This is the fifth and concluding post in our series on infographics. They each have their virtues and roles to play in the content mix, so in this post we provide some best practice advice for how you should weave them into your content marketing strategies.
First, a quick re-cap of the previous posts:
- The long and short of visual content was the introductory post in which we highlighted why infographics had become so popular. And also why they were at a crossroads in their content career.
- Infographics II explored the main problems for the good old fashioned static type – namely, way too many poorly designed efforts were making it impossible for a “great” one to stand out in what is an incredibly crowded space. There were also some very useful top tips for creating them included too.
- Animated content rocks! focused on making your data tell a story in a really engaging and easy-to-do way. PowerPoint and Prezi were considered, but animated video infographics (check out GoAnimate) are clearly the best option for telling your information story for many different reasons.
- Most recently, we looked at interactive content and unashamedly declared our love for the increasing number of these beautiful infographics that are educational, highly engaging and cause the reader to literally interact with a brand.
Down but not out
Static infographics should not be discounted. Yes, there are too many of them to know which to look at and which to ignore. Yes, there is way too much data and content being crammed into them.
But with a bit of planning and by putting your customer (not your brand’s messages) first, then they are ideal for displaying interesting statistics and briefly summarising the key trends and insights that numbers alone don’t provide. Be sure to be disciplined too, otherwise it will be data overload and your infographic will be too congested.
Likewise, consider using them as a storyboard, as opposed to just data. They can much more easily convey a complex process or concept than paragraphs of words, and are more easily remembered too.
The biggest tip would be to use them as supplementary to a broader part of your content marketing strategy, as opposed to standalone content. For example, if you are going to publish a white paper then don’t create just a white paper. Take one of the key aspects of this white paper and create an infographic on it. Maybe do a mini-infographic for each chapter.
This way, you will stop the trend of “one-hit wonder” content pieces and instead have different types of content, different places and channels to promote them via, and a variety of different content to promote the same white paper. All of which will make that one piece of content – the white paper – appeal to a broader audience which, in turn, will help drive traffic and awareness of the white paper to your site and encourage downloads of it.
So, you should make sure your static infographics add complementary value to a content marketing initiative, not be the centrepiece nor standalone content pieces – you’ll get more return on investment this way.
Moving on up
Animated video is the rising star of content and is a hugely cost effective tool in a marketer’s bag of tricks. Applying these to infographics is beginning to prove highly popular and prompted GoAnimate to launch an infographics theme back in April called “Business as Visual”.
Aside from low cost, the other big plus for creating animated video infographics hinges around control. They are so easy to use that you can do it yourself – there is no need for skilled expertise or for outsourcing to a third party. All you need is an Internet connection, the same time to plan as you would a traditional infographic, and some common sense!
GoAnimate also provide various drag-and-drop tools and even lip-synched characters for narration to make it super easy for even the likes of us at Comms Axis! Yes, in addition to the static infographic we’ve recently published, we’ll also be creating an animated video infographic in due course… 😀
Aside from all the time, cost, super HD quality and ease-of-use advantages, we feel that the killer benefit is their sheer versatility – they can also:
- Be whatever length you want them to be – short and snappy, or long (although not recommended to be more than 3 minutes!)
- Be narrated, or they can have written words
- Have a mixture of both voice-over and text
- Have music and / or sound effects
- Be fast or slow, or a variety of speeds where added emphasis is required
- Have animated characters interacting with props to make different points
- Be used in isolation as a standalone piece of content, or to complement existing content
- Adapt to stat-heavy subjects, explainer videos, story-telling, CTAs, and so much more
- Be hosted on your website’s home page, a dedicated landing page, or any page on your site for that matter
But most of all, they make it easy for your audience to learn, remember and engage – all they have to do is click to play and click to share!
So if static infographics are support material, and animated video infographics are the all-round stars of the show, then what about interactive infographics?
Quite simply they should be at the heart of your big marketing and content campaigns. An interactive infographic should be the hub to which you drive all your traffic for that campaign.
And the hub around which all other content pieces spin off – press releases, blog posts, articles, static mini-infographics, white papers, reports, Executive Summaries.
An interactive infographic is the showcase of your big campaign, and it will also showcase your brand as being innovative and engaging.
The final thought on the Big Daddy of infographics, if you think they’re a step too far for your brand right now, is to keep an eye on them. Why? Well, static infographics used to take both time and a skilled designer to create but are relatively quick now, while animated videos have totally democratised and disrupted the costly video marketing industry, making animated video infographics affordable.
Here to stay
Without doubt infographics are a great way to convey complex information in a clear and digestible way. Although the value of static infographics is much diminished now, they still have a role to play and can add value as part of larger content programmes. Interactive infographics, on the other hand, are the ultimate for content marketing campaigns right now. But are out of reach for most businesses. Animated video infographics, however, seem to cover all the bases with ease – definitely worth experimenting with them!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this series of posts on infographics, and perhaps learned something along the way! Let us know if you are bored with infographics or see huge potential in the animated and interactive styles by leaving a comment. Oh, and do please shared across your networks!
Previously, he was Director at Comms Axis, a full service marketing agency specialising in content, social media & website services for businesses of all sizes.
Dan Purvis writes for a number of leading business, social media and marketing sites, including Smart Insights, MarketingProfs, Marketo, MarTech Advisor, Marketing Tech News, MarTech Today, MarTech Exec, and more.
Dan was also ranked by Brand Republic as one of the Top 50 UK Marketing & Social Media influencers.
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