What Is an Infographic and How Useful Is It?

Infographics are very popular today and are widely used as a marketing tool. Businesses are utilizing this as a way to effectively communicate their complex message in visual and easy to understand manner.

Statistics show that in only two years’ time from 2011-2013, the volume of infographic search via Google have gone up by more than 800 percent.

What is an Infographic?

An infographic refers to a combination of information and graphics featuring charts, diagrams, photos and stylized text. It is an effective way of creating a story in a more interesting and eye-appealing manner.

It has been said that moderns humans are more visual in that they prefer to view images rather than read long text. Experts confirm that people are often attracted to photos first before they read through the text on a site they visit. It is because the visuals are processed by the brain 60,000 times faster than text.

Businesses and publishers using infographics are reaping the benefits today. Primarily, they are able to grow their web traffic at an average of 12 percent compared to those who don’t use the infographic.

Tips in Making an Infographic

Making an infographic requires creativity and planning. It’s more than just putting text on an image.

Firstly, you need to come up with an objective and pick a topic. Determine what you want to achieve with your infographic and focus on that. Your goals will help you create a story that will engage your followers.

Next, gather as much data as you can on the topic you have chosen. Numbers and text will be most useful.

From there, you can proceed with sketching your idea to determine how you’d like your information to flow. Choose colors that are pleasing to the eyes but avoid the very bright ones and those that will beautifully blend together.

In creating an infographic, you have two options – hire a graphic designer or do it yourself. The first option is for busy business people who don’t have the time to plan and build their own infographic. With a professional to work with, you can just provide all the data you want included and wait for the initial drafts from the graphic designer.

If you’re the creative and hands-on type of person, however, you can opt for the do-it-yourself route. Even with little or no background on graphic design, you can still create the infographic that you want using some free tools including the drag and drop types available online. Most apps allow users to create their infographic for free but requires a small fee for downloading the finished product.

Once you’re done building your infographic, do share it on your social networking sites and if possible, create a smaller image if you want to display a specific section for easy viewing.

Why B2B Companies Are Jumping on Infographics Bandwagon

B2B companies are helping to make infographics the fastest-growing content type on the web. According to a recent survey of the B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn, more than 50 percent of respondents find infographics to be an effective content marketing tactic. There are plenty of good reasons why:

Infographics tell a story. Prospective customers may be interested in hearing about how your company got started. Maybe you’ve got a compelling “Then and Now” story to tell. Through a combination of graphics, data and text, an infographic can tell your story in a concise and engaging manner. It also helps to build brand awareness and position you as a thought leader in your field.

They can explain a complex process simply. Say you’re a service provider in the B2B world. You have a process that clients sometimes find difficult to grasp-a proprietary service delivery or client onboarding process. Whatever the situation, using an infographic to visually depict the process is much more enticing than bombarding clients with a page full of explanatory text (which they probably won’t read anyway).

They showcase vital statistics. You can risk boring your clients with charts, spreadsheets or PPTs filled with written statistics-or you can design an infographic explaining the same thing in a more attractive, user-friendly manner. The best of these infographics combine a series of statistics to create a clearer, more concise argument or conclusion.

If you’re ready to join the infographics bandwagon, keep these tips in mind:

Provide both text and graphics. Your goal is to describe your product or service using both words and graphics. Together, they make for a more visually compelling and informative story.

Make them “viral-friendly.” Infographics are often enthusiastically shared, linked to and mentioned in blogs. To increase the chances of going viral, include social networking buttons, making it easy for people to share your infographic on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. Adding an embed box also enables users to include your infographic in their own blogs or websites.

Let people know about your infographic. Although most infographics are about something else (like your product or service), you can sometimes get buzz going about the infographic itself. Sites like DailyInfographic and Fast Company Infographic of the Day accept submissions. You can also tell the story behind the creation of your infographic on your blog or in an industry press release. (At the same time, of course, you’re including the infographic, thus generating more potential interest.)

10 Benefits of Using Infographics

An infographic is a collection of data or information put into a visual graphic image for quicker understanding and more effective retention. Visual marketing has been proven to be many more times effective than text.

According to 3M Corporation and Zabisco, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. The internet has taken visual marketing to the next level and infographics are becoming a major part of that growth.

There are many benefits to using infographics in your marketing and on your website.

1. Provide Facts and Figures – People love reading facts, numbers, statistics and other such data. Infographics can provide this information in a structured appealing way. Infographics are much more visually attractive than text which can increase interest which will give your site or blog more drawing power.

2. More Engagement – Visual graphics and images increase engagement. Using infographics on your blog could raise the level of visitor engagement by a very substantial amount.

3. Backlinks – Infographics can be a very effective way of building your backlinks. Encourage people to share your infographics with their visitors and provide a link back to your site. With more backlinks to your credit, your site will get better ranking and more traffic.

4. Easier to Understand – Besides infographics being visually appealing they are easier to understand than text data. The human brain can process and remember visual information better than text. This will certainly bring people back to your site for more information.

5. More Chance of Going Viral – By using infographics and giving your visitors attractive, visually compelling information, you are increasing your chances of your infographic going viral. Once it goes viral, the sky is the limit for your business.

6. Infographics are Being Searched – The searches for infographics have increased by more than 800% in just two years. Adding infographics to your marketing arsenal will get your website or blog included in that increase of traffic.

7. Social Media – Infographics are also on the rise in social media and by combining the forces of infographics and social media, who knows how far your business could go. Social media is a fast-paced platform and using infographics will keep you moving with the best of them. All the information is right there. There is no clicking to get here or there, nothing to sign up for or add time to your readers’ visit. People love having it all right now and providing them with informative infographics will do just that.

8. Make Them Yourself – Although infographics appear to be graphically complicated and expertly made, you can easily make them yourself and save a lot of money. There are sites such as infogr.am where you can design and produce your own infographics for free. Infographicsarchive.com shows you numerous free tools for making effective infographics. You will find many more resources for making your own infographics and taking much of the strain off of your marketing and advertising budget.

9. Build Your Reputation – Infographics will help you build a reputation as a person/website that offers attractive and easy to understand information and data. The word will spread and your website or blog will jump up in the rankings and get much more traffic.

10. Reach Target Market – Who do you want to be your target market? Who would be interested in the information you have to give? By using infographics, you can zero in on the information you want to provide and capture the attention of your target market. This, in turn, will increase your sales and income.

Although the wide-spread use of infographics is a fairly recent phenomenon, there is a reason for the immense popularity. Infographics can offer you an abounding amount of ways for your business to stay ahead of the competition. If you are looking to grow your business and make it more prominent, then infographics will surely help you and pave the road to success.