Curated Content's Blog

Content marketing articles from our agency

09

Dec 2011

2012: The Year for Visual Content?

Posted by / in Blog, Infographics, Motion Graphics, Video Content / 3 comments

Rather than take a number in the ‘Top Ten trends for 2012’ SEO queue, we thought we’d do something a little different: make one big bold prediction for 2012, and just put it out there. That way if we’re wrong, the blog title for this time next year will read: 2012: The Year for Visual Content? (Nope)

We’re a content company, creating and curating all kinds of content for our clients, so most of our thinking on this comes from our own anecdotal experience of what clients are asking for, and what we think is often the best way to tell their stories: And increasingly, it’s visual.

2011 was the year infographics went mainstream. A little over a year ago, people still thought of infographics as purely instructive visual guides – like an in-flight pamphlet on how to put on a safety vest. Sure they were helpful, and they enabled people to grasp the concept of – say, putting on a safety vest – very quickly without having to read anything, but they suffered from function at the expense of flair. Despite the lack of “excitement”, they did their job well: they enabled people to use visual cues to grasp complicated tasks…so in this time-poor, multi-tasking, multi –platform multi-messaging content-on-steroids environment we now thrive in, it was only a matter of time before we’d begin to use visual content to do the job a lot faster, simpler, effectively and more dynamically than the old forms of content.

As 2011 progressed, we began to see infographics everywhere. They were being used as marketing tools,  for survey results, timelines, branding tools, annual reports, product launches even CVs! We saw them on the TV to help us understand complex problems, we saw them in print and we defitnely saw then all over the internet. And guess what? People loved them. And not only did they love them; they shared them with their friends on social networks and printed them out and put them on their walls.

In 2011, the infographic got street cred.

Another thing we noticed this year that has gone hand-in-hand with the growth of visualizations, is the growing availability of data.  It’s everywhere. Whether it companies getting thousands of insights from their customers via online behaviour or whether it’s a simple weekly metric of user activity from a Facebook Page or even from your own blog, data became accessible to anyone. So with all that data flowing into our clutches demanding to be analysed, we needed to be able to do it simply and effectively. Enter visualizations! Just about everyone who works in an online environment has access to a dashboard of metrics that can be visualized to make it much easier to interpret and see clearly, patterns emerging in the data.  We call this format Data Visualization, and it can be as complex or simple as people want. And once people view data through one of these prisms, they’ll never want to look at a table of data again, which is another reason why we’re expecting impressive growth throughout 2012 in this space.

We also predict Big Things in 2012 for motion graphics also known as video infographics. This is a visualisation format that we get to have a lot of fun with. Think of moving visual frames that are bright and engaging – add some cool music and you’ve got yourself a visual animation that is not only fun to watch, but great for sharing. Gone are the days of embarrassing corporate drone-fest videos that no one watches and that date quickly. Instead we’ll be seeing a lot more motion graphic videos that are far more engaging, cut to the chase and use visuals to tell the story. Oh – and even better, they are a lot more cost effective for clients.

And that’s just touching the surface.

We don’t think for a New York Minute, that the growth of visual content comes at the expense of written content, but what we are seeing increasingly, is the need for a content strategy that incorporates a number of different formats. Some formats do the job better than others, and the trick is knowing which format will best tell the story you want told.

We love visualizing content, so we’re stoked for what lies in store for 2012.  We can’t wait for more and more engaging and clever visualizations to cross our screen – and we’re pretty excited when we think of the ones we’ll be making too! We have a feeling we’ll see infographics start merging with photographic and video imagry and lots more interactive infographics that create unique pieces of content that are easy to press out and fun to share. We’ll also see the emergence of  ’Data Journalism’, whereby journalists become highly skilled in researching and extracting the best data possible to tell the story.  And we’re also willing to bet that a lot more kids will be sending you CVs like you’ve never quite seen before.

Picture this: 2012, the Year of Visual Content!

And our favourite piece of visual content for for 2012? Right here:

Visualizing How a Population Grows to 7 Billion

 

 

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