Due to the growing popularity of image based social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest, visual content such as infographics can be a valuable addition to your content marketing strategy.  Publishers who use infographics average 12% more growth in traffic than those who do not.

The Power of Visual Content

According to Marketo, the biggest challenge content marketers face is producing engaging content.  Infographics are used to convey complicated, data-rich content in a way that is easier for consumers to digest.   The “snackability” of this content drastically increases its engagement potential.  A 2011 study by Skyword revealed a 94% increase in total views when a piece of content contains an image or infographic.  Visual content such as an infographic is inherently more engaging than text due to its visual nature and the way the human brain processes information.

According to Hub Spot:

  • 40% of people respond better to visual information than plain text.
  • 90% of the information transmitted to the human brain is visual.
  • Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text.

These factors explain the explosive popularity of infographics in the past few years.  The term “infographic” as a Google search term increased by over 800% from 2010 to 2012.

Although the internet has become flooded with both good and bad infographics in the past few years and they are no longer a new and novel format for content, a well-executed infographic can still be very effective and potentially viral.

Production of an Effective Infographic

The key to effective and engaging infographics is in the execution.  An infographic is more than just facts and statistics on a pretty page.  You must begin the process the same as any other research based article or paper.

  • Choose a topic that is relevant to your brand and your audience.  Use Google Trends to find popular topics in your industry.
  • Gather data from reputable sources, and avoid including data for the sake of data.  If it does not directly support your argument, leave it out.
  • Organize the data as a narrative.  It should tell a story, with one idea flowing to the next.  Begin by introducing a problem, support it with relevant facts, and end with a conclusion that ties the whole thread together.
  • The most engaging infographics are an ideal combination of design and data.  The design is what attracts initial interest but it should complement the data, not overwhelm it.  The focus of the design process should be how to accurately and effectively represent the data, while also being visually appealing.
  • A good design will guide the eye through the narrative from one piece of information to the next.

Promoting Your Shiny New Infographic

The promotion of your infographic is just as important as the process of creating it.  If they are not properly promoted, even the best researched and designed graphics will be content marketing failures.  Infographics are multi-purpose and well suited for distribution across many mediums including all social media platforms, email campaigns, blog posts, press releases and infographic distribution sites that offer credible backlinks.  Make your infographic easily shareable by including an embed code and a call to action at the end of your post prompting the viewer to share it.  The easier you make sharing or reposting your infographic, the more viral potential it has which will lead to more backlinks and increased brand authority.