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Infographics – the long and short of visual #content

By: | Jul 21, 2014 | Tags: , , | 9 thoughts

Infographics were a marketer’s silver bullet when they came on the scene a few years ago.  They transformed research findings – whether social media analysis or industry surveys – from being dull and dense reads, into comparative visual feasts!  If you want to better understand what an infographic truly is, then check the infographic out at the bottom of this post – it’s an excellent example by the good folks at Customer Magnetism.

Let’s start by looking at them from a reader’s perspective – after all, the target audience (the customer) must always come first.  They make it easy to understand and absorb key takeaways, and are a lot more digestible than hundreds of words.  Key stats jump out with no effort required compared with working through paragraphs of explanations and insights.  The reader (all of us!) also spends far less of what little time there is digesting the findings.

Infographic blog post 1

For bloggers and online publications they represented ideal content that is both different to the written posts and articles they normally publish, while also appealing to readers of all industries, demographics and interests.  By condensing multiple paragraphs into an infographic, their readers enjoy the experience more, learn from it and will be much more likely to share it across their networks.  Therefore driving yet more traffic to their sites.

Similarly, from a brand’s perspective, a well-crafted infographic translates complex and potentially boring data into a core component of a dynamic content marketing strategy.  There are also huge benefits from their sheer share-ability on social media: their overwhelming popularity has seen some infographics get shared dozens and hundreds of times, and with that comes the added bonus of driving traffic to your website.

Job seekers are also replacing their CVs with infographics to help them stand out from the crowd.  It seems everyone has a use for an infographic these days!

infographics-the-long-and-short-of-visual-contentDon’t believe us?  Do a quick search on twitter for “infographic” (or click here to save you the time!) and you’ll see that dozens and dozens are shared every minute!

But they’ve been around for a while now, haven’t they?  Marketers realised their value some time ago and brands are using them like there’s no tomorrow.  Consequently there are too many for us to consume even if we spent 24 hours glued to our laptops reading through them!!

So, the long and short of it is this: infographics are great, but there are too many of them out there.  They all look the same, and brands are cramming way too much data and insight into them…therefore negating their value.

In this series of posts on infographics, we will explore how businesses of any size can create infographics that won’t get lost.  For even the most limited of budgets, there are some great tools out there – free and paid for.  We’ll investigate in separate posts each of: traditional static infographics, animated and moving infographics, and the pinnacle of infographics right now – interactive ones that the viewer can click on different parts of to get deeper insight and richer detail.  And then we’ll conclude with our recommendations on what types of infographics brands should go for.

Do infographics work for you?  Do you enjoy consuming them?  Do you create and share many?  We’d love to know, so drop us a comment and share this post across your networks too!

 

What is an Infographic?

“What is an infographic?” Source: Customer Magnetism.

Dan Purvis
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Dan Purvis

Head of Integrated Marketing Communications at Fintrax Group Holdings
Dan Purvis is Head of Integrated Marketing Communications at Fintrax Group Holdings, and is also a Media Champion for the Alzheimer's Society, helping spread awareness and understanding of this cruel disease.

Previously, he was Director at Comms Axis, a full service marketing agency specialising in content, social media & website services for businesses of all sizes.

Dan Purvis writes for a number of leading business, social media and marketing sites, including Smart Insights, MarketingProfs, Marketo, MarTech Advisor, Marketing Tech News, MarTech Today, MarTech Exec, and more.

Dan was also ranked by Brand Republic as one of the Top 50 UK Marketing & Social Media influencers.
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9 Comments

  1. Dale Rogers Says:

    Hi Dan, I like a good infographic particularly one that is well developed and considered. Distilling enormous amounts of data into simple visual elements and visual metaphors is not easy and it’s even more difficult to instill a witty visual pun that is engaging and shareable. I find them entertaining.

    I wouldn’t trust one or make business decisions based on the distilled bullet points they represent. It’s too easy to skew scale and play around with visual misrepresentations. If an author wants me to treat their infographic with any more respect than its entertainment value then they must include references to source data so that I can review the data and arrive at my own perception of the meaning behind the data.

    I’m looking forward to learning more about infographics from you.
    Twitter:

    • Dan Purvis Says:

      Thanks Dale – completely agree with your points. Infographics are a great way to get the sense of complex data sets, but you’re right to be wary – we should all check the sources of stats…after all, you can manipulate statistics to say what you want!!
      Next post in the series will be live within a week or two 🙂

  2. Alex Says:

    I’ve been researching the topic of infographics and your article really inspired me on writing a complete guide on what is an infographic:

    icons8.com/articles/what-is-an-infographic/

    It discusses different types of infographics with actual examples, as well as providing tips on visual elements and sharing a list of services for creating infographics.

    I hope it will add value to your article!

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