You’ve come up with something to say, and now it’s time to figure out how to say it. A book? A magazine article? A big series of long-form blog posts? I mean, content is content, right? Not so much, these days.
How Do I Get My Idea Out There?
Your best bet is to find the most succinct ways to get your point across. A great way to aid in the “succinct” part is to introduce visuals as a primary form of communication. It’s been found that 81% of people only really skim through online content to form a first impression, and visuals are going to catch a skimming eye much more easily than text will. For example, the header image on this post probably caught your eye before you started skimming the copy.
I’ve Got a Lot to Say, Though — Is It Too Much for a Static Infographic?
Every content need is unique. Some content can be pared down and simplified to convey the same information in a much smaller package, still using exclusively static text and imagery.
That said, if there are lots of details to provide, the concepts are complex, or what you’re explaining involves several intricate phases or steps to convey, you may need to take a multimedia or dynamic approach — and you may even have a visual communications campaign on your hands.
What Are My Options for Dynamic Visual Content?
The direction you’ll go really depends on your goals, so it’s important to loop the right people in to help you make that decision.
Motion graphics are a great choice for presenting a narrative. You have a few key points to make, but perhaps the story is best told with animated visuals and a voice to verbally explain what’s before you or what the takeaway is. Motion graphics are a great way to engage viewers with words in a way that doesn’t always require them to read — instead they can sit back, seeing and hearing the story unfold with no extra clicks required.
That said, they aren’t for everything. It may be difficult to explain multi-step complex processes or detailed histories in a video short enough to hold a user’s attention. According to Wistia, if your video is under a minute, viewers will watch about 75% of it or more. By 1-2 minutes that’s still at about 70%. After 2 minutes the decline continues, so if there’s a lot of talking to do, viewers might not stick around to hear you out.
A video series could resolve this issue, or you could consider an approach that lets users choose what they want to examine more closely…
Interactive content is a great option for giving your readers a more involved, hands on experience. This medium allows you to explain information from multiple angles, with multiple steps or components that viewers can self-navigate. Interactive content can tell linear narratives or explain large or complex information sets that don’t necessarily need to be explored in a certain order.
Like all mediums, interactive content isn’t for everything. If you find yourself including clicks and hover overs that don’t serve a purpose for strategically showing the information, your audience will lose trust in the content, and then lose interest. The choice to make something interactive is all about considering whether that interactivity will add value to the conversation with your audience.
Whatever medium inspires you, don’t forget the importance of consulting experts to help you pick the right medium for your specific content. While one choice or another may inspire you personally, it may not always be the best fit for your subject or story; getting outside perspective can help you make the most effective decision.