Infographics: why you need them

With the internet, we have information at our fingertips. Be it on a social media platform, news website or even a corporate landing page, the access to data and research seems infinite, and at times, quite overwhelming.

By nature, humans are creative, visual creatures and our ability to digest information relies heavily on our optical senses. And as much as a set of well-crafted sentences may garner an emotionally-spurred response, we must remember the timeless adage: “a picture is worth a thousand words”.

In light of this, it’s quite easy then to understand why infographics are so important. The combination of words and images presents a novel way of getting across information whilst also retaining the reader’s attention in the most efficient and attractive way possible.

It’s therefore no wonder that Google Trend figures have revealed an 800 per cent increase in interest in infographics since 2010.

But if you want to understand the nitty-gritty details of why exactly we need infographics, we’re here to tell you.

 

Reception

According to Caitlin McCabe, a journalist who has written for a number of prominent news platforms in the US, an infographic “keeps people’s interest by lending a storytelling and visual element to what can be sterile research.” There’s absolutely no doubt that colourful images will catch an audience’s attention far more quickly than a large chunk of text; it is known that images are processed about 60,000 times faster than words, so it’s no real surprise that an infographic will assist the research in appearing more engaging to keep the readers’ interest.

Retention

The average reader will only scan 20 per cent of any given page before deciding whether she or he wants to stay on and read further. Because of this, infographics are a great tool, as images spark interest and transfer more information in a shorter time frame.

By allowing your readers to skim a piece of text, you are giving them the chance to sample your content before they make the final decision. Text-heavy articles often discourage readers from sticking around, and so colourful images are bound to entertain and push readers to browse further, with the invitation of more easy-to-digest graphics on other pages too.

Maximisation

Images are more evergreen than text, which is why its usage in articles will boost content for the sake of SEO rankings. Furthermore, infographics also provide the opportunity to attach industry-specific keywords and backlinks, which allow your content to stay relevant in the field.

Beyond this, it’s worth noting the shareable nature of infographics, as opposed to just text. A popular image has the potential to go viral on the web, and can be resized to suit all screens and user interfaces. Content is only as good as its ability to be circulated, and an infographic is bound to go further on social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter, and naturally, this element will lend itself to branding and customer retention.

But what purpose do they serve?

Perhaps the most fundamental use of an infographic is to facilitate the rapid transmission of information to the reader, in a way that simply cannot be achieved through chunky paragraphs.

But really, there’s no better way to explain the purpose of an infographic than through the use of examples.

The image’s goal is simple: show the 10 companies which own all the major food brands across the world. Evidently, the picture delivers on its aim, as we are gifted with all this information without sentences or paragraphs.

The infographic makes use of colourful logos to draw in readers with the attraction of familiarity, and retains them by forcing the audience to follow the links and learn which household brand is owned by which larger corporation.

Imagine how long it would take if you were to relate the same material over text? Eons, we’d expect. It is because of this almost instant transfer of information that infographics are popular and so widely used across the internet.

And with 36,000 shares across the internet, the image’s success is exemplary of the purpose an infographic ought to serve.

The ability to physically draw comparisons is another reason for the need for infographics. This infographic is a particularly good one, and with a success rate of 47,000 shares across the internet, it’s not surprising to see why.

Indeed, it is a very well-designed graphic. Each section is streamlined with bold colours coordinated for each section, which allows readers to immediately draw comparisons with reference to the colour scheme.

Furthermore, a quick sweep over the infographic will immediately demonstrate the favourable image-to-text ratio; it makes full use of popular logos, assisted by a handful of numbers to show impact. Above all, the infographic embodies consistency, which lends itself well to the easy-to-digest nature of the material and design to allow readers to draw visual comparisons.

Storytelling is a third incredibly important aspect and reason to use infographics in text because narratives are incomplete without pictures.

This infographic showcases the stories of numerous famous figures in our society, and highlights that it is never too late to learn.

With the images, it’s easy to glean the life stories of the 15 individuals, starting at birth and ending at death, when they began learning their craft and achieved success. Evidently, there are few words expressing these details; however, the colours and images highlight the movement in time and their individual stories in terms of what each person did and when.

Above all, the infographic makes use of the comparison element, allowing the readers to see the progress of the individuals alongside one another. If this were written entirely in words, it’d be pages and pages worth of text. However, with the infographic, the story can be condensed into a page that will capture an audience’s attention and convey the same information in one shot.

 

From drawing in an audience, keeping them on board and then expanding the bracket to new customers, an infographic is a valuable tool in content creation, boosting brand awareness, and in establishing yourself as an industry expert.

Bear in mind the picture-to-word ratio and colour palette, and the importance of striking (but few!) words to drive home your point with your audience and a well-balanced image will do just the trick to get your content out there!

Combine creativity and research, and boost your brand’s SEO rankings with an infographic or two that accompanies your well-crafted text. Contact a content writer at Attention Agency today.

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