Stop. Motion.

Social-media feeds are busy. They’re cluttered and noisy—brimming with brands aggressively vying for a user’s attention.

As a result, users have gotten pretty good at scrolling absent-mindedly past content that doesn’t immediately grab their attention. This gives brands and marketers just a split second to catch a user’s eye and earn their attention or else risk getting bypassed without a second thought.

 So what’s the best way to get a user to stop scrolling? Add a little motion.

 While video is perhaps the most impactful medium for creating content, simple animations are easier to scale, and often a more preferable option for brands that are active on social media.

 Here are a few brands using simple animations to great effect.

Target

Target fully embraces animation in its social content, smartly leveraging motion in a variety of ways. Sometimes it’s a fully animated ad with text and vector imagery...

 

...while other times it’s a stop-motion animation with real-world objects.

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The added layer of movement not only helps these pieces of content win a user’s attention, it also helps explain how a product functions without needing to say a word—an added bonus considering that videos on social will autoplay without audio.

J. Crew

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J.Crew uses animations with a clean aesthetic to subtly draw attention to its main message or product. More engaging than a still image, the simple addition of motion helps create a stronger connection between audience and content. It allows J.Crew to develop a more captivating narrative—even if it’s something as fun and delightful as a popsicle being eaten to promote an upcoming summer sale.

JScrew-ice-cream-email-template.gif

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Buzzfeed

Love it or hate it, Buzzfeed has undeniably emerged as one of the smartest content creators in social media today. Though perhaps best known for its listicles and quizzes, Buzzfeed has brought out “cooking made simple” video content (published under the Tasty sub-brand) that has emerged as one of the most recognizable (and imitated) social-media trends of 2016.

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Fast paced, visually captivating, and immediately actionable for users, not only do these videos capitalize on a universal human behavior (drooling over delicious food), but the templated creative approach requires little in the way of props, talent, or set design—ultimately helping brands create these videos at scale.

Putting it in Motion.

Whether you’re brainstorming for your next campaign or looking to add some life to your social content calendars, animation is a powerful tool that helps catch users’ attention, drive up views, and engage your audience.