2014 could be your most profitable year yet! How? Well, we’re loading you up with vital content and marketing information, all designed to increase your company’s exposure and profitability during the New Year. And one of the hottest tools is our topic today—infographics!
One of the marketing tools currently said to be marketing gold is the infographic.
Have you heard of them and wondered just why and how it might be of use to your company? We’ve dug into the infographic trenches and even tried using a couple of them ourselves.
Let’s take a look as just why you should do more than think about trying them out, and how you should implement infographics as a marketing tool.
What is an Infographic and Why It Matters for Your Marketing Efforts
You’re educated regarding information and graphic marketing. These two marketing types are practically the bread and butter of every successful marketing campaign launched by every successful business for decades. But what exactly is an infographic? It sounds like a combination of information and graphics, doesn’t it?
Wikipedia provides the simplest infographic definition. According to the online user-generated encyclopedia, infographics, also known as information graphics are graphic visual representations of data, knowledge or information, created with the purpose of presenting complex information in a quick and clear manner. A great example of an infographic is the weather report, which is a visual graphic depicting information about the weather. Graphs and charts presenting statistical data are another type of infographic. Think of an infographic as visual storytelling; it packs a strong and strongly memorable visual message.
Infographics took on a dramatically new meaning for the marketing world with the advent of social media sites. Thanks to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, infographics can be seamless and rapidly shared from a single user or business to an audience—and potential customer pool—of millions, worldwide.
Why Use Infographics?
Forbes sums up the top reason for creating and using infographics using the headline, “Use Infographics to Boost Your Credibility and Traffic.” Business owners are always looking for proven ways to boost credibility and traffic, but just why do infographics get the job done? Let’s take a look:
- Catering to short attention spans. Let’s be painfully honest, our attention spans are not what they used to be. We live in an information age. It’s streamed to us all the time; on the television, on the web, over our smartphones, on our tablets. We’re constantly bombarded with tons of useful information. How do we sort this information between our “must read” and “it can wait” lists? Simple! We look for the most captivating presentation. An infographic relays a complex message in a short, capturing format.
- Visualization caters to the brain. Forbes points out an excellent fact. “Human beings are highly visual.” It’s a fact that we absorb visual information faster than written information. We also retain is more easily.
- Ease of understanding. When infographics are properly created, they allow the audience to absorb and understand complex information in a fun and engaging format. When done right, this is why infographics can boost a company’s profile and website traffic.
- Going viral. The goal of every serious business is to create a marketing tool that goes viral, meaning it explodes onto the web grabbing thousands of views, tons of new exposure and converts to sales. A good infographic can accomplish this goal effortlessly while simultaneously inspiring writers and bloggers to chatter, creating backlinks, and further company exposure.
Our highest converting email campaign of 2013 was our infographic campaign. It generated the most clicks and stirred up the highest amount of excitement and interest in our company to date. Why not tap into this proven marketing tool in 2014 and make it a year to remember as you gain record exposure?
10 Popular Ways to Use Infographics
Larger amounts of data and content are the latest trends in online content marketing. According to a TNW Blog article on top ways to use infographics “the biggest question surrounding [this trend] has been figuring out the best way to interpret it all.” Infographics have been like the superhero flying to the rescue. These super powered creations pack a punch. Let’s review the ten most common uses of these power packed creations:
- A recruiting tool. Designers have used infographics on resumes for years as a way to visually simplify their careers by highlighting their specific skillsets with their own design style. Somewhere along the way, recruiters realized the genius of this strategy and started using infographics as a way to recruit for project management positions. Today infographics are used to effectively communicate the facts about a company and who they seek to hire.
- A data presentation tool. Statistical and numerical data have long been a bear to present. They have the ability to put the audience on snooze or baffle them completely. Thanks to infographics, data is easier to present in the form of easily readable and understandable graphs and charts.
- Simplifying the complex. As mentioned earlier, the primary goal of an infographic is to simplify a complex idea or complex information. Infographics are incredible educational tools, particularly when attempting to present an overview versus an in-depth analysis. The visual basis of the infographic helps students and audiences alike grasp complex topics through memorable and easily understandable visual collages.
- Explaining operations. Not only can an infographic simplify the complex, but it can also reveal the mechanics behind an intricate object with precision simplicity. For example, skilled designers utilize infographics to pull apart and demonstrate how complex products like clocks, cameras, computer components and smartphone work. Such creations can be great additions to user manuals, showing consumers how their product is built and the mechanics at work on the inside.
- Making startling comparisons. When we compare our business or product to something, we separate points into categories: likeness and uniqueness. Infographics provide an innovative way to display such a comparison in graphic form by creating visual parallels. Sometimes comparisons are difficult to express. Where words fall short, the visual aspect of the infographic comes through.
- Displaying thought-provoking facts. Thousands of fascinating facts that apply to your business exist, but not all of them are fascinating to the reader. On the other hand, a graphic display of a thought-provoking fact can command attention and stir up interest the reader might otherwise lack. Infographics are a superb way to bring facts to life, engaging and attracting the reader.
- A replacement for strained words. Let’s be honest, some topics are beyond words. Instead of spending hours straining our word choice, only to be disappointed and frustrated, turn to an infographic. They are perfect for visually explaining what words cannot. After all, a picture paints a thousand words—that’s why infographics are so powerful.
- Raise awareness. A lot of organizations specialize in important information that is all too often unpleasant or dry. Many companies support such organizations and need audience-friendly ways to express their connection to the issue without unwanted displeasure. Infographics have provided the answer to displaying unpleasant and stigmatic material in a professional way to raise awareness. A few fantastic examples of raising awareness for stigmatic and unpleasant topics include depression, post-traumatic stress (PTS or PTSD) and public safety. A wealth of information can be conveyed in a single infographic using powerful graphics and well-chosen text.
- Inform consumers. It’s a proven fact that consumers prefer to be educated. They want to make an informed and educated decision, not an impulsive one. They want to ensure their money is spent wisely on a product or service that fits their unique needs. Businesses have been working to instill confidence in their customers through numerous marketing tools, but infographics have provided a unique marketing opportunity. Through a single well-planned and well-executed infographic, a business can inform, engage, and motive a customer to make the informed decision to purchase their product. This nugget-sized marketing tool can then be redistributed throughout the web, reaching thousands upon thousands of new and eager consumers.
- Leveraging the holiday season. The holidays are when businesses expect to pull in their largest sales and when marketing campaigns flood the public scene. Audiences don’t want to be bogged down by hefty reading material. They want to quickly determine whether a product or service from your business will make the perfect holiday gift or simplify their holiday experience. Infographics have quickly become a successful ways to produce pertinent festive content that remains original.
While these ten tips include the most common uses for infographics, reading through them has no doubt sparked your imagination. The beauty of the infographic is its versatility and diversity. They are a marketing tool limited only by your imagination, which makes them a must have for your marketing toolbox this year!
How to Create an Infographic
Now that you see the benefits of using infographics, it’s time to talk about creating one. Any topic can be transformed into an infographic with a little thought and preparation. Think of your project as a collage. It will entertain, engage, and educate the audience. It will give the audience a memorable yet informative reading and viewing experience.
- Step 1: Choose a topic. The trick to a successful infographic is the audience’s ability to relate to it. When picking your topic, be open. You want something that revolves a little less around your business and a little more on a common interest. But the topic should connect to your business or background, thereby establishing your specific expertise.
- Step 2: Design. This is the meat and potatoes of creating an infographic, and it is by far the most challenging step. Once you’re amassed your topic information, it’s time to create the most creative and logical visualization of it. You can do this by categorizing your material and determining the size of your layout. Do a quick search on Pinterest to see how others have visualized a similar topic, and draw inspiration. Be creative, but don’t go overboard and create an overly complex infographic. The beauty of these visual marketing gems is their ability to simplify understanding, not complicate it!
- Step 3: Credit your work. Graphics have been ripped off long before the invention of the web. And you know graphics have grown even more vulnerable to pirating in today’s techno-age. So take full credit for your finished infographic! Include your company logo, artist’s signature, information sources, and even your domain in the design. Own your ownership! After all, you’re the mastermind behind your masterpiece.
You can create an infographic using any graphic design program you’re comfortable with; however, there are some great application options out there specifically for the creation of infographics:
- EWC Presenter is a fantastic tool designed to help you build an amazing infographic. It can also help you create animations, presentations, product demos, and banner ads.
- Visual.ly is one of the original infographic creation applications. It sports a huge library of designs and templates designed to spark your imagination and get you creating quickly.
- Infogr.am is best suited for the creation of various charts and graphics. If you’re looking to turn statistical data into an infographic, this application can save you time.
- Piktochart brands itself as the “infographics and presentations tool for non-designers.” If you feel intimidated by the design process, this application can help you gain confidence. It uses a three-step process to create and launch your first infographic.
Infographics are a remarkable marketing tool. As we’ve seen, they have HUGE multi-use capabilities including email campaigns, print and publication, blog posts and use on guest blogs. They are leveraged by corporations seeking to communicate innovations and earnings to investors, designers, and professionals looking for projects in need of a unique skillset, organizations seeking to convey issues they care about and educators attempting to teach a challenging topic. Infographics can even be recirculated, provided they carry a unique description for every place they are posted.
It’s time you leveraged infographics to make 2014 your most successful year yet! And not only will this impressive tool benefit you in 2014, but it can be recirculated at any time by simply re-launching it with a unique description via your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or any other social media account supporting graphics. Infographics are a highly cost- and time- effective marketing investment.
Need infographics? Talk to our team!