8 Reasons Infographics Are Still Essential to Content Marketing
Throughout our lives, from math class to writing class to even discussions about our feelings, we’re told to show, not tell. It’s the same for content marketing — it’s no surprise that infographics have become an incredibly important element to it. An infographic is a piece of content that uses graphic elements, such as photos, tables, graphs or charts, to make a point. It shows your story instead of telling it.
The importance of using infographics has soared over the past year. They’re great at boosting traffic, they are easy to share, and they offer a unique way to deliver information. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why infographics have become essential to content marketing.
1. They’re Highly Engaging
Consider this: On Facebook’s top 10 brand pages, photos and video drive the most engagement. Instagram, a visually-based medium, has greater engagement than either Facebook or Twitter. And Pinterest’s video and photo posts refer more traffic than Twitter, StumbleUpon or LinkedIn.
That should convince you that infographics can deliver the type of engaged audience every business wants to reach. It’s a chance to make a visual point that people might miss in a sea of text, because their eyes are kept busy as they dance between each graphic element.
2. They Go Viral
Going viral is the goal of almost any content shared on the web. The more people you reach, the greater your chances of converting a sale or gaining a new customer. Thus, all content marketing is focused on the sort of universal appeal that defines every viral video, meme or social media post.
Infographics fit that vibe perfectly. They’re easy to share and have broad appeal, because they touch on so many topics. And they’re often topical. A recent Mashable infographic about Michael Jordan’s 50th birthday, for example, drew more than 31,000 likes on Facebook.
3. They Increase Traffic
Content marketing is based on the idea of providing information of great value and interest to your target audience, which will naturally increase traffic to your site and hopefully lead to higher sales conversions. Infographics drive traffic in great numbers.
In addition to having the potential to go viral, well-done infographics offer a unique take on something of interest to your industry. Clarity Way, a luxury rehab facility, launched an animated infographic, Bath Salt Zombies, highlighting the side effects of taking bath salts. The animated infographic was launched right on the heels of the bath salt media explosion.
4. They Are Highly Shareable
You’ve probably noticed that once or twice a week, a large number of people on your social media feeds share the same stories or videos, despite the fact that these people have nothing in common. Internet users love to highlight things they find fun and informative, and when that information comes in an unexpected package, like an infographic, the possibility of a share rises.
A great infographic is made to be shared. It’s short enough that people don’t have to waste a few minutes reading, but packed with enough important observations that it’s worth passing along.
5. They Can Be Embedded on Other Sites
It’s great when people link to your blog posts. But it’s even better when they share content you’ve created. It serves as validation for your company’s ideas, time and effort, of course, which is always nice.
The greater reward, however, is that being shared on other sites introduces your company to people who may not have heard of you before. The hope is that they’ll be so impressed by your infographic, they’ll surf over to your site to see what more you have to say and offer.
6. They Establish Your Expert Credibility
To become a leader in your field, you need to prove that you have expert ideas. One way to do this is to gain notice as an authority on a subject. A highly-shared infographic is a great way to establish that credibility.
When your infographic goes viral, gets a lot of shares or is embedded on other people’s sites, it’s instant validation. Suddenly your company is known for something, and you can build that into greater publicity for your business, and, eventually, greater sales for your company.
7. They Boost Your Search Engine Optimization
When an infographic goes viral and racks up a lot of quality links from outside web sites, it can also help boost your rankings. Successful infographics improve SEO naturally, a side benefit of creating quality content.
8. Quality, Quality, Quality
The final and arguably most important factor to consider is the quality of your infographic. Since inception, the infographic creation process has become increasingly easier. Many designers and online marketers see this as an opportunity to create crappy infographics for easy links. Avoid this tactic like the plague. Not only will no site want to host your visually-challenged infographic, you will be wasting time and energy creating the thing. Take this infographic for example:
The infographic is over-designed. It is hard to process the information, or even get a clear idea of the topic because the reader isn’t sure where to start. Instead of adding the sidebar with the steps laid out, the infographic should have a hierarchy of images that is easy for the reader to process.
Additionally, some visually stunning infographics have been created only to disappoint in terms of content. Remember when creating your infographic that it is essential to have a thesis statement. What is the topic of the infographic? What is the point you want to make? Use strong research to support your “thesis” and swiftly lead your readers to the conclusion you want them to reach. Bad infographics are lazy or weak in their conclusions. Ensure that the infographic content and design leaves the reader saying “wow” rather than “oh, okay.”