Infographics are everywhere – it seems like no report or product is released without some sort of infographical accompaniment. But because they’re everywhere, I recently heard someone ask if we’d reached peak infographic.
“Do they actually still work as a marketing tool?”
The short answer is: “Yes.”
Our brains process visual information quickly
Physiologically, we’re wired to respond to images. 50% of the brain is involved in visual processing, and it takes just a tenth of a second for us to understand a visual scene. This means images help us understand messages and scenarios fast. In fact, neuroscientists found that the brain can identify images seen for as little as 13 milliseconds. Including relevant visual cues in your marketing therefore makes it easier for people to understand what you’re communicating.
Images are easier to remember
It’s not just about speed – it’s also about recall.
According to developmental molecular biologist John Medina, “We are incredible at remembering pictures. Hear a piece of information, and 3 days later you’ll remember 10% of it. Add a picture, and you’ll remember 65%.”
Research repeatedly shows that brains are very good at storing images in our long-term memory. Which means using visuals in marketing means you’re in a stronger position to cut through the noise.
You can communicate complex messages more easily
The London underground map is a perfect example.
Designed by Harry Beck in 1931, it’s an iconic image that people of all ages and cultures understand. No, the Circle Line is not actually a circle (or rounded square). But Beck’s infographical approach to illustrating the London network achieves its goal of simplifying a complex system, communicating information quickly and effectively through clever design.
It’s easy to adapt messaging for multiple channels
Recent Engage Hub research found that businesses are becoming increasingly customer-centric. And that means there’s a growing need to be targeted and relevant at all times – it’s about making it easy for people to interact with you on their terms (and get the outcome they want).
Infographics have a role to play in this wider endeavour because they make it easy for you to communicate effectively across channels.
Elements of your infographic (even gifs and motion graphics) can go in emails to emphasise a message or call to action.
All major social media platforms are emphasising visual content. Not only is it easier for followers to process your message when you use imagery, but the algorithms favour it when it comes to broadening your reach and engagement. Infographics give you a toolkit of relevant imagery for your social cards – something we have great success with at Engage Hub:
The secret: clarity and creativity
The next time you have a message to communicate, think: “What would Harry Beck do?” That is to say – what’s the best way to distil everything visually? Maybe it’s a chart or graph. Maybe it’s using animation and motion graphics.
My advice: challenge yourself. Instead of defaulting to your standard template, put yourself in your reader’s shoes and see what would make it easiest for them to understand your point. And for a bit of inspiration, check out these recent efforts using different approaches (while staying within brand guidelines):
Don’t forget to take a look at our latest infographic – Let’s Talk About the Importance of Effortless Customer Experience – in here.