As they say, “A picture is worth a thousands words” especially when that picture transforms a mess of data into easy-to-understand pictures. That’s essentially what an infographic does – it takes INFOrmation in the form of data, statistics and relationships and represents it in a GRAPHical format. Get it?
Besides the nerdy thrill us writer-types get when we find a way to make complicated statistical relationships simple, infographics are an extremely useful tool to have in your marketing communications toolkit. Given the literal explosion of infographics on virtually every topic and for every imaginable type of business, the marketing industry agrees with me.
Despite the fadiness of infographics, the idea is nothing new. Companies have long been using visual representation to simplify complex topics – from the basic sales presentation to detailed investor relations reports. It’s only recently, however, that infographics have become the tool-du-jour for building buzz.
Why, you ask. The reason has everything to do with the advent of social media and the shift of mainstream news outlets to a digital format. The combination of the two make for a perfect storm of opportunity for brands who have a story to tell that can be summed up in quirky graphics and colorful pie charts.
How to Use Infographics to Build Brand Buzz
#1: Tell a Story – Getting back to the essence of why infographics were created to begin with, brands need to start with finding a story to tell using the statistical data. What story do the statistics tell? How can you tell that story as it relates to your brand?
The recent explosion of social media has led to the creation of dozens and dozens of infographics on social media. The statistical data ranges from comparisons of user bases to demographic profiles of users – all with the purpose of building the case for why companies need to be in social media.
#2: Use it as a Traffic Driver – Taking that storytelling piece and posting it on your company web site or blog turns what was a simple communication tool into a traffic driver. Even better if you can write a post expanding on the information contained in the infographic.
Instead of the infographic being an internal tool for communicating to key stakeholders or for your sales team to pull out in their presentations, it’s now acting as a broader marketing tool, bringing in visitors who are interested in the information.
#3: Share it in Social Media – Using an infographic in social media is where things really get fun. Because social media now favors visual content over simple status updates or links, infographics become an important part of your social strategy.
Tweet using TwitPic, share as a photo on Facebook and Google+ and pin it on Pinterest and watch the social sharing begin! Infographics are highly collected and shared in social media because they are interested content to share with followers and fans.
#4: Turn it into a Press Release – Leveraging the ease of information display for the benefit of journalists and bloggers is another way to use infographics. Write a press release and post on press release distribution sites, like Online PR Media, that allow you to embed rich media content.
Make it available for journalists and bloggers to use for their own purposes because your company automatically becomes the source of the pretty graphics that are front and center in their article.
#5: Use it as Link Bait – Turning an infographic into link bait is as simple as including a permission note stating that people are free to use the infographic provided they include a link back to your original post.
Take it a step further and include a little bit about your company with your web site URL at the bottom so even if the graphic gets snagged off of a secondary site, you retain the credit as the creator.
Not sure what counts as an infographic worthy topic? Check out my Infographics board on Pinterest for ideas and examples of interesting infographics!