Many marketers see infographics as the pre-eminent piece of proprietary digital collateral. The thinking is the ROI of a graphic is worth thousands of words – especially if the picture is visualizing data published for the first time.
But now infographic fatigue is here, and it’s real. Collectively we don’t think IGs make the click-worthy grade anymore. When’s the last time you were impressed by one? This post outlines exactly why static infographics are on the way out, and how animated graphics can save the genre.
When infographics burst onto the scene around five years ago, they were heralded as a way of turning dry statistics into a visual feast. No more Excel graphs; no more bar charts; no more bullet points used to list a series of apparently interesting stats. And no one really liked white papers to begin with. ☺
Infographics proved immediately popular with marketers – and rightly so: with a little design guidance and moderately creative thinking, folks could turn numbers into a compelling story. They could make something eye-catching and easy to digest for target audiences, creating shareable content in a (relatively) cost-effective way to build brand recognition.
So then what happened? Quite simply infographics have become the hackneyed victims of their own success. Every day the internet sees literally hundreds of infographics published on blogs and by trade publications, which are then shared over and over across all manner of social networks by humans and bots.
This saturation has resulted in diminishing returns for marketers when creating infographics. They’re starting to look pretty similar; there are only so many variations of possible. Compounding the problem is a decline in quality. When infographics were only produced by purists, there was a (welcome) obsession with managing the ratio of space to data. The result was an enjoyable “walk” through the space for the audience.
Over time, brands, in their desperation to stand out, have crammed more and more data into their infographics. The resulting data congestion is a like a stressful walk in traffic. There’s so much to look at that we “race through” and look at nothing. Or the opposite became true: companies would produce one sole interesting data point (i.e. that left-handed people live 8 months fewer than righties) and then make and entire new infographic around that tiny nugget of data.
So what can marketers do to stand out from the crowd and get back to the essence of infographics? How can we bring back the wow? Step forward: animated video infographics!
And we don’t mean putting graphical data on a series of PowerPoint slides with some animation! We’re talking about fully-animated videos featuring several infographic components. And before you think: “Wow, that sounds expensive and time-consuming!” the whole point of animated videos and animated video infographics is that they are relatively quick and cost effective to create.
How long do you think it took to create this video infographic for the Cannes Film Festival?
Only an hour!
The pace is fast enough to feel dynamic, and slow enough for the information to be processed. The technology and progressive and engaging; the action is something people want to share to look savvy. The viewer can just sit back and get bombarded with all kinds of educational eye candy. This is the stuff people love to share.
There is also the option to use voiceover. Voiceover can be used in conjunction with the animation to control pace and humanize the data. You can use narration to walk the viewer though infographic thus making these animated video infographics more likely to be shared and commented upon.
In part 2 of this series, we’ll dive deeper on the best practices for creating video infographics.