Understanding Motion Graphics vs. Animation for Marketing

Video Marketing
A storyboard for an animated video about Christmas cards.

Motion Graphics Vs. Animation

Many people don’t understand that there’s a difference between animation and motion graphics. Motion graphics are a type of animation, but not all animations are motion graphics. Animation and motion graphics both can be used to communicate a message in a visually appealing and engaging way via videos, websites, and on social media.

Graphics and animation are commonly used in a video marketing strategy, but motion graphics are used more frequently, as the term motion graphics specifically refers to the type of animation best suited for advertising purposes.

A storyboard and sketches for an animated software video.

What Are Motion Graphics?

Motion graphics include any graphic animation design element that has been brought to life through animation and movement. The term “motion graphics” typically refers to animated graphics used in a marketing or advertising capacity. Animation, by contrast, is typically used as an art form or for entertainment. If you wish to include a form of animation in your marketing strategy, motion graphics will be your best bet. You can utilize motion graphics in any of the following ways:

Explainer videos

As the name suggests, these videos are designed to provide an explanation to the viewer. You can use explainer videos to show potential or current customers how to utilize your product, to walk them through signing up for your services, or anything else you believe may need to be explained.

Product videos

Product videos give your target demographic the opportunity to learn more about your products without leaving the comfort of their own home. Use this video style to outline the different benefits and features of your products, and then share these videos on your website for lower bouncer rates and higher SEO, as well as on social media for increased organic reach. This style of video is especially helpful in B2B video marketing.


Like explainer videos, walkthroughs can be used to provide explanations to customers on how to best utilize your products. The key difference in walkthrough videos is that they are specifically designed to walk the viewer through a specific process.

Kinetic typography

Kinetic typography is a form of motion graphics that focuses on using textual elements to grab attention and share a message. Video text graphics are often used to share a company’s logo at the beginning or end of a video.

UI animation

Including animated elements in your user interface will make your website or mobile application feel more engaging, which will keep visitors on your site for longer periods of time.


Animating your logo, title, and infographics makes for a more engaging experience for the viewer. You can use this technique in any of the previously mentioned videos, or as a standalone item on your website, in a social media post, etc.

What Is Animation?

At its core, animation is a category that involves making static objects and images move. However, the term animation typically refers to an art form that is centered around cinematic effects to create a story for your audience, while motion graphics, a subtype of animation, is usually reserved for advertising and marketing purposes.

Animation includes everything from cartoons to CGI. Most animation these days is done with CGI, but some filmmakers still prefer to utilize older techniques such as classical and stop motion animation. There is no “right” style of animation, as each one brings something unique to the table. The four animation techniques are classical, stop motion, and 2D and 3D animation.


The oldest form of animation, classical animation refers to animated video that was created via hand-drawn images. The first animated films, such as early Disney movies, were animated using this style.

Stop motion

Stop motion animation involves capturing one frame at a time, moving your subject/setting slightly between each shot and then playing back the images as a video. This is an older style of animation that is less common nowadays with the rise in popularity of 3D animation, but some filmmakers still prefer to utilize stop motion animation.


Utilizing vector images in a two-dimensional space, this form of animation is one of the most accessible styles available for marketers to utilize. There are many resources, such as Adobe Animate and Adobe After Effects, that give you the ability to experiment with animation without requiring extensive training or equipment. 


Animation with three-dimensional images moving within a digital environment is referred to as 3D animation. The process for creating 3D animation is more demanding than that of motion graphics or even 2D animation, as it typically requires using 3D animation software to create 3D models, apply textures, and render finished videos. 3D animation is commonly used by larger film studios. 

When trying to decide between using broad animation or motion graphics in your advertising, it’s important to keep the different styles and techniques in mind and consider what will best fit your specific needs.

A man works at a desk while editing a video.

Which Is Better: Motion Graphics vs. Animation

Each industry, company, and project will be best suited to a different style of animation motion graphics. When it comes to motion graphics vs animation, there is no “perfect” choice, but rather the best choice for your specific project and needs. 

For example, B2B companies may see more success with informative motion graphics videos, whereas B2C companies may find the engaging and entertaining style of 3D animated videos to have a higher ROI within their target demographic. It all depends on your product/service, your target demographic, and your goals. General animation may be your best option if you’re creating a film, commercials, or want something particularly catchy to share on social media. Motion graphics, however, will be better suited for informative videos such as product videos, explainer videos, tutorials, and walkthroughs.

Your best bet will be to research what works in your industry and give it a shot. Whatever you choose, it will be important to pay attention to the performance of the video by tracking insights and statistics, and using this information to make more educated decisions for future videos. If you find that one style of motion graphics and animation works better than the others, you may want to continue to create content in that style. The more data you collect, the more informed your decisions will be moving forward.

A man animates a video on a desktop computer.

Get the Professional Motion Graphics & Animation Your Business Needs

Incorporating motion graphics and animation in your video marketing strategy is a great way to freshen up your content and keep your audience engaged. Utilizing animation as marketing content could mean adding product or explainer videos to your website or creating animated short-form videos for social platforms.

If you find that you need more support, don’t worry! For assistance with motion graphics and/or 2D and 3D animation services, consider reaching out to Charter & Co. We have you covered from concept to implementation, and every step along the way, making sure you are set up with the best video marketing strategy for your unique needs.


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