Each spring, companies across the United Kingdom prepare for fiscal year-end. This is an important time, as it’s an opportunity to reflect on the financial performance of the past year and communicate this information to key stakeholders.
It can be difficult to keep these people engaged, especially when you are dealing with data-heavy reports. This is why it’s essential to create a detailed communications plan that summarises the right data in an easy to understand format.
Video, especially, animated video, is often the best way to achieve this. Below takes a closer look at why this is the case and how you can get started.
Why a strong communication plan is needed
We’re living through a time where well-thought-out digital communication has never been more important. It helps maintain confidence and keep a connection with audiences in an effective way. This should be no different when you are delivering the results of an annual report.
We often talk about how video is the number one preferred form of communication. Whether it be generic ads or internal communications, people simply respond better to video. It also captures attention more quickly than text, delivers the message faster and can keep people engaged for longer.
Here are a few interesting statistics from Vimeo to support this:
– A single minute of video is worth about 1.8 million words.
– Humans can retain 95% of a video message, but only 10% when reading it in text
– This year, 80% of all internet traffic will be video.
This is not just for external members of the public either, video is becoming a critical information source for senior executives as well.
According to a study by Forbes, more than 80% of executives said they watch more online video today than they did the year before and 75% of executives said that they watch work-related videos (at least) weekly.
Let’s take an example to put this into perspective. Imagine your report is 30+ pages long, full of complex and in-depth findings that your company spent time and resources preparing.
If the key information is at least 10 pages in, you will likely lose the engagement of the reader after a short time or they may skip past the first few pages to focus only on the information they want. This means that you either don’t get your key message across, or your hard work goes unnoticed and undervalued.
The impact & benefits of animated video
Setting the engagement benefits aside, animated branded content can open up many opportunities for companies looking to boost the awareness of their reports. Summarising key financial findings into a short video allows you to:
– Share the report more easily, meaning it can be distributed quickly and seamlessly to people around the world. This can include social media, where annual reports aren’t usually hosted but provide a great opportunity for visibility.
– Summarise different snippets of information, including an executive summary with top-level, need-to-know information for social media or a more detailed video for company executives.
– Improve your professionalism, as many people know that animated video is an investment.
– Boost your brand awareness, as more people will automatically become interested in the report when presented in an animated format
You could take this one step further and choose to do a mix of live-action and animation to showcase the company’s CEO or other top-level executives interacting with animated statistics.
Using this method, the company no longer becomes faceless. It injects personality and shows that the company’s top players are aware and involved in the current state of the company.
The CIPS | Hays Annual Salary Guide
Let’s take a look at an example of a video we created for the Charted Institue of Procurement and Supply. For two consecutive years, we developed a bright, impactful film to communicate their annual salary report in the most effective way.
In 2019, we developed a style that relied on strong lines, distinctive typography, bold colour and resolute animation. By developing a 3D animation with a 2D aesthetic, we made the viewer see the information from a different perspective.
The following year and in response to the growing importance of technology, we created a film that conveyed the high-tech, digital nature of the changing industry.
Both animated annual report videos were initially created for the UK market, but have since been updated for use in other territories.
When does the financial year-end & how to prepare
This year, the end of the financial calendar year for the United Kingdom is in April. In order to be fully ready for this date, you want to start preparing your communications plan early. It’s important to remember that a well-tailored video can take some time to complete, especially if you develop a series of them for different audiences.
Even though you can’t fill in the details of your report, you can always start on the creative process about how you want your film to look, the tone of voice, and length.
This way you can simply focus on the script when the numbers do come in and you’ll be able to turn the video around very quickly. You can easily do this with the help of a branded content agency, like Content Creatures.
We are passionate about helping businesses create strong branded content to support their digital marketing and communications campaigns.
If you are interested in learning more about how we can help you achieve this through an animated video, we’d love to hear from you.