While video often gets the most attention in visual-based digital marketing, infographics have been doing much of the heavy lifting for brands in terms of driving engagement on a range of platforms. In fact, infographics have seen the biggest spike in usage in B2B marketing since 2016, according to Content Marketing Institute.
Two-thirds of marketers now regularly use infographics and they are the fourth most-used format overall, but what makes them so valuable?
Displaying thought leadership is one of the many objectives that brands target when deploying content marketing campaigns. Infographics are perfect for achieving this as they allow you to put forward stats, facts and snippets of information within a graphically pleasing and engaging image format that increases the credibility of your brand.
Publishing a series of infographics with insights that can actually help B2B leaders to make important decisions, for example, can have a huge impact on how much they like and trust you. This makes it easier for you to move them through the sales cycle and convert. They are also more likely to return in the future and consume more of your content marketing output.
Guide the reader
Written text can communicate a point eloquently, but the mixture of text and illustrations is much better at directing the reader. Research by Springer shows that people following directions are 323% more likely to take in and follow what is being presented when there are text and illustrations, compared to when there is just text.
People are generally visual learners, and infographics enable you to mix engaging copy with eye-catching images to inform and educate. This makes them perfect for basic guides, as well as for demonstrating the findings of a survey or research.
If you want something to be easily read, understood and remembered, then you should consider investing in more infographic-based content in 2021.
Perfect for sharing
An infographic with an excellent design that perfectly ties together a host of stats and numbers with compelling copy will be more memorable than a basic block of text. This makes it eminently shareable as readers will want to share new knowledge and experiences with others on social platforms.
When infographics are disseminated by fans and followers on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn in this way, it increases your visibility and reach on social media. Infographics also align neatly with the demand for digestible, bite-sized content on social platforms, so you might want to consider using them more if you have a social-based campaign on the horizon.
Great for SEO
There are other benefits to sharing. When people click, like and share your content on social media, this sends a sort of ‘social signal’ to Google that your content is valuable, which can then lead to better performance in search engines. Google’s algorithm is weighted heavily towards the ‘PageRank’ signal that measures the importance of webpages, so infographics can really help in this regard.
Generate more organic traffic
A beautiful and compelling infographic is an excellent tool for driving more traffic to your webpages, which is often the primary goal for content campaigns. While your creative efforts won’t always translate to a spike in visitors by default, infographics can really increase important metrics when they are built with audiences in mind.
This means that you need to use the right keywords, tailor the content for personas, and have a distribution plan that will get your infographic front and centre so that it is served to your audience at exactly the right moment.
Now that you know the myriad benefits of infographics for your business, you can start experimenting with different formats and considering how to optimise them correctly for SEO.
There are so many ways that you can communicate complex ideas in an infographic, and it is fair to say that the format has evolved recently. Brands are now making use of interactive infographics to tell stories and convey information, but standard formats can be just as effective depending on the objective. The five most common forms are:
- Static infographics that present information in an easily digestible format
- Interactive infographics that are great for storytelling
- Video infographics that use edited footage
- Zooming infographics that allow readers to see smaller details more clearly
- Animated infographics that have some form of motion, such as a moving pie chart or graph
Infographics don’t need to be published as a standalone, and more often than not, they can work just as well when incorporated within a blog to expand on relevant points. There are many ways that you can explore a keyword or topic with an infographic. If you need assistance during the creative phase, partnering with an agency can help.
Optimise for SEO
Many of the SEO best practices that are used for blogs and articles translate to infographics. You should aim to incorporate target keywords where possible. While it is not always easy to include them in the main body of the image, you can add them in other sections.
You should also include a specific file name for your infographic, rather than relying on a simple jumble of numbers or letters followed by ‘.png’. Google will use the file name to understand the context of the infographic.
Optimising the alt text is also important as this adds further information for Google when it crawls and indexes your image. Alt descriptions for images should use a normal sentence structure and be as detailed as possible, yet succinct. One or two sentences are usually enough, but steer clear of opening with “an image of” or stuffing in too many keywords or phrases. You also need to optimise the URL (max 60 characters) and meta description (135-160 characters).
Now you are all set and ready to go with an infographic that could unlock the full potential of your content marketing campaigns heading into 2021. While video is often the go-to format in the visual space, always consider how you can weave in cost-effective and engaging infographics to improve the quality of your output.