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.

Four Ways to Make Your Infographic Amazing

These days infographics are everywhere. And if you’re not using them you’re missing out on the publicity they generate through social media traffic, news and blogging sites. The world is hungry for visually interesting content that teaches something new and important. Make sure you’re the one filling the gap!

Here are four ways to make sure the infographic you’re creating is amazing.

1. Get your facts right

A really great infographic is simple to understand but has depth behind it. And by depth I mean some research, some statistics, some facts that have been carefully checked and can be proven if requested. Sure, infographics are there to simplify complicated data and subjects, and rightly so. But there should still be a decent amount of research and data behind those simplified findings. Otherwise, it may come across as a bit phony and that’s the last thing you want your reader to think.

If you’re going to make your infographic really pop, you absolutely must get some raw data in there. 3 out of 4 people… 1 in 7 cats… There were 2.9 million disasters… $19.9 trillion of tax payers money… you get the idea. If you don’t get these facts in it’s going to be a bit of an uphill struggle creating original, stand out graphics to go with the copy. And at the end of the day – it is about the graphics! Without the graphics it’s not and infographic. And without the information, frankly you might as well just copy and paste some clip art from Microsoft office.

2. Get a headline that really makes you want to read more

When thinking about the copy behind your infographic think about a really eye-catching headline, something newsworthy, something that will hit your reader between the eyes. If you’re putting this infographic on Twitter or similar social media sites, you’ve got just a couple of seconds to grab their attention. Anything longer and sorry, your reader is already onto the next tweet or update. Don’t waste a word!

3. One message at a time please

Message? What exactly is your message? Make sure you’re only trying to get one main point across with each infographic, otherwise it will just end up a jumble of facts and figures. Have one main point, then hit that point home with two, three or four really great facts.

4. Blah blah blah overly long copy is boring

Do make sure your copy is cut down to the bare bones. Normally your sentences will begin a little word heavy which is nothing to be worried about. Just cut and delete anything that is not absolutely essential to the message.

So here’s a summary of my four tips for getting the best out of your infographic:

  • Get your facts straight. If you’re seriously trying to make a splash in the news, don’t get caught red-faced with your facts wrong. It could end up doing more damage than good.
  • Don’t forget the headline. If you’re going to re-write anything, let it be the headline. Seriously, folks, if the headline doesn’t ‘pop’ then neither will the infographic
  • Stick to one idea. If you’ve got more than one message you want to get across, it would be better to create a separate infographic for each one.
  • Cut down the word count. Please, please, please sacrifice your long copy. I promise you, when it comes to social media, peoples attention spans are shorter than a midget doing a limbo dance.

Finally, after all that preparation, if you’re looking for a graphic designer to do your infographics then you’ll want to find someone experienced who knows what they’re talking about.

Infographics – The Good, The Bad, The New Perspective

We all prefer graphical representations to long textual facts and figures. The reason being that they are more interesting and give a consolidated glimpse of the data which can be compared easily. Even statistics have proven that 40% of the audience respond better to visual representations in comparison to text based information. This may be attributed to the fact that the human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Infographics are being shared over social media and are getting good responses from the users. While many may believe that the use of infographics is fairly new, it is safe to say that similar representations have been in existence since ages. However the problem with infographics is that the more they are used, the more chances exist for them to become so common that they may lose popularity with the masses and eventually resulting in weakened marketing efforts. The only way to ensure effective use of infographics is to constantly innovate and understand the finer nuances associated with visual representation of complex or lengthy data.

The Good:

  • The most alluring aspect of infographics is the visual appeal and simplicity of presentation. While becoming overly creative may seem to be a good strategic approach, most users prefer simple presentations that have clarity and can easily be understood for comparison.
  • Considering the benefits of infographics in online marketing, it aids the SEO functions by earning incoming links in accordance with subsequent increase in traction.
  • Being a visual representation, the inclusion of the brand’s logo would go a long way in promoting and sustaining market position for the business. However this requires proper placement of the logo within the acceptable confines of premium positioning in the infographic.
  • Another benefit pertains to the portrayal of one’s expertise which is achieved by making an effective comparison of internal data with data from the applicable industry, thereby providing a comprehensive portrayal of well researched data.

The Bad:

  • Infographics that are used solely for the purpose of increasing “linkbaits” have often resulted in poorly executed efforts. It is due to such poorly executed content that infographics having immense potential are not given due consideration.
  • In keeping with the amount of research required and the manner in which it is presented to the customers, infographics may be an expensive undertaking for small businesses. The costs incurred are high only when extremely striking infographics are to be made. Simple representations can be made at lower costs.
  • It is not uncommon for unrealistic expectations to be kept from infographics wherein the purpose tends to become focused on making the content viral rather than emphasizing on proper content creation with backed up facts and statistics to prove its worth. It is this expectation which at times has been known to cause more harm than good.
  • While it is feasible to outsource data for statistical representation, its use may not reflect the actual points of concern for the customers. In order to manage this, it is better to conduct research by identifying key points that have direct impact on the business as well as the consumers.

The New Perspective:

Simplicity shall always hold priority for creating impressive infographics. Proof of this may be seen in the infographic created by Dell which utilized a yes / no based flowchart for captivating the interests of programmers who are familiar with this type of representation. This helped the company to connect with its audience and potential customers. Current trends in infographics indicate the those with longer layouts with vertical flow of data would be successful in retaining their effectiveness in communicating the information to the audience. While the best practices for infographics may have possible differing aspects, the need for incorporating innovative methods to captivate audiences has gained paramount significance especially in light of the widespread use of infographics which poses the risk of obsoletion.

The infographic designs that are presented currently mainly comprise of static graphical representation of data that is provided in interesting ways to the audience. However, there is a dire need for improving the presentation methods for achieving the next level of infographics. One such possible approach would be to use Parallax Scrolling which is the key transition for conventional designs to be presented as interactive web pages. The reason behind its potential effectiveness lies in the fact that the images in the foreground move either slowly or independently in comparison to the images in the background. This results in an interactive experience for the user wherein the content needs to be scrolled or moved in order to see further information.

Some of the benefits of using this relatively new approach include enhanced interaction, better user retention, faster captivating rates, and increased sharing of content. This is really crucial in driving more traffic to the intended web pages. Another benefit of using parallax scrolling pertains to the fact that the text can be made to crawl. This facility enables infographics to be positioned at the bottom of the layout and transcribing it accordingly. Additionally, internal links from the content itself may be provided which is practically better than transcribing the same.

From the marketing perspective, parallax scrolling enables infographic to be re-purposed easily. This results in the infographic being submitted to dedicated directories, online document sharing platforms and creation of micro-blogs, There is even the possibility of these infographics being turned into video presentations if the content and its purpose permits it. The question about parallax scrolling becoming the infographic template of the future still remains unanswered but possibilities are constrained only by the limits of one’s creativity.