March 1, 2016 | Infographics
I still remember the first time I saw an “infographic” shared on the web. I loved how it was able to convey so much information using visual techniques. By diagramming and relying on imagery more than just words I immediately recognized the impact.
An infographic can be defined as the visual representation of information, data, or knowledge.
Using design to visually represent information or processes has been around a long time. Newspapers, annual reports, science posters, and manuals are all great examples of how graphics have been used for visualizing information or complex concepts.
When one group understands a complicated set of knowledge and another audience is unfamiliar with it, visualization can help clarify the information. Infographics bridge the gap.
An important element of an infographic is that it is a self-contained communication piece. Like a poster, these graphics stand alone. Unlike smaller charts or graphics, infographics do not require a lot of supporting text before, after, or around them to make sense.
3 ways to use Infographics for marketing
Nowadays, the term infographic has been taken over by the marketing world to refer to a certain type of graphic shared on the internet.
Here are the three most common types and uses of infographics with examples of each and some ideas of how you might use them for your own marketing goals.
- Share data and statistics
- Use to visualize content
- Visualize a how-to guide
1. Infographics share data and statistics
One of the most common structures for infographics is to pull together statistics to demonstrate the impact of a certain theme. We’ve found that developing an infographic to show the highlights of a study, is a great complement to a white paper.
At right is an example of an infographic we created that highlights the results of our survey about the power of web design.
If you don’t have your own data to share, pulling in data from other sources can be a great way to cross-promote with others. We have created many of these types of infographics for our clients.
Some marketing efforts may include the creation, distribution and promotion of infographics. Like many content marketing campaigns, the goal with the infographic is to: educate, show expertise, gain trust.
This series of infographics for the International Association for Child Safety all do that.
3. Infographics as a How-To guide
Another great way infographics can help you is by highlighting how to do something, or how something works. Sometimes these are veering away from my definition of an infographic, but if they can be separated out and stand alone, they become extremely effective as self-explanatory graphics and also promotional graphics to use in social media to attract viewers to a longer story.
This example, which shows the step-by-step process of becoming certified in the Best Aquaculture Practice program helps non-English speakers understand the process.
This graphic for the International Association for Child Safety shows how to secure a TV to prevent a TV tipover accident. It’s a stand alone graphic and was used for social media promotion. With very few words, it shows the detail involved with properly securing a TV and its stand.
Infographics build your brand
Infographics can be short and easy to follow, or they can be longer and more complex, depending on the information you’re looking to share. The point is that they are a very effective brand building tool because they educate your audience and are highly shareable.