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In part one of this series, we talked about the plight of the traditional infographic and highlighted why marketers have soured quite a bit on the genre. In this follow up post, the second in a series of three, we provide top tips on how to create a video infographic (great example from a Columbus Day presentation above) that engages your audience, drives traffic, and sparks social shares.

But let’s take a step back for a moment. Fundamentally, there is little difference between a static and animated video infographic; they both have the same objective: to inform your audience about particular topic through the use of data. In other words, teach folks something new and of value, simply.

The measurement also differs. It’s never quite clear how much of a static infographic was read or retained. With videos, we can track the number of views, the number of completions and even where the falloff is along the way. We assume that completion implies a higher degree of engagement. So how do we get there?

The first priority is speed of engagement – the opening scenes and content will determine the success of your video. Much like he does when shopping for a house, the viewer will make a decision within 10 seconds – about whether to keep watching.

The second priority is sustained engagement, achieved through pace and tempo. Keep it snappy, don’t repeat yourself, don’t dwell on any one point for too long, and try to add a bit of humor if the topic allows. Keep providing the viewer with a steady flood of new information. A boring vid could lead to a negative brand association.

Finally – keep it short. The rule of thumb for marketing videos is… 2 minutes or less. How do you get more people to finish he video? End it sooner! More important, at the end of the video you want the audience jazzed enough to share it… and this gets progressively more difficult after the 2-minute mark, even for a great video.

These requirements force you the videomaker to be laser focused on which data points matter and what key points you really want to make. Remember, people retain 95% of a message when they watch it on video, compared to 10% when they just read text.

Here are some practical tips:

➢ No data, no story!
The first step is to choose a very specific topic and gather as much data as possible. Infographics are only as good as the data you use. So, if you’re using external, third-party data then be sure to double-check that it’s valid and to also check the sources. Proprietary data is much more powerful. Don’t forget to credit all your sources in the video. This proves the credibility of your data and offers the audience the interactive opportunity to dig a little deeper.

Facts are not the only source of data. Social media monitoring tools can help you analyze sentiment, volumes or key trends about a particular topic. Sharing this type of insight-based content can help position your brand as a thought leader. Original market research is also very compelling.

➢ Got the data, but what’s the story?
So, you’ve got your data… now what?! Raw data on its own – even in the most beautiful visual representation – will not engage your audience. It’s the story behind the data.

Analyze the data to identify a trend, key insights, or something unusual or counterintuitive. Translate numbers into meaningful insights for your audience. Otherwise they’ll just switch off. We like the word “extract”. Extract an interesting story from the data. Once the “story” has been identified, use the facts and data to support your points and to validate your conclusions.

➢ The telling of the story
What does this mean in practical terms? Hard-hitting material, for instance, might be told with a fast pace, bold musical counterpoints, an aggressive voiceover style (if a narrator is used) and sudden transitions between images. Dreamy material, on the other hand, might warrant a slower pace, gentler music, calmer narration and softer transitions between scenes.

Sketching this out on paper, whether in the form of a storyboard, timeline or other representation, will not only save you time on actual production … it will also provide a check on length. If your “preproduction” deliverable looks too long, consider going back and editing some material out before you begin production.

➢ The Production
The best video infographics use content-appropriate visuals and effects to support the meaning of the data. For example, if a piece of information is about the relative size of Earth and the sun, use perspective and camera movements to accentuate the message you want to convey (Earth is tiny). Or if it’s a company reporting about their environmental track record, scenes can be created to illustrate the data, such as wind farms if the company invested in renewable energy.

The joy of video is the ability to not only use visual imagery, movement, effects, sound, music, etc. all at the same time – but to create an interplay between them. “Rich media” is not a gift, it’s a potential that must be fulfilled by the video maker.
To fulfil this potential, it’s important to view animated infographics as videos first, rather than as a series of charts or a PowerPoint presentation.

Once your video infographic is completed, you can publish it on GoAnimate and embed it on your site. You can also export to YouTube and other sharing sites in Full HD quality video, or simply download the mp4 directly. We also offer numerous one-click sharing options to major social networks and online marketing platforms.

So, if you publish infographics and want to stand out from the crowd, you really should be moving to animated video infographics.