Images have always played an important role in the presentation of ideas. Signs or maps are perfect examples of quickly and clearly explaining complex information visually. Now as traditional written content and internet marketing collide, you should be presenting your content visually too. You should design infographics.
“The world is complex, dynamic, multidimensional; the paper is static, flat. How are we to represent the rich visual world of experience and measurement on mere flatland?”
Edward Tufte, Envisioning Information, 1990
An infographic is simply a more appealing, more persuasive way to present data or knowledge than pages of text. But that doesn’t mean you are “dumbing it down.” Probably the best infographic example of all-time is Charles Minard’s chart that tells the story of Napolean’s failed assault on Russia.
You’ve seen infographics in almost every type of publication – magazines, books, newspapers, blogs, social media, and research reports. They come in many formats – charts, diagrams, graphs, hand-drawn illustrations, and even cartoons. Now many infographics incorporate multiple graphical elements with eye-catching fonts into a single image.
Here are six reasons why you should design infographics and rescue your content from the vast sea of text-only blah, blah, blah:
1. Produce Great Content
Great content is the core of every marketing campaign. Your content must deliver your information and knowledge in a way that satisfies your audience’s needs. An infographic does just that. It informs. It tells a story. It delivers meaning by both capturing and simplifying experiences and theories worth more than a thousand words.
Any image is suitable as long as it effectively conveys your ideas and meaning in a way that is relevant to your audience. You can design your infographic to be a standalone presentation that covers an entire subject. Or create a graphic to supplement your text content.
The amount of information conveyed in your visual and the style you use should vary depending on its purpose. Who is the intended audience of this piece? What specific frame or idea angle do you want to emphasize? How much abstraction and simplification is necessary for data to make sense?
2. Grab Attention
Marketers have always been taught to use eye-catching photography and imagery. Why? People like things that attract their eyes. Infographics are the perfect combination of attention-grabbing elements like color, unique imagery, bold fonts, and artistic embellishments with amazing content.
It takes only a split second to look at an image. Versus much more time to even read a summary or short paragraph. You now have stopping power that brings your audience in and the easily consumed content that makes them stay.
3. Easy to Share = More Traffic
We all want to generate more traffic. Infographics can be an ideal source of traffic for one simple reason. They are incredibly easy to share.
The same thing that makes infographics fast and appealing to grab your audience’s attention is what makes them equally as fast and appealing to share. People want to share stimulating content that looks good, makes others notice them, and be viewed positively.
Then you just need the distribution network. Bingo! Enter social media. Facebook’s new timeline layout heavily emphasizes images. All it takes is a click to “like” your graphic. Pinterest is booming and solely focuses on sharing images and video. With very little promotion, your images can go viral and your traffic from infographic sharing can explode.
4. Boost Your Authority
An infographic is the best way to emphasize a fact, to present your research, or to simply prove a point. As a visual representation of information, they are often considered to be unique and trusted. You gain instant authority.
Even if you are highlighting a well-known topic or are repeating existing facts, the perception is that you are presenting something new and compelling. Of course, if you are presenting your own primary research, then there is no better way to gain agreement with your results and analysis.
5. Drive action
The information you present can be very powerful. An infographic can trigger an emotional response because it is compelling visually. Your audience is engaged. So now is the time to motivate them to act.
Most of your infographic displays your evidence. This evidence is likely presented in a flow or draws some specific conclusions. At the end of this flow, you can add a call to action as a part of the image. Your conversion rates should be excellent.
6. Stand out from the Crowd
Infographics are the hot marketing trend right now for all the reasons I’ve just mentioned. However, there is a perceived barrier to entry. They can look daunting to create. As a result, it is likely that your competition still hasn’t gotten on the bandwagon… not yet anyway.
Good news! You can find many graphic designers who can be hired to create your infographic. Better yet, more automated tools are becoming available to easily produce your own.
For example, visual.ly provides some fantastic infographic templates. Just plug in some basic information and they’ll produce a custom image for you in less than a minute. It can’t be any easier than that.
Infographics are more popular than ever. So consider designing one for the centerpiece to your next integrated marketing campaign. Or make graphics a regular part of your content marketing strategy. They are a terrific way of making information attractive, accessible and, most important, effective.
Share the best infographic you’ve seen by commenting below.