If you’ve heard the term and ever wondered what are infographics, you’ve come to the right place. An infographic is an information graphic. It contains a collection of information which is presented in an attractive and compelling way. It may be a chart or a diagram, a graph, a poster, a picture sequence or a collection of icons.
Wikipedia says, “infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly. They can improve cognition by utilizing graphics to enhance the human visual system’s ability to see patterns and trends.”
Where Did Infographics Come From?
In a land far, far away, someone had an idea. They didn’t want to write it down in a truck load of text. Instead they wanted to show it in pictures. But this didn’t happen just last week. Infographics have been around for quite a few years before that. Think back to cavemen times, when drawings were made on walls showing births, battles and celebrations. Then jump forward to the time when Egyptian hieroglyphs were drawn to show life, religion and work.
In more modern times, the 17th century saw Scottish engineer and political scientist William Playfair invent bar and pie graphs. He was followed by Edmond Halley who mapped the orbit of Halley’s Comet using contour lines which he invented. But wait, there’s more. Florence Nightingale drew diagrams which showed details of the deaths of soldiers in hospitals during the Crimean War.
Heading into the 20th century, Alfred Leete was a commercial artist who designed a lot of visual wartime propaganda. The techniques he used are still present in infographics we see today. Otto Archer designed pictograms for the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. His pictograms are seen even today on a lot of street signs. Peter Sullivan created infographics for The Sunday Times in Britain, who led the way into newspaper infographics we see today.
Jumping into infographic leaders today, Edward Tuftem David McCandless and Amanda Cox are big names in the business. They have been involved with creating infographics for the media and publishing information on best practices on using and creating information graphics too.
More Information Needed About What Are Infographics Please
Okay, I can do that. So what are infographics? An infographic is a form of content marketing many B2B and B2C businesses put in the too hard basket. Why? Because to make a great infographic, there are four steps you need to follow:
First up you need to find the data to put on your graphic. It needs to be relevant, factual, descriptive and interesting.
Now it is time to sort your information. Decide which bits do you want to include and what parts to cull. Do you have enough data or too much?
Time to put your information in order. What order should you put your information in? Where would the best place to put your data be?
Finally it’s time to create the graphic part. Remember that it is a visual way of sharing information, so go easy on the words.
As a tool used to educate and inform, an infographic is a great way to get your message across quickly and clearly. They are also 30 times more likely to be read than a blog. A business which posts infographics on their website receives 12% more traffic than those who don’t.
Convinced you should be using them yet? Okay, I can dive deeper and give you more reasons why you should use infographics as part of your content marketing strategy…
Why Your Business Needs to Use Infographics for Content Marketing
An infographic is like a good story. It walks you through what’s happening, sharing facts and visuals with you as you go. I am of the belief that every business should include infographics into their content marketing strategy because of the numerous benefits they offer:
- Easy to Scan and Read
- More Likely to Go Viral
- Create Brand Awareness
- Increase Website Traffic
- Share Information Visually
- Grab Attention Quickly
- Demonstrate Your Expert Status
- Great SEO