Infographics are worth 1000 words
If a picture is worth 1000 words then how many is a good infographic worth?
Think about it…
Let’s assign that 1000 word count to an infographic. Said infographic is on a webpage that garners 1 million hits. Said infographic is now equivalent to 1 billion words.
Of course that is a bit ridiculous as there are only just over one billion words in the English language and an infographic, no matter how good, isn’t going to cover them all. At the very least you can still make the very valid argument that a good one online is worth at least 1000 words and in today’s more mobile environment that level of information provided in such as small space is worth a heck of a lot.
For those not up to date on the term, an infographic is a graphic visual representation of information. The idea is to quickly and clearly present complex data. A subway system map would be a good example of an infographic, or a chart of the United States that is color coded showing voting trends. It is a combination of images and words to create a visual shorthand that can easily go viral.
Infographics are a very powerful marketing tool for many reasons, primarily because they aren’t seen as a marketing tool. It is also a genuine form of marketing that doesn’t need to trick people to make them take it in. As most people truly like to learn things, albeit in small doses, the graphic visual representation of information allows them to quickly digest stats or basic knowledge that they can later share or quote.
“You know I just saw the most interesting graphic about unemployment trends right now and interestingly enough North Dakota has the lowest rate in the country!”
That tempting little snack of information is hard to pass up. As people are used to infographics they will often at least glance at them. When you compare that to ads that jump out at people using more “guerrilla-style” tactics it is easy to see why people would be more receptive to a more passive yet well-placed graphic.
Look at the many benefits: they provide data that is easily scanned and viewed, attractive when designed right, highly viral, portable, can be embedded with a logo for brand awareness, works with SEO and shows an understanding of a subject that can help label you as an expert voice.
Styles of Infographics
- Shock Value – A very common method for delivery where you use either a strong or fun visual to deliver very compelling data. This is a way to really drive home a point, ideally providing something shocking or surprising as the payoff. If you match the right data to the right audience you will hit payload gold for sharing of information. A key is to mix in one or two strong points with at least two deeper levels of information for more engagement and value. An example might be a graphic that starts with “1 in 5 men will experience erectile dysfunction this year.” That is a real grabber for almost any man.
- Information Distillery – The goal here is to provide a lot of information in an easily digestible method. Rather than shocking someone right away to make them read more, you are going to lead with information that gets more of a ,”Wow, really?” response and makes them curious about what else they will discover. This is a great way to showcase expert knowledge in a field. Of course, don’t overdo it. Use important data points that create a clear picture then if they want to go deeper and learn more they now know who the expert is they should consult. Think of interesting fact-style charts that talk about nutrition or heart health as an example.
- Explanations – How do you do something? How do you use something (like your product)? What are ways your company impacts the world? The explanation method is more low-key but still needs to be fun to draw people in. You are trying to bring a skeptical audience into the subject, allow them to identify and then digest processes and situations. You can mix color, humor, playful wording and similar concepts to draw people in.
The Bottom Line
The world we currently live in is all about data. In a single day the world creates over 2 millions videos, over 100 millions tweets and over a billion pieces of content. That is a lot of information. Because of that tidal wave of data constantly coming at us, we have learned to grasp at shortcuts to drink in what we can, and infographics are a perfect vehicle to combine the strengths of text and graphics while diminishing their weaknesses.
Infographics are worth 1000 words because they present an effective and easy way to communicate and engage either customers or potential customers in a compelling and attractive manner.