As marketers, perhaps the biggest gift that we’ve been given by the digital era that we’re now living in is one of variety. Marketing is no longer just a banner advertisement, a blog post or an Infographic – collateral can take many different forms, all of which are equally engaging, and any of which can properly serve whatever goal you’re trying to accomplish at the moment when executed properly.
But at the same time, one of the biggest mistakes that far too many people still seem to make involves the idea that these formats exist separately, in their own particular silos. A graph is a graph, a presentation is a presentation and never the two shall meet. The reality of the situation, however, is far different. Different types of collateral can work wonders on their own, yes – but when you bring them together in exactly the right way, they can and should become something more powerful than either one of them could be individually.
It is very possible to bring graphs, presentations, Infographics, videos and other types of collateral together to create a richer, fuller experience for the people you’re trying to reach. You just have to keep a few key things in mind.
Pushing Your Formats to Their Limits
To get a better idea of just how beneficial it can be to bring two or more formats together into one piece of collateral, consider a standard Infographic – the kind you’ve probably seen hundreds (if not thousands) of over the last few years. Static Infographics, on their own, are highly engaging. They’re fun, visual ways to take complex ideas and illustrate data in a way that tells a story and allows that data to come alive in a meaningful way. But when combined with other formats, you also have a unique opportunity to take all of these advantages to the next level.
Take a look at Ferrari’s recent interactive Infographic about the 2015 racing season, for example. You can choose to view it either as a traditional Infographic, or you can let the story of the season literally play out in front of you as you slowly scroll down the page. As the cars move closer to the finish line, you not only get to see how many different awards drivers won and when they happened – you also get a sense of how the season standings continued to change and evolve as we went from March to November of that year. You can click on each individual box to get more information about things like retirements or car problems… or you can just view it the same way you would any traditional Infographic.
The key isn’t just that this has brought a few different concepts together or that it’s interactive – it’s done all of this in a way that the reader has complete control over. You’ve offered them an experience that they can have in a few different ways depending on your preferences. It tells the same story that a static Infographic would have, but it does so in a way that is more compelling and that is also less likely to be forgotten.
This is the type of advantage you get when you bring together multiple types of collateral into a single space. When you use a tool like Visme to create your next presentation, you should make an effort to include videos and graphs as well. When you create that next Infographic, don’t be afraid to include animations that people can access when they hover over each data point – or even links to past presentations you’ve created so that they can dive deeper into a particular topic.
If you were creating an Infographic about all of the products and services you created across your company’s history, consider letting each bullet point on the list link to a video demonstration of that particular product. Things like that don’t just cause us to think differently about what an Infographic can do – it helps to push the medium forward in terms of its own potential, which is good for all of us.
Any opportunity you have to compliment the story you’re telling in a unique way is an opportunity that is, at the very least, worth exploring.
It All Comes Back to That Goal
In the end, nobody is saying that every presentation you create should also be filled with graphs, or that your Infographics should also link to dozens of different short-form, complimentary videos or animations with each new data point. As always, the story you’re trying to tell is all that matters – the techniques you use should be dictated by their ability to help you convey that story, not because they’re hip or cool or trendy. Having said that, you also need to think about the experience you’re trying to create – the experience that is a big part of how you create a competitive advantage for yourself in the marketplace.
If your story can sustain the combination of multiple different formats into one larger experience, and if it’s something that your audience has proven that they will respond to, by all means: you should go for it. When done properly, this is how you do more than just accomplish your goals. This is how you give someone something that they won’t soon be able to forget, much to your benefit.
About the Author: Payman Taei is the founder of Visme, an easy-to-use online tool to create engaging presentations, infographics, and other forms of visual content. He is also the founder of HindSite Interactive, an award-winning Maryland digital agency specializing in website design, user experience and web app development.