November 11, 2011
Let’s face it: Online marketing trends come and go faster than Kim Kardashian’s weddings. One day you’re creating a newspaper ad for your business; 72 days later you can’t pry yourself away from Twitter. People are constantly on the move, so it makes sense that marketing trends, especially online ones, would struggle to stay fresh and exciting. However, there are a few online tactics, such as a few of the major social media networks and email marketing, which have been able to stand the test of time and remain profitable for businesses. Although not quite as popular just yet, there is one online marketing trick that I expect will become big (bigger than the Kardashian wedding big) and will stand the test of time—the infographic.
For those who are unfamiliar, infographic stands for “information graphic” and is designed to share information or knowledge visually. Well technically anything with a picture can be considered an infographic—a street sign, the weather report, graphs and charts—consumers typically think of infographics as something they see online. Companies are utilizing these graphics to help consumers understand complicated topics in business. Consider a few of the advantages of creating a company infographic:
Advantages of an Infographic
Most business owners or marketing department heads actually agree that making an infographic can be fun because it allows your company to show its creativity. For an example of a good infographic, check out “Choosing a Business Structure” from Business.com.
Businesses usually hire a web designer or a team of web designers to create an infographic. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when discussing the graphic with your designers. This can sometimes feel like a complicated process, but if you know what you’re looking for and you know the way an infographic is supposed to work then the fun can begin. Consider a few of the tips to creating a successful infographic:
5 Tips to Creating a Successful Infographic
1. Infographics are NOT meant to be general—Think Specific
Infographics are about getting down to those confusing little details. You do not want to create an infographic that is very general because usually general subjects can be discussed easily with plain text. A tip: Start specific and then go broad.
2. Infographics are NOT simple charts and diagrams—Think Interaction
If you want to get technical, a chart can be considered an infographic. However, many businesses today are beginning to create infographics with icons and funny design elements. Most importantly, many of these graphics actually take readers through a series of slides to help them make their decisions. This allows readers to be interactive and remain engaged (see the Business.com graphic as an example!).
3. Infographics are NOT meant to be confusing—Think Simplicity
This may sound obvious, but companies have gotten a little bit too excited with the creativity in the past. You do not want your infographic to be boring, but it shouldn’t be too over the top with images or colors. This will be too confusing and people will lose interest. In other words, you will completely miss the idea of an infographic.
4. Infographics are NOT free of calculation errors—Think Accuracy
This sounds a bit confusing, but all I mean is you must pay attention to any data you use in an infographic. If you need to scale down your numbers, make sure you stay consistent.
5. Infographics are NOT meant to hide information—Think Openness
It’s always a good idea to give readers the option of clicking a link for more information. Sometimes infographics try to cover a lot, but you do not want your infographic to be too long (if it’s interactive). For this reason, focus on the important points, but give readers and outlet to learn more if they wish.
In today’s world, marketing is about getting someone engaged and keeping them there for more than two minutes. This can be difficult, but infographics are slowly proving that they have lasting power and can make this happen. Although your business infographic might not be quite as eye catching as the Kardashian divorce, your readers will learn something useful.
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