How much should we use infographics?
Brands are constantly battling with one another to determine the ideal method of engaging with audiences and prospects. Infographics are a tried and tested method of conveying information in an easily digestible format. This is because human brains generally find it easier to process visuals than text. But are infographics now being overused or have communications professionals found the perfect message format? Our Content Director, Dave Leatham, explores more.
What are infographics?
Infographics are smart graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge. They help present information, which can often be complex, quickly and clearly. They’ve been widely used in marketing communications for the last decade or so and have gained popular appeal.
Where are they used?
They are used across a wide range of mediums such as social media, marketing collateral, feature articles, web pages and published journals. Even video content on social media now regularly features inbuilt dynamic infographics.
Dynamic infographics combine traditional infographics with motion graphics to provide moving visuals. These have become popularised in recent times as video content on social platforms.
One of the big mistakes brands regularly make with infographics is developing them just because everyone else is. The result of this is a marketplace saturated by ineffectual infographics. The same could also be argued for lots of current video content. The key is to decide what message you want to convey to which audience, then determine the channel that is going to be best to reach that audience. From there see if the content and the channel lend themselves to infographics. It should be a content and channel strategy, rather than a format led approach.
Infographics are really easy to digest and highly shareable, and importantly they can help position your brand as an expert, providing you add value in what you are conveying. By adding hyperlinks, they can increase web traffic potentially impacting sales. This also makes them trackable with analytics. Infographics can also be embedded in emails or pdfs, which makes them quite versatile in terms of their usage. Infographics are not necessarily ideal for SEO purposes, but there are ways around this by including them as part of a wider piece of written content. The very best and most unique infographics may even have some viral appeal.
Compelling and attractive infographics used to convey clear planned messages to specific audience groups will continue to add significant value to wider marketing communications propositions, but infographics that are created in isolation are unlikely to add any real value and are just adding to the perception of medium overuse.
My hope is that over time brands become more structured in developing fully integrated campaigns and choose the format afterwards, rather than building a campaign around it. So the answer to the question I posed is that we should use infographics, but only at the right time in the right way, with the right audience.
By David Leatham, Content Director at Cogent.