Bring your Data to Life
Data Storytelling for Business
We live in a world with data all around us, but often we can’t connect the dots to find the meaning. Data storytelling blends a compelling story crafted around compelling data to create a human connection. The most successful brands are able to lift numbers from an Excel spreadsheet and bring them to life. People want valuable and useful content that offers insight into solving their problems and helping them better navigate the world. By delivering this type of content, not only does your brand provide a real service to your audience, but your company benefits by extracting insights from your own data.
How to Tell a Story with Data and Analytics
The human brain is far more engaged by storytelling than cold hard facts. So how will you connect with your audience? Below are a few examples of how you can tell stories with the help of statistics.
Infographics can contain an abundance of information, giving you the opportunity to showcase your brand’s expertise. Due to their attractiveness, infographics are more likely to be shared on social networks and become viral than ordinary text content. Also, because they are visually appealing and content rich, infographics are shared by users every day across the Internet.
When creating an infographic, remember that it should tell a story. First, define the purpose of the infographic. What do you want your readers to learn through the graphic? Then, group your statistics together into relevant blocks so that you can plan out how the information will flow. When designing the infographic, pull in your brand colors or hues that will evoke the intended message. For example, an infographic focused on sustainability can use varying shades of green and blue. Use icons that are easy to understand but also add fun and creativity to the piece.
These are infographics that include motion or animation graphic effects and bright, vivid colors to draw the viewer in. An infographic highlighting butterflies native to North America might show the insects flapping their wings.
Or an infographic about the evolution of cellular technology may use a 45 second video complete with on-screen statistics and soft background music to showcase the timeline. These are an ideal choice for sharing on YouTube, Vimeo and your brand’s website. Similar to traditional videos, you want to make sure that the length is concise so that you can hold viewers’ attention while also communicating your key messages.
An animated infographic can also be transformed into one or several animated GIFs that can be posted across different social media platforms.
People often retain information better through a physical activity, so adding interactivity to your infographic makes it even more memorable and effective. An interactive infographic is any web-based content that lets you interact with the data on the screen. You may scroll over, click, highlight, expand, or otherwise manipulate the on-screen data.
To make the most of an interactive infographic, make sure there are multiple places where readers can interact with the piece. Not only will they enjoy uncovering the various elements of the piece, they’ll likely spend more time with the infographic than if it was static. Keep in mind that because they contain more moving parts, interactive infographics may be slower to load on your website. Test the infographic before launching so that users aren’t frustrated by the experience.
If a picture says a thousand words, imagine what a video can do in a minute or less. Cisco forecasts that by 2019, video will make up 80% of all consumer Internet traffic. The beauty of video is that it can take on many different forms. You can feature a short interview with an executive, who shares research findings and the impact that this will have on the industries you serve. Meanwhile, a chalkboard animation video can incorporate voiceover and data to tell a compelling story. A product video can highlight your key specs and performance data while also demonstrating the anticipated benefits the product will provide to its users.
Post videos on your website and social media and share them during webinars and events. By embedding a sharing button, you can encourage viewers to share your video across multiple platforms with very little effort. This will amplify the reach and result in additional views of your content.
A Compelling Story
The ability to tell a story is crucial to appealing to an audience. Data storytelling engages your audience and makes your point more memorable. By blending data and visuals, you’re cementing the information in your audience’s brain. Using visualizations can also help make your complex information easier to understand. Implement these examples into your marketing strategy to give meaning to your endless amounts of data and engage your audience.
Interested in the above data storytelling tactics? Let’s chat about how we can bring your statistics to life.
Christina Alvarez is a Senior Account Supervisor at Mulberry Marketing Communications, an award-winning full-service B2B communications agency based in Chicago, London and Australia. With nearly a decade of communications agency experience, she enjoys securing media relations wins and positioning clients as industry thought leaders.