Infographics first became mainstream in content marketing a couple of years ago, and have been increasing in popularity ever since. Countless brands have used infographics to communicate data to their audiences, with successful examples belonging to LinkedIn and Samsung. But if you’re yet to hop on the bandwagon, you may wonder what infographics are, and how they can benefit your marketing plans.
Also known as data visualisation and information design, infographics offer a way of presenting data using compelling imagery, illustration and iconography alongside text. They’re used widely to communicate statistics and relationships between ideas, and are more common than you might think- consider the tube map, for example.
While definitely nice to look at, there has been an influx of infographics over the years which have arguably prioritised style over substance. They can also be time-consuming, and are an added expense to your budget. So why should you make the effort to incorporate infographics into your content? Read on for our top 5 reasons to make them an integral component of your marketing strategy.
If your infographic is genuinely useful and compelling, it naturally becomes shareable. When other bloggers, social media users or websites share your infographic, you reap the benefits of associated traffic and back links. Just make sure that whoever is using it always includes a link back to your site and credits you. As search engines are cracking down on guest posting and irresponsible link building activity, infographics are the perfect way to earn a genuine and reputable link.
In the same way, such shareable assets have the potential to go viral, and the more eyes on your infographic, the more recognition for your brand. Organic spread like this can potentially afford you more quality coverage than paid ads or print media could ever do.
Google favours popular and relevant content, so your infographic can help to draw in new visitors through organic search. The best part about this is that your infographic will provide you with some straightforward metrics, such as citations, social shares and backlinks, allowing you to build a comprehensive idea of your ROI.
When you build an infographic, you not only get a standalone or one-off piece of content, you get a versatile asset to use across your communications, from your website and social media to email and brochures. Infographics can be recycled and repurposed in whichever way you wish, and once your editors or writers have invested a certain amount of time in researching the data required for an infographic, it only makes sense to maximise this resource to ensure added inbound marketing opportunities.
Unlike a news story, infographics also retain their relevancy over time, proving an “evergreen” marketable asset, in a sense.
According to blogger Jeff Bullas, 40% of us respond better to information when it is presented visually, and a staggering 90% of information entering our heads is visual. In short, infographics are much more fun and engaging to look at than a page of plain text.
You can make an infographic of almost anything, even the dullest of subjects, and present it in an aesthetically pleasing way that is many times more likely to make a reader stop and look than copy alone. Using illustration and design in unison with your copy allows you to convey nebulous concepts and large numbers simply, as well as visually depict relationships and comparisons between data and information.
So whether you need to demonstrate the ins and outs of commercial property law or detail the evolution of the “geek” (this one really exists), infographics allow you to do so in a concise, eye-catching and unique way.
We’re now exposed to more online media than ever before. According to Bullas, we generate 1.5 billion pieces of content a day, so the key to the success of your content is making it stand out from the rest in the eternal quest for attention.
If your audience is time poor, they want to find the information they need immediately, especially if they’re on the go and using mobile devices. Infographics provide a tool to cater to this need, by taking complex ideas and making them quick and easy to understand. When you display your content in this form, your audience is able to scan the image and pick out the key facts to take away, and are more likely to remember the information you tell them.
If done well, infographics should have a dual benefit; they entertain, they engage and they educate in a way that’s informative and memorable. However, what’s the use in all that if no one knows the infographic belongs to you?
It is so important to brand your infographic to truly maximise its benefit as a marketing tool. When you do so, you get eyes on your brand every time it’s shared, demonstrating your knowledge on a certain subject and carving out an identity for yourself as an expert in that field.
This is why infographics should never be created simply for link-bait – if they reflect well on your brand, educate a user and just happen to be shareable, your content marketing strategy will soon see the benefit.