Why and How are Infographics Useful?
Did you know that daily, 1.5 billion pieces of content are created? That is a lot of content to consume. That doesn’t include the 140 million Tweets, untold numbers of Facebook posts, and everything else that we read on the Internet.
Many people are becoming overwhelmed with the amount of written content that they see. They try to collate it and organise it in a way that makes sense. They might bookmark it, save it to Pocket, add to it one of their many Pinterest boards, or make notes in their bullet journal.
They then promptly forget about it when the next lengthy piece of content comes along.
If you are a business owner who relies on digital marketing, the fear is that the next piece of content that you upload and put out there is simply lost in the crowd. Creating content is not an easy task and when you’ve got there, it is never a great experience to feel that your efforts have been wasted. This is where a well-designed Infographic can be handy. It is visual; it grabs people’s attention in a sea of text, and most importantly, is easy to digest.
Let’s take a look at what an Infographic is and why you should be using them in your content marketing strategy.
What is an infographic?
An infographic is a medium where complex data and information can be shared in a visual format. Instead of large chunks of writing where the critical information is often lost, it is presented in graphics and bitesize nuggets. You can see some excellent examples of Infographics by clicking here.
Using infographics can engage the other part of your customer’s brain. Whereas one part of the brain will focus on the text and interpret it, the creative side will be drawn to what is presented by an infographic. The visual representation of your information will be much better received than line after line of text.
None of this is to say that written content is not effective. Indeed, written content is vital in terms of informing and in terms of SEO. Alongside this, there are also images to consider and what these can add to your readers’ experience. Infographics are not a replacement for either of these things: instead, they exist to complement the other elements that you are already producing.
What are the benefits of using an infographic in your content marketing strategy?
THEY ARE VISUALLY COMPELLING AND ATTRACTIVE
People love facts, figures, and statistics. Throw in some colours and graphics, and you have some exceptionally compelling content. The reason behind this is that, as humans, we are visual creatures. Like it or not when it comes to selecting a partner, the first thing that we notice is their looks. Yes, we may later be attracted to their personality and their inner good, but it is the external attraction that first grabs our attention.
If we are purely giving people reams and reams of text to wade through then we are not appealing to their optic nerve. We are failing in our attempts to capture their attention and draw them in to see exactly what we have to say. If we are failing, we can be sure that someone else is succeeding and snapping our lost audiences.
Infographics provider the perfect combination of text and graphics. They appeal to both sides of the human brain. While they grab attention through images, they also provide snippets of text, facts, and figures that the human brain also craves. Text and images alone are effective yet somehow imperfect. Merging them in the form of infographics can bring some outstanding results.
THEY ARE EASY TO READ QUICKLY
Many people don’t have the time to read chapter and verse on a topic, especially when it can be condensed into something that can be scanned and understood in just a few seconds. That is perhaps the true power of infographics. They are not about oversimplifying a topic. More, they are about extracting and presenting the information that is vital to understand one.
In some ways, an infographic could be compared to step by step instructions for assembling flat-pack furniture. Can you imagine your heart dropping as you open up the instructions only to see line after line, paragraph after paragraph, and page after page of text? Detailed text telling you exactly which screw to use and precisely where to place it may appeal to someone with knowledge already, but to an amateur, it would be useless. Combining snippets of text with images makes the process so much easier to understand.
THEY ARE EASY TO SHARE
Every content creator dreams of going viral, and your chances are upped with an infographic due to the ease with which they can be shared across social media. It is not just the ease of sharing though: it is more to do with the want to share. The likes of Twitter has long told its users that just tweeting text is not a great idea. Text combined with images garners more interaction. The same is true of our content marketing efforts.
By all means, try sharing a link to a blog post full of text. Try this with a simple line asking people to go and read your text and include no images, anywhere. You can be sure that you will have next to no clicks and certainly no engagement. When people see an image, they are more likely to interact with the content and, more importantly in terms of going viral, they are far more likely to share it.
The visual side of infographics makes them highly attractive. People don’t end up sharing because they think maybe they should. They actually want to share content that is visually appealing.
THEY CAN BE EMBEDDED AND ARE PORTABLE
An infographic designer will have created an embed code for it, making it easy to put onto websites and providing a link back to your website – vital link juice right there! This is perhaps one of the greatest features of an infographic as far as digital marketers are concerned. As long as your infographic is visually appealing and relates to a popular topic, people are going to want to share it. The embed code means that they can do this in an instant by pasting the code into their own sites to blogs. The code, of course, is what contains the information linking back to your site.
The way that infographics are created also make them appealing to those where English isn’t their first language. As they have a visual element and only the key text to understand, you will find that your infographics travel far and wide, opening up your content to a new audience who perhaps would have struggled to interpret a wall of text.
GREAT FOR SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION
As we have already looked at, infographics can go viral very easily. The attractive nature of them means that people are more likely to share these than they are a traditional blog post. When that fact is combined with the point above where we looked at embed codes, it becomes obvious that infographics can give you a healthy boost in Google’s rankings.
When your infographic is shared you are generating an abundance of inbound links. The more that you generate the better your site appears in the eyes of Google. To increase the effectiveness of this, trying optimising your titles with keywords. If you do this, when people carry out a Google search there is a great chance that your content will appear. It may even appear in the image results which can bring you even more exposure.
We all push or tweak our marketing efforts in the hope of being rewarded by Google. We tweak content with keywords and we make our words as useful as possible. Why? We know that people rarely look past page 2 of the search results. If infographics can play an integral part in boosting your visibility and maybe even getting you onto page one, that alone is reason enough to embrace them.
CREATES BRAND AWARENESS
Make sure your infographic is in your brand colours and that your logo is displayed somewhere. This makes it a powerful vehicle for your brand and drives awareness of who you are and what you do.
Ideally, you should be looking at ways of incorporating your contact information. Things such as your website and email addresses should be obvious so that people can clearly see a way of reaching you. Remember, you may be publishing your infographic on your own site, but if you get this right it is then going to appear in many other places. Make sure people can track the great content back to you and your brand.
The thing is, with an infographic you are being one of the fun teachers that we have fond memories of at school. The boring ones would stand there and lecture us and expect us to learn. This is more akin to a blog post with no images whatsoever. The fun teachers didn’t lecture. They injected the element of fun into the learning and they also showed us rather than just told us. This is just what infographics do. Your brand becomes the fun teacher and people want to get to know you!
CREATES A SENSE OF AUTHORITY
People don’t always appreciate the research that goes into written content. It can be thousands of words long and contain information that has taken an age to extract. Put it in front of a reader and the response is often mediocre at best. People react differently to infographics. They see graphs, they see charts, they see facts and figures and their brains just go into a ‘wow’ moment. The way that the information is present forces the audience to respect the work that has gone into producing it.
When your audience respects the knowledge that you are sharing you become an authority figure. Only an expert in their field can produce the necessary information that appears in an infographic. This gives you newfound credibility online and drives traffic your way.
GO BEYOND DIGITAL
We all need our content to be found and the obvious way of making this happen is to focus online. After all, our online presence is easy to analyse, easy to track, and easy to target. However, it becomes too easy to forget that marketing exists beyond the internet. Certain hard copy publications still have substantial readerships and your business can still benefit from these.
A high-quality infographic can exist offline. Yes, it may well be created as part of your online marketing campaign but get the following behind it, see it go viral, be seen as the authority figure, and then see what can follow. Companies that have published successful and effective infographics have gone on to have further success when they have been approached by offline publications that want to feature their information. This opens up the potential to tap into an audience that you may not have otherwise reached.
THE FINAL TAKEAWAY
Infographics should be a major part of your online marketing strategy. By creating content in this format you are open the doors to a whole new audience. Not only this but you are also positioning yourself as an expert and gaining the credibility that you deserve.
There will always be written content and there will always be stand-alone images. Both of these have their place in content marketing, but they both also have their failings. If your embrace infographics, you are getting the best of both worlds and creating content that will resonate with those that matter – your target audience.
The biggest challenge with an infographic is creating it. While there is software out there to help you make your infographic, it is also a great idea to choose a professional infographic creator to make sure you tick all the boxes and get it right. After all, in 2021 and beyond, it should be a significant part of your content marketing strategy.