Why infographics are effective
What are infographics?
An infographic is a visual representation of information or data - a collection of imagery, charts, and minimal text which provides an easy to grasp presentation of a particular topic. They are a valuable tool for communication, with the more visually stimulating and creative infographics being the most effective. So why should you consider using infographics in your marketing, and how can you plan effective infographics?
What are the key benefits of infographics?
They boost reader engagement
With the average human attention span on the decline, it is becoming increasingly difficult to drive prospective customers towards your content. As a result, presenting content in innovative ways, or reposting existing content in a new format, encourages engagement. A combination of images, icons, illustrations, charts, and text, infographics make for highly engaging content. They are an effective visual storytelling device that is versatile for various types of information.
They simplify complex information
Whether you are attempting to explain the steps of a data-heavy project plan, or presenting a complex concept to a beginner, infographics are useful for a range of applications. Breaking down complicated information into smaller steps, with the help of visuals, makes the information easier to digest, and increases its memorability.
They drive shares
Studies show that effective infographics are shared on social media 3 times more often than any other form of visual content, due to their ability to communicate valuable information in a visually appealing way.
If your audience sees an appealing graphic that aligns with their interests, they will want to share it with others. You should make it easy for your audience to share it and spread the message by enabling social media sharing buttons, and adding a call to action to your posts, accompanied by a link to your site.
They can boost your SEO
Shares on social media and third party websites generate backlinks, which are extremely valuable for SEO as they signify that the content on your website is of value to others, worthy of credit, and considered reliable. This increases your domain authority, meaning that the more backlinks you receive from other, more established websites, the higher you are likely to place in search engine rankings.
What Types of infographic could I use?
These are best for when you require a visual representation of survey results, to present data from many different sources, or simply to support an argument with informative data.
Typically divided into sections with descriptive headings, these are best for the clear communication of a new/specialised concept, or to give an overview of a particular topic.
Example: How Amazon Makes Money infographic
These allow you to visualise the history of a process or subject, highlight important dates, or to give an overview of specific events.
Example: Malcolm Group company timeline
Similarly to how timeline infographics display a linear progression through time, this form is best for providing a summary of steps in a process. Process infographics allow you to simplify and clarify each step, and create a visual interpretation of the path through the steps.
This form of infographic is ideal for the visualisation of location or demographic data. These make use of map charts to convey their information, types of which vary depending on the type of data.
This variant of infographic is typically split evenly across the page, displaying data equally throughout each separated section. Comparison infographics are perfect for when you want to compare different options and allow your viewer to make a choice.
The data presented through this form of infographic is usually organised as a hierarchy from greatest to least. The use of pyramid or flow charts are common ways of presenting information in this type of infographic content.
These are best for the sharing of content such as collections of tips, a list of resources, or a list of examples. A straightforward form of infographic, these are very easy to understand and have the potential to be very eye-catching.
Example: Simple Healthy Lifestyle Tips list
You may sometimes see infographics that merge parts of different types of infographics to provide a fuller picture, such as this example about The Oscar. This type of infographic can be brilliant to use when you have a very complex subject matter to explain, and you want to outline every aspect of the subject in one accessible place.
Checklist for infographic success
Create a visual story
As with many types of content, the proven way of retaining the attention of users is to present your content like a story. This means displaying your data in a format which is straightforward to understand, to help retain reader engagement and compel them to read on.
Focus on eye-catching design and colourways
One of the key draws of an infographic in comparison to other content forms is its focus on design, and the way it presents engaging visual information. If your infographic isn't visually pleasing and professional it will likely be overlooked by most users, websites, and social media platforms. It is also important to use high-quality imagery for this reason. The colours you choose will have a significant impact on how your infographic is received, so consider what colours would be appropriate and relevant to the subject matter.
Simplicity is key
It is important to ensure your infographics aren't covered in text, and allow for plenty of space. The easier it is to read and consume, the more likely it is to grab (and hold) the attention of readers.
Provide references and data sources
When creating an infographic, it is vital that your data is accurate, from a reputable source, and fully transparent. Without reliable sources for your data, it is hard to produce effective infographics trustworthy enough for other websites to recommend. Citing your sources shows that you have done your research, and that you are not taking credit for another organisation's work.
Promote, promote, promote
If you aren’t promoting your infographics, you are missing an opportunity to maximise their value. The internet is flooded with content, and sitting back and waiting for people to interact with your content can lead to lost chances to put your content in front of the people who will engage with it the most. Steps you can undertaken to promote your infographics include:
- Posting to your own website to makes it easier for your content to be shared through the use of sharing buttons and embedded codes;
- Sharing to your own audience on social media and using relevant tags and keywords to bring in new readers;
- Contributing to other sites to help you gain additional exposure at little to no cost. This can be done in conjunction with other sites sharing your niche and offering opportunities for guest blogs or content submissions.
Infographics are a visually stimulating method of displaying information in a digestible way, and can help to simplify complex concepts. A simple Google search will reveal hundreds of infographic generators, but bespoke infographics are vastly more effective at accurately translating the message of the infographic due to the endless design and layout possibilities. It is often not as simple as 'just create an infographic'. It is a process where you should consider whether an infographic is the most beneficial way of presenting your information, how the information should be presented within the infographic, and what pieces of information should be included. Branding is key in any visual output from your brand, and infographics are no exception.