Unless you have been living under a rock, you have probably witnessed the infographic craze this past year. An infographic is a visual image such as a chart or diagram that is used to represent complex information or data that can be quickly and easily consumed by an audience. And their use is exploding! In just over 2 years, infographic search volumes have increased by over 800% (Unbounce).
This blog will describe 4 benefits of using infographics, 3 tips for creating infographics, and 3 techniques for promoting your infographic. Of course, no primer on Infographics would be complete without some samples!
4 Benefits of Using Infographics in Your Content Marketing Strategy
Preferences shifting towards visual
Infographics are more eye-catching than printed words—their ability to combine images, color, movement, and content generate a natural attraction of the eye. In a society of increasingly shorter attention spans, “scanning” has become the new “reading”. Infographics cater to this trend by presenting quick facts using both words and images. Furthermore, we tend to remember more information we have seen rather than read, so even long after the consumer has forgotten the text of your website, they will still remember the images of your infographic.
Easier to understand for your audience
As humans we are very visual creatures—our ability to quickly view and interpret visual information is much greater than that of written words. Infographics allow you to relay a complex message in an easy-to-understand way.
Include an embed code and simply watch it spread. This code allows an automatic link from the original site to yours. Before long you will see your content on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. Publishing great content across a variety of platforms allows consumers to interact and connect with your brand. By providing an opportunity to build a relationship, you have invited the consumer to be an active member in your community.
A misconception of infographics is that they do not have SEO value. While it is true that a search engine cannot derive the content of your infographic, your audience can. An infographics can benefit a SEO campaign if it is shared. A major aspect of SEO is building the number of inbound links that direct consumers to your website. Infographics display information in a way that encourages consumers to share it. The majority of those who share on their website/blog will provide a link to the orignal source = link-building!
Tips For Creating an Infographic
Creating your own infographic is becoming even easier these days with the emergence of tools for creating your own infographics. While this is great news for businesses lacking a graphic design department, it has also oversaturated the infographic world with visualizations that provide no value to the audience.
While infographics tend to be more engaging and viral in nature, quality and value to the audience should still be of paramount importance to your creation process. Here are 3 tips for creating an infographic:
The key to creating a successful infographic is to first understand this fact: your infographic is not the first a consumer has seen and it is certainly not the last, but it can be the one they remember. In order to be remembered and not simply one of the 1,275 they have already seen, is to avoid exactly that—being one of the 1,275. There are a lot of infographic template programs out there that allow the user to simply input their information and watch as the program spits out an infographic. While templates might be less expensive and time consuming that creating a custom solution, the results will reflect exactly that. Consumers will not interact or remember your generic template-generated infographic and websites will not share it because it is not unique.
The challenge of creating a great infographic lies in making it visually appealing yet keeping it simple. If there is too much going on and your audience needs to work to understand the image, there is no way they will get the “message”. Infographics open the door to endless opportunities to attract and engage a variety of consumers, but in your attempt to woo and impress them with elaborate graphics, you may in fact have caused them to move on.
Less Text, More Impact
This is where design becomes so important. The design of your inforgraphic should be so creative that the possibility of a consumer ignoring it becomes impossible. It takes a high degree of creativity to design such an effective infographic. Too often the emphasis on the content and message overshadow the actual physical design. The physical design is what will captivate your audience, urging them to read on. Without an incentive to “read on”, the content and message become irrelevant. Overall, it is the combination of these elements that will result in the success or failure of your infographic.
How to Promote Your Infographic
While viral by nature, infographics won’t generate the buzz you desire unless you do a little bit of promotion. The following points can help your infographic garner more backlinks, social attention, and more.
- Embed codes
- “Pin It” button
- Submit to an infographic directories like visual.ly, and this list of free directories
Why Infographics Rule
Consider that in the age of big data and the information overload experienced by audiences, grabbing someone’s attention is an even more competitive and challenging task than ever before. Give yourself a leg up by using visuals, which are processed in the brain MUCH faster than text. Leverage social media for infographic distribution, and watch social sharing soar!
Following are a few examples of infographics MMP has created. Click the thumbnails below to view full size infographics: