I hope it’s not true that “reading is dead,” but I also know that communicators of all stripes need to pay greater attention to visual content.
That’s why I watched the webinar “The Art of Visual Content and the Science That Makes it Convert.” The presenters, Hana Abaza (VP of marketing for Uberflip) and Tania Schoeman (creative director of visual.ly) made some good points.
Here are some highlights for me.
What Makes Visual Content Compelling?
Visuals have always been important, but they are becoming more important every day.
Why? Good visuals:
- Help people grasp complex concepts quickly and easily. (The brain processes visual content 60,000 times faster than it processes text.)
- Engage people emotionally.
- Generate up to 94% more views.
- Can be applied across the “marketing mix” for social media, blogs and the like.
- Make sense. (Good visuals don’t need lots of words and follow a coherent narrative. As Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”)
Today one of the most popular forms of visuals is the infographic. Here are some examples of good infographics:
- 10 Hot Job Titles That Barely Existed 5 Years Ago
- A Tale of Two Cows
- Cuts of Beef: A Cheat Sheet for Meat Treats
- Layering: A Presentation Strategy
- Where Does Coffee Come From?
- For the Love of Mountains
- How the Millennial Generation Will Pay the Price of Washington’s Paralysis
How do you develop infographics like those?
First (as with any marketing project) consider your audience. Who is it for? What are their pain points? Where are they (in terms of channels)?
Then clearly define your goals. Why are you doing this? What do you want to get out of it? Do you have something worthwhile to share?
Finally, focus on the data, story and design.
The Data ─ Get great information. Content is king. So make sure your data is reputable, timely and relevant. If not, start over.
The Story ─ Tell the data (the story) in a narrative brief that pulls out the most important material. Is the story compelling? Does it flow? Does it have a beginning, middle and end? Does the title encapsulate the story?
Excellent copywriting really pays off in guiding the creative visual process.
The Design ─ Next create a visual story to deliver the data. Outline the visual structure and diagram where the headline and the various elements of the story will be.
Treat each line of text as if it were a visual. The more visual the final product, the better your story.
“Translate” no more than one 8.5×11 page of text into visuals.
Make your infographic no longer than 3,000 to 4,000 pixels long and 800 pixels wide. (For a horizontal infographic, swap the dimensions.) If you have too much data for these constraints, consider breaking the information into micro content for individual visuals.
Again, this is my summary of some of the main points I took away from the webinar, not a summary of the total webinar, which you can watch here.