The Art of Stop Motion in Social Media Campaigns


Stop Motion storytelling can be a vehicle for video marketers trying to make mass-appeal content on a shoestring budget. If you want to reach a wider audience with your story but cannot hire screen actors or hand-draw your animation, then you should be using Stop Motion in Social Media Campaigns for your clients/business.

This resource will help you figure out what stop motion is and how it is shot. You will also learn the best practices for creating a stop motion social media campaign. So, let's get started with an expansive definition of stop motion.


What Is Stop Motion?

Stop motion is an animation technique that uses real-life motion. In regular animation, the frames are digitally generated or drawn, while in stop motion, they are captured on camera. To best understand stop motion, consider the simple animation of a ball rolling across the floor.

In traditional animation, you would draw the ball and move it slightly with each new drawing. Once you have dozens of drawings, flipping through them at the rate of 24 drawings per second would create the illusion of smooth movement. That would be 24 frames per second (fps). In digital animation, you would need to clone 24 images of the ball and digitally move the ball in each frame.

In both of the above scenarios, the ball doesn’t need to exist in reality. But when it comes to stop motion animation, the ball must exist. You have to take dozens of pictures of the ball. Before each subsequent picture, you’d need to move the ball a little and stop it to take a snap. This combination of motion and stopping can be credited with the name stop motion.

Now, if you're more of a visual learner, this video will explain what stop motion is much better than the text above.

Stop motion has existed for over 120 years and, with time, has become more accessible. The more readily available models and miniatures become, the easier stop motion gets. The more accessible cameras become, the easier it is for people to create stop motion shorts at home.

In 2024, you have apps that help you create stop motion videos even if you have no animation experience. Then, there are courses that can help you figure out how to set up your models and create stop motion content.

It will take you roughly three months of dedicated learning and practice to start making decent stop motion videos. We'll get into how stop motion content is made, but first, let's go over a few pros and cons. These will help you decide if stop motion is worth it for you or not.

The pros of stop motion videography are:

  • You can do it solo - While stop motion is effort-intensive, it doesn't necessarily require a large team.

  • You do not need screen actors - This is why stop motion is more practical for small video marketing campaigns.

  • It can be fun - the stop motion filming process can be entertaining if you enjoy taking pictures.

  • You don't need a big budget - You can definitely make big-budget stop motion films, but a big budget is not a prerequisite for most stop motion content.

The cons of stop motion videography are:

  • It can be frustrating - Stop motion requires a lot of patience.

  • It takes too much time - You might not have enough time to make enough stop motion content for your campaign.

All in all, stop motion is great for video marketers with small teams, but one must approach it with a lot of time and patience.


How Is Stop Motion Shot?

If you have the time and patience for stop motion videography, then you must begin with the fundamentals. This section covers the basic principles of stop motion animation.


Even before a single frame is captured or animated, the director must shortlist his subjects. As covered earlier, whatever's moving on the screen must exist for stop motion to work. You can't just draw or digitally create subjects; they must exist as models.

If your script says that the model will wave at the camera, you will need a model with a movable arm. Model selection is just as crucial as the script.


Once the models are created/selected, the next step is getting the frames. And the most important frame is the first one. Stop motion is just a series of moving pictures, so having a vision for your first and final pictures is pretty important.

What will you capture the pictures with? Will you use a digital camera, film, or your smartphone? What gets you the best picture quality and facilitates your workflow?


Motion is obviously essential for any kind of animation, let alone a type that has 'motion' in its name. But here, we're not talking about the motion itself but how you would play out the motion.

You can place all the images in succession on the project timeline in any video editor and get the basic picture-flipping motion. But there are also dedicated stop motion programs that help you capture, organize, and render animations.


The vehicle for your stop motion is the program that makes it possible. Stop Motion Studio, Life Lapse, and Onion Cam are just a few apps that can be the vehicle for your stop motion project.

Once all these are sorted, you just need to place the models in the starting position and then capture the first image. After that, you move the models according to your script and then take the next picture. Keep taking subsequent pictures until you have all the shots.

As long as you use the right vehicle for your project and you take enough pictures, you'll get the perfect stop motion animation.

Quick Tip: A very easy way to master stop motion for a small project is to pick a stop motion app and watch a YouTube tutorial for it.

Here is a tutorial for Life Lapse, covering a simple product rotation animation.

We will cover more use cases later. But first, let's go over the main benefits of stop motion in marketing.


Why Use Stop Motion For Marketing?

Stop motion content can be bite-sized and engaging. And if you use it to showcase your products, then you don't even need advanced animation skills.

In this section, we go over the marketing-specific benefits of stop motion, starting with user engagement.

Viewer Retention

Stop motion animation stands out because it is not as prevalent as live-captured video content. Plus, it can be quite entertaining. So not only can you catch a passive scroller's attention with stop motion content, but you can also keep him engaged for a long period.

Stop Motion videography offers opportunities for novelty from frame to frame, so the whimsical output can definitely outengage standard videography.

Content Variety

Another major advantage of stop motion content is that it brings variety to your timeline. Posting the same type of content over and over can be boring.

By strategically uploading stop motion pieces every now and then, you can spice up your feed with novelty. Content variety is also beneficial for your image as it gives the impression that your business has a large team working on different types of content.

So, even if you don't plan to make stop motion your main content type, you should buy or create a few stop motion clips to post on your branded accounts.

Broad Appeal

Finally, stop motion is like popcorn. It is very easy to digest, and it isn't as vulnerable to prejudice as slice-of-life content. If you shoot a slice of life with a Caucasian actor, an asian viewer might not find that relatable. But if your content is stop motion and your lead is a toy or a sculpture, people of all backgrounds will be able to project themselves onto it.

Broad Appeal is one of the main reasons behind the rise of stop motion and animated content online. However, it is not the sole reason for the format's popularity. A major contributor to the rise of stop motion is its versatility, which you will learn more about in the next section.


Stop Motion For Social Media Campaigns

You can use stop motion for just about any type of social media campaign, thanks to its flexibility. Here are interesting ways to use stop motion for your social media.

Product Showcase

If you sell a physical product, especially one that you want to show off from all angles, then using stop motion can help you display your product in an interesting way. Simply create a stop motion sequence by turning your product a little with each new snap. When played in chronological order, the images will show your product rotating.

Recipe Videos

This is not a strictly food-brand thing. Any instructional piece with step by step guidance can be illustrated with stop motion. It's just that recipes are pretty visual and are, therefore, the best candidates for stop motion content.

BOSKA Food Tools posted this stop motion of a grilled cheese sandwich being toasted. It is the perfect example of using stop motion to display a step-by-step recipe.

IRL Messages

Another great way to use stop motion is to combine it with the power of words. With stop motion, you can make words appear or disappear by moving them around between frames. IRL messages (words written on paper, board, etc.) are great "characters" for a stop motion story. Try it with your campaign tagline or company motto.

Illustrate A Story

As any good video marketer knows, good content documents a good life. But what if you have a great story, but it hasn't been documented on video?

Maybe you wrestled an alligator but couldn't get it on your smartphone because another alligator took it. In that case, you can use a stop motion video made with a picture of you and a picture of the alligator to illustrate your story.

Animator Paulytoon illustrates stories from The Joe Rogan Experience, the #1 podcast in the world. He uses 2-D animation, but any kind of animation can be used for narrative illustration. Stop motion animation looks quirky and interesting. And it is easier to pull off.

This lego animation best showcases the illustrative power of stop motion.

Repurpose Audio Content

Illustrating stories with stop motion isn't just limited to new recordings. You can repurpose old audio into fresh content by adding a visual layer with stop motion. Suppose you have an audio where you go over the benefits of exercise. By recording a stop motion short of a Lego lifting dumbbell, you can have the perfect b-roll to impose over it.

That's not the only way to repurpose content with stop motion. You can animate old photographs and even screencap multiple frames from an old video to create a stop motion teaser.

If the idea of creating fresh pieces from old content interests you, then you should check out ContentFries, the leading content repurposing platform for educators, entertainers, and podcasters. It lets you create 36+ pieces of content from a single longform video in a matter of minutes.

Create A Series

If you really want to go all-in on the potential of stop motion content, then we recommend creating a series. Using stop motion, you can create your own web series with characters and stories that people can get invested in.

And as Disney has discovered, stories are the perfect vehicle to market merchandise. There are multiple entertainment franchises built off of stop motion films. But remember, stop motion animation is just the medium. The ultimate power of your content lies within the story.

Sticky Note Stop Motion For Explainer Content

If you make explainer videos, you must be aware of how monotonous they can get. Using stop motion, you can make educational content that stands out. There are two ways you can use stop motion as an educator. Firstly, you can make short explainer videos featuring stop motion videos. Secondly, you can pepper in stop motion clips in your long-form content.

People do not have the attention span necessary to consume long lectures recorded on a single cam. But by throwing in visuals like presentation slides and stop motion clips, you can create enough on-screen variety to keep them hooked.

Unboxing Snippets

Any business that sells physical products can benefit from unboxing videos. Stop motion unboxing animation looks cool and doesn't require much of your viewers' time, so it is perfect for the modern TikTok-primed audience.

Take a look at this video. Isn’t it far more digestible than a regular unboxing video?

Turn Your Product Into A Hero

The final way to use stop motion content for your social media is to turn your product into the main character of your show.

So, if you sell burgers, make a stop motion short where a burger saves the day. Perhaps it swallows up a dinosaur before the dino can destroy the city.

People will watch for the story and come to accept and even admire your product. Familiarity bias suggests that people like what they are familiar with, and stop motion gives you the opportunity to familiarize people with your products in a non-salesy way.


Stop Motion Apps For Social Media + Pages To Follow

If you've read this far, you know that stop motion isn't that hard. It just requires patience. Here, we will go over apps that help you create stop motion content with relative ease.

  • Life Lapse - Life Lapse speeds up your stop motion creation process. A simple product rotation or unboxing animation can be made in a matter of minutes with no prior experience.

  • Stop Motion Studio - A powerful stop motion studio that helps you create high-quality stop motion shorts and movies. Use this if you want to start creating long-form stop motion content.

  • Stop Motion Factory - A decent animation vehicle that lets you create a video from multiple photographs. You must place the phone on a stable stand and move your characters by hand.

  • iMotion - iMotion is helpful for basic timelapse and stop motion animation. It is free and is often used in educational contexts. Because it is designed to be accessible to kids, it is a great app for beginners.

  • Gooey.Ai - While not a stop motion animation app in the traditional sense, Gooey.Ai is useful for creating a specific kind of stop motion content: ai stop motion content. Each key frame is generated by AI based on a prompt, and the AI also fills in the rest to create a smooth animated video.


Final Thoughts

As a video marketer, you can use stop motion in multiple ways. On the simplest side of the spectrum, you have use cases like product unboxing clips. And on the high-end side, you have full-blown video series with characters and a plot.

Being at any point on this spectrum is not wrong, and the article above will help you no matter how you intend to use stop motion for your social media. You decide how to use stop motion for your business. There are no wrong answers, except not using stop motion at all.