This article and expertise originally appeared in Business2Community.
Great data storytelling languishing in blogs. A beautiful chart hiding on a designer’s desktop. A great graph shared once in an infographic. These are some of our biggest pet peeves, because a great data visualization should never go to waste. It takes a lot of time and skill to produce beautiful data visualizations, and we think you should get the most mileage out of anything you put that much energy into.
That’s why we encourage you to republish, repurpose, remix, and reuse your data visualizations as much as possible. We know that it’s easy to wrap up a project and move on, but you should really look at all content you create through two lenses:
- How you’ll use it in its first iteration
- How to use it to extend the shelf-life of the content or support other collateral you’re creating
For data visualizations, in particular, there are a lot of things you can do to extend their reach. Here are some of our favorites.
For many people, the whole reason you end up with a slick data visualization is because of an infographic. But if you’re starting with a visualization from, say, your annual report, you may be able to find a new home (and even a new story) in an infographic. Additionally, you may have a series of infographics on similar subjects. As long as it’s relevant, save your designers some work and repurpose the visualizations you have.
Ebooks and whitepapers
No matter what you make, visuals will always enhance it. And when you have a great data visualization, it’s because you have great data (well, we hope). For things like ebooks and whitepapers, data is a great way to tell your story and break up the information with engaging visuals.
Whether it’s a client report, company report, or annual report, a great data visualization makes it a lot easier to “see” the significance of numbers. When you need to communicate or support your argument, data visualization is very useful. (Also, who wouldn’t prefer a well-designed piece in their inbox over a droll spreadsheet?)
Presentations and tradeshows
When you are publicly presenting information, you need it to be visually impactful. Whether you’re trying to engage an audience at a talk or grab the attention of someone passing by your booth at a tradeshow, a beautiful visual always helps. This is especially true for any environment where audio may be ineffective, like on a loud and busy tradeshow floor.
Interactive content is a great way to bring people into a story, to immerse and engage them. If you really want your data visualizations to come to life, interactives can do it. You may decide to incorporate a data visualization into an interactive slideshow or make the actual visualization interactive. There are plenty of options, depending on what you need.
GIFs and animated visualizations
Animated data visualizations differ from interactive infographics because they don’t actually require interaction; they can move on their own. Because they’re visually stimulating and stand out, they are an awesome way to catch someone’s eye in a social feed or spruce up an old blog post.
Motion graphics and videos
If you haven’t noticed, we’re big proponents of motion in all its forms, both in animation and interactivity. Video is a natural extension of that. It may be an animated motion graphic or a live-action video, but both also provide opportunities to infuse your story with data.
Microcontent is a huge part of a divisible content strategy. What is it? It’s basically all the little visual stuff you use to promote things: blog teasers, social content, one-off graphics. Data visualizations make perfect microcontent, especially on social. Say you have an infographic featuring 5 different charts. Extract each chart, post it as a visual Tweet, and you have five different posts promoting a piece of content — each from a different angle. This is one of our favorite ways to both promote and extend the shelf-life of pieces of content.
Gone are the days of the old-school page-long press release. Journalists, publications, and the public want to know the core message as quickly as possible. This is especially true for journalists who are looking for interesting content to cover. A visual press release that features compelling data, along with a beautiful visualization, is much more likely to get you noticed (and published!).
Every organization has different communication needs that vary department by department. There are many types of collateral that can get a nice upgrade with data visualization. Think of the regular collateral you have (or stuff you’d love to have) that could benefit, including sales brochures, employee materials, etc.
Of course, remember that before you can create a great data visualization, you need a great data story.
This article was written by Katy French from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.