Content marketing has been exploding in popularity in recent years, and an entire industry has risen up around SEO. As time goes on, it seems like every business out there is trying as hard as it can to get a leg up when it comes to making better, more readable content. Because of this, infographics have become more popular.
Infographics are simple, aesthetically pleasing tables that give the reader some catchy, easy-to-digest information or factoids. Chances are that if you do a lot of research online, you’ll see infographics all over the place. They are commonly used in politics, marketing data, and research studies.
While infographics are useful tools, it is important to know exactly when they should be used, when they are most effective, and how they can make or break your content.
Why Are Infographics Useful?
This is an important question, and the answer is the same reason why most children like books that have a lot of pictures in them. In children’s books, the pictures give the reader something to associate with what they’re reading. Pictures also convey information on their own and are generally more interesting to the reader than the bulk of the text.
In a way, you could almost say that infographics are like illustrations for the content they’re associated with. Most people wouldn’t find it enjoyable to read a lot of scientific jargon filled with tables and data. Data isn’t fun or sexy, so infographics give the reader an interesting, simple way to consume complex information.
Often, readers can even skip the actual content they’re “reading” and go straight to the infographic for the info that they want. So, in short, infographics are useful because they’re captivating and interesting, just like the pictures in a children’s book.
When Should Infographics Be Used?
Contrary to what some may believe, the answer is not “as much as possible.” It’s true that infographics are incredibly useful in content marketing and for engagement, but they’re more effective in certain times and places than they are in others.
The real trick to using infographics well is knowing exactly when and where they’ll succeed.
In general, infographics are best used to convey information in a catchy, viral way that’s easy for everyone to understand. Here are a few of the best reasons to use infographics:
- When you want to compare multiple associated data points.
- When you have a list of related, but not necessarily comparable, statistics.
- When the information you want to convey needs to be simplified in order to be marketed.
- When your subject matter needs a hook to draw readers in or keep them engaged.
- When you want your information to be easy to read and share quickly.
Obviously, rules were made to be broken, but these are some of the easiest and safest ways to know whether you should use infographics. However, there are certain types of content where infographics shine more than others if you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck.
What Kinds of Content Benefit the Most From Infographics?
By their very nature, infographics are quick, easy ways to get a lot of information out there as fast as possible. This viral way of conveying factoids that stick in people’s minds has caught on in recent years as science and research data are now being marketed like never before. So, knowing this, where do infographics work best and where do they tend to fall flat?
Social Media Posts
The rise of social media is a foregone conclusion, and it has been since Myspace first dominated the market years ago. While the name or brand might change, one thing certainly doesn’t: businesses are investing in social media marketing more and more.
Infographics are great content for this type of marketing because they offer interesting information in an environment that rewards sharing posts between users. You’d be hard-pressed to find an environment that takes advantages of the strengths of infographics more than social media marketing.
Informative Articles, News, and Research Presentations
The rise of the internet has changed our daily lives to an incredible degree. One of the biggest changes is how people consume news and exchange information. Blog posts and articles are perfect mediums for infographics because they let you break up or preface complicated text with simple information that grabs the reader’s attention.
Hearing someone talk about print media nowadays probably sounds like a bad joke, but it’s still very much alive and likely will be until the day comes when iPhones actually download media directly to our eyes. If you think about it, you see print media much more than you probably realize.
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There are posters in your workplace or school; flyers on walls and telephone poles; signs at the bus stops; and ads in the stores you walk through. Print media is just about everywhere you look. Infographics take advantage of this medium perfectly because they create engaging content while using as little space as possible.
Infographics are among the most useful tools in content marketing, and in the right context they can not only boost reader engagement, but improve the quality of the content as a whole. Understanding what infographics are and how to use them is one of the most important parts of creating modern, streamlined content that your audience will enjoy.