Content is a fantastic way to connect with your audience, boost SEO, and educate your customers. But it’s also a crowded market, and having original content is key to success. For small businesses, keeping editorial calendars packed with fresh content can be tough when there’s already a lot on everyone’s plates. One of the best ways to keep content flowing is to repurpose content you already have.

“Most marketers agree repurposing content is an efficient way to not just create more, but to also create more content across multiple channels. It’s a smart way to stretch your resources, yet few are taking advantage of it still.” – How to Repurpose Content for Higher Conversions

If it performed well once, give it new life and bring it back to the forefront by translating it into a short motion graphics video. Repurposing written content into a video is an excellent way to repackage it and leverage it in new channels—or to divvy up a bigger piece of content into shorter, bite-sized videos that can be republished on their own.

At Upwork, a top priority is making the process of posting a job and finding a freelancer easier for clients. For design job posts, in particular, we know that there are lots of details to cover—even for something as simple as the creation of a logo. To give companies a helpful checklist of all the possible things they’d want to include in a design-related job post, we wrote this article.

The post performed well, but it was a lot to read. We wanted to take all of that valuable information and condense it in a way that clients could quickly watch it, get the most valuable information in seconds, then head to the post for more details.

We took the six key points and animated them into this short motion graphics video:

Already starting to think about the content you could repurpose? Let’s look a little closer at the art of motion graphics.

What are motion graphics videos?

Videos don’t always have to be live action or shot with cameras and human actors. You can also create them entirely on computers—and the results can be just as engaging, informative, and entertaining.

“‘Motion design’ is a shorter version of ‘motion graphic design,’ and like its name encompasses three things: motion, graphics, and design. Almost everything you see in a video that wasn’t shot on camera and isn’t special effects (more on those later) can probably be considered motion graphic design. – What is Motion Design?

So why use motion graphics over all the other kinds of videos? In short, it can be more affordable, easier to edit and make tweaks at a later date, and it requires fewer resources. You also have flexibility with how it looks and how the information is displayed and can use on-screen text to get your message across.

Here are some tips to consider when you’re going through your content to find motion graphics material, and some tips on who to engage when it comes time to get your videos made.

  1. Decide what content you want to make into motion graphics.

First, choose from your existing content topics and look for anything with some or all of the following attributes:

  • It’s relevant. The content should be something evergreen that your audience responds to or a topic that resurfaced as a current event.
  • It performs well in analytics. Refresh, update, and optimize great, older content, so it’s new again. If it was popular, chances are it will be shareable as a video.
  • It can be used to complement a new campaign. Pull content that can help support a new campaign or initiative and repackage it.
  • It’s long and complex. Have content that can be broken down or simplified to be more digestible? B2C customers prefer concise, easy to understand, shareable content, while B2B customers prefer educational content. Kill two birds with one stone: graphics are a great way to communicate complex ideas, making motion graphics an effective way to reach both of these audiences.
  • It’s short and sweet. Can the content be illustrated, updated, or expanded upon in a short video? Say you have an article about three tips to winterize your car; turn it into a quick video and share it with customers on your social channels before the season starts.
  1. Don’t include the content word for word in the video.

It’s tempting to write the script for your motion graphics video exactly as it appears in the article, but that would defeat the purpose. The key to deciding what to include in your video? Be inspirational. Also, be action-oriented, and include a clear call to action. Pull points, phrases, and information that stand out and let the viewer refer back to the original content to learn more. In some cases, you may reuse things like subheads, but full sentences are going to be overkill.

Think of delivering your onscreen content the way you would use a slideshow for a presentation. Visuals should support you with talking points and engage your audience, not deliver the presentation word-for-word. Try and keep on-screen text to a minimum—people don’t like to read! One or two words on-screen at a time is plenty,

Using a voiceover artist is another way to get more information across in a way that’s still engaging and entertaining. Consider divvying up the script between on-screen text and voiceover, letting the voiceover do the heavy lifting while illustrations or animations support that narrative onscreen. Upwork copywriter Darrell Jones recommends, “Speak slowly. 90% of the motion graphics I see, the voice over hurries through things at a pace that makes things seem like it’s complicated. It should be relaxed and informal.”

Think of the video as a teaser for the longer-format content, or an abbreviated preview of the article. For example, questions can be served up in the graphics and answered in an accompanying long-form article for optimal effect.

  1. Consider including subtitles.

Another easy way to ensure people are engaging with your video content is to include subtitles for any voiceover. Assume your video is getting watched by someone on their phone in a public place without the volume on—having subtitles will allow them to get the gist of the video without the sound.

  1. Keep it short and sweet—but compelling!

“The Internet is a highly visual medium, and video is an ideal way to communicate complex ideas and tell stories in a digestible and engaging format. On top of being hugely popular and easy to consume, videos are also very shareable.” – Understanding the Changing World of Video

Keep videos short—around 90 seconds is a good length to shoot for. Start them off with energy, engaging visuals, and background music that fits the video’s theme. Your goal is to get viewers to watch to the end, not to test their attention spans. Don’t sacrifice key points to keep it below two minutes, but favor shorter lengths. One minute is ideal for most videos.

Try and maintain a cadence that isn’t rushed but also doesn’t keep viewers waiting for the next transition. If you have an important call to action, consider including it earlier on in the video rather than at the very end. For longer videos designed to support something specific like training materials, onboarding, or how-to guides that require more detail, consider breaking them into a series.

Takeaway: Shorter videos get better engagement results.

  1. Take passive content and make it more interactive.

Don’t stop at just transforming text into motion graphics. Get creative with how you use existing content and find new ways to engage viewers, with the end goal of leading them back to your original article, ebook, or microsite. Consider creating an animated flowchart, or a quick video quiz to tee up your content.

Say a mobile phone case brand wants to turn an article about their new case’s benefits into a motion graphics video. They could create a short video illustrating common complaints with phone cases, ask the viewer how many of those problems they’ve encountered, then add a call to action to check out their product that promises to solve those issues.

Use video content as a way to get viewers thinking about how your product or service aligns with their needs or interests, educate them about your product or service, take a problem-solution angle, or even use situational humor to make your service or product relatable to your audience.

  1. Consider rights and licensing when choosing your background music.

Choosing a song you love and timing your entire video’s transitions to the beat of the music only to find out that song isn’t licensed for your use can be a major set back. Before you get your heart set on a song, research if you can use it without having your videos blocked on certain channels. This will prevent you from having to rework your video, doubling your work and production timeline.

  1. Choose which channels you want to use to promote the new assets.

“Social media is an effective channel for businesses to attract potential customers and generate quality leads. It’s a platform where you can reach a new audience and engage with your existing audience to turn them into valuable customers.” – How to Optimize Content for Better Conversions

Research how videos perform on different social platforms, optimal lengths, formats, and topics. Be sure you’re tailoring your content to the platform and the audience.

Also, note that where you’ll end up sharing your new motion graphics content will impact things like video length limitations, dimensions, file format, and more. Be sure to determine where you want to leverage the video before going into production—it could affect things like the choice of music you use, specific calls to action, and aspect ratios.

  1. Can’t create a motion graphics video in-house? Hire a freelancer.

Producing a high-quality motion graphics video requires a specific combination of skills and tools that you might not have in-house. You’ll need someone to craft the script and storyboard, possibly a voiceover artist, and a motion designer with graphic design and illustration skills, and animation expertise with a program like After Effects.

Animated Video Workflow

A Quick Use Case

Here’s another example. Say a bank has created a long-format FAQ blog post to explain to new customers how to open a bank account. The article is broken into sections: what to expect, why new account applications might be rejected, how to open an account online, how to open an account in person at the branch, and how to transfer funds to a new account. Each section gives a step-by-step guide to the process.

The post ended up performing very well in search results with a particular query: “open bank account online.” To leverage that success and repackage the original post, the bank’s marketing team created a separate blog post just about creating an account online, then created a motion graphics video illustrating the steps and shared it on their social channels. Later, they plan to turn each of the other sections into short videos, as well.

This is a great way to create shareable content, educate customers, and divvy up larger content into smaller bits of content customers want to engage with.