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Content Marketing

Infographics: Are They Part of Your Content Strategy?

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Yes, words are important – but our brains are wired for images. Using them right will draw eyeballs and backlinks.

According to the data-centric organization Domo, we humans generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of data daily. The company estimates that by 2020, about 1.7 megabytes of data will be created every second for every person on earth.

This information is difficult to wrap your head around. You might want to visualize it. It’s why Domo turned it into an infographic.

Studies show that 90 percent of the information transmitted to our brain is visual. And while the average person can read up to 15,000 words an hour, we can register 36,000 visual messages during that same time. Images transmit messages faster, and it’s why infographics should be part of your content strategy.

Infographics tell stories

It’s just a way to visualize data, right? Well, actually, wrong – and it has to do with the concept of storytelling. Infographics tell a premeditated story using data to guide an audience to a subjective conclusion. Data visualizations prompt an audience to draw their own objective conclusions. For example, this data visualization of the daily routines of famous creative people draws no subjective conclusions, allowing you to decide for yourself what you think of the fact that Pablo Picasso painted while Kurt Vonnegut slept.

An infographic can contain data visualizations, but data visualizations cannot include infographics.

Statistically, infographics crush text

According to SMA Marketing, an infographic is 30 times more likely to be read than a text article. HubSpot did some digging and came up with even more numbers to support the effectiveness of infographics. They reached out to KISSmetrics, which reported that over a two-year period, infographics generated 41,142 backlinks and 41,359 tweets from more than 2.5 million visitors.

Besides the fact that our brains are hardwired to process visual information, we also are – as Domo reports – reaching a point of information overload. It’s estimated that outside of work, we each consume around 100,500 words or 34 gigabytes of information on an average day, which may be more than five times the amount of information we consumed in the mid 1980s, just before the internet jumped on the scene. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to discover, as Buffer reports, that 55 percent of website visitors read your articles for just 15 seconds before moving on.

You can tip that ugly statistic in your favor by making sure that infographics are a part of your content strategy. Here’s why.

Visuals invite engagement

Images trump words and push back against information overload. Research presented by Xerox shows that visuals and the use of color increase the willingness to engage (read) by up to 80 percent.

Images work when they have to

There are times when it’s crucial to get the word out, as in information on medication labels that people should read before taking. A study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that the rate that people understood medication prescription labels improved from 70 percent with text only to 95 percent when simple icons and graphics were added.

A strong tool for persuading

The Wharton School of Business conducted a study and determined that presentations given by participants persuaded only half the audience when the method was purely verbal. As much as we may hate PowerPoint slide decks, the level of persuasiveness increased to 76 percent when the presentation was given with accompanying visuals. Images are so persuasive that one study found just adding images of brain scans while mentioning phrases like “cognitive neuroscience” was enough to make people more inclined to believe what they were reading.

We remember what we see

One of the main reasons why prospects and customers appreciate infographics is because information presented this way is easier to recall. We remember just 10 percent of what we hear and 20 percent of what we read. But we can recall up to 80 percent of what we see and do. 

Autism Parenting Magazine created an entire post on the Benefits of Visual Supports for Children with Autism and highlighted that visual aids can open lines of communication between children with ASD and their caretakers. This further echoes the importance of leveraging visual tools for readers of all ages and environments. 

Infographics get shared

Visual content such as infographics is liked and shared three times more than any other type of content. That’s good news for your SEO efforts, too. Google gives preferential treatment to content it sees as more shareable. Prospects and customers will share it with their respective networks, and other organizations in your industry will link to it.

Infographics are an effective way to establish yourself as subject matter expert because of the greater probability that the content will be shared and create opportunities for backlinks.

A picture is worth…

A thousand words. The trouble is that we don’t have time to read all those words. It’s why there are opportunities for infographics to do the heavy lifting and tell the story. Infographics allow readers to dive into complex subjects and easily digest relevant information. You’re taking advantage of the 90/20 rule.

No, that’s not a typo. You’re thinking of the 80/20 rule. Different subject.

In the case of infographics, you’re banking on the fact that 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and people read only about 20 percent of the text on a page. Providing the information you want them to retain and share as an infographic works in your favor. Do you want visual proof?

Many of the benefits provided by making infographics a part of your content strategy were turned into an awesome visual presentation. You probably retained a few statistics that you’ve read here so far. Now, go check out this infographic about infographics.

Learn how we can help you take your content strategy to the next level.

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