In many industries, infographics are all the rage. All kinds of businesses use infographics on their websites, blogs, social media channels and even traditional marketing tactics. The hashtag “#infographic” was used on Twitter 56,765 in March 2012 alone. Infographics are becoming more and more popular, but should your company join the ranks of those tweeting about them?
Find the Right Opportunity
Creating infographics just for the sake of creating them won’t get you very far. To really take advantage of the medium, you need the right opportunity to use it.
Infographics excel at sending a message, or sharing lots of detailed information, in a very short amount of time. Instead of including a marketing message or awareness-raising details in a text-heavy blog post, you can include them in an infographic that your audience can glance at and grasp your message.
Knowing this, the right “infographic opportunity” will be one that has both the right message and the right audience.
Combining Audiences, Goals and Messages
Different audiences will respond differently to infographics. For example, if the goal of your infographic is to create a buzz on social media, you’ll need to target your market that is most likely to be online. You’ll need to make sure the message and topic of the infographic resonate with that same market.
Remember that each infographic needs to somehow add to your overall digital marketing strategy. Infographics can be extremely useful if used as part of a strategy, and not just used at random.
It’s all in the Details
If you want your infographic to work as link bait, something that your market will want to share across the Internet, you’ll need to make sure it is interesting, mind-boggling or exciting. Boring infographics that share statistical information about your company might not make the cut when it comes to infographics with potential to go viral.
Infographics that highlight interesting statistics about something well known or that categorize bits of information in a fun way are more likely to be shared. You can adopt a topic that is interesting and then find a way to relate it to your brand. A good way to do this is to leverage current events and pop culture trends.
Looks and Design do Matter
Part of the appeal of infographics is that they are easy on the eyes. They are fun to look at and easy to understand. Even if your brand’s infographics are full of interesting and useful information, if they aren’t designed well they will be less effective. Make sure each infographic you distribute is well-designed and is something you are proud to put your company name on.
With the right strategy, message and planning, infographics can add something new to a content marketing, social media, digital marketing or search engine optimisation campaign.
The most beautiful thing about Social Media Marketing is the unpredictably of the medium, and the opportunity available to those willing to put in that little bit of extra effort. Recently, Smart Car USA made tech news headlines with this witty retort to an off-hand tweet that was neither directed at them, or intended to be brand damaging.
Clayton Hove, an ad agency creative director, made a comment on Twitter about the size and strength of the Smart Car:
Two days later, Smart Car USA responded with the following Tweet, and attached infographic:
Clayton obviously had to admit defeat:
This is a great example of how brands are using social media to expand their reach and gain free publicity. It’s also a great example of how, even the simplest of infographics, can gain so many shares.
Inforaphics are becoming the number one way to display and share complicated and lengthy data – if you’re conducting surveys on your customer base or industry, you’re far more likely to get a positive response to the results if they’re shared in a graphic form rather than pages and pages of text and numbers.
The Smart Car infographic was successful because it’s simple, and it tells a joke in a visual way. If we look at the overnight success of Pinterest, it’s easy to see that Internet users are huge fans of images and visuals.
If you do decide to try your hand at producing an infographic, here are some top tips for getting you on your way:
1. Pay equal attention to the info and the graphic. Your infographic needs to be visually pleasing, but it also needs to contain information. There’s nothing more disappointing than an infographic that fails to deliver what it promises.
2. Tie the design in to what the information is about – the current trend seems to be leaning towards retro style signs and interesting typography, but this might not necessarily fit with the information you’re presenting. Don’t be sucked in to trends.
3. If you plan to produce infographics periodically, consider using a website like visual.ly, which will allow you to produce infographics based on your Twitter and Facebook activity. It will also allow you to upload and share infographics you’ve created for added exposure, or browse others’ work for inspiration.
Despite what all the reports are saying, I can confirm (as a regular Pinterest user) that it isn’t only used by women pinning pictures of crochet, cats and cupcakes. Granted, they do make up the majority, but Pinterest is also the home to some pretty spiffy content. And even more surprisingly, SEO related content. Jaw hits floor.
So here we have it: a round up of the best of Pinterest SEO…
If SEO link building were oil drilling.
SEO Wars: What Colour is Your Lightsaber?
Possibly the most interesting thing I found; eye-movement tracking on Google search, explaining the fundamentals of SEO.
And finally… The Periodic table of SEO.
Where am I going with all of this jibber jabber?
Infographics, of course. In their modern and oh-so-colourful form they’re quite possibly the best thing to happen to the internet. Ever.
“Information graphics” may seem shiny and new, but they’ve been actually around for a while and they’re everywhere. Think about it. The London underground map is the best example I can think of. Infographics are the new medium of choice for conveying enormous chunks of information. When a market researcher would have once compiled a multi-page report teeming with graphs and statistics, a graphic designer can now whip up a poster which can make the most mundane subject seem almost interesting. Energy costs, anyone?
You have to wonder though, are Infographics making us dumb? Or are we just accepting that it’s easier to digest large amounts of information when it’s presented visually?
Maybe someone should make an Infographic about it…