Monday, October 6, 2014 / 1 Comments

Infographics: More than just a pretty picture?

Infographics are a powerful way to communicate a lot of information to the public in a way they can easily digest
When was the last time you logged onto social media and didn’t see an infographic? They. Are. Everywhere. Today they are so well established as a means of communicating data they are past the point of dismissing infographics as simply the latest design trend. Infographics are a powerful way to communicate a lot of information to the public in a way they can easily digest. Ignore infographics and you ignore the tool that brands large and small are using to engage with their audience and improve their SEO. So how do you leverage this tool for your own business?
What is an Infographic?
Infographics as we know them might seem like a relatively new thing. Infographic wasn’t a household name until the last four or five years in the online world. However, it might surprise you to know that the main concept of infographics as a method of visually conveying information has been in popular use for hundreds of years. An infographic can be defined as a visual presentation of information that is used to convey a multitude of complex facts clearly and concisely to the intended audience. You could correctly identify a map as an infographic. Weathermen have been pointing at infographics for decades. They are all over school textbooks, transit stations, newspapers and trade shows. The idea of turning data visual for easier consumption by the general public has been with us for ages. But infographics took on a new meaning in the last few years with the emergence of the social media infographic.
Infographics are everywhere. Even resumes.
The infographics I’m talking about developed with the popularization of flash-based programs allowing graphic designers to create and implement visually attractive infographics that could be placed strategically on social media sites. People like a good piece of entertaining eye-candy with a valuable message, so the things started going viral. Now one can hardly log on to Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Twitter without seeing them. So we know people like a pretty picture, but can they really deliver what matters for your business?
Return On Investment
They are pretty, colourful, full of captivating imagery and can communicate complex information to the general public quickly, and - if done well - memorably.  But what does it take to create an effective infographic - one that has the potential to go viral and have a significant role in your digital marketing arsenal? It should be top of mind to any marketing professional worth their weight in business cards. When it comes to infographics, what is the true return on investment? In order to implement these beauties, you need to be able to evaluate the benefits of infographics as a marketing tool to your business.
The common challenge we run into as marketers today in the digital marketing world we live in, is assigning measurable value to every communication tool we use. Many of the benefits to engaging an audience online are intangible and relate more to “relationship building” or building “brand credibility”. It’s difficult to connect those directly to revenue. In this climate so much more is expected of a brand’s communication.  Quality content and meaningful engagement are the status quo, but difficult to assign a dollar value. However the value of a communication initiative that connects your brand to your audience is difficult to downplay.
A projected 60% of Business to Consumer marketers are increasing spending on content. Business to Business marketers are pegged at an increase of 54%. Obviously there is perceived value there.  Why else have we been going to trade shows, galas, festivals and conferences for generations? It can often be difficult to equate an exact ROI on those as well.
That being said, there are many ways one can measure the success of an infographic sent out into the online ether. One could start by setting clear analytical objectives and milestones for as many elements as possible.
What elements might those be?
No-Nonsense, Measurable Returns
Even in the hippy dippy emotional world of social media and digital marketing there will always be hard-fast ways to measure their success - this is still business after all.
Awareness
You can’t spell infographic without "info"! One of the key objectives for any endeavor that includes the implementation of an infographic will be to convey information to your audience. We have ways to measure the success of awareness building through gaining attention from Google, improving your page rank, and simply tallying how many people are looking at your work of info-tainment.
Audience Engagement
So people are coming in contact with your infographic. But do they really like what they see? Find out by taking stock of how many are taking the time to absorb the info, think about it and provide feedback, share it with a friend or click the like button.
Fuzzy, Happy, Intangible Returns
Of course, some of the benefits to providing an entertaining bundle of colourful information to your online audience might not be easily summed up in digits. Emotional currency’s stock is rising.
Building Relationships
If you take the time to dig around you will find in the comments, the likes, the shares, a sense that people are getting involved with your brand, that a conversation is taking place. The beauty of social media is that it can be a two-way exchange between brand and audience. If this is done in a positive, impactful way it leads to brand loyalty - the holy grail of communication objectives.
Creating Brand Credibility
When you provide information, facts, opinions, feedback, a two-way conversation between employees of your company and the potential customers you wish to reach, you are creating credibility – trust in your brand. People like to place their money where they can place their trust.
Brand Experience
When you give your audience valuable content like an infographic, it allows them to spend time with your brand, get a better feel for what your brand is about and what its values are. When done well, providing value to your audience at no cost to them can give them the warm fuzzies. Positive associations with your brand are a natural outcome and when people have as many options as they do today – positive brand experiences can make a big impact in sales.
Getting the most bang for your infographic buck
Companies are pumping out infographics like confetti but not every infographic is created equal. So what does it take to get an infographic that will connect with your audience – maybe even go viral?
The Investment
Depending on your resources you may opt for creating an infographic in-house or contract an agency. With a plethora of online applications available to build your own infographic, the option is certainly available to DIY. However, design agencies are having no trouble drumming up clients to pay anywhere from $500 to $10,000 depending on the scope of research and design involved in production. So what’s involved and is it worth paying the experts?
How to Create the Best Infographic
Let’s talk about the criteria that make an infographic valuable. An effective infographic conveys information to the target audience in a way that is not only entertaining and clear, but most of all memorable.
The point of producing an infographic as a communication tool is to create a buzz that will help a company increase awareness on social media and engage with their audience. In order for that to occur it’s important to ensure that what viewers retain from the infographic is the intended message and not solely the visual impact. When an infographic hits the mark it will drive traffic directly to the source of the information – ie the company website, great for social media analytics and linking. So what are the ingredients of a great infographic?
Good Infographic VS Bad Infographic
The Factors:
The way info is presented, i.e. charts, graphs, photos, illustrations
The method you choose to represent your info is key. Bar graphs? I could make one in Excel in 5 minutes - doesn't get the public’s blood pumping. Designers are coming up with creative, unique new ways to represent that data in an eye-popping way. How about a pie chart that looks like a speedometer? Whether using charts, photos, or vector illustrations it must be cohesive, dynamic, attractive and original. Getting an idea why people are forking out the $$ now?
Use of colour and typography
Obviously it is vital to an infographic to be visually dazzling and the use of colour and typography will have a large impact on the overall design. However important this is, it is far from everything. Focus on the story, the layout, and the facts first. This stuff is the icing. Important, delicious icing, but icing nonetheless.
Layout and clutter
This is the trickiest and most important part of presenting an impactful infographic. The info should be presented as a storyline. It must be engaging and include all the vital data. On top of that it has to be intuitive, dense-while not over cluttered, and original. It will help to map out the information in a wireframe before handing it over to designers.
Factual, Relevant Information
Your infographic is nothing without accurate, relevant data. Fact check. Double fact check. Do everything you can to present the complete truth. Misleading or inaccurate information will be outed at the first opportunity. Providing false data to your audience will do the opposite of building brand credibility.
Infographics are a valuable, ubiquitous part of online communication and engagement between brands and their audiences. If your brand has information to share with the public why not do it in a fun, memorable, easily digestible way. A way that is mobile, shareable, and easily identifiable. Everyone else is doing it.

1 comments :

Blow keeps showing what should be obvious: respect always should begins by ourselves. The graphics department. sabakhan695 niche relevant

Post a Comment

Tweets
Popular