Content is on rise, with more than 90 percent of Business2Business marketers using content marketing to engage with clients, stakeholders and employees. But as we all know, content is only useful if it is presented well.
A successful content marketing strategy combines strong technical knowledge with creative writing skills and visual content methods to inform, engage and persuade.
Infographics, which are quite simply visual representations of data, is increasingly being used to more effectively communicate complex or technical information to busy readers in a clear and concise way.
Infographics have been around for many years, mostly notable used for subway network maps, weather mapping or statistical graphs featured in newspapers and magazines. Most annual reports also use infographics to summarise company data and results ‘at a glance’. This is because the brain processes pictures at once, whereas text is processed in a linear fashion, which takes longer.
More than ever, infographics are being used by marketers, storytellers, designers and creative problem solvers to engage with, and communicate complex concepts and processes with readers. Designing and creating an infographic and using it as a tool for content marketing is much more complicated than simply drawing graphics or charts. The designer and infographics creator must know how to effectively convey the meaning and context of a particular set of information in graphical form that readers can understand.
Popular applications for infographics include:
- Social media – images, particularly cartoons to promote ‘clickability’
- Strategic, operational and practice group plans – To communicate how to get from vision to meeting targets and goals
- Business and service delivery models – An easy way to explain to an audience how products or services work or connect together to service a client / customer.
- Capability or credential statements – Communicating company structure and service methodologies enhances understanding of key service milestones or touch points
- Tenders, bids and submissions – With word or page limitations now common in RFTs, infographics can greatly reduce the word count of a response. They are especially effective in condensing a procedure into a flow diagram, to explain a service delivery model or communicating timelines and/or project delivery milestones.
- Change management and technical communications – Providing instructions or processes can be more simply conveyed through simple visual cues that link key steps to purpose or outcomes.
- Comparisons and analysis – Infographics help us to process statistics, to explore patterns and trends, and make data better understood. They are especially useful to convey research findings (eg social media uptake), making benchmark comparisons (eg suburban real estate prices), explaining financial results or making financial projections (eg. presentations, annual reports, investor prospectus).
There is no doubt that graphic visualisations help make sense of large amounts of data to make content more engaging, and to visually tell a story. Infograhpics are not only a dynamic way to show information but they also depict a higher level of visual thinking that can help guide, focus and structure the content and the process of mapping ideas towards carefully targeted outcomes.