Marketing tactic: Infographics
Purpose: Social media sharing
Cost: $0 - $3500+
Resources: Graphic designer, solid concept
Difficulty: Medium - advanced
What are Infographics?
Infographics are visual representations of information. They take advantage of the concept that a picture is worth a thousand words by taking a lot of information and compressing it into a visual format that can be digested easily by the reader as well as shared via social media sites. In fact, infographics have been used by us since the birth of human civilization. The cave paintings drawn by our primal ancestors are great examples of our earliest infographics.
How are Infographics Used in Marketing?
A cursory examination of any infographic drawn by our primitive ancestors will reveal its secret as a powerful communication tool. Even though we wouldn't be able to communicate directly through spoken and written words with our ancestors; we can clearly understand the stories, thoughts and ideas that they are trying to convey by looking at their infographic cave drawings. That's because pictures and graphics convey a lot of information much quicker than does written text. The ability to make sense of visual information is hard-wired into our genetic code.
Fast forward to the internet age....Infographics have become a fantastic tool for marketers because of their compatibility with social media sites like Facebook and Pinterest. Marketers have found that infographics get passed along and shared through social media sites roughly 30 times more often than does the same information in text form. That's because infographics combine the best of what makes for good viral content on the net: high-quality information, concentrated information, visual information and sharable information.
While it's true that articles can also be shared easily through social media sites, the key advantage that infographics have over text-based information is the immediate grasp of the reader's attention and the ease of conveying a lot of information to that reader in a short amount of time.
Along the same lines of creating social buzz, infographics are also a great source of backlinks, or in SEO talk, "link bait" to improve search engine rankings for a website. Because infographics are concentrated information and, when compared to articles, quite unique in terms of content; bloggers and website owners will link to an infographic hosted on a website which will give that website additional "link juice" which will improve it's overall search rank.
Advantages of Infographics
- Infographics cater to people with short attention spans. With the sheer volume of content that gets pumped out on the internet these days, web users are adopting shorter and shorter attention spans. If a piece of content doesn't grab their attention within 2-4 seconds; the reader will leave. Infographics are visually exciting and they directly convey information to the reader so it keeps them engaged with the content until the information is delivered.
- Concentrated information. Infographics act to condense a lot of information into a concentrated, visual format. We can interpret visual data much faster than we can through written communication and infographics make use of that fact by translating written information into pictorial graphics for easy consumption.
- Infographics make difficult information easier to understand. One of the benefits of using an infographic to convey information is that by its very nature of being a visual communication medium, an infographic can make information easier to understand than it could through written information.
- Better memory retention. Educators have known for a while now that information delivered through a visual format will achieve a higher retention rate than information delivered through written communication.
- Works well for social media sharing. We're a share-happy society now-a-days. While it's true that you can share written communication with one click, visual information gets more social engagement than written information does. In the case of social sites like Pinterest, visual information is the only format of social sharing allowed.
- Great for numerical data. Infographics are excellent at making boring statistical data more interesting. If you're trying to convey a point with percentages, comparisons, numbers, populations or prices, you'll find infographics are a great way to share this information.
- Good for attracting backlinks and improving SEO. Infographics are high-demand content that's relatively unique when compared to other written information, so they have the ability to attract a lot of backlinks from other sites. These backlinks can improve overall search ranking over time.
Disadvantages of Infographics
- Time consuming to create. High-quality infographics come at the price of time to create. A concept needs to be created; research data needs to be collected; ideas need to be translated into visual depiction. All that takes a considerable amount of time.
- Infographics require the services of a graphic designer. Infographic production generally requires the assistance of a skilled graphic designer to translate your infographic ideas into a visually-appealing work of art. Most content marketers lack the necessary artistic and technical ability to create complex infographics themselves and so they'll need to enlist the services of a designer.
- Infographics can be costly to produce. Unless you're a gifted marketer, writer and designer; chances are that your infographic will involve more than one person to produce, namely a graphic designer. Expect to pay between $300-$3500+ for an infographic, depending on the complexity of it and how much time you're willing to contribute to the project.
- Infographics aren't for all types of information. Infographics are best suited for numerical and comparative data. They become less appropriate for information that can't be expressed by numbers or by comparison.
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