There are many times when you should naturally defer to the experts. Flying an aeroplane, performing brain surgery or fitting a bungee harness are a few examples of tasks best left to those who have formal training and qualifications in their field! But what about less life or death undertakings; like deciding between freelancers vs agencies when creating an animated video for your brand? Surely, with the right tools, anyone can have a go? Freelance animation creators are two a penny these days, so it can’t be that hard to create an animated video? It’s not…in theory. But there’s a lot more to the process of creating a successful animated video than you may think.

When it comes to creating your next animated video, there are pros and cons to choosing a freelancer compared to a larger animation agency to bring your vision to life. Here we’ll delve into both, so you can make an informed decision and get the most from your budget.

Time and money

One of the obvious benefits of hiring a freelancer over an animation agency is that it’s cheaper, right? Well, sometimes, but not always. It can be cheaper to hire a freelancer in some cases, but you might not save as much money as you’d expect.

The main reason is that most junior video producers or freelance animators will charge a lower fee upfront, but you might need to pay for any amends you wish to make to the storyboards, artwork, script, voiceover and final animation. So it’s worth asking about this before you commit to the project, to avoid any nasty surprises later down the line.

Incidentally, if you choose to work with an experienced animation agency, their expertise may mean you won’t need to make many (or any) amends during the development process. They should be able to nail your brief once you’ve discussed your goals, reviewed some examples of videos you like and discussed animation styles. So the cost of an agency may seem a little higher initially, when compared to using a freelancer, but you’ll save money on unnecessary amends and potentially get a better outcome.

History Of Animation

Experience counts

There are some fantastic freelance animation specialists out there. They can produce whizzy animation videos that will look great and wow your viewers. But, do they understand how to engage with your specific audience? Can they create an animation video that helps you meet your wider business objectives? And, will their design process be smooth, slick and hassle-free for you.

These are all important boxes to tick. A key benefit of working with a larger and experienced animation agency is that their experience shows. Most animation agencies will have worked with hundreds of clients across multiple industries. So they’ll have a good understanding of how to approach your project, and how to use animated videos to help you achieve your strategic business goals within your industry.

If you’re considering creating an explainer video, a company overview or any sort of sales video, it is not enough to only ‘look good’, the piece has to also increase brand awareness or conversions using carefully considered ‘best practices’ to entice your customers.

Representing Your Brand

For larger companies, there are various logistical aspects that you need to consider as a client, outside of the video itself. If you work with a ‘one man band’, can you put them in front of your company director, as someone who is always available to take your calls? Can you entrust them with your company GDPR policy, or to honour an NDA that they might have to sign? Freelancers also have a tendency to overwork themselves from time to time, so your project is dependent on the availability of one person at any given time. This can make the whole experience susceptible to missing deadlines. With these elements in mind, it is undoubtedly riskier to deal with individual freelancers than an agency. 

 

Video animation styles and formats

2D, 3D, motion graphics, character animation, infographics, explainer videos, animated adverts and social media videos – there are numerous styles and formats to consider for your animated video.

A good animation agency or freelance animator will have experience and a thorough knowledge of them all. They’ll be able to advise on the best animation styles, formats and even advertising channels for your video. Whether you choose a freelancer or an agency, the service you receive is about more than just the video itself. Make sure you choose a provider who understands your audience, ideally has experience of creating animated videos within your industry and a track record of measurable success.

It’s also useful to ask about your chosen provider’s design and production process, so you can understand what goes into the final product. Find out what will be expected of you, the timeframe for completion and how they will keep you involved and informed throughout the process. You’ve no doubt got enough on your plate already, so if you’re outsourcing your video production to a third party, they should be doing all the hard work for you!

After Care

Once your video is complete and you are happy to sign it off, you don’t want to be left alone to your own devices if you aren’t a marketing expert. An agency like The Animation Guys is more likely to guide you in the after care of your video, by helping to promote your video, and how to make the best use of it.

Agree Success Metrics

If you think the final video looks great and has a strong message, that’s a brilliant step in the right direction. But does your audience agree?

When you kick off a video project with a freelancer or an agency, it’s really important to discuss what success will look like for you at the end of the project:

  • Is this a corporate training video? If so, success might be measured by feedback from your employees. 
  • An external brand awareness video could be measured by the number of views and clicks to your website or calls to action after people have viewed your video. 
  • For social media videos, you’ll be keen for lots of shares and engagement. 

 A freelance animation producer might not have loads of experience in measuring and reporting on success metrics for your video, so this will be reflected in a lower cost. But without any indication of how successful your video is in helping you achieve your objectives, you could argue your investment is money wasted.

The beauty of video as a marketing channel is that it’s highly targeted and measurable – this presents a big opportunity, especially when compared to offline advertising channels in trade magazines and newspapers. Make use of this measurability by working with an animation agency that can help you target the right people and incite them to take action after watching your video. If a video producer isn’t able to help you report on your video’s success, this should set off alarm bells in terms of how valuable your video will be. 

About The Animation Guys

 At The Animation Guys, our highly talented team is experienced in creating powerful, targeted videos that deliver results to every client. Our client base covers multiple industries, audiences and objectives, so we can advise on the best format and channels to ensure your video is a success.

We’ll happily walk you through our design and production process – and will make sure that you get the results you want, without any hard work for you.

Get in touch to chat about your goals and we’ll provide suggestions on how to use animated video to achieve them!

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