Visually Engage Your Prospects With Content Rich Infographics

This is nothing new. You’ve heard it before. A picture is worth a thousand words. When you think about, humans have been communicating with pictures for thousands of years in the form of pictograms on cave walls to Egyptian hieroglyphics to temple carvings. As marketers, we should be using visual information in our business on a regular basis.

People remember pictures better than words, especially over long periods of time. This phenomenon is referred to as the Picture Superiority Effect. Based on research into the Picture Superiority Effect, when we read text along, we are likely to remember only 10% of the information 3 days later. However, if the same information is presented to us as text together with relevant images, we are likely to remember 65% of that information 3 days later.

According to developmental molecular biologist John Medina, visual information is a more effective form of communication for humans. In his book, Brain Rules, he states “Vision is by far our most dominant sense, taking up half of our brain’s resources.” Armed with those facts and figures, as a business owner or marketing executive, you have an opportunity to get out in front of prospects and ahead of your competition by creating engaging visuals to use within your business.

Derived from the phrase information graphics, Infographic was a term used in the production of graphics for newspapers and magazines. Today, infographic has evolved to mean something entirely different. They are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly.

Understanding the importance of infographics as a business tool, I have started to use more of them in my social media posts. A Facebook post with a graphic or video is more likely to be shared that a text post. Create your own or share others that are relevant to your business or target audience.

The good news is that you don’t need to be a graphic designer to create your own static ‘banner’ infographics. I call these static banner infographics to differentiate between the smaller size graphics seen on Facebook and the ‘tall’ longer poster size infographics.

Here are a few ideas to help you develop your own static infographics.

1. Start by deciding what information you wish to convey. Go through your existing company brochures, white papers, articles or blogs. Pull one or two sentences, quotes or comments that are engaging and/or informative. I like to look for things that can also have a visual play on words.

2. Research for relevant royalty free images on stock photography sites such as 123RF.com, istockphotography.com, dreamstime.com or Gettyimages.com. If you plans are to use your infographics on the web only, then you only need to purchase images that are 72dpi.

3. Overlay the text over the image and save as a jpg.

4. For those who are creatively challenged or simply time-strapped like me, outsource your infographics to a freelancer at Fiverr.com, Elance.com or oDesk.com [Recently the latter two companies have merged as one company, but they still operate independently]. You can easily have a series of static infographics produced within a weeks’ time.

5. If you are really adventurous and want to try this on your own, check out Piktochart to get a head start with inforgraphic designs.

Adding infographics as a part of your marketing strategy is easy to execute. Make them interesting, fun, relevant and engaging. Notice which type and style of images are getting the most attention and then do more of them.

5 Crucial Tactics for Infographic Design

Information is power. But for information to be engaging and easy to digest, it is with infographic design you can visualize your data. Infographic design that is done with conceptual soundness, accuracy and easy comprehension, comes out with the visual feel that has the right color coding, graphics, and reference icons; and with the content that is delivered with the right frames, statistics and references; and, of course, one that has all the knowledge with the facts and deductions to it. 5 crucial tactics to a good infographic design:

· Because infographics are usually complex, you can use flow charts that will simplify the process and connect everything precisely for you. You put together a skeleton of words and arrows, and you group relevant data together and that way you visualize the flow of information using flow charts.

· Also, the color scheme of your infographic design is very important in conveying a wide array of messages while keeping the reader confined inside the infographics. You do not want to confuse your readers with huge and complex infographics, so you should have the right colors to tie down their thoughts usually and not have their perceptions scattered all over the place.

· Further, the kinds of graphics in an infographic should have the right theme and reference attributes. Your theme graphic in a visually engaging infographic is the defining visual of the design that will tell your reader at a glance what knowledge you wish to share. Then your reference graphics, though not mandatory, is the design that can bring out your infographics free of clutter especially when you have that much content to be presented. Reference graphics are usually icons used as visual pointers and sometimes words aren’t even necessary if powerful icons are used, that way your infographics can be as word-free as possible which makes your presentation the better.

· Again, it goes without saying that your infographics cannot be better visualized without thorough research and data to have the established facts to back them up. However, your research has to be condensed and you can only use data that is most relevant. Besides you should have your demographics in mind, i.e. who is going to be using your infographics. So depending on the demographics your infographics should reflect the colors, icons, knowledge and complexity that will convey the right message to whomever the demographics.

· The power of knowledge matters and the imparting of that knowledge must be powerful too. So, the play with the right colors and imagery is vital that should relate appropriately to whether your message is about child labor statistics, for instance, a message with infographic design you cannot present in a subtle yet cheery shade of daffodil because sunny yellows are associated with joy and happiness, something that child labor is not.

If you are therefore looking for information to help with your content marketing needs, whether you are mid- to senior-level marketing professionals either at large corporate businesses or working in medium-sized businesses, or you are internal communication professionals, or business owners of some sort, know that you can have your infographics to be as simple and as complicated as you want them to be.

Content Marketers: 3 Reasons to Start Using Infographics in Content Marketing Now

As a content marketer you likely already know that infographics are quickly becoming one of the most utilized forms of content marketing, and for good reason, as 90 percent of information that enters the brain is in visual format. As a participant in the Social Media Marketing MOOC Specialization at Northwestern University and a veteran content marketer with an interest in new trends, I have found two articles that point to the importance of infographics when it comes to getting the attention of readers.

In the article “9 Awesome Reasons to Use Infographics in Your Content Marketing,” Jeff Bullas discusses the importance and growing popularity of infographics as a content marketing tool. In his article and the accompanying infographic that he provides, Jeff points out that infographics are much easy for readers to understand and that 40 percent of people will respond better to visual information than plain text. According to his own research Mr. Bullas found that from the beginning of 2010 to the beginning of 2012 searches for infographics increased by over 800 percent.

In the second article titled “7 Reasons to Use Infographics in Your Content Marketing Strategy,” Kevin Tynan discusses the benefits of providing readers with well-designed infographics. Mr. Tynan points out that infographics help reinforce brand position, attract attention better than traditional content, are easy to share on social network sites, and appeal more to visual learners. He also points out that using infographics is a great way to improve Search Engine Optimization.

After reading these two articles and taking into consideration my own knowledge of content marketing I have come up with three recommended actions content marketers should take in order to utilize the many benefits of using infographics:

Create Relevant Infographics – Make sure your infographics are relevant to the topics you are discussing and contain content that people want to know about.

Make It Simple – The reason infographics are so popular is their easy readability so be sure to keep infographics simple and do not overdo it on the amount of content.

Share Your Infographic – Creating it is simply not enough, in order to benefit from your infographic, and so others can benefit from it as well, be sure to share it extensively with followers on all of your social media networks.

Starting today, you should begin utilizing the power of infographics to attract individuals in your high value market and start providing them with easy access to your knowledge of your industry.