The goal of all media is to tell a story. And, really, we’re all storytellers at heart.
For as long as there have been humans, there have been stories to tell. We use them to inform, entertain, persuade, explain, and for a host of other reasons that are as old as time.
So, naturally, we also tell stories in our day-to-day business—and for all the same reasons. We want to convince potential customers of the efficacy and advantage of the goods or services we’re offering, and that means telling them a good story.
One of the ways we do that is through infographics. Infographics are a visual representation of information. They’re an effective way of presenting large amounts of data in a short period of time. Infographics allow readers to browse a mass of content and drill down on what’s interesting to them. Really, it’s like a map, full of information that readers can follow as they please.
Think Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint… Or, maybe don’t. Nobody likes thinking about PowerPoint presentations.
Which is probably why more people are turning to animation to punch up their infographics. Animation is a media form we seem to understand from the start—think about your Saturday mornings in front of the TV. (Or, the latest season of Rick and Morty.) We just seem to ‘get’ animation. It cuts through the noise and speaks to us in ways that other media doesn’t.
But it also serves a different function. Whereas infographics tend to be more of a ‘choose your own adventure,’ animation offers a narrative. It’s a specific story. So, not only does it relate specific bits of information, it allows you to control the narrative so that viewers stay on the course we set.
In other words, it’s the natural partner for the infographic. One is a way to portray large amounts of information, the other a precise tool to explain a single idea or concept.
What other advantages does animation offer? Well, it allows you to bring virtually any idea to life. (See the aforementioned Rick and Morty…) You’re much less bound by budgets… or even reality. You can dive into a working engine to explain how combustion works. You can shoot off into space to explain gravity. You can explain abstracts like politics (well… you can try), or the economy, or retail flow.
It’s as effective as other video, but animation frees you from the boredom and cost of shooting days and endless retakes. It’s also easy to update or edit as priorities and information changes.
Animation also cuts through the noise—which is particularly important if you’re trying to grab attention on social platforms.
When it comes to first thinking about animation for your infographics, don’t think you have to go huge. Start small. Think of one idea or concept you’d like to draw out. (What, in particular, would you like to explain? What’s your ideal outcome?) Then, work on an specific animation that highlights those relevant points. You can do more later when you see how effective it is.
Of course, you’ll want something that looks and feels like it belongs with your brand, and we can certainly help with that, but the main point is to not be intimidated when it comes to adding animation to infographics. We’re all storytellers at heart—some stories just deserve as much colour and movement as we can give them.
Get inspired with these stunning interactive and animated infographics:
How a Car Engine Works by Animagraffs
Plugging In by GOOD Infographics
MailChimp’s Annual Report by MailChimp
UNICEF – Children of the Recession by rightcolours
2017 Video Marketing Stats by Switch Video