As you read through our blog, you'll notice that we love our infographics. We try to create a visual representation of our topic for everything we cover. But why do we choose to do that? Well, your audience is 30 times more likely to read the text on an infographic that normal written text on a webpage, so who would pass up on that opportunity. Today's Daily Brown Bag covers why infographics are a great way to spread the word about a certain topic, why they've been becoming so popular recently, and how you can start incorporating infographics in your online content marketing strategy!


Hello, and welcome to The Brown Bag. I’m Chad Hill, and I’m joined by Adam Stetzer, and today we’re going to be talking about why we love infographics.

Good morning, Chad. Welcome, everybody, to the Brown Bag. Boy, we sure love infographics here at Semify, and so today our research department has started digging into why that is. Why do we produce so many? Why do we think they’re so useful? Here are some opening statistics. Infographics have been skyrocketing in popularity, really over the last five years. Fueled by the access to research tools and design tools, they’ve become much easier to create. With social media becoming so big in so many peoples’ lives and such a big part of marketing now, that’s also fueling the increase. There is an estimate that from 2010 to 2012, the number of searches for infographics in Google has increased by 800%, so that’s a very large increase. Digg is also reporting that since 2007, infographic usage has increased by a factor of 250 times.

So, we’ve seen a true hockey stick here, Chad, in terms of people searching for infographics, as measured by Google as well as Digg. Here are a few more stats for you. More than 85% of visitors will read the text on an infographic, and that’s a lot higher than the percentage who will read just regular text. Interestingly, people are 30 times more likely to read a quality infographic than text alone, so those stats are very complimentary. Forty percent prefer a visual representation of text, and this last stat coming from Forbes says that 90% of the information we remember is based on the visual impact of that information, and of course infographics, being visual, will drive that imprint. And then the last thing to note is that NPR’s Science Friday recently covered the topics of infographics, visual learning, why they’re good tools, how to spot ones that are good, and even some of the bad tips that some people use when making bad infographics. So, there seems like a lot of data here, Chad. Maybe there are some small businesses who are still not on the bandwagon. We want to talk about that today and why we think they should be joining this trend.

For one thing, we know people have always said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and I think an infographic is truly that case where it draws you into the story and into the text with high-quality content in a way that a bunch of text makes it hard to do. So, let’s talk about why these small businesses are slow to adopt. I think the main reason for that is that it is a little bit of a tedious process. You have to come together, you have to think of some facts that are useful and interesting, and then you have to have a designer who is experienced enough to be able to take those facts and make a picture that tells that story. So, that’s a skill that not everyone has. People who make logos aren’t necessarily great at that. It’s a different skill set that many graphic designers don’t have. But, let’s talk about why people do like them.

They like them because they stand out, they make your content more useful and valuable, so you take words and can add an image to it so it really stands out. They’re a lot more shareable. We see this a lot, where people who are writing blogs outside of your market are much more willing to take an infographic that you’ve created and embed it in their blogs than they are, for example, to simply link to your story. So, we see that infographics get a far better share rate than the other types of content, with the exception of maybe video which has a pretty similar share rate. Of course, one of the big opportunities there is that when you do get those shares, you’re getting brand awareness, and of course, that can also earn links back to your website, which is going to help you with SEO. So, those are the real reasons that we love infographics, and a lot of other people do as well.

Yeah, those are compelling reasons, and I think some people still resist this Chad, because it feels like they’re having to redesign their websites to produce infographics. Several years ago, there was a big push by everyone in the internet marketing industry to get a blog, make it helpful, and get into content marketing. Most people have answered that call and have adjusted their websites so they can easily publish a new blog post without the help of an IT person or a developer. I think the push we’d make with infographics is that you should be able to do that with your infographic process as well. If it’s too cumbersome, you still have more work to do on your website.

I think this is an interesting topic, Chad, because it’s kind of blurring the lines of web development even further. With the blog, it was self-publishing. Now, we’re talking about self-publishing a blog with a graphic element, and it’s pulling in the interesting things you’d be writing about, it’s pulling in research, if you’re doing it right it’s pulling in newsjacking and getting into headlines, and yet you’re still able to do this through a self-serve model yourself, or you can outsource it to a service who can do it without involving serious programming help, if you’ve got that process nailed. As you said, people are probably intimidated by that, but it is a very repeatable process where you can published very well-researched, defensible, credible infographics that have stunning visual appeal, but don’t break the bank in terms of being able to do this on a repeated basis without involving the whole IT team.

At least that’s our take and the reasons we love infographics. We’d like to hear from you. Have you used infographics? What was your best infographic? What was the most creative idea you came up with that got the most shares? Did it work for link-bait? Did you get backlinks? Did it help your rankings? We’d like to see some of this discussion in the comments. And, of course, we’re here every day doing the Brown Bag, and we hope you’ll join us tomorrow by subscribing to our YouTube channel.