Infographics are some of the most powerful and effective tools available today for communicating with your prospects and clients.
Essentially, an infographic is visual representation of information that allows your audience to explore a topic without having to read large segments of text. This approach is a highly effective way to communicate with a busy audience who is already in a state of information overload.
Not only are infographics effective, they are also a fun and engaging way to start a conversation with your customers and build an audience of new prospects.
Why Are Infographics So Effective?
The answer to this question, as is true for most marketing phenomena, has to do with human psychology and that fact that most of us are primarily visual beings.
We are programmed to remember visual experiences. In fact, more than half the human brain is dedicated to processing visual cues. Our response to visual stimuli is lightning fast, too.
In fact, we can view, process, summarize and form a visual perception (attach meaning) in less than one-tenth of a second!
You’ve probably noticed that no one reads that much these days. It’s partially because we don’t have much time, but it has more to do with information overload. We are bombarded with content everywhere we turn. And when you have dozens (or hundreds) of articles, blogs, websites and newsletters you’d like to read, you’re going to skim until something jumps out at you.
In fact, research shows that average content consumers read only about a quarter of the words in whatever blog or article they’re looking at.
Infographics jump right off the page, especially for the content-weary (everyone today).
And let’s not forget that infographics are fun, engaging and easy to share. It’s like hitting the jackpot for Internet marketing!
Surprise! Adding Graphic Elements Improves What??
Have you ever built a piece of Ikea furniture? If so, you’re familiar with this guy, known as Assembly Man.
image courtesy of IKEA
It’s pretty easy to tell what you need to build this Billy bookcase, isn’t it? That’s because the human brain is 323 percent more likely to follow instructions if they include illustrations — even one as simple as Assembly Man.
So that innocuous call to action link you have? Which do you think will be more effective, based on that amazing stat, your text link or this?
Oh! The Things You Will Do with Infographics
Many of our customers struggle to come up with good ideas for their infographics. These are just a few of the ways you can use graphics to represent everyday content.
Illustrated Lists use graphics or photos to emphasize each list item. You can use a timeline or process format or a geographic theme to show how something differs across a region, country or the world. Comparison infographics are always fun, like this one that compares the Android phone to Apple’s iPhone.
One of our favorite approaches is to use a playful analogy. A popular choice is the four basic food groups of (fill in your industry here). For example, the four basic food groups of women’s shoes might be professional footwear (the protein group), athletic shoes (the fruits and vegetables), casual shoes (the grain group) and shoes for a night on the town (sugars and fats).
Here’s another fun infographic example, where a real estate company used the Bob’s Burgers television show as an analogy of real estate valuation. Granted, this one comes close to pressing the limits of outrageousness, but you’ll get the idea!
You need an engaging topic, but even the most boring statistics come to life with good graphics. Just be sure to tie them to a topic that can help your audience solve a problem or meet their own goals in some way.
How to Design Effective Infographics
You’ll get a great head start by using visual representations of your information. But the way you design your graphics makes a big difference too.
Let’s start with color. Readers are 80 percent more willing to read a graphic that uses color. EIGHTY percent!!
Remember to always cite your sources. Readers are much more likely to trust your information if you provide links to the source of your statistics, whether they follow them or not.
And if you really want to convince your audience, toss in an image of a brain scan and the words “cognitive neuroscience.” Some research shows that these elements are highly effective for convincing your audience that what they’re reading is true!
Don’t make your graphic too long or too short, and make sure you use plenty of white space throughout the design.
It’s important to remember that an infographic is not an advertisement or promotional piece. It should be engaging from a content perspective, visually interesting and — above all — it should move the reader to take action. Whether that’s following Assembly Man’s “click here” instructions to sign up for your newsletter or sharing in a social media post, an effective infographic will help you achieve your goals.
Be sure to include your own business branding, too. You can do this by using your own marketing color palette, your fonts, your logo and a way for customers and prospects to reach you.
In fact, if you plan to use infographics in the future, consider designing an infographic template or shell. That way, you will achieve brand consistency with each one.
How to Use Your Snazzy Infographics
So you designed your first infographic and it’s a beauty. Now it’s time to share it with the world.
You can get a lot of mileage out of your infographics by using them in blog posts, articles, social media postings and newsletters. The more you spread it around, the better chance you’ll have of making it onto the Internet’s viral radar.
Keep in mind that your real goal isn’t to go viral; it’s to get your brand info in front of those prospects that are most likely to convert.
Be Locally is the expert in creating content of all types, optimized for SEO and targeted to the most influential and effective demographic groups. We specialize in helping our clients design and execute online marketing strategies that are highly effective for growing your business.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in achieving your business goals. And — if we may say so — we design a pretty amazing infographic ourselves.