Short and sweet data: The universal appeal of animated infographics

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It will come as no surprise that over 90 percent of the information people retain is based purely on visual impact (good news for Jumbla, as an animation studio). But this is less good news for when you need to communicate statistics, facts, or instructions – textual information. The perfect solution for the requirement of this sort of content is infographics. Infographics boast a plethora of merits, that purely textual information simply can’t compete with (and yes, before you raise an eyebrow, the irony of explaining this with a textual article doesn’t escape us).

Firstly, the colours and images make infographics far more likely to draw the eye than a plain old paragraph – a study conducted by Medialogue found that people retain 26 percent more information from colour ads than they do from black and white, and research compiled by MDG Advertising concluded that content with relevant images enjoys 94 percent more views than content without it. A study funded by HubSpot, the inbound marketing platform giant, found that nearly 70 percent of consumers find clear and detailed images, which are much more likely to grasp and retain their attention and interest, one of the most important elements of online branding. The visual nature of infographics takes advantage of these statistics: you can easily incorporate your brand into the content, through using brand colours, symbols, characters or mascots, and logos – a win for brand awareness.

On top of these visual merits, the bite-sized information in infographics is much more easily absorbed, making your target more likely to retain information and act on it.

In research conducted by MDG Advertising, the use of infographics has increased a mind-boggling 9000% since 2007. In the words of Jeff Bullas, a digital marketing innovator: ‘the inherent design elements of infographics – a logo, website address, email or even contact information – coalesce into a very effective way to increase your brand awareness… if used properly can easily increase your traffic by at least 12%.’

So, sure – the combination of colour, imagery and digestible information makes for an eye-catching and shareable piece of content. But integrate these elements with movement, music and voice overs; and the content’s effectiveness skyrockets.

Text vs Visual

Our attention span is shorter than ever – and this means that, if we even click into a piece of content in the first place, the majority of us will scan the article as opposed to fully absorbing its meaning (and, according to Chartbeat, an analytics vendor, people only make it around halfway down the page anyway).

The majority of our global population – over 40% of it – are visual learners (with the other 60% divided between audio and tactile learners). This means that the majority of your target market is statistically more likely to remember information that they have seen, rather than read.

Brooke Barnett and Barbara Miller, School of Communication researchers at Elon University, found in their research for a 2010 edition of the Newspaper Research Journal that the use of attractive graphics and text in partnership can be more useful than using either by itself.

‘On their own, text and graphics are both useful yet imperfect methods for communication,’ observe Barnett and Miller. ‘Written language allows an almost infinite number of word combinations, that allow deep analysis of concepts, but relies heavily on the reader’s ability to process that information… Graphics may be easier for the reader to understand, but are less effective in communication of abstract and complicated concepts. Combining text and graphics allows communicators to take advantage of each medium’s strengths and diminish each medium’s weaknesses.’

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Our animated infographic for NAB.

On point online

An attractive and engaging infographic is also good news for your Google rankings. The infographic medium is inherently conducive with net virality; since people are more likely to share attractive and engaging content, this will result in driving more traffic to your site, in turn upping your Google page ranking, brand awareness and brand recall.

Our Facebook feed is a visual content minefield – across all social media, content with a visual element is 40 times more likely to be shared than textual content. And infographics alone are three times more likely to be shared than other visual content – while video content is shared a staggering 1200 percent more than text. Therefore: communicate an infographic through a video medium, and you’ve stumbled on a content marketing goldmine.

While your content is being shared on social media, sit back, relax, and enjoy not only an increased brand recognition – but improved brand perception and associations. Using infographics can simply make your brand look good. According to Jomer Gregoria, a digital marketing and SEO analyst, the tables, graphs and charts made use of in infographics signify ‘the amount of research the creator has poured in, to produce the content they need…. This will highlight how knowledgeable the publisher is, in the relevant subject matter – and establishes the creator as an expert in the field… This will increase your online credibility and reputation as a business owner, who has a key grasp of the concepts and relevant information in a particular niche.’

Education through animation

Animated infographics can also serve as a fantastic way to educate and train staff. When educating your employees about a set of company rules, or a new operating system, for example, the information can get dull and overwhelming pretty quickly. Flyers are likely to get shoved in a desk drawer and not thought of again; eyes will glaze over and thoughts will turn elsewhere in tedious presentations; text-only step-by-step processes can be unclear, running the risk of misinterpretation and error.

This is where an animated infographic comes in handy. When providing staff with step-by-step instructions, animated infographics communicate each step with visuals that are clear and easy to understand, and complemented with an explanatory voiceover. The colourful visuals and condensed information make for a memorable educative video, that increases knowledge retention and recall – the added benefit being that employees can have these videos on file for whenever they need a refresher, and they don’t need to sift through paragraphs of text to find the one piece of information they’re after. In the words of Christopher Pappas, founder and CEO of The eLearning Industry, the effectiveness of using animated infographics for staff training comes down to the fact that they ‘simplify and distill information down to easily digestible pieces… It also has the power to grab your employees’ attention, which prompts them to engage and interact with the content in a more meaningful way.’

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An excerpt for our internal infographic for ANZ’s new operating system.

The commission of animated training videos also says something to your employees: that you care. Of course, it’s a greater investment to create a suite of animated content than it is to simply write the information up on Microsoft Word – but spending the extra on commissioning content from communication experts shows your colleagues that you’re also investing in them, and that you want them to feel comfortable, prepared and across all information. And, of course, your staff are busy – dealing with heavy workloads and tight deadlines. Providing them with an animated infographic for training purposes shows that you value their time, and that you’re condensing the learning material into the simplest and most digestible form for their benefit.

Is an animated infographic missing from your marketing mix? Get in touch with us to start a project today.

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