As businesses catch on to the importance of content marketing, it’s becoming more crucial than ever to produce content that people remember.
That means getting your message across, as quickly and creatively as possible.
Sure, infographics have been around for decades. But we’re only now seeing how useful they are when integrated into a balanced content marketing plan.
So here’s how to get them into your digital strategy, and how they will improve your reach and put you ahead of your competitors.
Visuals are processed faster than text – and are 43% more persuasive
As former VP of Marketing at HubSpot, Joe Chernov, once said: ‘Quality infographics are inherently informative and visually engaging. They’re experts in a blink.’
He’s not wrong. It’s long been suggested that visuals are processed some 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. And while this figure has been the source of some contention, scientific research has undoubtedly found the brain has incredible visual processing speed – being able to process entire images after only seeing them for 13 milliseconds. In other words, one-tenth of the time it takes to blink.
No surprise, then, that studies have shown content coupled with visuals is more comfortable for people to deal with and can be up to 43% more persuasive than text alone. Which makes infographics a vital tool to gain cut-through in a crowded market saturated with information and advertising.
Get started with infographics
Infographics are built on facts and figures, so begin analyzing your content to identify pieces which can be boiled down to new statements and statistics. Piece them together into a logical yet compelling narrative that’s easy for your audience to follow.
Work with your designer to create visuals that can be intrinsically linked to the information – and ideally replace as much text as possible – to get the message across at a glance.
99% of sensory information is filtered out of the brain – but infographics may get through
That’s why it’s so crucial to support your written content with visual pieces.
It’s an increasingly fast-paced world, filled with enough information to give us sensory overload many times over. Our brains must continuously determine what information it wants to keep, and what it can do without.
It does this by immediately filtering out everything it’s used to seeing – which makes up about 99% of all incoming information – and seeking out what’s ‘different.’ Our brains are always on the lookout for fresh content that’s noticeable in the way it looks and feels. Which means interesting, well-designed infographics stand a perfect chance of slipping past the filter and sticking in people’s minds.
Get started with infographics
In his book The Power of Infographics, digital strategist Mark Smiciklas states: ‘Infographics provide an opportunity for your organization to add that element of novelty or uniqueness to your information and make it more noticeable to your audience.’
With this in mind, we recommend avoiding ‘build-your-own’ infographic websites and instead using a professional writer-designer team that can bring your content to life in ways not seen before. Tying this into an overall visual theme, while staying true to your brand’s distinct look and feel, will also improve the infographic’s chances of standing out as dominant and different.
Infographics are 3x more shareable than other content and can boost traffic
It’s widely documented that infographics can help businesses grow in traffic 12% more than companies that don’t use them. One of the reasons for this is likely to be the shareable nature of infographics.
Social platform Slideshare found that infographics are up to 3x more likely to be liked or shared on social media platforms Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook compared to other types of content such as presentations or documents. This makes them an essential part of your content marketing plan.
Get started with infographics – today
If you haven’t yet built infographics into your content marketing plan, now’s the time to do it. And it’s important to heed the wise words of content marketing specialist Ann Handley, who said: ‘Infographics are not about self-promotion. The best of them express rich, objective data in a way that’s more accessible and engaging than a dense spreadsheet or ho-hum pie chart.’
Identify the topics your audience might appreciate as an easy-to-understand and highly shareable infographic. Then add these to your content calendar (remembering to allow for design time).
Meanwhile, you could try creating infographics based on older pieces (search your archived blog posts for your best-performing material), before linking the visual and written articles for added accessibility. Just remember to make the pieces relevant, informative, and easy to share to maximize your chances of getting the most likes and shares.
written by Alex Ionides Managing Director, Silx