content.
Now, there's no doubting that video content gets more eyeballs, reach, engagement … especially on Facebook. But with more and more native video being added every day, it's hard to get noticed.
That's where animated graphics step in. They're different, often bold and colorful… and they stand out. But they (traditionally) haven't been easy to create.
Creating animations is now super easy, so you can spend more time engaging with your audience who see your animated graphics… and less time creating them (or paying someone else to create them for you).
What does Crello Animation Maker Do (in a nutshell)?
Before I start showing you all the features of Animation Maker (and then what you can create with it), let's take a look at what Animation maker actually looks like with this quick video.
Have I got your attention? Most of the features I am going to show you are available on the Pro Plan at $7.99 per month. I'll share how the plans work below, but for now, let's dive a little deeper. I'm going to show you 5 features that make up the secret sauce of Animation Maker.
Then I'll show you what I've created with it while taking it for a spin.
Cool Features for Creating Animated Graphics
Crello Animation Maker is an all-in-one online animation editor with a number of very cool features that enable anyone to create slick animations. Even those of us without any design or animation skills. It's almost like cheating!
The animation features include:
- 4000+ ready-to-use customizable animated templates.
- 1600+ video stock files to use in your designs.
- Animated backgrounds to turn images into animation.
- Animated objects to place on images for accent (these are fun!)
- Optimized Animated Template Formats – Facebook Cover Video and Full HD.
- The ability to mix animated elements from different templates.
- Resizing of animated posts so they are suitable for social media covers, posts, and ads – ready to download in video format.
Let's take a closer look at a few of my favourite features and the steps for creating animated graphics:
1. Choose Your Format – Animated Post, Full HD Video/Facebook Ads and FB Cover Video
It's easy to get started. Simply choose your format, find the template that suits your project (there are dozens to choose from) and start designing.
Currently you can choose from the following size formats for your animated graphics:
- Video Post Templates – These are square in size to suit most platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
- Video Templates – make your Facebook ads or posts stand out by animating them in just a few clicks.
- Facebook Video Cover Templates – for Facebook. These are optimized and ready to create as a MP4 file so you can upload straight into Facebook as a Facebook Cover Video.
- Instagram Story Video templates – perfect for jazzing up your Instagram Stories.
All square video designs are downloaded at 1080x1080px resolution for social media posts and all animated graphics are downloadable in MP4 format.
Note that regular image sizes can be created in Crello from dozens of size templates. It is just the animated designs that have restricted sizes (for now).
2. Add Animation Objects to your own photos
Here's where Crello's Animation Maker gets interesting. You can create with templates and simply change the text for a custom design OR you can add custom animation objects.
Add animation objects to your own photo or a stock photo from within the tool. You can easily move and adjust the size of each animation object within your design.
It's not just animated illustrations. There's also a full selection of animated icons, backgrounds (we'll get to those in a moment), and badges.
Here's an overview of how it looks in the dashboard when you add animation objects to your design with Animation Maker:
Simply search on objects or backgrounds to find the animations you need and add them to your design.
3. Add Animated Backgrounds to turn static images into Animated Graphics
This is a very cool feature that allows you to take two layers and merge them to produce animated graphics.
A static image can be added as a layer over a moving background animation. Then by reducing transparency, you can pull back the top layer to reveal the moving background image.
Boom! Instant eye-catching animated graphics for your social media posts, ads and more!
4. Customize Animated Templates to make them your own
It's super easy to move elements around in your design with Crello. You can enhance your animated graphics in just a few clicks, add elements, remove them and resize them – both text and animated objects.
5. Resize Animated Videos in just a couple of clicks.
You can also take any of the templates and easily resize to one of the other standard sizes with just one click. Here's how it looks in the dashboard:
This means you aren't just restricted to one social platform. You can edit and change your design easily to be suited to multiple platforms, ready to post. Ideally it would be good to have more vertical sizes but you can post to a lot of platforms with these 3 animated graphic sizes.
Now that we've walked through all the features that make Animation Maker easy to use – let's take a look at what I created with it while taking it for a spin:
7 Animated Graphics to Boost Social Media Engagement
Use these ideas to get your creative juices flowing and start creating animated graphics for your own social media marketing. Most of these animated graphics took just a few minutes to create and publish using Crello Animation Maker.
1. Preview a Blog Post
Why not start by creating a quick animation to promote your new blog post or podcast? In this case, I created a quick animated graphic about animated graphics. Very meta!
2. Promote an Event
Every year (this year will be my 6th time speaking) I speak at one of the world's biggest social media conferences, Social Media Marketing World. I created this image to promote the event to my community – so that they can come in person or grab one of the virtual tickets. A moving animated background and some bold text is sometimes all you need to catch the eye!
Be sure to add your event link in the caption of your animated graphic. You could also add a short link to the video on the actual image (like a bit.ly link) if you wanted to get super clever.
3. Launch or Announce a Product
Don't forget to have some fun in the lead up to your product launch. Show behind the scenes of your launch design, creation, production line or marketing. Show the people behind the new product.
Or maybe showcase an old product and give us some fun facts about it. Whatever you do before a product launch – and after – to help us feel “part” of your business, will help to create a connection with potential customers.
And remember… on Instagram, 80% of users follow businesses so it's a great opportunity to actually talk about your business (in the right way) and know that people are not necessarily going to run away from you! You just have to be creative about it.
One thing you can have a bit of fun with when launching a product is to tease your audience about what's coming:
Use your caption/description to ask your audience to give their guesses, opinions and inputs. We love to share our two-cents worth!
4. Make us laugh
One of the best ways to use animation graphics is to show your sense of humour and make us laugh. Use one of the template designs in Crello's Animation Maker (there are lots of funny quotes and memes) or take one and change it up. In this case, I created a funny image to post on a Friday:
To create this image I just took one of the standard templates, changed out the background to a bright yellow, changed the text and then adjusted the font to match the red of the fries. I also created a second line of text in a different color and moved it to the background as shadow text. Here's the original template that I switched up:
Use the templates for inspiration or find an animated object you like and create from scratch!
5. Share a Powerful Quote
Quotes are everywhere and we love them. But with SO many of them across all the social platforms, it's time we started to think a little differently. Make them count! Choose unique quotes that haven't already done the rounds hundreds of times – and convert them into animated graphic quotes that catch our eye on the newsfeed!
Hot Tip: All videos that are less than 30 seconds on Facebook will loop continuously for up to 90 seconds. If your viewer has videos on autoplay, you automatically have their attention!
6. Celebrate an International, National or Local Day
This can be an international day of celebration like Christmas, Thanksgiving or a national or local day of celebration. Whatever the time of year, creating content around celebrations that we all love – or even celebrations that we don't usually remember, like International Chocolate Day – can be very powerful for engaging our audiences!
Or this fun Halloween game…
Hot Tip: Use a website like Days of the Year to find quirky celebration days to create content around.
Create a Facebook Cover Video
Of course I couldn't resist creating a Facebook Cover Video with Crello! It's one of the easiest ways to switch up your content and get attention on Facebook. A moving cover photo catches the eye, even if it is just subtle movement, as in the example below:
A Few Tips
I discovered a few things while working with animated objects and animated templates. Here's a few tips to help you out:
- Preview Your Video as you Create It – If you resize an animated object, be sure to check how it renders on the image by pressing “play” to preview it. Some of the animated objects will expand or bounce around the screen while animating, so you want to make sure you leave space for them to do so!
- Match Colors in Your Designs – As you saw in #4 above, there's no color picker in Crello's Animation Maker but you can use the Chrome Extension Eye Dropper Color Picker to easily find and match any image from any website, including the templates you are working on. Then just add the hex code for the new color and you're in business.
- Use the Guide Lines to Balance Your Design – these appear automatically as you go about adding text and objects to help you centre your content on your designs.
Wrapping it Up
One thing that is unique about this tool is that it uses an Illustration style that you don't see much elsewhere. It's perfect for animation and appeals to my love of cartoons! But, if that's not your cup of tea, you can still get super creative with a mix of photos, animated backgrounds and animation objects.
Some things I would love to see added to the tool are:
- Search functionality on animated objects and templates – Currently you can scroll through the templates, animated objects and animated backgrounds but you can't search. It would be great to see this developed so that you can search via keyword or theme, especially as the number of assets grows. I hear from their team that this is coming, which is great.
- More backgrounds – many of the backgrounds are pattern based. But I see a lot of potential for increasing the range of subtle moving backgrounds to use in layers with your animated designs. I'm sure the catalogue of animated templates, animated objects and animated backgrounds will continue to grow, but more designs across all categories would be good.
- Embed codes – for sharing your image straight from the tool itself into a website or blog. This reduces load time on your site when you can embed it instead of uploading it (I've shared my videos here from my Vimeo account). It's not something that you see on many video tools, so I never expect it, but it's something that can be super handy when you can access it. However, you can share in a few important ways currently – via links, and straight to Facebook!
Overall, Crello Animation Maker is a fun tool and I am sure it will continue to improve. There's really no excuse to not create something super original and eye-catching with animation and video tools like this at our disposal.
Ready to get started?
Get Started with Animation Maker
The Pro Account gives you all the features you see above, including full access to all the animated formats (Animated Posts, Animated Ads/Full HD Video and Animated Covers), unlimited commercial usage for all animations (with removal of watermarks or Crello branding).
You also get access to hundreds of animated objects and animated video backgrounds. So, there's plenty of scope for creativity. Get creative and custom, or use the templates. Either way, you won't run out of ideas.
You can access a restricted selection of the animation features on a Free plan to take the animated graphics for a test run. You can use the 1080×1080 (square) animated template size only to create animated graphics on the free plan. You can download them, but they have “created in Crello” branding on the final images.
Please note: On both plans, you can also purchase additional design elements (ie illustrations, stock photos) for $0.99 each. All purchased design elements are sold under a multiple-use licence, such that you “pay once, design forever”. Being able to use any element that you buy as many times as you need in different projects is super handy.
Over to You
Are you using animated graphics in your marketing? What types of stunning animated designs are you keen to create after reading this post?
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