Over the past few years infographics have become a highly popular content marketing tool.
In a 2014 study, 39% of B2B buyers identified that they share infographics on social media frequently, and earlier this year it was reported that 70% of marketers plan to increase their use of original visual assets.
Infographics are extremely useful for facilitating an understanding of concepts and data which may appear overly complicated at first sight. Unlike white papers, blog posts and other forms of traditional text-based content, infographics allow businesses to showcase their expertise, solve problems and entertain their audience with visual imagery, which is inherently more impactful than text.
With roughly 1.5 billion pieces of content being published every day (including 140 million tweets and 2 million videos), we have more information available at our fingertips than ever before. Couple this with the fact that the average human attention span has become shorter than that of a goldfish, the challenge for marketers to get their message across has never been greater!
Since we’re constantly bombarded with information on a daily basis, infographics are a highly effective tool for cutting through the noise and getting your message across. When you consider that people retain 90% more information when it’s presented visually, it’s no wonder more and more marketers are using infographics and other forms of visual content to expand their outreach.
The primary focus of an infographic should be to deliver value to your audience. Perhaps there is a common problem faced by people in your industry that you have the expertise to help them with, or there is a trending topic that people would like to learn about without having to go and read a bunch of articles. While the educational approach is very popular, some infographics deliver value primarily because they are hilarious!
Whatever the case, so long as your infographic is well designed and covers a topic which is highly interesting to people, it has a good chance of being shared far and wide, which will result in brand exposure and traffic. Research suggests that marketers who use infographics are able to increase their traffic 12% more (on average) than those who don’t.
To make the maximum impact with your infographic, it is of the utmost importance to share it all over social media, pitch it to industry bloggers and upload it to infographic submission sites. If you can get your infographic to be reposted on Mashable, you stand to gain a phenomenal amount of exposure! For a more comprehensive guide to infographic promotion, please view this blog post.
Visually appealing, content-rich infographics are excellent from an SEO perspective because they have the potential to accumulate an abundance of inbound links. People are more likely to share an infographic than other forms of content primarily because of the aesthetic value, which makes them preferable to text-heavy content types.
By intelligently pitching to bloggers within your niche, this can result in your infographic being published on numerous authority sites. Not only will this bring you new traffic, the new inbound links will enhance your reputation with Google and improve your search engine rankings as a consequence. The more people link back to your site, the more credibility you receive, and this is precisely what gets you a place in the good books of Google’s algorithm, which favours sites that produce quality content.
Cementing brand authority
By publishing a great infographic about a topic within your niche, you stand to cement yourself as a thought leader. When industry bloggers republish your infographic, they will surely provide you with a link to your site, but it’s important to remember that others will simply repost the infographic and give you no credit. This is why your branding should be visible on the infographic. You don’t need to design the infographic with a colour scheme to match your branding, but it is recommended that you include your company logo and website URL in the footer of the infographic. This way, if people enjoyed your infographic, they still have a way to find you even if there is no hyperlink to follow.
When it comes to designing an infographic, there are a multitude of approaches you can take. You may wish to consider a timeline infographic that depicts the history of something (such as a notable figure, technology or civilisation), featuring key events and important statistics which help to propel the narrative. A flowchart infographic can be useful to illustrate the different steps it takes to accomplish something in a logistic sequence and a versus infographic can be used to compare two things (such as products, personality archetypes or cultures) in a succinct manner.
Photo infographics are often the most striking, as the image is the focal point of the design, while survey infographics extrapolate chart findings, algorithms, scientific findings and statistics in an easily digestible way. Technically speaking, data visualisations are not the same thing as infographics, but they are nonetheless an incredibly powerful form of visual content, perfect for bringing dull statistics to life in a beautifully compelling way.
Whatever approach you choose, make sure that you pick a topic which is bound to generate engagement, quote from reputable sources (peer reviewed journals are the best) and don’t skimp on the design work. While you can research, write and design an infographic yourself in order to cut costs, the lack of professionalism of the finished product is likely to impact your brand in a negative manner. Instead, it is more effective to work with a team who understand the ins and outs of creating a beautiful infographic which deserves to be shared far and wide.
As with all forms of content marketing, infographics only work if you put in the time and effort. You can’t simply draft up some mediocre content and pay a freelance designer to make you a shoddy infographic and then sit back while you passively accumulate thousands of high authority inbound links. Infographics aren’t a magic pill – if you want to use them effectively it takes research, storytelling, expert design work, meticulously proofreading, influencer networking and a lot of promotional effort. The good thing is, if you’re prepared to put the work in (or commission someone who is), infographics can really help to positively differentiate your brand from your competitors.
Lucien Joyce is the Lead Copywriter at Mammoth Infographics. His background is in creative media and digital marketing. Aside from writing, Lucien enjoys producing music and the occasional globe trot.