Motion graphics, micronarratives, and other types of visual content aren’t just great for posting on your social-media channels and your homepage. More and more businesses are creating this type of custom, infographic-inspired content for display on their blogs as well as in day-to-day articles on news and topical websites. That’s because, no matter what kind of product or service your organization offers, visual communication through infographics, motion graphics, and other types of design can help you keep audiences engaged.
And engagement is key in an age when audiences will only read 20% of the text on a page with 600 words or more. Our attention spans are shorter than ever. That’s why it’s not enough to produce just a few great pieces of visual content. Instead, that kind of content should live on every page of your site.
This holds especially true for blog posts and articles. After all, these comprise the main source of your thought leadership and your industry expertise. They’re probably your most SEO-friendly pages because of the wealth of content they feature. That means they’ll likely show up on a lot of search-engine results pages. You don’t want to risk losing your audience at the same moment you actually succeed in directing them to your most thorough content, just because you didn’t include visuals to keep them reading.
Don’t worry: it’s possible to produce higher volumes of visual content without sacrificing quality. Check out our posts and ebooks on visual language for marketers and developing a visual workbench to learn how to do just that.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at 6 organizations that are using infographics, motion graphics, and other design elements to bring their blog posts and articles to life.
A Music Service’s Infographic-Inspired Content
Spotify has come to dominate the streaming music industry. While an array of factors have contributed to the company’s success, Spotify’s instantly recognizable branding is likely to have contributed to its impressive brand equity.
And part of establishing a recognizable brand is deploying it widely. Spotify’s bright colors, clean typography, and elements of photography don’t just show up on its social media accounts, but throughout the company’s websites. Blog posts like this one, about Spotify’s personalized compendium of user trends in 2019, incorporate on-brand images, animated videos, and infographic and interactive content that all reinforce the look and feel of Spotify.
Similarly, multiple posts have custom-illustrated header images, including its list of “The Most Streamed Songs of Summer 2018.” In fact, Spotify is a great example of why many brands choose illustration and motion graphics over photography and live-action video. Music is a fundamentally non-visual medium, but high-quality illustration can successfully capture the feeling of a song or artist where photography might fall short.
Artificial Intelligence Company Embraces Illustration
Intercom, a multinational company that makes AI-powered chatbots, fully believes in the power of custom illustration to drive human connection. How can we tell? Well, for starters, beautiful and quirky illustrations are the header images for just about every blog post they publish.
Why choose illustration? Actually, it makes a lot of sense for a company in the tech industry. After all, you can’t take a photograph or film a live-action video of a chatbot—or anyway, if you did, it’d be incredibly boring stuff. Instead, Intercom uses illustration to capture the spirit of innovation, fun, and connection that they want their product to inspire in potential customers. For instance, they bring a chatbot to life in a variety of playful scenarios in the illustration above.
A Dedication to Timely Visual Content
Source: New York Times
The New York Times is remarkably committed to using visual content when bringing the news to life. They regularly include data visualization, infographics, and even augmented reality in their stories. As we learned at the 2019 GeekWire Summit, the Times has an entire department dedicated to research and development, and many of its efforts involve finding innovative new ways to tell stories.
From an interactive map about the 2020 Iowa Democratic Caucus to an animated web page that explained the 2019 fire at Notre Dame cathedral (shown above), the New York Times consistently produces high-quality visual content that is custom-made specifically for the story at hand. The newspaper is even looking into entirely new ways to publish stories in visual mediums, including via a “visual-first edition” published on Snapchat Discover.
A Cloud-Storage Giant’s Blog Inspired by Infographics
The blog for cloud-storage leaders Dropbox incorporates an array of illustrations, infographics, and data visualizations. It’s just another example of why tech companies are so drawn to these types of visual content: only they can really bring the story to life.
Check out this recent post for one example. It uses a series of data visualizations to conduct a thorough analysis of how and where people are using the Dropbox edge network. We suspect that, even for the pros, these visuals help to break up the content into more bite-sized pieces. What’s more, they make patterns and trends more instantly recognizable for readers. And that’s the key to a great infographic-inspired blog post—give your readers less work to do, and they’ll stick around longer. They’ll also want to read more of what you have to say.
Motion Graphics, Infographics, & Design That Deepen Our Understanding
WIRED has become a leading source of news in tech, science, business, and culture. And its commitment to strong visual content is probably a big driver of that success.
How does WIRED make visual content a part of every reading experience on its site? First of all, it places a strong emphasis on data visualization, using it wherever it can help readers understand a story. What’s more, it includes a video at the bottom of every article. This approach doesn’t just keep readers engaged long after they’ve read the article—it also drives them to new content that might interest them.
Photography often features in WIRED’s more newsy content, but the publication chooses the most suitable visual content for telling any story. For instance, this article about data leaks includes an interactive data visualization (shown above). Considering that visual interactive content boasts an impressive 70% conversion rate, this is a great choice for keeping readers engaged.
Capturing the Joys of Customer Satisfaction
Source: Help Scout
Help Scout, which provides an array of tools for improving customer satisfaction, has adopted an instantly recognizable illustration style that brings its blog to life. The cheerful, pastel colors and fanciful characters that permeate its blog posts communicate the positive interactions and results that Help Scout promises its customers.
While the illustration style can range from hand-drawn sketches to a more three-dimensional look, the bright color palette and clear tone unite all of these illustrations—and unite the blog as a whole. From the moment you arrive at the blog landing page, this feels like a place you want to spend some time. And that’s a great way for any business to highlight its value.
These are just a few infographic-powered blogs that have inspired us—and that will hopefully inspire you as you build a content plan around your product or service. As you get started, just make sure to have clear goals in mind. And, of course, know your audience: what types of visual content will drive them to keep reading? From motion graphics to interactive widgets to mini-infographics, there’s an option out there for every brand.