The Power of the Infographic
It may come as no surprise to learn that studies show that humans are becoming increasingly more visual in our communications and in the ways that we process information. According to research from Pearson, about two of every three people are primarily visual learners. A study conducted by the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) concluded that 90% of the information sent to our brains is visual. Another scientific inquiry found that only one in ten people could remember information they heard after three days, but 65% remembered information they saw.
The above studies and many more demonstrate the importance of infographics in your communications and marketing. There are a number of good reasons why infographics can provide a huge benefit for your business:
They can help you convey your experience and knowledge to prospective customers—With the proper use of charts, graphs, tables and other data, you can strengthen your credibility with potential customers.
- Infographics can be a critical component of your branding efforts—In addition to including logo, trademarked material, slogans and tag lines, infographics can enhance your brand awareness and prestige. They offer a simple way to quickly and powerfully integrate knowledge and expertise with marketing images.
- Infographics can dramatically simplify your message and break down potential barriers—By presenting your key points in straightforward and easy-to-understand ways, you’ll find it easier to keep potential customers engaged. An infographic can present key selling points succinctly and clearly.
- Infographics can help you significantly expand visibility—By their nature, because they typically have a fair amount of information about a targeted topic, infographics are perfect for social media platforms. It’s an easy way to get your content and your name to go viral.
- Infographics can help you perform better in the search engines—When you post an infographic to your website and then share it in a social media platform, there’s a good chance that you’ll get the benefit of backlinks. That’s SEO gold!
Is It Time for You to Create and Post Infographics?
Though it’s clear that infographics can have a positive impact on your marketing, it’s also important to make certain that your timing is right and that’s there’s potential benefit for you in spending the time and money to develop infographics. Here are some of the questions you want to ask about your company or your business:
- Do you have anything that you need to explain to potential customers? If your target audience fully understands your product, as well as its features and benefits, there may be little to gain with an infographic. However, if your product or process is complex, or if there’s a common misunderstanding about your goods or services, an infographic can often be the best way to dispel confusion.
- Do you have multiple pieces of information or data that are not being properly understood by the public? An infographic that addresses only one misperception will probably not get much traction. To engage potential viewers, you probably want at least five data points.
- Do you have a clear sense of who your target audience is? Are you explaining things to prospective customers, partners, investors or others? Your target audience will determine what your infographic looks like.
- Why do you need to explain something? Are you trying to bring in new customers or put existing customers at ease? Are you seeking to explain financial performance to shareholders or potential investors? Are you simply trying to build brand awareness or distinguish yourself from the competition?
- How will people view the infographic? Will it be online or in print? Is it part of a large body of information?
Strategies for Effective Infographics
As important as it is to include infographics with your online or digital marketing, communications and social media efforts, it’s just as important to use a sound approach. Here are some key best practices for optimal impact with your infographics:
- Recognize that less is almost always better—If your infographic contains too much information, there’s a good chance that you’ll lose your audience. It’s what’s known as the “MEGO (my eyes glaze over)” effect. As a general rule, the bulk of information in the infographic should be be images, not text. If you have a lot of textual information to convey, it’s much better to have multiple infographics containing less, but more targeted, information. Pay attention to how the viewer will navigate the infographic and avoid too many colors or conflicting images.
- Make it your message—Don’t try to copy or capitalize on someone else’s message. You want images that can ultimately become uniquely identifiable with you and your company. Don’t look for stock art—create your own distinctive imagery, if possible. You may want to mock up a few different versions, but you’ll need to test them on a cross-section of potential viewers before you incorporate them into your digital efforts.
- Make sure your designer and developer work together—The infographic may look great in design format, but not so good when developed for a website or digital display. Before it goes live, you want to know that viewers can read even the small print and that the perspectives are not distorted.
- Put a lot of thought into your headline—It’s the first thing people see and often determines whether they read any further. Make certain it’s short enough to be fully understood at a glance. In addition, it should accurately describe the infographic and grab the viewer’s attention.