The proof that infographics work to boost and enhance content marketing is everywhere. Books. Blogs. Articles. Companies across industries use infographics frequently in countless educational, promotional and training materials. And software companies that help untrained-in-design humans create images and infographics are ubiquitous. As far back as 2014, the Harvard Business Review was touting how an effective infographic is “an instant revelation” and knowledge in a nutshell.
“It can compress time and space. It can illuminate patterns in massive amounts of data. It can make the abstract convincingly concrete,” according to HBR. “The most compelling infographics mine relationships among overlooked variables to tell you something unexpected and get you thinking. The least effective confuse you, overwhelm you with data, or are just plain boring.”
But what’s helpful to know about why infographics are so powerful? Let’s go to the infographic.
- After three days, humans retain only 10-20 percent of written or spoken information but almost 65% of visual information. (Changing Minds)
- 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. (Visual Teaching Alliance)
- Visuals have been found to improve learning by up to 400%. Also, they affect learners on a cognitive level and stimulate imagination, therefore, enabling users to process the information faster. (Stanford Vision and Learning Lab)
- People like and share infographics 3x more than any other content on social media. (HubSpot)
- More than 50 percent of the human brain is wired for visual processing. (National Library of Medicine)
- People following directions with text and illustrations understand 323% better than people following text without illustration. (HubSpot)
The best use of infographics is always connected to what your goal is for any specific piece of content marketing. Don’t create an infographic just because it’s what the cool content marketers do. Know what you want to accomplish and what kind of infographic will help you tell that story. According to a recent article in the Journal of Visual Literacy, infographics can serve seven functions.
- Decorative, which is any infographic that makes the visual more aesthetically pleasing. (So, not a pie chart!)
- Representational, which is used to show the exact or nearly exact depiction of something being taught, such as the parts of a human cell or the buttons to push on a mobile phone.
- Mnemonic, which is designed to help memory, such as when an infographic visually shows a mnemonic device, such as spelling out ROYGBIV with the color of the rainbow for each letter, with R colored in red.
- Organizational, which serves to organize information in a logical way, like in an organization chart for a business.
- Relational, which uses typical graphics, including pie charts, bar graphs and line charts to display the relationships of the data. (Big, high, expanding.)
- Transformational, which shows transformation as processes or phases of a phenomenon, such as using various pictures to show the moon phases or a butterfly metamorphosis from a caterpillar.
- Interpretive, which uses infographics that require the user to interpret them, so some foundational knowledge is needed. (A political cartoon would be an example of an interpretive graphic, albeit not a traditional infographic.)
When designing your infographics to use in your content marketing, consider what you want to accomplish with them and what function is best used to achieve that goal.
If you’re in interested in how infographics can work in your content marketing, call or email. Let’s start a conversation (and an infographic).
Infographics are effective because they convey information visually, which is easier for the brain to process and remember.
Humans retain almost 65% of visual information, compared to only 10-20% of written or spoken information.
Visuals can improve learning by up to 400% and stimulate imagination, enabling users to process information faster.
Yes, people like and share infographics 3x more than any other content on social media.