February 11, 2016 (Updated: May 4, 2023)
If you’ve never created infographics as part of your content marketing strategy, now is the time to start. Infographics offer a compelling new way to marry visual and text-based data. They’re scannable, engaging, and dynamic, which makes them an essential part of your marketing toolkit.
If you’re wondering what high-quality infographics can offer that traditional content can’t, consider a few reasons to give this medium a shot.
Image via Flickr by Supernico26
The goal of marketing is to capture your audience’s attention. You might do it through product packaging, a splashy website design, or a funny commercial on television. In content marketing, visual stimulation is still one of the bets ways to grab your readers’ attention.
A well-designed infographic encourages your readers to explore it because they’re drawn to the graphic elements. They feel impelled to study the images more thoroughly, which means they’ll read the content, as well. Once you’ve attracted their attention, you can use your infographic’s textual content to boost sales and increase engagement.
Essentially, you’re combining the factual, interesting data you would use in an article or blog post with the attention-commanding benefits of a photograph or illustration.
If you want to increase your infographic’s performance even further, consider employing colors that boost sales. Use red to evoke a sense of power and energy, for instance, or design your infographic in blue hues to create a soothing effect that inspires trust among your readers.
If you’ve ever tried to sift through a list of statistics and figures, you know that a slew of numbers creates more chaos than comprehension. Infographics are built for that type of data because they make the numbers visual as well as mathematical.
For instance, in addition to saying that 50 percent of people share a certain quality, the infographic illustrator might draw a crowd of illustrated people and shade half of them in a particular color. This image represents 50 percent, but is far easier to digest than the number by itself.
According to a Duct Tape Marketing infographic, the human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text. An image makes an almost immediate connection between the image itself and the idea behind it. An infographic can communicate myriad data points faster than a reader can consume a single sentence of written text.
Additionally, 90 percent of the information the human brain takes in relates to visual stimuli. The other 10 percent constitutes information processed through the remaining four senses. If you want the fastest route to the minds of your potential customers, infographics offer the most efficient vehicle.
Visual content is often easier to brand than text-based content. Think about the most famous logos — those of Nike and McDonald’s, for instance. You know the brand behind the image as soon as you see the familiar swoosh on a pair of tennis shoes or when you pass the timeless golden arches while driving home from work.
An effective content marketing strategy should involve written content, such as blog posts, articles, press releases, and whitepapers. However, infographics can pick up the slack in terms of branding because they offer an opportunity to create visual associations with your company.
You might include your logo on the infographic, for instance, or design the image in your corporate colors. You could also use your corporate culture to influence the design, such as by using hand-drawn elements to reflect your company’s whimsical environment.
It’s true that you can share all different types of content. You can post links to your best blog posts on Facebook and Twitter, for instance, so potential customers can click on them. However, infographics are inherently more shareable because you can post all or part of the actual content anywhere you want.
Plus, your audience is more likely to share the content when they see it. According to a Kissmetrics infographic, “photos get 53 percent more likes, 104 percent more comments, and 84 percent more clickthroughs” on Facebook than text-only posts. Like photos, infographics create a visual connection with the viewer, which makes them more attractive for shares.
Of course, it’s also important to create high-quality infographics if you want people to share them more often. If you don’t follow industry-standard design principles and convey actionable, useful information, your infographics will likely fade into virtual obscurity. If you can’t create a compelling product on your own, hire a professional to get it right the first time.
Even though you might mine other sources for the data you include in your infographic, this type of content can increase your authority among viewers. They see the time and effort you expended to put the infographic together, which increases your value.
You can also use your research to inform other types of content. In many cases, infographics pair well with blog posts and articles. You can reference the data in your other content marketing efforts so you get more mileage out of each piece of data.
Infographics are also useful for SEO purposes. They can produce more links back to your website, which tells Google and other search engines that you offer valuable content. You can also increase your rankings for targeted keywords if you optimize the image itself for search engines.
You can improve your SEO even further by encouraging others to share your infographic (with a link back to the source). Giving permission for potential customers and even competitors to use the infographic you created can actually improve your authority and your position in search results without your having to lift another finger.
Infographics are among the most powerful content types, especially if you’re hoping to extend your brand reach and engender loyalty in your audience. You can either create infographics yourself or outsource the job to a company that has professional writers and designers on hand. The latter option ensures that every infographic you publish will have maximum impact in your industry.
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