McLellan: A picture is worth a thousand words
Friday, July 26, 2013 7:00 AM
Most people are a combination of visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners, and about 65 percent of us are mainly visual learners. Visual learners easily pick up information with their eyes. Visual learners often associate the things they learn with the images they saw when they first learned the material.
Why are so many of us visual by nature? The brain processes visual information more quickly than text, and it retains more of that information. Ninety percent of the information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text.
Back in the good old days of marketing, we used to (and really still do) talk about white space and using fewer words and more graphs, charts and pictures to tell a story. So it shouldn’t surprise any of us that infographics are here to stay.
Infographics take full advantage of the brain’s power to absorb images, which allows the viewer to capitalize on the advantages visuals can have over text.
I’m sure you’ve seen one but just in case you haven’t, an infographic is a visual representation of information, data and knowledge that is intended to quickly and clearly communicate complex data. It might include maps, charts, diagrams, lists or graphs and usually is a combination of these.
Think of them as a snapshot of complex data that is easy to read and easy to share in a short amount of time. They also generate lots of Web traffic and for many companies have become valuable marketing tools.
There are many elements to a creative, successful, attention-grabbing infographic. They’re essentially stories containing accurate content, controllable design, easy integration and versatility – all advantages from which marketers can benefit.
Thinking about infusing infographics into your marketing? Here are some things to keep in mind:
Tell a Story: An infographic conveys a story or message as a visual sequence. The creative use of graphics helps people to understand the message or story being delivered and increases retention.
Incorporate Insightful Data: A key element of most infographics is statistical data. Viewers are drawn to statistics, so make sure they’re accurate. A single inaccurate statistic will damage the credibility of the entire piece and worse, your company.
Build a Brand: Infographics are great for creating brand awareness, so be sure they accurately reflect your brand. Your graphics should be inviting viewers to investigate your website or company a little more. Be sure you have content to satisfy their interest when they get to your website.
Another benefit is brand recall. Readers of the infographic are not only more aware of your brand but will also recall it better, which may help influence decision-maker purchase consideration. Research shows that the action of sharing increases brand recall by 63 percent.
Make It Easy to Share: These visual tools are easily shared on websites, blogs and social networks. Make sure you give people a way to embed your infographic to generate more traffic, views and shares.
Credibility: Through the use of accurate data, statistics, insights and references, your infographic builds credibility and demonstrates your expertise in a very unique way. It not only reduces complex data to a manageable and eye-catching visual representation, but it also enhances your reputation as a thought leader.
In next week’s column, we’ll look at some “how to” tips in creating your infographics.
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