Infographics—and visual content in general—are huge right now, and there’s no sign of it letting up anytime soon. From 2015 to 2016 alone, infographic usage increased among B2B companies from 50% to 58% making infographics the content choice for B2B brands.

How come more and more brands are turning to this visual content medium? Because it converts. But how? Let’s explain.

Why Are Infographics Effective?

Most people would describe themselves as visual learners. When they read through a lengthy multi-paragraph study, they don’t absorb the key concepts as easily and straightforwardly as when it’s SHOWN to them. This is where infographics come into play. They provide a perfect fusion of imagery and key information, helping individuals retain a higher quantity of actionable information for improving their business.

The more users who are engaging with and processing your information, the more attention your brand will attract, the better SEO practices you’ll be implementing in the process, and the higher your conversion rate will be! That last thing is always what we want to hear.

Effective infographics can elevate your website to new heights, especially through the following branding areas:

  • Site Authority

Any SEO will tell you the importance of quality content on a site, especially when it comes to domain and page authority. These are two areas that effectively determine the “worth” of your site based on the content you offer, and then they determine your placement in search engines. The problem is, there’s no single metric that can be used to measure a site’s authority. It’s a combination of many factors that may or may not play an important role in ranking a particular site. Thankfully, there’s something we do know—infographics have been proven to boost a site’s domain authority.

The reason for this is intuitive. To be an ‘authority’ on any topic you must disseminate knowledgeable, and accurate insight that users can trust and utilize on their own accord. We tend to think of our parents or teachers as authority figures for this reason, but the same can be said about informative web content. Infographics are an effective teaching tool, making your content more palatable to a wide user base which in turn solidifies your domain authority.

Source: NicheHacks

Building authority is a tiered process, but infographics can help move the process along a little faster.

  • Generating Backlinks/Content Shareability

The best way to build authority for your site is by earning many credible backlinks. And how do you go about earning them? With high quality content, like, I don’t know, an infographic perhaps?

Size is less important compared to the quality of content you’re offering viewers. As you can see in 25 Ways to Build Better Backlinks.

25-Ways-to-Build-Better-Backlinks-Final.png

In this infographic, we have a useful piece of content that people will love to share. It’s full of insight information, is easy to follow, and looks nice too. Yes, aesthetics matter.

The importance of aesthetics is clear in the deterioration of the ‘list post.’ As recently as 2-3 years ago, list posts were the masters of generating links, but this is starting to change. People desire visually enhanced content like never before, making lists a tougher draw for shareability—even if the list is a good list. Infographics offer a perfect blend of information and visual stimulation, taking over where the list posts used to dominate.

Another reason why infographics are so quickly interpreted and understood is that they favor our human propensity to “scan” content rather than read through it entirely. We feel like we absorb more information from infographics because they are so easily scannable for our eyes, then we feel the need to share our newfound knowledge with the world! Or, at the very least, our friends list.

The key to getting your infographic shared in perpetuity is to keep it simple, yet focused. In other words, include only the correct amount of information related to the subject at hand, keeping it focused on your intended audience.

If you’re creating an infographic to show ecommerce sites the proper steps for leading their customers through a sales funnel, you wouldn’t include a section on converting in-store customers (in most cases). It would deviate too far off course from the ONLINE nature of the info you’re trying to provide.

In case you needed more proof to see that infographics rule for shareability, studies show that infographics are shared 3x more often than other content.

  • Engagement Time

Now that we’ve established how infographics can get you some much needed shareability currency, what do you suppose happens when the average consumer gets a hold of your content? Well, considering that consumers are 30 times more likely to read an infographic than a text-based piece of content, there’s a good chance your content will be thoroughly digested by many readers.

The amount of engagement time also speaks to the uniqueness of your content offering. If the material is fresh and includes valuable data from your research efforts, users will spend longer analyzing it. Examples of engaging content in your niche could be case studies, product comparisons, or success stories.

Your engagement time is also improved by having a visually appealing design to serve as the backdrop for your well-researched data. This might require hiring some helpful design hands, which we’ll discuss in a bit.

  • Brand Credibility

What does domain authority, shareability, and engagement time boil down to? Increasing your brand’s credibility. You want to be treated as the foremost expert in your niche, right? Then set about creating an infographic that gets well-received by your industry peers.

A well-designed infographic is like shooting a movie on 35mm film. It makes your product look more professional! Instinctively, others will recognize you as a valuable resource for their betterment.

Being viewed as a ‘thought leader’ in your niche is a huge accomplishment, one that can pivot customers in your direction. Let’s just say that when customers are unfamiliar with specific goods or services of a brand, it’s the brand credibility that will cause them to gravitate their buying decisions in favor of the brand.

Finding Information For Your Infographic

You may have been led to believe that hours upon hours of laborious research are required to produce your infographic. This is sometimes the case, but not always. It’s true that many infographics reveal the results of month-long, year-long, or multiple year-long studies. It’s also true that infographics are just a fancy way of organizing information, the contents of which can be procured from existing data.

Many of the internet’s most successful infographics include little or zero quantifiable content. Like this one depicting the 10 exercises you can do right at your desk.

okGqfWpmm4oArwCkpBAa9m-650-80.jpg

Source: DesignTaxi

Rather than displaying hard stats about, say, an inactive lifestyle, this brand is relying on their personal insights into office exercises to cultivate the infographic. This particular one has been recognized by Creative Bloq as one of the 100 best infographics on the web.

One way to discover content for your infographic is by going through past blog posts and determining which pieces could be well-translated into the visual medium. Posts that include lists can work extremely well, like we saw in the aforementioned example, and they are relatively easy to articulate into an infographic.

It’s also advisable to scroll through past emails in search of content ideas. You could find ideas based on past customer questions, inquiries, or messages among business associates.

Then there’s the old mantra, ‘take what your competition is doing, and do it BETTER.’ Research infographics across your niche and analyze their contents to figure out what’s working and what isn’t. If you’re a content marketing agency and find that your competitors’ article, “7 Methods for Effective SEO” is trending well across the web, you might want to formulate your own SEO article with even more content—unique to you of course. This uniqueness could include the use of an odd number, like “19 Methods for Effective SEO.”

  • Brainstorming

When it comes to structuring your killer infographic based on the information you’ve gathered, Barry Feldman of the Content Marketing Institute suggests the following techniques for conceptualizing the final product:

Wordstorm – like keywords, this refers to the use of specific “buzz” words in your niche to determine how you want to categorize your content.

Mindmapping – structured like a spider, with your central idea as the body and your ancillary ideas sprawled out like its legs. This helps you map out all of the areas you want to hit in your infographic. It may even spawn the growth of new ideas that will add to your content.

Ask Questions – put yourself in your consumer’s shoes and ask, “what am I getting out of this infographic?” Then determine how to answer to questions. These answers might serve to inspire new questions. This includes asking “what if” questions, helping you to tackle potential problems or creative challenges.

Beyond its written content, a killer infographic needs an attractive yet effective design. One that dazzles the viewer and works to highlight the high quality information displayed, rather than take away from it.

Here are some resources you can explore when looking for that perfect design.

Design/Template Resources

When it comes down to creating the infographic itself, you need to strike a balance between cost and professionalism. As with most things in life, a higher quality product usually coincides with a higher cost. But with infographics, there are a number of resources that can deliver a fine amount of professionalism without making you bankrupt. You just need to look in the right places.

We are here to help by making the following recommendations for your infographic design:

  • Easel.ly

Not only is its name a great play on the word “easel,” this product truly does deliver some artistically inspiring content. You can select a template from an extensive list of options, of which you can filter from in order to cater to your specific niche.

screen480x480.jpeg

It’s available for free, but the PRO version costs only $36 per year.

If you’d rather create a template from scratch, you can do so using a number of features including “vhemes” (visual + themes) allowing you to drag objects and media items onto your canvas.

  • PiktoChart

In addition to creating great infographics, their specialties also include formatting reports, presentations, and other documents for your business.

Pro memberships run between $15-$30, giving you access to an even wider array of templates including hi-resolution downloads.

  • Canva

Similar to PiktoChart, Canva can help you create a variety of projects. It’s welcoming interface asks new users a series of questions regarding their visit to the site, then uses that knowledge to help point you in the right direction.

canva.png

Canva is a tad pricey ($12.95/month or $119.40/year), but it gives you access to around 1 million images. Once you get started it’s quick and easy to assemble your infographic.

Examples of Killer Infographics

Which brands are leading the way in producing the sleekest and most effective infographics?

  • GB Show Plates

In 2015, GB Show Plates made a James Bond infographic in honor of the release of Spectre. It’s creative, surprisingly informative, and chic—much like Bond himself.

29b22c5cfd903c9d653bc2b5b07cb209-650-80.jpg

GB Show Plates is a custom license plate maker out of the UK. What does this infographic have to do with license plates? Nothing. But that matters little. It’s witty, insightful, and most importantly, engaging. Sometimes it pays off to invoke pop culture into your infographic. It surely makes it stands out from the rest.

  • Designmantic

This infographic is killing it on all levels. Its title, “10 Commandments of User Interface Design,” literally ‘commands’ our attention right from the start. From there, it’s row/column layout and color-coding helps us compartmentalize all of this information in our minds. It’s sure to leave a lasting impression on UI designers.

9a3afdcee201e4983fb867133177269f-650-80.jpg

From the looks of these two, it’s plain to see that there’s no set formula for designing an infographic. It comes down to your niche, the desired consumer response you’re looking to generate, and your personal taste.

Organize Your Content And Get Started

One of the most common questions asked on the Google Analytics certification exam is regarding when you should implement your strategy. The answer? Formulate the strategy first. The same holds true here. Don’t get overly concerned with design, layout, and implementation before you’ve collected the necessary data. Then we you have your ducks in order, start thinking, “how can I make this stand out?” It’s a competitive environment but with a little creativity and experimentation, you can break through with a killer infographic.