Inbound, digital, content, social media
An infographic is a visual representation of information. Since 2010 the term “infographic” is a bit of a buzzword among online marketers who consider it as an extra promotional tool for websites, blogs, and social media.
But do people really like it? If so, why they do it? To find answers to these questions we don’t need to conduct a special behavioral marketing research or ask neuroscientists. Visual arts – painting, graphics, photography, cinema, and television – incentivize people for decades and centuries, so infographics do too.
Business wants to communicate with customers about their products and services, especially about sophisticated and difficult to understand ones. So, a simple yet compelling way of infographics allows to represent statistical data or explain complex relationships in a simple manner. “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Therefore, instead of writing an article or blog post that covers a lot of data and uses enough stats and percentages to make the reader’s head spin, you can create an infographic.
Besides aesthetics, I see the benefits of infographics for the audience in simplicity, better communication of ideas, and faster perception. In the 21th century, people often cannot find time to read books, so they prefer to get information on the go and in a form of bullet points. If a reader has to choose between a full-length article and an infographic that needs a few scroll-downs, he’d probably prefer absorbing information straight from the infographic. And if it is interesting enough, he’s likely pass it on.
Mobiles Republic, a global news syndication company, recently released the results from its 2013 survey of news reading habits. People are checking the news more frequently and for shorter amounts of time. Social media is on the rise for checking news, mostly on Facebook and Twitter. Infographics display information in a pretty package, so people can quickly grasp a concept from it.
Some experts think that infographics may replace advertising to the certain extent, as consumers’ attention to traditional advertising continues to decrease. However, marketing is evolving and it is vital that communication techniques continue to evolve too. Savvy marketers understand that infographics, like advertising also appeal to images, feelings, beliefs, and values.
“Look at this! Isn’t it nice?” This expression is very common in our life when we see something attractive. It can be about an infographic as well. We are drawn to good design instinctively. For example, advertising use images of gorgeous women to sell consumer products. “Beauty literally moves us“, wrote Lance Hosey this February in New York Times.
When I thought about roots of visual attractiveness, I also stumbled upon a blog post Why do We Love Photography So Much? by Kent DuFault, a professional photographer and author. His insight in photography helped me to understand the context of visualization more. First of all, visuals (and infographics) are informational, then emotional, and at last they are memorable.
From the 2012 surveys regarding use of Instagram, two key visual trends emerged: seeing and therapy. People wanted more than anything to exchange images with others throughout the network, see and provide “visual status updates” to their friends. It allows people to express themselves and underline their personalities. That confirms that people are excited about the visual social interaction in the internet.
At this moment I can say that infographics are an important part of communication tools evolution. And its future is still bright both for marketers and audience.