How to Create Animated Videos for YouTube – a Guide

When you think of YouTube, the first thing that comes to mind is music videos or vloggers giving a detailed account of their activities.

That’s the kind of live video content that dominates the YouTube world.

However, animated videos on YouTube also make for great content that both the creators and the audiences love.

YouTube is not only a video hosting platform and the second largest search engine in the world, but it is also considered a social network.

In fact, 2017 onwards, 70% more people are engaging with brands and creators on YouTube.

So as a marketer, it should be one of your top platforms for creating a brand persona and connecting with your audience.

Top the marketing power of this platform with the magic of animation, and your video strategy can become a force to reckon with.

Interested in having an animated video made for your business? Get in touch with our video strategists, we’ll have you sorted in no time!

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This is why large and small enterprises, agencies, and influencers have flocked to have a piece of the animated YouTube videos pie.

Moreover, while live videos come with a host of budget, environmental, and logistical considerations, animated videos give you agency over your content.

This blog post gives you a run-down of different forms of YouTube videos and how to make animated YouTube videos on a budget.


Types of YouTube animation videos

It’s not just about the videos that you upload on your channel anymore. Animated YouTube videos have evolved to serve marketers on different points within the platform.

So before you set out to make animations for YouTube, explore all your options:


1. Pre-roll ad

Since YouTube has become a marketing platform, ads are a given.

Pre-roll is a type of ad that plays before a video the user has clicked to watch. These are typically 15, 30, or 60 seconds long.

If you’re using TrueView, you can make YouTube pre-rolls skippable.

However, the Skip Ad button is usually not your friend. We’ve all counted down the seconds to when it appears, and we can move along.

Since the window to attract and engage the audience here is very small, animated videos can do the trick.

80% of people believe they don’t skip a YouTube ad if they find it relevant. So snappy and stimulating is the way to go!

Check out this cute animated YouTube pre-roll by Oscar Health Insurance:

Other instream options include mid-roll and post-roll video ads and are a great way to create brand awareness and build recall.

Related: 4 Clever Tricks to Make Great YouTube Pre-roll ads


2. Discovery Ad

These ads on YouTube are relatively non-intrusive than in-stream ads. They appear either in the search results or in the related videos section.

The audience has to click on the video ‘by choice’ to view these video ads so they work better for the middle of the funnel.

Discovery Ads can be longer in duration and give marketers a chance to make a longer pitch.


3. Channel Trailer

These videos are essentially a way to increase your followership. They’re only visible to the people who’ve not yet subscribed to your channel.

With channel trailers, you can offer your target audience a preview of your brand and your offerings.

Kurzgesagt nailed their YouTube channel trailer:


4. Explainer videos

When it comes to posting videos directly to your channel, animated explainer videos make for highly engaging and highly converting content.

These are for the audience who are interested in your product or service and need to know things work.

91% of people say that they decide if they’re going to continue watching a video within the first 10 seconds.

A cleverly done animated explainer video can hold and grab the audience’s attention from the get-go.

Here’s one we did for Comet:


Related: Top 21 Explainer Videos and What You Can Learn from Them


How to make animated YouTube videos for free

If you want to make animations for YouTube but don’t have the pocket to hire professional animators, DIY animation tools can come in handy.

Here are our top picks:


1. Biteable

Biteable aims to make creating animated YouTube videos a breeze for novices.

It offers scores of customizable templates for pre-roll and in-stream ads. You can also find templates for channel trailers and intro/outro videos. How cool is that?

If you’re looking to make in channel animated videos, Biteable’s got loads of template options under the ‘animated’ and ‘explainer video’ category.

Users can also enjoy a range of animated and stock footage that they can just throw in a template and customize to taste.

There’s plenty of room to play around with animations, effects, text overlay, and the drag and drop feature to give the videos a personal touch.

Biteable offers a free trial and comes with a free basic version.

The paid plans start from $15/month and offer watermark-free, high video quality (1080p) premium content, and commercial usage rights.


2. Vyond

Vyond is virtually the oldest online animation tool, so it knows how to cater to its user’s needs.

While it might not do things especially for YouTube, users have the option to create contemporary, business-friendly, and whiteboard animation style animations.

Since Vyond is exclusively an animated video maker, character customization and transitions are its forte. You even get an auto lip-sync feature to create more life-like animations.

Vyond’s basic and ‘watermarked’ plan starts from $299/year.

Further packages include a $649/year Premium package single to small business users and a $999 Professional package for small to medium businesses.

Overall, if you’re wondering how to create animated videos for YouTube, Vyond can be your go-to.


3. Videoscribe

Videoscribe is unique as it specializes in whiteboard animations. It’s the perfect tool to create animated YouTube videos if you belong to the education sector.

Whiteboard animations form great content for tutorials and explainer videos. So naturally, marketers also turn to them often.

Videoscribe’s interface and user experience are quite intuitive. You can easily test out features like animation, text overlay, and add voice-overs.

Moreover, you also get access to a comprehensive catalog of images and music. That’s about all you need to create compelling YouTube animations.


4. Renderforest

Renderforrest’s unique selling proposition is its catalog of diverse animation templates.

Not all DIY tools offer 3D, 2D, and whiteboard animation templates all in one.

The dedicated 3D toolkit has a wide selection of animated scenes, characters, and transitions.

Renderforrest comes with a free ‘watermarked’ version. Paid plans start from $9.99 and are suited for single to large enterprise use.

Advanced packages allow unlimited 1080p video creation. We stan!

Here’s an even detailed breakdown of more DIY animation tools.

Read in depth: Top Explainer Video Creation Software and How to Use Them


How to make aesthetically advanced YouTube animation videos

While DIY tools are a miracle for a lot of tight-budget businesses, they do have their shortcomings.

There are limitations to customization and the product can sometimes have a run-of-the-mill feel.

If you don’t want to compromise your brand persona and need strategically created animated YouTube videos, a professional video production service may be your best bet.

They specialize in advanced software like Adobe After Effects and Illustrator.

With such software, the sky is limit. It can set your brand apart with 2D and 3D animations, kinetic typography, stop motion, VFX, and much more.

Moreover, you can create unique illustrations and characters that no other has used before.

Such scope for individuality is bound to get your animated YouTube videos much more eyeballs.

If you’re looking at such a service, we at MotionCue have made some creatively lit animated videos for our clients over the years.

Check out our portfolio here or schedule a call with us for an animated YouTube video strategy.

Schedule a free consultation call with our video strategist


Posted by Komal Munawar

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