“Content is king.” You’ve heard it a thousand times before, and it’s the inspiration behind Throne Content Marketing. But what does it really mean? That’s a complicated question, but the short answer is that you should be creating content for your audience: stuff that they’re interested in, that they’re excited about, that they want to spread around to their friends and own networks. Part of this is not boring them with repetitive content. Articles are great, but your audience is probably in the mood for something with some visual flair. Why not spice it up a little by throwing in an infographic every once in a while?
First things first – what exactly is an infographic? It’s a “graphic visual representation of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly.” Basically, cut out all of the wordiness and use images to help get the essence of your point across. If you’ve got a list of stats, why put in a 1,500-word blog post what you can put in an image where customers can immediately see what you’re trying to convey? Infographics are becoming more and more popular and are a must-have in any content marketing arsenal.
1) Humans Process Most Content Visually
We’ve always been a visual species, going all the way back to the days of cave paintings. Books and radio, while still having their place, have made way for more visually-appealing entertainment like television and movies. There’s good reason for this: 90% of the information humans process is done visually. If you’re able to give customers content in a way that’s easy for them to process, retain, and enjoy, you’ll obviously have a leg up on the competition.
There are a lot of ways to be visual on the Internet, but infographics are ideal in a lot of situations. In most cases you’ll be trying to be informative, and that’ll put the “info” in “infographic”: they’re a great way to give bites of data and information that are easily identifiable and digestible. There’s no hunting for a stat or a number; instead, it stands out in a creative way as part of an image so that learning becomes an enjoyable process!
2) Infographics Are Quicker than Blog Posts
When you’re writing a blog post, you’re obviously putting your all into it. You want something that people are going to love to read, and you want them to feel like they’re getting their money’s worth. Twitter’s great for short blurbs, but blog posts need to have some meat to them.
However, there’s another reason to worry about the length of your blog posts: Google. (It always comes back to Google, doesn’t it?) Google updates its search algorithms constantly to ensure search results reflect what people find useful or enjoyable rather than sites that are gaming the system. The highest-ranked content is at least 2,000 words in length.
That being said, you’re about people and not machines, and other studies have shown the ideal blog length is around 1,500 words – actually similar to what Google likes. Pretty cool, right? On average, that will take someone 7 or so minutes to read. So what does that mean? That these minutes add up, and that if you want someone to read your content, they need the time; if they don’t have that time, they’ll pass on it.
Infographics are a great way to ensure that this isn’t a concern. Because of their makeup, they’re easy to read; the information is segmented and isn’t bogged down by prose, so your reader gets only the information they need. The images that accompany the data help simplify things even further. Infographics are 30x more likely to be read than text articles, so if you want to promote your brand, infographics are a great option.
3) People Are Looking for Infographics
No matter what you do with your content marketing, it doesn’t mean anything if potential customers can’t find it. That’s why varying your content is so important: you want blog articles, Facebook posts, tweets, and more so your brand is showing up in as many places as possible. Giving people what they want is equally as important; that’s why keeping up with emerging trends and platforms should always be a priority.
So what is it that people want? Increasingly, it’s infographics. Since 2010, Google searches for infographics have increased by over 800%. That firmly cements them in the public consciousness and shows an interest in them. Why are people searching for infographics? Because it’s the way they want to produce and consume content! Your audience clearly wants infographics in their online lives, and you should be scratching that itch for them or risk being beaten by those who do.
4) We Upload Images by the Boatload
The Internet is a big, big place, and there’s a lot out there. Over 500 millions images are uploaded online every day. That’s a staggering statistic.
What does that mean for you? Mostly, it means that everyone loves pictures! Think of all of the places you can put images, from Instagram to image sites like Flickr to cloud storage like Dropbox. Images are everywhere. We’ve become a society that loves to document our lives (both online and off) visually, and we love to share those images with others. That’s why each of those platforms mentioned have built-in sharing options to post, tweet, or text images to our networks.
Obviously your marketing efforts work best if they’re going to where your audience is, and your audience – no matter your industry – is increasingly going toward images. Using infographics means you can use these image platforms to spread your message and your brand, and you’ll be more easily found by potential customers. You know the old saying of, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” Take that to heart when deciding which format you should be using for your content.
5) Social Media Is Image-Centric
As mentioned, the best way to promote your content marketing is by building your presence online. That includes making sure you’re on all of the biggest social media networks, whether it’s with individual content on each or cross-promoting your work wherever you can. Spending so much time on social media is another reason why infographics are so important. Every social media platform is image-centric.
You know the obvious one: places like Pinterest and Instagram have built their whole brand around images. But look at other sites. Twitter has long since included the ability to add image and video in tweets, and recently made photos “more social” with the ability to add up to four images in a tweet. Facebook posts with images receive the highest interaction rate. LinkedIn lets you add images and other rich media to your profile.
Even if you do a lot of your communication via text, those 500 million images are being uploaded somewhere, and they’re resonating with audiences. Infographics are the perfect way to convey information in a way that your customers want, and social media makes that easy to do.
6) Infographics Grow Your Traffic
Simply put, infographics work. According to Anson Alexander:
Publishers that feature infographics grow traffic 12% faster than publishers that don’t feature infographics.
The reasons have been outlined in this post, and the evidence shows that it really does work. Why wouldn’t you want to start using infographics? They’re a fantastic way to diversify your content, they make for a relatively easy repurposing in a pinch, and they’re what your customers want.
Have a favorite infographic, or one you’ve made yourself? Share it with us in the comments!
Header image used under Creative Commons license courtesy of OpenSource.com.