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The rise of the infographic: Three reasons to use infographics to enhance your message

By Mikela Dennison

There are so many compelling reasons to include infographics in your business communications. This post will explore three reasons to add this innovative and visual tool to your communications.

In the last year, infographics have become increasingly popular online and are used to convey information about a huge range of subjects.

Infographics get to the heart of communication and learning styles, and it is now common knowledge that the more you can reinforce content through different formats, the more likely it becomes that your audience will absorb your message.

Think about the different ways people learn; from documents, to speeches, to diagrams, to having to explain to others what you know, to videos - there is a diverse and growing number of ways that you can communicate with your audience, and infographics are fast becoming another useful and effective business communication tool.

This post will explore three key reasons you should take into account when thinking about using infographics to tell your business story.

1. No one wants to read a 15 page word document

In a fast-paced business environment, not many people would opt to read a long and text-heavy document unless they have to - and even then, skim reading and executive summaries can help a lot.

Infographics give businesses an ideal way to communicate complex information and data in a visual, interesting and accessible way.

You can still capture all the important information, but when you present it in an infographic format there is more chance that people will want to engage with the material – if only because of the novel way in which it is used.

2. You can communicate your brand and message through visual cues that go beyond your logo

Is your brand fun and innovative, or more conservative and discreet? Is your tone serious and authoritative or more informal and chatty?

These brand elements can be communicated through the visual cues in your infographic through:

  • Headings, message and text
  • Subject matter and the figures included
  • Style of the graphic through fonts, people/characters, and other illustrations
  • Information included about your brand in the footer
Using your brand guidelines to ensure consistency throughout the infographic means that you can incorporate it into your suite of communications tools – it is not a standalone piece of work, but rather something that can be used online, in hard copy, on the office wall or even as part of a larger document (think annual reports, white papers, proposals, and research).

3. Infographics take on a life of their own

Whether it is for the website, for social sharing, for inclusion in a brochure, bid or pitch, or it is going to be framed in your office - infographics are beautiful communication tools that people love to look at and engage with.

Easily sent via email as a PDF or jpeg and ready for sharing on social media through visual channels like Pinterest or Google+, infographics consistently receive far higher hit rates than their less glamorous cousin - the Word document.

Because of changes to Google's algorithm in 2011, high quality websites are now ranked higher than plain text websites; which means websites featuring infographics are given more prominence in search engines.

How we're helping clients to use infographics and enhance their business offering

We work with clients to create infographics for a range of purposes:

  • To visually depict Statements of Intent, vision, mission and actions for the year ahead
  • To graphically illustrate complex data that people will want to use
  • To show how processes work, with detail about each stage and the key players involved
  • As a visual aid in Annual Reports and re-branding exercises
For a breakdown of why you should be using infographics in your content marketing, check out this interesting post from social media expert Jeff Bullas.

Our favourite infographic site

We like to stay up with the play and get a new infographic delivered to our inboxes every day. The Daily Infographic consistently features stunning graphics, covering a range of topics from business, to entertainment, beer, global warming, and social media – you name it and there is most likely an infographic for it.

You can also check out a great example called The State of Infographics (yes, it's an infographic about infographics) to see the current picture and why people are increasingly utilising this innovative and visual communications tool to share ideas and engage people with your brand's message.

Using social media tools is a helpful way to curate infographics that you find interesting - they always come in handy when you decide to get an infographic created for your brand. Check out my infographics board on Pinterest for some ideas.