3 Ways to Get an Animated Logo Intro For Your Videos

In today’s digital world where video content is king, it’s easy to overlook one of the most crucial elements of online video: The animated logo stinger, intro, outro, etc. Whatever you prefer to call it, if you want your videos to look great, you’re going to need logo animation services, whether it’s through us or somebody else.

Big Hollywood studios have been animating their iconic logos for years, and for good reason. Short, yet memorable logo animations help solidify brands in the minds of consumers.

The 20th Century Fox spotlight sequence.

The “Universal” letters orbiting the globe as the camera pulls back smoothly.

Cinderella’s castle (or a clever yet relevant replacement, such as in the new live-action Beauty & the Beast) before every Disney movie.

Pixar’s jumping desk lamp and ball.

The list goes on, and in this video dominated age where YouTube is now the #2 search engine in the world, animated logo intros and outros are no longer limited to big movie production studios (see BuzzFeed and basically every booming online media publisher out there).

The software required to make 2D and 3D animated logos has become much more mainstream in the past few decades. In fact, if you don’t already have a 3D-animated logo intro for your company, there’s never been a better time to get one.

A) You need one, and B) you don’t have to spend a million bucks to get one.

Depending on your budget, technical expertise, and unique logo animation requirements, here are three ways to get an animated logo for your videos. Full disclosure—We’re a little biased towards #3 because custom 3D logo animation is just one of the many things we do well.

1. Do it Yourself With Free Online Logo Animation Software

There are several online tools and mobile apps that help you make quick animations. Here are several that offer online interfaces and editing experiences (some free and some paid) aimed at providing the novice animator a do-it-yourself approach.

Animaker Animated Logo Maker

Official site: https://www.animaker.com/logo-animation

Not only is Animaker helpful in creating animated logo intros and outros, but it can also be used to create animated marketing videos of many different purposes.

Biteable

Official site: https://biteable.com/animated/logo/

Biteable is another great option to animate your logo quickly and for free. It’s not just for creating animated logos either—you can make entire marketing videos with their platform.

Renderforest

Official site: https://www.renderforest.com/logo-animations.html

Like other tools on this page, Renderforest isn’t built specifically for logo animation, but it is marketed as a free logo animation tool for people who want to quickly animate a logo intro or outro.

2. Do It Yourself With Professional Motion Graphic Templates

Free online logo animation software may sound nice, but that look and feel isn’t always suitable for all brands. If you’re creative and technically inclined, there are several more professional options for creating both 2D and 3D logo animations while still sticking to a budget—mainly pre-built template projects for professional motion graphics software.

You’ll need some skills and expertise in order to customize these template files to work with your logo, brand colors, etc, but using a template will save you a lot of time while still allowing you to achieve a professional look that’s somewhere in between the than a novice cookie-cutter approach and a completely custom approach.

Envato Market

Official site: https://videohive.net/search/logo%20animation

Envato Market, or specifically its Video Hive sub-brand, is a great place to purchase templates for animated logos for use in professional tools software such as Adobe After Effects, Cinema 4D, and other specialized software. Envato is one of the best platforms for finding stock motion graphic project files and is constantly being updated with fresh new content from creative professionals all of the world.

Pond5

Official site: https://www.pond5.com/collections/2042680-after-effects-logos

Pond5 is another great site for stock resources, including After Effects templates. Again, this isn’t the ideal solution for the novice creative, but if you’re able and willing to sift through tutorials and put your After Effects knowledge to use, they have a great constantly-updated selection of motion graphic templates perfect for creating animated logo stingers.

Videoblocks

Official site: https://www.videoblocks.com/videos/templates/logo+reveal

Videoblocks is a sub-brand of Storyblocks, another company specializing in stock everything. From sounds and music to images and video, Storyblocks has you covered from A-Z. They also feature a diverse selection of motion graphics templates for After Effects just waiting to be customized with your brand and logo.

3. Hire Professional Logo Animators for a Custom Experience

If you don’t want the cheaper do-it-yourself approach of the online tools we listed above and you’re not really cut out for customizing existing templates or building complicated motion graphics from scratch, you can always pay to have a high-quality professional logo animation produced for your brand.

We offer custom 3D logo animation services in-house and would love to work with you if we’re a good fit for each other. We can’t show you all of our work due to NDAs and other agreements in place, but here’s a demo reel of some of our favorite animated logos and motion graphics that we’re allowed to promote.

If you’d like to work with us, we invite you to contact us. We’d love to help set you apart from your competition with a fantastic 3D-animated logo.

We’re not the cheapest provider out there and we understand we may not be a perfect fit for everyone in need of 3D logo animation services—especially if you’re not ready to include this type of expense in your marketing budget. Regardless, our goal is to help you achieve the results you desire for your business, even if that means pointing you elsewhere if another company could be a better fit for tackling specific challenges you may face.

While we are confident we can provide you the best logo animation at our various price points, here are some alternate options worth exploring if you’re looking for professional animation on a tighter budget:

Envato Studio

Official Site: https://studio.envato.com/explore/logo-animation

While also providing downloadable logo animation templates that can be purchased (as mention above under #2), Envato connects individuals and companies to multimedia professionals via their Envato Studio brand. Prices tend to range from the low to mid $xxx range on average.

Fiverr

Official site: https://www.fiverr.com/

Originally promoted as a place to get any and every type of creative service for only $5 each, Fiverr has evolved into a marketplace for professionals looking for projects of a wide variety of scopes and budgets. While primarily still tailored to the budget crowd (we checked and you can still find logo animation services for as little as $5), you’ll also find some higher ticket service providers if you’re looking to spend some real money.

Guru

Official site: https://www.guru.com/d/freelancers/q/logo-animation/

Guru helps connect you to freelancers with all sorts of expertise. While certainly not exclusive to visually creative services, they offer a large selection of talent that is ready and willing to tackle your logo animation project. A quick skim down the above page of search results shows minimum pricing as low as $25 for a few hours of work. This might not be enough to set off fireworks above Cinderella’s castle, but with a little creativity, a small budget can go a long way.

Whatever it is you are looking for in terms of 3D logo animation services, as you can see from this list, you have plenty to consider. Contact us if you’d like to discuss a more specialized 3D solution for your animated logo intro/outro. Otherwise, if you’re on a budget or just wanting to keep your costs down and try your hand at DIY logo animation, we encourage you to check out some of the above options.

Even if we don’t end up working together to animate your logo, we’d love to help optimize your online branding and digital marketing efforts so you can spend more time doing what you do best—dreaming up new ways to change the world.

We help position our clients for ongoing success in today’s ever-changing digital market. Contact us for a free digital marketing audit or to schedule a strategy session to learn how we can help your brand cut through the noise.

 

 

 

7 Reasons Why .COM Domain Names Are Still Best For Your Brand

Over the years, we’ve worked with many clients who are just starting out or rebranding. This means we often consult with companies about choosing a domain name.

With the recent explosion in gTLD (generic top-level domains) by ICANN (the entity that basically controls the Internet), domain registration options have never been more plentiful. Starting a spa? You can register yourbrand.spa. Want something that happened in Vegas to make it straight onto the Internet? yourexperience.vegas can tell your story (just keepit.kosher).

But with as much excitement as there is behind these new domain name extensions, is it ever worth going through the trouble of not owning the .COM as well (as a redirect at the very least)?

Going with a non .COM domain name might save you money in the short term, but there are many reasons why you should try to own the .COM for your brand, even if you plan to market it under a different domain extension.

1. 46% of websites use a .COM domain name

Make no mistake about it, the overwhelming majority of websites use .COM for their Internet presence. The extension dates back to 1985, when it was originally foreseen as the domain extension of choice for brick and mortar companies seeking a website (.net was anticipated to be used by Internet-only companies, but this never really panned out as expected). With the advent of the Dotcom boom, .COM as an extension quickly skyrocketed ahead of all other alternatives.

Today, over three decades later, it has become the go-to for nearly all major brands. In fact, investors and companies alike continue to pay tens of thousands and even well into the millions for premium .COM domain names.

Statistic: Most popular top-level domains worldwide as of November 2017 | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

2. Most people will assume your website ends in .COM

Because of the overwhelming market share of .COM, particularly with major corporations, most of the Internet-using public (including your would-be customer-base) has grown accustomed to assuming a company’s website is their brand name followed by .COM. Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google—the list goes on.

In fact, according to this list of Fortune 500 companies from 2016, 495 of them use a .COM for their domain name. Only 4 used a .net and 1 used a .org.

There are over 134 million .COM registrations at the time of this writing. The next closest is .net with 14 million, which puts the extension soundly in second place.

There are a few companies, such as Nissan, who don’t own their brand as a Dotcom, but those are the extremely rare exceptions. If you ever wanted to find Nissan’s website, for example, chances are you’ve had to backtrack to Google to learn that their website is actually https://www.nissanusa.com.

Back before it went out of business, Twitter’s popular video app Vine existed on Vine.co. Vine.com itself appears to be registered to Amazon. The domain simply redirects to their homepage.

3. Owning a .COM domain lends credibility to your brand

The Internet has embraced over a thousand alternative domain extensions by now, but many people still aren’t familiar with the new ones. Of course, this is in some ways due to such a disproportional amount of the big business being done online through a select few top level domains such as the Dotcom.

When you see .COM next to somebody’s brand, it relays a sense of credibility. Arguably, this supposed credibility is entirely misguided and largely superficial, as there are plenty of .COM websites that are used for less than credible purposes, however, the stigma remains: “Dotcom is more legitimate and others are the cheaper knockoffs.”

4. Owning a .COM implies that you are more established

Segueing off of the credibility point in #3, it’s no secret that .COMs can be worth substantial money. If a business is willing to fork out the money required to purchase a .COM (perhaps from an existing smaller company or from a domain investor who bought it years ago), it can be assumed on some level that they’ve had some success financially. On the other hand, if a company has been around long enough to have hand registered their .COM back before they were harder to come by, longevity is also noteworthy.

Of course, these are perceived implications of owning a .COM. From a technical standpoint, using a .net or even .xyz is just as secure and just as reliable. But as marketers and branding experts know, perceived value is often times even more important for making money than actual value.

Is it possible to go register a .COM today for $15 and have no reputable history at all as a company? Of course. Owning a .COM doesn’t mean a company actually is more established, but again, due to it’s overwhelming use, the familiarity of a .COM can mean the difference between a customer visiting your website or not.

5. Search engines can sometimes favor .COM domains over others

This is definitely not always true, however, search engines like Google have been known to rank non-country-specific domain names better in universal search results than specific country code domains, which are sometimes assumed to be more specific to certain regions of the world.

The domain extension .io, for example, is an exception. It’s growing in popularity in the app and tech world due to its input/output abbreviation, but it’s technically the country code domain for the British Indian Ocean Territory. In this case, however, Google understands that many website owners are using this ccTLd generically and not specifically to the British Indian Ocean Territory, but it’s important to keep in mind that certain extensions will be ranked differently if the majority of their use is region specific.

6. The .COM has no TLD specific rules tied to it

While this fact is also true for many TLDs including gTLDs (again, generic top-level domains) and ccTLD (country code top-level domains), some TLD’s come with strings attached. For example, if you wanted to register a .us or .ca, you’d have to actually live in the United States or Canada, respectively. If you wanted to register a .nyc, you’d have to prove your residency in New York City. Other domain extensions have Acceptable Use Policy agreements that you must abide by. These can include content restrictions or limitations. Always research your desired TLD rules (if any) before making a major brand decision around it.

7. The fact you’re even reading this article proves .COM is King

Why are you reading this article? Is it because the .COM for the domain you wanted was available, but you’d rather register it only as a .BIZ? Of course not. You’re reading this article because you searched for your brand name as a .COM and came up with nothing available. Now you’re trying to talk yourself into buying a non-dotcom domain and you’re looking for reasons to either talk yourself into it or out of it.

Typically, .COM is the first search people do when shopping for a new business domain name.

The truth is, there’s a reason for that. Whatever that reason is for you, that reason is why .COM is still king—and that’s not expected to change anytime soon.

In closing…

Some argue that .COM feels old or outdated. They claim that the newer TLD extensions are more trendy. This is, of course, a strict matter of personal opinion. But even if a company chooses to operate their website from a non-dotcom domain extension, why not just buy the .COM as well and redirect it?

In some cases, we realize that buying a .COM can be cost-prohibitive and this very advice can conjure up frustrating comparisons to “Let them eat cake”, but honestly, there really are still many great options available under the .COM extension. With some time and creativity, you can come up with a great name for your business that is either still available to register or at least available for purchase at a reasonable aftermarket price.

And if you just can’t justify spending the money, you have to ask yourself this question. After reading the points in this article and looking at the facts, how much money will you have to spend in branding to overcome the pitfalls of not owning a .COM? That’s not a hypothetical question. It’s something really worth pondering for your specific situation.

You can argue that there are several successful companies that don’t use .COM and you’d be right. There absolutely are. But would owning the .COM (even as a redirect) have made growing their business easier or more difficult? HINT: It sure wouldn’t have hurt.

There are also always exceptions to the rule and outliers. For example, Google’s parent company Alphabet, while leading the charge into the non-Dotcom era with their official domain name of abc.xyz, does not own its Dotcom counterpart abc.com. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably assumed (and rightfully so) that this domain is owned by Disney’s ABC.

Regardless, does Google wish they owned that .COM domain name? You better believe it.

We help position our clients for ongoing success in today’s ever-changing digital market. Contact us for a free digital marketing audit or to schedule a strategy session to learn how we can help your brand cut through the noise.