A few months ago, everyone seemed to be talking about how content was the next big “boom” in online marketing. While content is a very important (and cost-effective!) way to reach a large audience of potential customers, it needs to constantly evolve to keep up with consumers’ changing demands. But words are no longer enough, as people now want their information at a glance. With 90% of all information transmitted to the brain visually, the latest evolution in content marketing is infographics--which not only promote brand awareness, but also help you connect with your target audience in a deeper and more meaningful way.
What makes infographics so special?
I cannot express to you enough how much people adore good infographics, and it is easy to see why--They provide all the information you want to know, without the heavy reading. At every presentation I attend these days, someone is displaying a PowerPoint slideshow with an infographic sourced from social media or a quick Google search. It is easy to see why people love using them; 40% of individuals respond better to visual information than text.[i]
Infographics are great for breaking down a clump of dense or boring information (particularly if it deals with numbers and percentages) and presenting it in a visually powerful, easy-to-understand way. However, don’t think you can get away with crappy content and mediocre graphics! For your infographic to be shareable, it needs to be two things: useful and beautiful.
Why use an infographic?
Below is the infographic created for AchieveIt entitled: “What is Strategic Planning?” Coming up with the idea and sourcing content for this piece were not difficult, as I already had the text from several of our existing white papers and tutorials. All I had to do was source important statistics related to strategic planning (from credible sources!) and Voila!: the finished product below. Most in marketing would be surprised to find how much spare content is lying around the office-- information that is dying to be put into an infographic! Pairing fresh graphics with existing content breathes new life into older materials and ideas.
While we love seeing our work in exciting new formats, we created this infographic for two reasons: to increase brand awareness and to help boost our SEO rankings.
Infographics and SEO
Infographics generate a unique kind of social capital, and with the increasing value of social shares within the Google ranking algorithm, infographics are a great way to boost those “likes” and “retweets.” Compared to our blog posts, tutorials, and white papers, our first infographic was shared on Twitter and Facebook 30 times more. We also saw an increase in followers and registration for our webinars.
Even if people don’t share, putting your logo on the top of the graphic is guaranteed to be seen by thousands of eyeballs across multiple social media platforms, including those who just happen to take a glance at what their friends are posting. Brands that pay for ads in magazines pay handsomely for access to that many eyeballs or “impressions,” and you are getting them for free! This is a simple way to passively increase your brand awareness while actively marketing to potential customers.
Inbound links are important when it comes to SEO strategy, but getting those links is both time-consuming and expensive. Because creating an infographic requires both a writer and a graphic designer, many marketers shy away from them because the development process can be time- and labor-intensive. However, the results from this labor are very much worth it.
If you share your infographic with your network and those people share on their websites, or someone on Twitter finds it useful and decides to embed it within his or her blog, you benefit from important inbound links received at little-to-no cost. Additionally, if you SEO the alt and meta tag of your image and place it on your website, the image is guaranteed to populate at the top of the search page for keywords queried. This is prime Google real estate, especially since search engine users rarely go past the first page.
...And aside from all of the reasons I listed above, people love using infographics because they are incredibly fun.
About the Author
Lauren Bowling is the Content and Social Media Specialist for AchieveIt, a strategic planning and execution management software company that currently serves 275 clients in 42 states and South America. Lauren lives in Atlanta, and in addition to curating content for AchieveIt’s online resources, she blogs about personal finance and social media.