Infographics and Online Marketing

Generic Infographic ideaWe think of infographics as an easily comprehensible means of spreading and/or teaching information through a visual means. We acknowledge the form as incredibly user-friendly, the main reason for its prevalence. But, while we might use a flowchart to spread information within our company, to instruct an employee required to complete a new task or to provide a helpful aid during a meeting, many companies wouldn’t think to utilize an infographic as a marketing tool. But why not? Infographics are an extremely accessible, easily digestible method of displaying content, and beyond that they can actually be fun to follow if designed as such. Basically, a carefully utilized infographic can make the difference between a client skipping over your content and actually engaging with it. Aside from being informed, they might actually even enjoy the experience. Here are just some of the benefits of utilizing infographics as an integral part of your online marketing plan.

  • They’re quick. It’s much quicker and easier to peruse an infographic than to read an entire page of normally-structured content.
  • They’re user-friendly. The use of graphics and other visual aids helps illuminate your words and make their message clearer.
  • They’re very sharable. Whereas your clients are unlikely to simply pass around a page of content, unless it’s particularly engaging, an infographic provides a fun visual alternative that’s infinitely more sharable. Be sure to put your company name, logo and web address somewhere on the infographic so that it’s easily traceable back to you. Of course, the more people who are sharing your pages and the content therein the more your SEO improves.
  • They cut to the chase. Infographics force you to trim away the fat. There’s no room for unnecessary information within such a tight framework, and as such you might be left with more directly informative content than you would have had otherwise.
  • They test your creativity. Not an obvious plus perhaps, but a plus nonetheless. Creativity is an area which is often neglected in work-related projects when it is in fact something that should be nurtured. Working on a project like an infographic can reawaken the creative drive of your employees, and once you’re thinking creatively you’ll find that more and more options will begin to materialize, seemingly out of thin air. A successful marketing team is one that knows how to utilize creativity effectively, not deny it completely as some do.

Of course, when it comes to an infographic, or just about any marketing plan for that matter, you can only get out what you put in. Just because an infographic is easy to read doesn’t mean they’re simple to make. On the contrary, an effective example takes a great deal of effort:

  • Aesthetics: When it comes to infographics, first impressions are everything. Your model must look compelling enough to draw the reader in on its own, whether or not they are even aware of the information they’re about to receive. A well designed infographic is not overly complex: a bit of text, a few graphics, an intuitive flow. Keep your color palate minimal, maybe 3-4 options. Don’t overload the viewer. At the same time, make your infographic look unique. Make it stand out, either through the use of the visuals you’ve chosen or your design scheme. Models can be basic, like a more compelling version of a standard list, or more intricate, like a flowchart. Regardless of the options you choose know this: if your infographic is not aesthetically compelling its potential will be severely limited.
  • Text: As stated above, don’t overload the viewer. With any visual medium (an infographic, a comic strip, a painting) you’ll want to keep text to a minimum. You’ll have limited space after all, and you certainly don’t want to shortchange your visual element. This may seem somewhat counterintuitive as the content is essentially the point. It’s what you want people to take away from their experience with your flowchart. They’re there to learn. However, you can be minimal and informative simultaneously. Treat this as a challenge: how concentrated can you make your content. What are the least amount of words you can boil it down to. What is the most direct way of saying what you need to say? You clients will appreciate this directness. And hey, even if you don’t get to say everything which you feel needs to be said the infographic is just there to draw clients in. Once they’re on board you can hit them with more traditional content containing much more in depth information.
  • Research: Though you might not expect it, an infographic will really test your mettle. Take a scene from your favorite play. Pick a part and read it over, considering each line carefully. Now imagine performing that same scene with a quarter of the lines. At first this might seem like a relief (after all you’d have far less to memorize), but you’ll quickly find that relaying the same information in significantly fewer words is far more challenging, an even greater test of your skill. Make no mistake, boiling down your content to a few short sentences is an exceedingly difficult prospect. One easy and effective way to do this is through the use of statistics. They’re a great way of making a point, and they lend themselves nicely to the layout of an infographic. For this reason and others, do your research carefully. Find out all there is to know about your topic, or as much as you can anyway. With fewer words to hide behind your expertise or lack thereof will be more obvious than ever. You need to be prepared.

Though they are currently somewhat undervalued, infographics can be a fantastic marketing tool. They are a great way of spreading information, introducing an element of fun while ensuring that your content is far easier to process. They also test your employees, forcing them to think critically and display their true knowledge of your field. Basically, infographics are good for everyone. They take a great deal of effort to perfect, but so does any effective marketing strategy. So the next time you need to get information out there or get potential clients on board, consider infographics.