Animated Infographics for Content Marketing: The What and the Why

Christy Walters

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March 7, 2018 (Updated: November 14, 2023)

An infographic gives readers an attractive visual format that’s easy to read at a glance. Infographics can breathe life into complex info and data by transforming it all into a colorful and highly engaging way. The fact is, we process and retain far more information visually compared to reading lists of numbers or stacks of information. So, a little visual appeal goes a long way.

But as the information superhighway becomes more jammed with traffic, basic infographics may not be enough to compete for your audience’s attention. When static infographics struggle to stand out from the millions of images fighting for attention, it’s time to level up your content marketing game. This is where animated infographics can be a valuable asset. The human eye immediately responds to motion — videos, clips, gifs. Take your data, jazz it up with images, and animate the infographic for maximum impact. This guide will show you how.

Jump ahead:

The Advantages of Animated Infographics

Animated infographics are an economic alternative to adding video content. They don’t require a massive production budget, lights, cameras, and a studio to produce the action. Enlist the aid of a graphic designer to turn your facts and figures into flights of fancy or choose from several available programs to design your own animated infographic. In case you’re not completely sold yet, here are more reasons why animated infographics are beneficial in content marketing:

File Size Makes Them Easy To Work With

Videos are no doubt effective, but large files make it challenging to upload and host on-site, especially if you have data storage limitations. An advantage of animated infographics over video is the file size. You can post them directly to your own website without using YouTube or another middle-media site. Plus, you’ll save precious media file space on your personal platform.

Easy-To-Read Format Keeps Readers Engaged

Another thing to consider is the complexity of your data and the ability to break it down into visual form. Charts, graphs, and process infographics are great for representing basic ideas. On the other side, complex ideas and large amounts of data may need some motion to capture and hold a reader’s attention. A single animated infographic could contain a few or many moving parts, with each one representing a different portion of the information you’re sharing with your audience.

A great example of a successful animated infographic is the Cheetah infographic by Jacob O’Neal. A simple textbook sketch of a cheetah springs to life in the animated page, allowing us to gaze at the graceful design of nature’s speed machine.  Another section of the graphic features a speedometer twitching along with the 0-60 speed of exotic sports cars. The Ferrari Enzo loses to the cheetah by a neck. A wealth of zoological data is cleverly presented in several animated sections, each with a life of its own.

Gives Your SEO a Boost

If readers are more engaged in your content, they will share it. The more shares, the more audiences you reach, which means a major boost in site traffic. Static infographics already enjoy a big boost in views, shares, and re-shares due to their visual elements. The human brain automatically discards most of the massive amount of data we are exposed to constantly. Visual presentations grab our attention, and moving visual presentations like video and animated infographics in content marketing kick it up a notch.

The marketing magic created by infographics is a current trend, and animated infographics are the future. Hubspot crunches the marketing numbers and presents all the facts and figures to illustrate how visual content marketing boosts your SEO in measurable ways. And the data is perfectly illustrated with infographics. Combined with fresh content, your animated infographic will add both entertainment value to your presentation, fun to your facts, and all-important SEO juice for your site.

Read more about digital media and its advantages in a content strategy.

Making Your Infographics Animated

Maybe you‘re already familiar with static infographics and even have a nice collection of your own. If you do, don’t worry; you don’t have to trash your infographics and start over. You can start by recycling your best infographics and animating them. Take your existing brilliant idea and spice it up by adding some moving parts. Updating your existing content keeps it fresh and makes it more relevant. An animated infographic uses a variety of means to achieve the motion, but animated gifs are the most common way to move it.

Using a GIF

Everyone is familiar with those cute little animated gifs flooding your favorite social media channels. They are so effective because they grab your attention, make you smile, and beg you to share them with everyone. Those looped images form a simple animated gif. To add motion to your infographic you will be animating sections of your infographic with a single or a series of animated gifs.

Adding Animated Elements

First, look at your existing infographic to see which elements can be animated. In the case of a cheetah or a page of butterflies, legs beg to run, and wings want to flap. Even without animals to animate, you can still take your static data to a new level by animating key components. Make a number from a chart zoom from zero to 10,000 or rocket a red line through the roof of the chart.

Starting From Scratch

If you are starting from scratch with a new idea and a new data set, you will need to spend some quality time in the planning stage, just as with a static infographic. Choose the best type of infographic to best convey your data in an entertaining way. The best type of materials suitable for animation are tutorials, explainers, and process overviews.

Shake it up with different types of content to boost engagement with your audience

Examples of Animated Infographics in Content Marketing

Take a look at these examples to get your team’s creativity flowing:

Eleanor Lutz’s Butterfly Chart

Eleanor Lutz designed a fantastic chart of 42 Butterflies of North America. The animated chart includes zoological data of each colorful butterfly, a shaded map of indigenous regions, and a symphony of flapping wings. No two butterflies in the chart flap their wings in the same tempo, which means they were animated one at a time. Lutz also provides an animated infographic on how she made the chart in Photoshop. She also designed a great animated process infographic illustrating the stages of human development from fertilization to birth, titled “How To Build a Human.”

Species in Pieces by Bryan James

The next phase in visual marketing is interactive animated infographics. Animated infographics are a collection of animated pieces functioning inside of an infographic, while interactive infographics let the viewer steer the action. The “Species in Pieces” infographic by Bryan James is moving in more ways than one. The plight of 30 endangered species comes to life with animated shapes forming each animal as you click to the next on the list. Look for the sound icon on the left to either “Beautify With Sound” or “Get That Racket Off.”

Bond: License To Drive

Another great interactive infographic invites fans of 007 and classic cars to scroll through the years to view all of the super spy’s super rides in “Bond: License To Drive.” Thrilling illustrations drive you to scroll through the automotive history of the Bond franchise, from Aston Martin and Bentley to Lotus and BMW. Aston Martins make up the bulk of the canon. Wait. In the early 70s, is that an AMC Hornet?

Take some time to look at the best infographics the web has to offer for inspiration, ideas, or even examples of what not to do.

Use the Content Marketing Pyramid To Diversify Content and Engage Your Audience

Programs To Make Your Own Animated Infographics

There are several online programs available for you to try your hand at making animated infographics. Most offer free and paid versions, and most offer templates to edit or options to build your own video from scratch:

Biteable

Biteable offers a free cloud-based software solution for those looking to jump right into the animation game feet first. Sign up for a free account and immediately start to set your ideas in motion. Pick an existing template which best expresses your idea and begin the editing process. The fastest way to edit a template is to add your own text to the existing video template. Once finished, click “preview” to see the results. More complicated videos with many cut scenes take several minutes to process.

You can also design your own video from scratch with Biteable. Once you have saved your video, you have the option to share the free watermarked video publicly for free. Removing the watermark or downloading your content requires a premium subscription.

Animaker

Animaker is another great tool for creating your own animated infographics. Sign up for a free account and gain immediate access to a wide variety of tools and templates. Open up a template to explore and create your scene, timeline, library, and workspace. Once your template is open in the Animaker workspace, you can add or delete scenes, objects, and elements from any part of the infographic to make it your own.  A good place to start is to click the musical note icon on the bottom of the screen, double click the default track, and delete that noise.

Once you have stripped the basic templates of their bells and whistles, you can start to personalize the design. You can also start with a blank canvas on which to create your own animated infographic from scratch. Select background colors, add or upload images and more. Click characters to select males, females, animals, and others to drag and drop them into your scene. The elements in the Animaker library of objects, music, and sound effects are each labeled for free or premium use.

Visme

Visme is a great online tool for making infographics and animating them as well. Create a free account to begin exploring the vast library of objects, colors, themes, and templates available for immediate use. Design your own from scratch or get a quick leg up with one of Visme’s customizable templates. Create up to three projects totaling 100 MB of storage and download them as a .jpg or .png file for free. To access the full scope of available tools, choose a standard subscription or a complete subscription.

Try your creative hand at one of the many tools available to turn your cold hard facts into hot new ways to communicate. If the task seems too daunting, most of the graphics software companies mentioned above offer creative team services for professional business marketing.

Read more about creating infographics for your content marketing strategy.

The Final Cut

Whether you choose to make your own animated infographics or prefer to hire competent, experienced professionals, you can rest assured that your marketing and site traffic will benefit from following the latest tech trends in the graphic content marketing industry. But don’t rely on images alone. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but using the right combination of words and images is worth much more.

It’s also important to remember to optimize your infographics for SEO. Since they are technically just groups of images, search engines can’t “read” them and rank them as easily as plain text. Fortunately, there is a lot of information on the internet to help with these tasks. If you are web design savvy, this can be as simple as remembering to use alt text and matching your infographic file name to the keywords in the infographic itself.  A file name like Acme-Annual-Report-infographic.png will squeeze more Google juice than the generic image00001.png.

Once you have your infographic ready, write a few hundred supporting words to accompany your graphic piece. Combined with the drawing power of animated graphics and a good turn of the keyword phrase, your content may get shared enough to go viral. And in the digital age of ever-changing Google algorithms and thousands of competitors, a graphic edge will help you make the final cut.

Author Image - Christy Walters
Christy Walters

CopyPress writer

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