Infographics are workhorses decked out in colorful racing silks. Adaptable to a variety of industries and topics, they harness information and turn it into content that’s quick to understand, engaging and memorable. If you’re thinking about using infographics in marketing, ask yourself: what kind of data do I have to share? Can it be visualized (for instance, as a list, in a map or chart, or with a timeline)? Can it be organized with a clear focus? Does it tell a story?
Gareth Cook, author of The Best American Infographics series, tells the Harvard Business Review why infographics can be so convincing: “Infographics have an emotional power because they can show you an idea—or a relationship, or how something works—very quickly. People respond to that. A persuasive infographic surprises the viewer. It moves them in some way and makes them want to keep looking at it or show it to other people.” The best infographics, he claims, get you thinking. And the good news? Infographics really do work the way our brain works. Here’s how:
- About 65% of us are visual learners1, so it helps our brains when information is presented in a visually appealing way.
- We process visual information about 60,000 times faster than text.1
- About half of our brain is dedicated to processing visual information2, which is why we can understand visuals so quickly.
The tourism and meeting industries are made for visual information. Here’s a case in point: The National Conference Center, a behemoth meeting facility outside DC, wants its target audiences to understand its size and scope. It’s hard to capture in a photo or copy, but a Dana-created infographic-style direct mail translates The National’s impressive stats into a compelling missive, perfect for a meeting planner to show the boss. (See our infographic at the top of this post.)
Dana is also using infographics in marketing New Jersey as a regional vacation destination. Infographics highlight the state’s key attractions, diverse activities and seasonal events, plus they can slice and dice information according to interest, time of year and demographics. (And they’re just plain fun!) For 2016, infographic topics ranged from New Jersey’s iconic landmarks and summer outings for all ages to charming small towns and a cornucopia of fall festivals.
The infographics’ whimsical graphic style encourages readers to download, print and display, and accompanying feature stories support the infographics with rich, actionable content. Maybe a picture’s worth a thousand words, but this infographic series merited nearly 22,000 downloads from May through November 2016.
Want to rein in your content with tactical infographics? Contact Lynn Kaniper at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609.466.9187, ext. 117 today.
2 The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Psychology